Xamarin Live Player (almost) takes the Mac out of iOS development

Enlarge / The Retina 5K iMac just got a bit cheaper. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

SEATTLE—With the Xamarin tooling built in to Visual Studio, iOS and Android developers can already use a PC for a big part of their dev process by using the Visual Studio IDE for writing their code. For iOS development, however, there has always been an extra complication: the actual software building and deployment had to take place on a Mac. Visual Studio remotely controls the Apple machine to do this work, so although developers can stay inside the Visual Studio environment they know and love, they still need a Mac on their local network.

Xamarin Live Player, announced today, takes the Mac out of the develop/deploy/debug cycle. With Live Player, iOS apps can be deployed directly onto an iPhone or other iDevice from a PC running Visual Studio, where the code can then be tested and debugged. This means that the Mac is no longer needed for that core development cycle.

The final build and submission to the App Store will still require a Mac, so you can’t go without an Apple system entirely, but what this means is that if you want to develop, as many of us do, on a laptop and aren’t on the same network as your Mac, you can.

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