Drawing Shapes with SkiaSharp

My team was working on an activity tracking application and wanted to be able to display segments of time on a radial gauge.  When implementing this feature, I initially tried using some libraries specifically designed to build arcs, but I was disappointed by their lack of flexibility. When my pair recommended looking into SkiaSharp, I was pleased to discover that not only could I build a radial gauge, but I also had quite a few options as to how to build it. Read more on Drawing Shapes with SkiaSharp…

Exporting a Java Library to a Xamarin.Forms Android Project

The device on our current project has two unique software development kits (one for Android and one for iOS). My team wanted to use Xamarin.Forms to create an application for the device so that the core logic of the app could be stored in one place. 

However, in order to also incorporate the platform-specific SDK methods, we had to export Java code (for Android) and Swift code (for iOS) as libraries and then import those libraries into a Xamarin.Forms project. Read more on Exporting a Java Library to a Xamarin.Forms Android Project…

Getting Started With React Native – Easy or Hard?

I’ve been watching React Native for a while. The idea of using a React (and Redux) approach to developing cross-platform-ish native apps is really appealing. Since I have no React Native experience, I wanted to understand how much work is required to get started. Read more on Getting Started With React Native – Easy or Hard?…

A Quick Android Snackbar Tutorial: Setup, Action Handling, and UI Customization

Android Snackbars are, unfortunately, not as tasty as they sound. But they are extremely useful for showing errors or other lightweight feedback to a user–with minimal setup required. This is a brief tutorial for setting up a basic Snackbar, adding actions, and customizing its appearance.
Read more on A Quick Android Snackbar Tutorial: Setup, Action Handling, and UI Customization…

Supercharging Xamarin Studio’s Play Button with Custom Build Steps

As my team’s current project has morphed from a heavy Ember.js app running in a thin PhoneGap web view into a thin Ember.js front end driving a rich Xamarin back end, we’ve had to change our approach to build automation. Here’s how we leverage custom build steps in Xamarin Studio to make our workdays easier.
Read more on Supercharging Xamarin Studio’s Play Button with Custom Build Steps…

Simplify Your Storage in Xamarin with SimpleStorage

While developing a mobile application, it’s important to consider the data storage architecture that best suits the needs of the app. In many cases, especially if the app is data-intensive, a database is the best option. I have had a great experience using the SQLite.NET package for Xamarin, in particular. However, there are some cases where a database is not the best option for data storage. For example, a simple key-value store is often a great solution for small pieces of data, such as user preferences and app settings, that can be easily retrieved by a unique key. Read more on Simplify Your Storage in Xamarin with SimpleStorage…

Super-fast Numeric Input with HTML Ranges – Part 1

During a recent project, we were tasked with improving the experience of entering a handful of decimal numbers into a mobile web app. In this part of the app, we knew users would be repeatedly entering a number, followed by a decimal point, then two more numbers. The stock ascii keyboards were cumbersome, requiring seven taps and an awkward page scroll on most devices. The numeric keyboards saved a tap or two depending on the platform, but they still suffered from the page scroll problem. With either generic keyboard, we knew we’d have to add form validation to make sure the values were in the right range. Read more on Super-fast Numeric Input with HTML Ranges – Part 1…