Microsoft releases Visual Studio 2017 for Mac following preview

Visual Studio for Mac, available at no extra cost to current Visual Studio subscribers, is largely based on Xamarin, which Microsoft acquired a year ago. Developers can now use Microsoft's flagship integrated development environment (IDE) across Windows and Mac to build for the cloud, mobile, and the web.

"Today we've released the preview of Xamarin Live Player, a live coding environment to make development and debugging faster", Microsoft's Nat Friedman explains in a bit of under-selling. You can install the Live Player extensions for both Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2017 for Mac right now and download the Xamarin Live Player apps from Google Play and Apple's App Store. Behind the scenes, the Live Player includes an interpreter for.NET code.

If you're an iOS developer, then Microsoft's Xamarin already allowed you to develop your iOS applications in C# with the help of tools like Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio.


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.

"The real benefit here is you should be able to write, test and debug an iOS app much quicker", Moorhead said. The release corresponds with the kick off of Microsoft's Build 2017 developer conference this week.

Getting rid of the Mac requirement is not Microsoft trying to push developers away from Macs, however. Typically, when a developer writes an app for multiple OSes, they have to write the app from the ground up for each OS they want their app to run on.


With Xamarin Live Player, developers will be able to do everything from their Windows-based PC: Just connect your Android device, iPhone, or iPad to the PC via USB and you can target those devices directly during development. The Visual Studio supports Visual Studio Code for Mac and is free to download from their website.

Microsoft believes its Live Player system is entirely compatible with Apple's rules and regulations for App Store apps.



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