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Microsoft’s Xamarin takes open source way

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Open Source Xamarin

The open source Xamarin SDKs are aimed to enable every developer to build truly native apps for any device using C# and F#.

A couple of months after its acquisition, Microsoft has pushed cross-platform app development tool vendor Xamarin to choose the fast-growing open source way. The new development emerged from Xamarin’s Evolve developer conference that was held in Orlando on Wednesday.

Although Microsoft had suggested the community integration at its Build 2016 conference last month, Xamarin co-founder Miguel de Icaza at the Evolve formally announced its open source SDKs to get started on the new front. These new Xamarin SDKs will be available for Android, iOS and Mac OS under the MIT license. Additionally, the San Francisco, California-based company is set to contribute its development kits to the .Net Foundation to opt native .Net builds for mobile and desktop devices as well as cloud.

“The Xamarin engineering team will now be working in our repositories on GitHub, continuing to make the Xamarin SDKs better,” Icaza wrote in a blog post. “The future of native cross-platform mobile development is now in the hands of every developer, and we’re excited to see where you’ll take the platform.”

The Xamarin SDKs will include Mono runtime ports for iOS and Android, basic command-line build tools and Xamarin.Forms UI framework. However, the Xamarin IDE for Mac OS will still be available as a closed-source offering.

To make developers aware of the new developments, Xamarin has refreshed its web presence. There is a new website that has source codes to let you as a developer easily build native mobile apps and UIs for Android and iOS devices. The site also gives access to external libraries and components that will help you accelerate your mobile development efforts. Moreover, the company is calling enthusiasts to build a wide community.

New features for iOS and Mac

In addition to showing the new open source avenue, Microsoft has upgraded experience for Xamarin’s community by bringing its Visual Studio to Mac. This will help developers build native iOS apps directly using C#. There is an iOS Simulator that provides an ability to simulate and interact with iOS apps right from Visual Studio, while an iOS USB remoting feature allows to deploy and debug apps from Visual Studio to an iPad or iPhone plugged into a Windows PC.

.Net already has open source power

This isn’t the first time when Microsoft favoured open source. The Redmond giant is apparently mulling open source to grow bigger in the coming future. In last November, it upgraded its .Net to enable some new community-driven enhancements. There is also .Net Core to contribute hugely towards the open source world.