A Few Years With Xamarin: The Good, The Bad, The Great

People jump to conclusions. A lot.  It’s human nature and we somehow forget that and we always focus on the negative rather than the positive of most things.   This is apparent when you search for “mobile cross-platform frameworks”.  Yes you’ll find frameworks like Xamarin, Appcelerator, Apache Cordova, Sencha, etc.; And the list keeps growing everyday.

One of the most intriguing platforms, for C# developers, is Xamarin.  A platform that allows you to write C# code and it compiles down into Natvie code for Android, iOS, and Windows Phones.  This is possible by the original project called “mono-project“, this is where it all started some years ago as an open source project that quickly grew over night. Now Xamarin has employees and clients around the world building great mobile apps and solving unique problems in less time than ever before.  Lets be honest C# (.NET) isn’t on as many devices as Java, yet. Xamarin is helping make that transition more quickly with giving Microsoft’s .NET Framework the ability to go across platform.  I’m not sure if Microsoft ever thought that they’d be running, compiling, and deploying products on the Linux Platform, but they are and I believe the push from Xamarin has something to do with that.  Enough rambling, lets get into the technical aspect of Xamarin!

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Hooked On Twitch Live!! [Alpha]

So a while back in 2015 I was just getting into Twitch.tv and watching everything League of Legends related and eSports in general. But I found myself in the car more than anything and I was destroying my data plan by having the video play for 2-3 hours everyday in the car. So I began to look for an alternative app or anything to save my data plan. That’s when I found out that Twitch.tv has a public API that they offer for FREE! I was very intrigued by this and began digging into their decently documented API. At the time they were just releasing V3 and were quietly building support HTML5 streaming (m3u8 format) and in that format they offered and “audio_only” option; but that wasn’t an option inside their mobile app under quality. Seemed odd, but was a window for opportunity!

Digging (debugging) around their API I quickly learned their authentication process and began to develop an app using native Java. After about two weeks of on-and-off work I decided to port over to Xamarin.Forms in case I ever decide to go to the App Store with minimum effort. So I began writing an app, but unfortunately Twitch beat me to the punch and pushed out the option to use “audio_only” in their app. Feeling defeated and being extremely busy with work I ended up not furthering development for a month or so, but then some life changes happened and I had the entire month of December (2015) off and I decided I was going to finish the app!

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