If you’re an iOS developer, then Microsoft’s Xamarin already allowed you to develop your iOS applications in C# with the help of tools like Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio. Until now, though, you still needed a Mac to build and test your apps. As the company announced today, that’s not necessary anymore. With the new Xamarin Live Player, you can deploy, run, test and debug iOS apps directly from a Windows PC that runs Visual Studio.
With this, Microsoft is closing the loop for most developers and is getting a step closer to its goal of positioning Windows 10 as the preferred operating system for cross-platform development.
To enable this new functionality, developers have to install the Xamarin Live Player app on their iOS device and then pair it to their PC by scanning a QR code on their screen. Because this is fully baked into Virtual Studio, you also get access to all of the usual functionality you would expect in your IDE. You can, for example, make live edits to your code while it is running and immediately see the result of a color change, for example, on your phone.
Microsoft tells us that it talked to Apple about this functionality and that it has its rival’s blessing and that the Live Player application complies with all of Apple’s usual rules.