Build Xamarin apps with VS Code to M1 Macs, iPhones & Android

Build Xamarin apps with VS Code to M1 Macs, iPhones & Android

There have been numerous questions on different forums, of developers asking how to build Xamarin Apps using the terminal/CLI. The primary software/program used for Xamarin cross platform development is Microsoft’s Visual Studio. Visual Studio is classified as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that is used to build Xamarin apps. So, it has all the functionality you would need to build, debug and publish apps. This naturally makes Visual Studio bulky & slower than just building using CLI.

There have been numerous questions on different forums, of developers asking how to build Xamarin Apps using the terminal/CLI. The primary software/program used for Xamarin cross platform development is Microsoft’s Visual Studio. Visual Studio is classified as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that is used to build Xamarin apps. So, it has all the functionality you would need to build, debug and publish apps. This naturally makes Visual Studio bulky & slower than just building using CLI.

For decades now, software developers have preferred the use of lightweight text editors when possible because they are nifty and quick with changes, since a lot tasks don’t need the complex IDE. Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is the most popular text editor among developers, with countless free extensions to enhance developer experience.

Note that the steps below do not support debugging, the iOS commands need to be done on a Mac, and the build will not work for iPhones and Macs if you have not correctly setup your Development Certificate and Provisioning profile in the Apple Developer portal (follow these steps to get temporary ones setup).

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For all of these steps, you need to install and then open VS Code into the directory containing your Xamarin solution file. Then open the terminal by selecting Terminal in the toolbar->New Terminal. Restore nuget packages using the nuget restore command. Then follow the steps below depending on which platform you would like to build, and simply replace Sample with your project name:

Steps to Build & Deploy to Android with VS Code

  1. In your terminal, run this msbuild Sample.Android/Sample.Android.csproj /verbosity:normal /t:Rebuild /t:PackageForAndroid /t:SignAndroidPackage /p:Configuration=Debug
  2. Then, change directory using cd Sample.Android/bin/Debug to find the the signed APK file,
  3. Using ADB(Android Debug Bridge), install it to your device/emulator with this command adb install com.tfp.sample-Signed.apkexplained here.

programming xamarin vscode ios m1 macs iphones

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Build Xamarin apps with VS Code to M1 Macs, iPhones & Android

You read it right, you don't need to open an IDE, start building apps in the terminal!

Build Xamarin apps with VS Code to M1 Macs, iPhones & Android

In this article, I will guide you to build Xamarin apps with VS Code for Mac, iPhone and Android M1

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