Forum Visual Studio

Can I use Xamarin Studio for Windows Phone 8 (on my mac)

So I tried searching the forum and other areas and couldn't really find a definitive answer so I figured I should just ask. I a solo mobile developer for a small company and I've built an iOS App and I'm currently working on the Android version and the Windows Phone version is slated for development after that so of course I started looking for an easier cross platform tool and found Xamarin Studio. My only question though since I couldn't really tell if it was possible is that if I download Xamarin Studio on my Mac can I use it to build Windows Phone apps as well or is that only possible with using the Visual Studio plugin to develop for all 3? I would prefer to use Xamarin Studio in my Mac instead of Parallels and Visual Studio, just can't tell if that's possible. Thanks.


  • JasonAwbreyJasonAwbrey USInsider, University, Developer Group Leader mod

    No. To build Windows Phone apps you need to use Visual Studio.

  • SalAldanaSalAldana USMember

    Thanks Jason, wasn't really the answer I was hoping for though. I wanted to find a cross platform solution where I can build native apps for all three environments easily but for now it looks like I'll have to stick with Xcode, Android Studio, and Visual Studio.

  • rmaciasrmacias USBeta, University ✭✭✭✭✭

    Architect your apps the proper way, you can build all three in Visual Studio (with a Mac as your build host for iOS apps).

  • rmaciasrmacias USBeta, University ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2014

    Also to clarify, Xamarin studio uses the same solution/project format as Visual Studio. So you can open up your iOS and Android projects with both Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio. You just can't build Windows Phone apps using Xamarin Studio.

  • SalAldanaSalAldana USMember

    Thanks Ruben, I was trying to avoid having to use Visual Studio altogether, but it looks like for now that's not a possibility. Thanks for the tip, I was thinking about setting up a project so I can do the iOS and Android stuff on my Mac and then just switch over to Visual Studio to finish up the Windows Phone side (which is pretty much the same procedure that I have now with each separate IDE). The way mobile development is moving I'm sure it won't be too long before there's a native IDE for Windows Phone development on the Mac or future version of Xamarin that can do all three in a single IDE.

  • SKallSKall USMember ✭✭✭✭

    As much as XS has evolved over time it is still far from being Visual Studio so I still prefer to do most of my work on VS. With Parallels on Mac this isn't as painful as having to switch machines. For deploying to actual hardware I still use Xamarin as the VS plugin doesn't always work well. For WP wouldn't you rather design the UI in Blend?

  • SalAldanaSalAldana USMember

    Well I actually haven't made it to the Windows Phone yet, I finished the iOS App last year and have been working on the Android version for the past 3 months. After the Android release then I'll move on to the WP version. I have no problem with VS, I use it daily through Parallels for the Web Services for the mobile apps, was just wanting to reduce the need for jumping from Objective-C, Java and VB. Eventually there will probably be an IDE that will let you write code in one language for all three (maybe XS or some new one) which is what I was looking to see if XS would be capable of doing for me (which it sounds like it can in some extent, still have to jump around a little but it's still an improvement). I'm going to start working on a secondary app with XS, and I'll see how that works for my development process (I'm the only mobile developer for the company I work for). Thanks for the tips everyone.

  • SKallSKall USMember ✭✭✭✭

    I generally create different folders for each target, one being Core for all the common code. On the root (or inside the folders) have a solution for each platform. Put as much code as you can to PCL libraries (I target Profile 78). Then I usually keep open 3 (or more) instances of IDE's so whenever I change common code (PCL or not) from one I can check it doesn't break anything on the others (such as referencing platform specific libraries).

    You could do all this from Visual Studio if you have the business license. I find that XS has some features to complement a vanilla Visual Studio installation, and debugging an Android emulator from XS is a better option since I can run it on OSX instead of Windows, so I don't mind keeping different IDE's open. I would keep the files on OSX filesystem if using different IDE's.

  • nickNaylornickNaylor DEMember ✭✭
    edited April 2014


    watch this:

    Arround minute 34 miguel promises Support for Universal Apps (WindowsPhone + Windows8) for Xamarin Studio Mac.

    So it is not possible yet, but it is coming soon :)

    Hopefully it will not cost yet another $1000 per developer and year ;)

  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    XS will have support for Shared Projects, which enable sharing code between multiple projects, e.g. Windows Phone, Windows Store, iOS, Android, etc. However, we still have no plans to support building Windows Phone or Windows Store projects in XS.

  • voidvoid DKBeta ✭✭✭

    "However, we still have no plans to support building Windows Phone or Windows Store projects in XS."

    I would love the ability to target and deploy to microsoft azure from XS. This makes even more sense when XS supports shared projects.

  • mhutchmhutch USMember, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    @tim: feel free to suggest this on UserVoice so we can track how much interest there is!

  • voidvoid DKBeta ✭✭✭
  • MommMomm USMember ✭✭✭

    Any chance of Xamarin Studio for Mac supports WinPhone in near future?

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