It’s been 2 weeks since we had a great week at Build 2017 in Seattle. In the weeks after Build all recorded sessions came online on Channel 9. I’ve created a list of all things relevant for (Xamarin) mobile developers ranging from the new Xamarin announcements that made the headlines to some other sessions that you might have missed but can be relevant for mobile developers.
Lets start with the basics:
Keynotes of day 1 & 2
Although the first day didn’t have that much mobile stuff in it it did a good job on displaying where Microsoft is aiming for in the future. AI is a big part in this and AI can also be big on Mobile so it might still inspire you to build great new innovations. The Second day was the day of Windows and also contained all the mobile stuff.
“With great power comes great responsibility – Satya Nadella – build 2017”
Xamarin had a bunch of sessions where they announced new things and showed their roadmap.
Xamarin: The future of mobile app development
When i first looked at the Build sessions i was about to skip this session. Sure James + Miguel are great presenters so that’s almost worth to watch but i expected this to be some Xamarin introduction. Luckily Miguel mentioned that this wasn’t the case so i was there. In this session Miguel explains what Microsoft is trying to achieve for mobile developers and they show all the new cool tools & bits for developers. a must watch! i especially like the bit where they demo the live player and the fastlane integration.
Visual Studio for Mac
During the keynote Visual Studio for Mac was already announced but in this session Miguel and Joseph go through more of the details of Visual studio for the Mac and what the future for this IDE will look like. Joseph and Miguel were clearly having fun on stage. Bunch of Hackers!
What’s new in Xamarin.Forms
The third and last session held by Xamarin folks was about Xamarin Forms. Nobody less than Jason Smith explains about what is to come in Xamarin Forms 3.0 such as performance improvements, and the FlexLayout which is an awesome feature for building apps across multiple device sizes. Some other things Jason mentioned were css like styling, one time binding and improvements in the listview
Mobile Center & Visual Studio
Mobile center is a new product that together with VSTS should cover most devops teams in a full devops solution for mobile developers. Here are the key sessions to watch regarding mobile center:
Visual Studio Mobile Center: Ship mobile apps faster
The major session by the Mobile Center team is a must watch if you are thinking about using mobile center. Thomas Dohmke and Keith Ballinger explain all the new features of mobile center like UWP support, Push notifications and store deployments
Visual Studio Mobile Center and Visual Studio Team Services: Better together for your Mobile DevOps
This session by Simana Pasat explains what mobile center does and how this fits together with VSTS.
General C# & .Net
Build is not only about mobile development. There are several other sessions that are not specific for mobile developers but can be really useful for mobile developers since we still code in C# and .Net right?
Three Runtimes, one standard… .NET Standard: All in Visual Studio 2017
Scott Hanselman and Scott Hunter gave a great presentation on .Net Standard and .Net core. important changes coming to .Net in the coming year. If you’re not up to date with what .Net standard is all about this session has your covered. Next to that the 2 Scotts are just generally funny so worth a watch even if you’re already an expert on .Net Core and .Net Standard 2.0
The future of C#
This session is a classic Build session that Mads and Dustin do every year. When i read the session abstract it made me laugh: “We’re Back!” it stated as this is a Build classic i remembered back from when i was at Build in 2012. This year they showed all the new features of C# 7 but also the road ahead of C# 7.1, 7.2 and C# 8!!
SignalR .NET Core: Realtime cross-platform open web communication
Damian Edwards and David Fowler explain the future of SignalR. SignalR was already a way of building real time communication between several devices but this was always a bit unreliable and wonky, especially on Mobile devices. With SignalR Core they are focussing on a complete rebuild from the ground up and looks really promising. I think this will be used a lot after it’s GA somewhere later this year
Cognitive services and AI were a major topic at build. Here are some videos (next to the keynote) that might inspire you to use cognitive services in your apps
Computer vision made easy: From pre-trained models to Custom Vision, Microsoft Cognitive Services has you covered
Computer vision is a super cool topic and it’s so easy to implement. In this session Anna Roth shows you the possibilities of cognitive services related to computer vision
Using Microsoft Cognitive Services to bring the power of speech recognition to your apps
Next to computer vision speech recognition is another cognitive service that really blows my mind how far we’ve come with technology in the past few years. Watch this session for everything about speech recognition in your apps
Project Rome is a really interesting project for mobile developers and most mobile dev’s i’ve spoken at Build or after Build still didn’t have any knowledge about it. Project Rome focusses on inter device experiences for apps which is something that is going to be huge in the future is my prediction.
Cross-device and cross-platform experiences with Project Rome and Microsoft Graph
This session gives a good overview of what is possible by using Project Rome. Vikas and Carmen gave lots of demo’s and explained the why, the what and how of project rome
App engagement in Windows Timeline and Cortana with User Activities and Project Rome
Project Rome goes hand in hand with the Microsoft Graph and the addition of User Activities and Devices to the Microsoft Graph. In this session Shawn and Juan describe how you can engage users cross device by using the features of Cortana and the new Windows Timeline.
“Bots are the new apps”. it’s a sentence i’ve heard quite often in the past year which was unofficially called “the year of the bots”. Is this mobile tech? I’m still not convinced this will replace native mobile apps but it’s a great addition to cover certain mobile moments.
Bot capabilities, patterns and principles
I visited this session and i have to say i really liked it. Mat Velloso and Ryan Volum give some real life examples of how you could set up a bot and what design patterns you can use to set up a good bot. Even if you’re not a bot developer this might inspire you to build some small bots or integrate them in your apps.
UWP was a big topic at Build as it is every year. although i haven’t focussed on this much during this year of Build since i was at all sessions above here focussing Xamarin and other Mobile or Azure related topics there is still quite a big list of videos worth watching is you’re building UWP apps.
The first major announcement that i really liked was the Fluent design system. Although i’m a dev i really love good design and these kind of systems really help me to build great stuff. I absolutely loved Metro (back when it was announced) but Microsoft didn’t upgrade this design language that much up until now.
Introducing Fluent Design
Build Amazing Apps with Fluent Design
Other sessions on UWP development:
What’s new and coming for Windows UI: XAML and composition
Windows Store: Manage and promote apps your way
App Model evolution
Nextgen UWP app distribution: Building extensible, stream-able, componentized apps
Ten things you didn’t know about Visual Studio 2017 for building .NET UWP apps
XAML custom controls for UWP: Start to finish
These sessions should cover quite some of your spare time to get you fully up to date of current mobile development in the Microsoft space. I really like listening to some of them during my commute. Did i miss any important sessions? please let me know in the comments.
I had a great time at Build in Seattle so hopefully to see you next time.
Geert van der Cruijsen