At Connect() 2016, Microsoft launched a preview of Visual Studio for Mac. What started as the mobile-centric Xamarin Studio IDE is turning into a development tool for .NET and C#, and bringing the Visual Studio development experience to the Mac.
We are going to have a look of how to install Visual Studio for Mac on a Mac and have a first look at the Interface itself.
Before we begin, please be advised that this is a preview and not a finished product, so not all that you expect is there and issues are to be expected
Step 0 : Get the instalation file
In order to install Visual Studio for Mac, you need to download the installation file from Microsoft Visual Studio download page here.
Step 1: Run The Installer
Since it is downloaded from the internet, OS X will complain before opening the file but after opening it will greet us with the following image:
Step 2: Accept Terms & Services
Step 3: Select Components
Next Visual Studio for Mac will ask what you want to install on top of the pre-requisites and the IDE itself.
The options yo choose from are:
- Xamarin Profiler - allows Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers to find memory leaks, resolve performance bottlenecks, and add polish to their apps before shipping
- Xamarin.Android - allows us to create native Android applications using the same UI controls we would in Java, but with C#
- Xamarin.Mac - allows to create a Xamarin Mac application using the same UI controls, but with C#
- Xamarin.iOS - allows us to create native iOS applications using the same UI controls we would in Objective-C and Xcode, but with C#
- Xamarin WorkBooks & Inspector
- Xamarin Workbooks let you explore C# through rich and interactive contextual experiences for Android, iOS, Mac, WPF, or Console, and get instant live results as you learn these APIs. Great for experimenting, teaching, training, or exploring development in C#.
- Xamarin Inspector is an interactive tool that enables Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers to attach to their running application and diagnose and prototype changes live. Users can explore the UI and state of their application, alter its state, or even try new APIs on the spot.
- Intel HAXM - Intel® Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager is a hardware-assisted virtualization engine (hypervisor) that uses Intel Virtualization Technology to speed up Android app emulation on a host machine
Step 4: Select Installation options
Step 5: Accept pre-requisites
Although we accepted the Terms of Service, we still need to accept the Licence Agreements of the separate software included as install with the Visual Studio
Step 6: It's going and going and going (aka download and install)
The installation wizard will now start to download and install all the selected features. As you can see, everyone wanted to get the preview, so download speed was a bit slow.
Step 7: Sucess
With this, we managed to sucessfully install the Visual Studio for Mac and we can start to see how it looks and how similar or different it is to it's Windows counterpart.
Look and Feel
When the Visual Studio for Mac starts, you will be completely surprised if you are like me and expected the familiar view of the Windows counterpart. However this is not just a port of the Windows version, but a version made to look and feel as any other OSX application. The greeting screen is also in this spirit.
Selecting a new project gives a nice UI to select the Template you want to start with and as a Preview there is not many options there, but more are expected to come in as things progress further on.
Depending on the project selected, you need to fill in different information about the project
After which we are greeted with something that is more similar to XCode than what we might be used to Visual Studio on Windows.
In summary it's great to have Visual Studio on Mac for many reasons. I'm not going to go into them all, but if you are used to using Visual Studio on Windows and love Apple hardware, then you definitely need to try it out.