After a very long time, I attended a community event by Xhackers – Wearables day. This post is about my experiences from this awesome session. I have been doing software development using Microsoft technologies from the start of my career, so quite naturally I have developed a good amount of love for C#. So, I always wanted to get myself started with Xamarin for cross platform mobile application development and this session indeed was a great starter.

Introduction to Xamarin & Xamarin Forms

The session started with a quick introduction to Xamarin from Pooran Prasad. He talked about what is Xamarin, how Xamarin enables Cross platform application development using C# language, and how the code sharing is done in Xamarin. In a nutshell, Xamarin basically helps us in sharing the business logic code written in c# across multiple platforms. The code sharing can be done via Shared projects or PCL (Portable Class libraries). The UI components would still need to be created using the respective platform specific languages. This was the case before Xamarin.Forms was introduced. With Xamarin forms, most of the generic UI code can very well be written in C#/XAML and that can be shared across iOS, Android and Windows. If at all we need to address any core platform specific aspect, we could resort to platform specific UI, else for the most part Xamarin.Forms would do good. The session ended with a small demo based on the eight ball game written using Xamarin classic and Xamarin Forms.

Introduction to Microsoft Band, Android wear & Apple Watch

The next session was about Microsoft Band & Android wear by Vidyasagar. In this session, Vidyasagar started with a brief introduction to Microsoft Band (though the Band is currently available only in US & UK, as I write this post), we got a glimpse of what the Band is all about, the cool features that it offers, and also got an early preview of the Microsoft Band SDK which enables the developers to create apps targeting the Band. Due to the non availability of the Band and the SDK being in preview (at the time of writing this post) we couldn’t really see a demo of it. Hoping for a follow up session in the future once both are available 🙂

Following that was a sneak peek on android wear. With Xamarin, you can write the application in C# targeting Android wear. It is so cool to see a C# based app running in an Android watch 😉 A lot of samples are available in Xamarin’s developer portal

The last one for the day was the most anticipated Apple watch development using Xamarin by Pooran. Thanks to the same day support in Xamarin, For most of the new releases in iOS and Android SDKs, Xamarin provides their version the very same day. Pooran very clearly explained the basic concepts involved in developing applications using Apple watch kit and detailed out the steps in setting up a Xamarin.iOS project for the same. To develop any application to run on an Apple Watch, we should have a corresponding iPhone app. When the iPhone app is run for the first time, it would install the Watch Kit extension into the apple watch and bring up the watch related features of the app. There are good samples available in Xamarin portal for watch kit development.

All in all, it was a very informative session to get started with app development for wearables. And, it is evident that Xamarin is making it easy for C# developers to dive into cross platform mobile development and wearables! Looking forward to join more sessions from Xhackers community.

If you are interested to join with these passionate, geeky guys doing cross platform development, you can follow/join Xhackers community via one or all of the means.

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