Xamarin.Essentials gives developers essential cross-platform APIs for their mobile applications.
iOS, Android, and UWP offer unique operating system and platform APIs that developers have access to all in C# leveraging Xamarin. It is great that developers have 100% API access in C# with Xamarin, but these APIs are different per platform. This means developers have to learn three different APIs to access platform specific features. With Xamarin.Essentials developers have a single cross-platform API that works with any iOS, Android, or UWP application that can be accessed from shared code no matter how the user interface is created.
Xamarin.Essentials is available via:
- NuGet Official Releases:
- MyGet Development Feed: https://www.myget.org/F/xamarin-essentials/api/v3/index.json
Please read our Getting Started with Xamarin.Essentials guide for full setup instructions.
Browse our full documentation for Xamarin.Essentials including feature guides on how to use each feature.
Xamarin.Essentials is focused on the following platforms for our first release:
- iOS (10+)
- Android (4.4+)
- UWP (Fall Creators Update+)
The following cross-platform APIs are planned for our first release:
- App Information
- Data Transfer
- Device Display Information
- Device Information
- File System Helpers
- Open Browser
- Phone Dialer
- Screen Lock
- Secure Storage
- Version Tracking
Please read through our Contribution Guide. We are not accepting new PRs for full features, however any issue that is marked as
up for grabs are open for community contributions. We encourage creating new issues for bugs found during usage that the team will triage. Additionally, we are open for code refactoring suggestions in PRs.
Xamarin.Essentials is built with the new SDK style projects with multi-targeting enabled. This means that all code for iOS, Android, and UWP exist inside of the Xamarin.Essentials project.
If building on Visual Studio 2017 simply open the solution and build the project.
If using Visual Studio for Mac the project can be built at the command line with MSBuild. To change the project type that you are working with simply edit Xamarin.Essentials.csproj and modify the TargetFrameworks for only the project type you want to use.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Xamarin.Essentials, but be sure to read our full FAQ on our Wiki.
Where are the interfaces?
Some developers prefer an interface based programming model for dependency injection and testing of code. Xamarin.Essentials does not offer any interfaces and delivers straight API access via direct classes and static properties/methods. There are many reasons that Xamarin.Essentials is architected this way that include performance, simplicity, and ease of use. We also consider Xamarin.Essentials a core API of the platform just like System classes, HttpClient, and our platform bindings.
Additionally, we found most developers create their own interfaces even when using a library that have interfaces. They do this so they have control over the APIs they actually use, which may be a very small percentage of the overall APIs in the library. Creating your own
IXamarinEssentials and exposing only the methods and properties you would like to use gives you more flexibility as Xamarin.Essentials grows and adds additional APIs. Using this type of architecture will enable you to both have dependency injection and work with unit testing.
Does Xamarin.Essentials replace plugins?
Plugins offer a wide variety of cross-platform APIs for developers to use in their applications. Plugins will still continue to grow and flourish as they can offer a wider range of APIs and handle unique scenarios that Xamarin.Essentials may not offer including additional platform support or add features unique to a single platform.
Please see the License.