Last week, developers were brimming with happiness to hear about the upcoming release of something unexpected: Visual Studio for Mac. Today, at the Connect(); 2016 conference in New York, Microsoft has confirmed the release and launched a preview version of the software for Mac users as well. This was supposedly the biggest news of the event, coupled with the announcement of its partnership with the Linux Foundation.
Microsoft has been able to port its primary coding tool, Visual Studio, over to Apple’s operating system by leveraging and optimizing its cross-platform developer service Xamarin, which it acquired last year. The developers now have the freedom to switch between operating systems without having to lose their work(or carry their code on them). It allows them to natively build apps in the cloud for desktop, iOS, and Android using #C and .NET technologies.
The official release blog post describes the software as:
Visual Studio for Mac, the newest member of the Visual Studio family.Visual Studio for Mac is a developer environment optimized for building mobile and cloud apps with Xamarin and .NET.
Sporting a native user interface, Visual Studio for Mac integrates all of the tools you need to create, debug, test, and publish mobile and server applications without compromise, including state of the art APIs and UI designers for Android and iOS.
Under the hood, familiar functions such as IntelliSense and refactoring still use the Roslyn Compiler Platform. Its project system and build engine use MSBuild, and its source editor supports TextMate bundles. Also with multi-process debugging, you have the freedom to debug both your front end as well as your backend app simultaneously. You also have the functionality to easily integrate Azure mobile services into your app to gain access to things like push notifications, data storage, and user accounts and authentication with Azure App Services.
In addition, this announcement coincides with the launch of the release candidate version of Visual Studio for Windows. While the official name of the product is VS 2017, Microsoft is referring to the same as ‘Visual Studio Next’ or its codename ‘VS15.’ The Redmond giant has also debuted a command center or a one-stop shop for mobile apps called ‘Visual Studio Mobile Center.’ This new product brings together multiple resources commonly used by mobile developers into a single, integrated service. It allows you to build, test, deploy, and monitor cloud attached apps in one place.
Starting today, the preview build of Visual Studio for Mac is available to developers for download. You can head right here to download the preview and gain access to the best cross-platform coding tool.