Microsoft offers a third preview of the Xamarin iOS Simulator for Visual Studio

This week, Microsoft released a new preview build of the iOS Simulator for Xamarin on Visual Studio.

Announced at Microsoft's Build 2016 developer conference, the iOS Simulator in Visual Studio allows Xamarin developers to preview their iOS apps on Windows, which is a pretty big deal. Previously, they needed a Mac, even with cross-platform development tools.

The new build is version Here's what's new:

  • Issues Addressed:

    • 41626 – Xamarin.Forms.Portable app not deploying or launching on iOS Simulator

  • New Features:

    • Support for stylus translating to pencil input has been added

    • A dialog is shown when sim starts and include an update status

    • Fixed an issue preventing the simulator from starting using usernames with spaces in them

Known issues

  • Non-public Bug 41620: “The device … was not found” if Xcode path setting is blank (it is blank by default).

    • Workaround – Set the Xcode path explicitly under Tools > Options > Xamarin > iOS Settings > Xcode path.

  • Non-public Bug 42719: Foundation.NSErrorException: Exception of type ‘Foundation.NSErrorException’ was thrown while launching Simulators. Workaround is to kill csproxy (server process) in build host and redeploy on simulator.

Interestingly, the page links to release notes, which includes another list of known issues. Here are those:

  • Large devices (such as the iPad Pro) currently have slower response times than smaller screen devices.

  • Apple Watch devices may show in the Visual Studio device list, but are not yet supported.

  • You may receive an error about the app failing to install. In this case:

  1. Disable the remoted iOS Simulator (uncheck the box in Visual Studio Tools > Xamarin),
  2. Deploy to the regular Apple simulator (on the Mac), and then you can
  3. Re-enable the remoted iOS Simulator and it should work.
  • Launching in Release mode may also start Apple’s simulator on the networked Mac.

  • Closing the remoted iOS Simulator on Windows will not immediately stop debugging in Visual Studio. Stop debugging manually from the menu or the red button.

  • Opening too many different simulators simultaneously will produce unexpected results.

  • Exception of type Foundation.NSErrorException may be thrown while launching Simulators. Workaround is to kill csproxy (server process) on the Mac host and re-deploy to the simulator.

Microsoft also announced that Xamarin would be free to all Visual Studio users at the same event. In fact, the recent release of Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 introduces Xamarin 4.1, which includes support for building tvOS apps.

Of course, now that Microsoft owns Xamarin, you can bet that it will continue to strengthen its cross-platform tools. Visual Studio "15" is also on its third preview, so we should be hearing more about that soon enough.

Source: Xamarin via MSPU

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