Xamarin Tool Enables Mac Development with C#

Xamarin Inc. this week announced a tool that lets C# developers build native Mac OS X apps.

Xamarin.Mac exposes the native Objective-C Cocoa API, the company said in a blog post, and effectively broadens the reach of C# developers to more than 2.2 billion devices, encompassing the Windows, Android, iOS and now Mac markets.

"Unlike other cross-platform development toolkits that target OS X, Xamarin.Mac gives you the flexibility to build anything that you can build with a conventional Objective-C-based Cocoa application--from compelling CoreAnimation-enabled user interfaces to custom menubar items," the company said. "Under the hood, you can choose the combination of .NET library functionality and native Mac OS X APIs that works best for your application."

One such cross-platform development toolkit was MonoMac, also developed by Xamarin, released last year. It's part of the Mono open source .NET development framework that includes tools for iOS and Android development. The new Xamarin.Mac tool is a superset of MonoMac, exposing a broader range of APIs, the company said. It includes a license to publish apps on the Mac AppStore.

"The first time you open a MonoMac project, it will ask you whether you want to upgrade it to be a Xamarin.Mac project," said Miguel de Icaza, Xamarin's chief technology officer, in a reply to a forum post. "It will change the project type and replace MonoMac.dll with XamMac.dll which has a larger API set."

De Icaza, who has been the driving force behind Mono since it was created in 2001, will host an introductory seminar for Xamarin.Mac on Jan. 10.

Meanwhile, it's available for trial download.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.