Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Microsoft officially releases Visual Studio 2017 for Mac

These apps allow you to write, execute, and debug code continuously on an iOS or Android device straight from the IDE.

Microsoft has announced that you can now develop, build, deploy, and debug iOS apps directly from a Windows 10 PC, no Mac needed. "Whether you use C#, F#,.NET Core, ASP.NET Core, Xamarin or Unity, you'll get a best-in-class development environment, natively designed for the Mac".

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. 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.

Live Player also supports Android, though this is obviously less of a big deal since direct development and deployment from a PC is already standard for Android.

The native development support for Android, iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS comes through Xamarin, Microsoft notes, which the software giant purchased over a year ago to beef up its position in the mobile market.

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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.

The app will be deployed to Xamarin Live Player in the background, enabling you to develop and test your changes without having to recompile and redeploy the app.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac arrives two months after Microsoft released the Windows version and the fourth beta of the macOS IDE, and brings with it a number of new features related to things like.NET Core, web tooling and Xamarin. Microsoft is also unifying the XAML used for cross-platform Xamarin Forms with that used for UWP.

Finally, Microsoft is continuing to embrace Linux developers and toolchains on Windows.

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