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Xamarin.Forms Updates Buttons, Images, Labels, More

The latest update to Xamarin.Forms -- Microsoft's C#-based, open source cross-platform mobile app dev solution -- addresses the "little things" such as buttons, images labels and more.

That "little things" characterization was made by David Ortinau, a Microsoft senior program manager, in announcing Xamarin.Forms 3.3.0, the latest stable release of the UI toolkit for .NET developers that lets them write C# code to create iOS, Android and other apps.

He said the term refers to: "Things you've told us are important to building your mobile apps and being supremely productive in the process."

Here's a summary of some of those improved "little things," of which many were contributed by community volunteers:

  • Labels. Developers can now add text decorations such as underlines and strike-throughs. When combined with previous contributions that added span support of bindings and gestures, "you've got the coveted inline hyperlink," Ortinau said. Another community contribution added the ability to specify the maximum number of lines a label can render. "This is super useful for doing things such as displaying a few lines and adding a 'read more' to expand the full text," Ortinau said.
  • Android Images. Setting the stage to better support future efforts on the handling of images is the appropriately name IImageViewHandler. When this new interface is combined with the GlideX for Xamarin.Forms library, memory usage is lowered. For example, a GridPage loaded in Xamarin.Forms hits 268,387,112 bytes of peak memory usage, while the same thing loaded in glidex.forms hits only 16,484,584 bytes.
  • iOS WebView. WKWebView, introduced by Apple in iOS 8.0 (the latest version is 12.0.1) is now available as an option, joining the UIWebView long used as a Web browser control in Xamarin.Forms. "WKWebView runs Safari in a separate process and provides better performance, especially when you need to execute JavaScript," said Ortinau, who noted that one advantage of UIWebView is better backward compatibility.

According to the release notes, other related updates provide:

  • Label with Wrap/LineNumber and Truncation
  • Support UIModalPresentationStyle.FormSheet
  • Desktop: TabStop/TabIndex support (for multiple Views)

"Xamarin.Forms 3.3.0 includes more than 30 bug fixes and ships just 30 days after 3.2.0 meaning you don't have to wait long to benefit from all those quality improvements," Ortinau said.

Ortinau also highlighted a bunch of "little things" in that 3.2.0 release, including customized TitleViews, the aforementioned span gestures, button padding, editor placeholder color and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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