Xamarin Ships New Designer for Android Apps

Xamarin has delivered, Xamarin Designer for Android, a new tool for designing Android apps within Microsoft's Visual Studio or the Xamarin IDE.

Xamarin, a provider of software development tools for building cross-platform apps, announced the availability of Xamarin Designer for Android.

The Xamarin Designer for Android provides a drag-and-drop visual environment to create native user interfaces for Android apps from within Microsoft€™s Visual Studio or Xamarin€™s integrated development environment (IDE). The new product enables the editing of properties for native Android widgets and interface controls from within a visual designer, and produces standard Android XML layout files.

Xamarin specializes in providing tools that facilitate the creation and operation of cross-platform mobile apps targeting phones and tablets running iOS, Android and Windows. Xamarin Designer for Android is but one piece of that strategy. Xamarin announced the new product on May 14 at AnDevCon III in Burlingame, Calif.

€œWith our Xamarin Designer for Android, we€™re helping developers save time and increase productivity with rapid prototyping and creation of sophisticated native Android app interfaces,€ Miguel de Icaza, chief technical officer at Xamarin,€ said in a statement. €œNow developers can use a graphical interface to design native Android user experiences for portrait and landscape layouts, different screen sizes and screen resolutions, and for different device configurations, like hardware with keyboards and search buttons.€

Xamarin Designer for Android follows the conventions of Visual Studio and supports Android API levels going back to Android 4, as well as Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich release levels.

Moreover, other key features include the following:

  • control over form widgets, text fields, layouts, layout containers, images and media;
  • support for dock-specific layout configurations, including car, desk and television; and
  • the ability to view and edit layouts by language, region, country and telephone carrier.

Xamarin€™s cross-platform development software leverages the power of the .NET frameworks, along with complete access to all the native APIs and UI toolkits unique to each operating platform, allowing developers to create unique native experiences on each operating system.