Creating a Xamarin Forms App Part 1

  • Part 1 : Introduction
  • Part 2 : Getting Started
  • Part 3 : How to use Xamarin Forms with Visual Studio without the Business Edition
  • Part 4 : Application Resources
  • Part 5 : Dependency Injection
  • Part 6 : View Model First Navigation
  • Part 7 : Unit Testing
  • Part 8 : Consuming a RESTful Web Service
  • Part 9 : Working with Alerts and Dialogs
  • Part 10 : Designing and Developing the User Interface
  • Part 11 : Updating to Xamarin Forms 1.3
  • Part 12 : Extending the User Interface

Introduction

Over the next few weeks I’d like to share with you my adventures as I create a real cross-platform mobile application using Xamarin Forms. I will be striving to use some of the best patterns and practices I have learnt over the years and more recently as a WPF developer, and hopefully learn many new and exiting things along the way.

It will be interesting to see how this translates to cross platform mobile application development. There will be many differences, restrictions and possibly even some compromises that may need to be made. I will however strive to do things the right way and hopefully make my application better in the process.

The areas I will be focusing on as I get started are as follows.

      • Getting started. Project and solution structure.
      • Application and Application Resources
      • Dependency Injection, the right way.
      • XAML – Preferring Xaml over code to create views
      • MVVM & View Model First approach (as opposed to View First approach)
      • Navigation – View Model Navigation.
      • Xamarin Forms open source frameworks.
      • Consuming Data from Web Services.
      • Attached Behaviours and avoiding code behind.

I want to develop an application that will consume a real data feed and provide regular updates. I want the data to interesting, informative and allow me to use things like charts to make it visually appealing. I considered financial data but decided that would be way too dull. So I needed to think of an App that I’d really like to have that I can’t get on the App Store. This is almost impossible because there appears to be an app for everything.

I am a keen climber and skier and generally love the mountains in the winter. Here in the UK, and in particular in Scotland this can be very challenging due to the crazy weather we have in winter. It becomes a game one plays with the weather forecasts to predicate the next weather window, or indeed just to monitor the conditions for freeze and thaw. There are a variety of sources out there on the web that enable keen winter climbers and skiers to play out this game. Indeed I have a website with links to many of these sources called TheFrontPoint.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, not another weather app! Yes there are many of them out there, but none that I have found that cater for detailed weather information for the mountain regions in the UK. The closest I’ve found is Wunderground and WunderStation, which are very good apps and great sources of detailed weather forecasts. However you do have to go hunting for what you you’re looking for and it isn’t tailored towards mountain areas. Turns out I can get all the detailed information I need from a number of free web service data feeds, primarily the Met Office’s DataPoint service which provides an excellent source of data for mountain locations here in the UK.

So my application is going be a UK Mountain Weather Forecast Application. It will provide more than just mountain forecasts though. I will hope to include detailed observation charts from various mountain weather stations, localised forecast reports and avalanche reports from other sources. This will provide a lot of scope for this series as I build out the application.

Hopefully, and with a bit of luck, I may even manage to get this application published to the app stores. I hope you enjoy following me on my journey.

6 thoughts on “Creating a Xamarin Forms App Part 1

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