Develop Cross Platform Native Mobile Apps

Develop Cross Platform Native Mobile Apps

This is an interesting topic to me always. I have tried Android App development with Android Studio on a Windows Laptop and had good success. But my quest is always to find a single IDE using which I should be able to develop and publish Apps for both iOS and Android. So the question, Why and How?

Apart from 1 IDE, I was also looking for 1 language to develop these apps. The answer is Visual Studio 2017 and more preciously, Visual Studio 2017 for Mac.  Visual Studio Mac version lacks few features compared to Windows version but it solves one of the problems, i.e. writing code just in one language, C#.

Here is my setup option #1. This seems complicated but in fact, it is very simple to set up. In this setup, Windows Laptop is my primary area to develop apps.

  • Visual Studio 2017 installed on Windows Laptop
  • Mac Mini (you can go with Mac Pro) as my Build Host
  • I have VNC installed on my Windows Laptop so that I can remote to Mac Mini
  • The only requirement is, both Windows Laptop and Mac Mini should be on the same network. I just connected both of them to the same Wifi Router

This is another setup in which I avoided Wifi Router. I am using TPLink USB which acts as a router and I connected Mac Mini to the TPLink HotSpot.

Why do we need to keep both Mac Mini and Windows Laptop on the same IP Subnet?

As of now, Visual Studio is limited to scan only the subnet to find a Mac Build Host. This may change in future.

My goal was to find a single environment, single IDE and single language to design, develop and publish a native app for both iOS and Android. I can confidently confirm that Visual Studio on Mac fits the bill very nicely and everything you need is packed in. Behind the scenes Xamarin is used with my long-time familiarity with VS IDE, developing native apps is fun and productive.

Here is my published app on iOS and Android