The Remoted iOS Simulator (for Windows) just came out for Visual Studio, and if you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend doing so if you are tired of remoting into your MAC build server to debug your Xamarin iOS apps.
The Remoted iOS Simulator allows you to “Test and debug iOS apps entirely within Visual Studio on Windows”. I must say having tried it out, I found it works as advertised! It’s wonderful to be able to run a fully live, real iOS app in a simulator window locally. It saves time as I don’t have to remote into my Mac build server or be physically near it to interact with a running app.
Simply download the installer, run it, and you’re good to go. Set your iOS Xamarin project as the startup project. When you hit ‘debug’ a local iOS simulator pops up and runs locally right on your machine. You can interact with the app as it runs on the Mac.
The simulator has some basic but useful features like locking the home screen, setting the location, and the ability to rotate and shake the device.
Here is a screenshot of a map view in a real app. Giddy! Best of all, the simulator stays running and connected to your Mac after you stop debugging so can use a live Xaml previewer like Gorilla Player for design time visuals. This is one breakthrough that deserves full applause from the masses.
Here’s a quick tip if you’ve ever wanted to edit multiple lines of code at once in Visual Studio. Simply position your cursor at a point in your code, then press and hold SHIFT and ALT. Next, press the up or down arrow to select the lines you want to edit. When you begin typing you will behold a gift from the gods – editing multiple lines at once!
This is the coolest thing since Spreadable Bacon. In Visual Studio 2017, you can view a method definition, and edit the code right in a pop up window with the Peek Definition command. In the screenshot below, I’m actually editing the code right in the pop up window itself. This will save you a bunch of time by not having to dig down into other folders where your classes or methods are defined, just to make a minor adjustment.
In Visual Studio 2017, you can clearly see what using statements you are not… using. The IDE grays them out for you. This is a nice touch, as it can get confusing as to what namespaces are actually in use. Especially after you’ve added some code, refactored, taken some things out. Those little orphaned using statements that are no longer needed become easy to see.
Want to get rid of them? No problem. Just go to Edit > IntelliSense > Organize Usings. From there you can choose to Remove Unnecessary Usings, Sort Usings, or Remove and Sort usings.
Here’s what it looks like after I’ve removed my unnecessary usings.
Pretty cool huh? I thought so. If you choose Sort Usings, it will sort them alphabetically for you. Here’s the before and after of that