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last updated: 2017-02

Introduction

At the Build 2016 conference, we introduced the exciting news that Xamarin is available for all existing Visual Studio users at no extra cost.

For Windows developers, Xamarin is included in every edition of Visual Studio, including the Community Edition.

For Mac developers, Xamarin Studio is now available as a benefit of your Visual Studio Professional or Enterprise subscription. You can also use the Xamarin Studio Community Edition for free, allowing you to develop and publish native iOS and Android apps with no limits on app size.

Whether you are a new or existing Xamarin user, or a Mac or Windows developer, this guide will walk you through the steps required to get up and running with Xamarin.

For more information on Microsoft's acquisition of Xamarin, refer to the Xamarin for All blog post.

The chart below will guide you through the process of getting set up for development with Xamarin. For additional information on each step, follow the wizard :

Start here

Do you already use the Xamarin Platform?


Make sure to update your IDE to the latest stable version

If you use both Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio, make sure to update both.


Do you want to use your existing Xamarin License?


Stay logged in

You shouldn't have to make any changes. You can continue developing cross platform applications in the exact same way as you have been.


Contact Sales

They will be able to assist you with obtaining the correct Microsoft subscription for your needs.


Do you use Mac or Windows?

Xamarin tools are available on both OS X and Windows operating systems, allowing you to develop cross-platform applications wherever you feel most comfortable. Select the operating system that you currently use to develop Xamarin apps, or if you use both operating systems, follow both paths.


Do you use Mac or Windows?

Xamarin tools are available on both OS X and Windows operating systems, allowing you to develop cross-platform application wherever you feel most comfortable.

Refer to the Requirements page for information on the environments required for each platform.


Run the Universal Installer

Download and run the Xamarin Universal Installer to install all the components required to start building cross platform apps with Xamarin today.

You can download Xamarin by filling in your information on the downloads page.

Okay


What License do you want to use?

There are a number of licenses that you can use to suit your needs. You can compare all of these here. Regardless of which license you choose, it can be used on both Xamarin Studio on the Mac and Visual Studio on Windows.

Community allows you to build cross platform apps with Xamarin in either Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio for free. It is free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, education, and small professional teams. You can learn more to see if it will fit your needs.

Professional allows you access to all the benefits of the Community edition, as well as access to collaboration tools such as Team Foundation Server.

Enterprise allows you access to the full range of offerings that Microsoft provide for development.

The Trial license will allow you 30 days free access to an Enterprise License.

Select one:


Community

Do Nothing. The community Edition of Xamarin is installed by default via the Xamarin Universal Installer. You do not need to log in. Start making great iOS and Android apps today!

To get started with Xamarin Studio refer to the Introducing Xamarin Studio guide.


Do you have an MSDN subscription?


Do you want to use the 30-day free trial, or buy a license?


Buy MSDN subscription

You can by a Professional or Enterprise MSDN subscription here.


Go to the MSDN Subscriptions site

This is located here.

Browse to My Account and click Register and download under Xamarin Studio for OS X:

This will bring you to the Xamarin Store page and walk you through creating a new Xamarin Account. You can then use the code provided through MSDN to subsidize the license bought through the Xamarin Store.


Log in to Xamarin Studio with your Xamarin Account

Click the Login button to log in to Xamarin Studio with your new Xamarin Account.

To get started with Xamarin Studio refer to the Introducing Xamarin Studio guide.


Start Enterprise Trial

Click the Start Enterprise Trial button on the home screen of Xamarin Studio. For more information.

For more information on getting started with the Trial, refer to the Beginning a Xamarin Trial guide.


Do you have Visual Studio Installed?


Install Visual Studio with Xamarin

Depending on which version of Visual Studio you have installed, there are a number of options available to ensure that the Xamarin development suite is included in your version of Visual Studio

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  • Find Visual Studio within the Add / Remove programs menu, and select Change:

    Choose the option to Modify the program:

    Under the Cross Platform mobile development heading, select to install C# / .NET (Xamarin).

  • Alternatively, download the Xamarin Universal Installer and install it to add any missing Xamarin components.

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To start developing cross platform app, refer to the Visual Studio with Xamarin guides.


Download Visual Studio

Download the Visual Studio edition that you wish to use for development, and make sure to select Xamarin during the installation process:

Community, Professional, Enterprise, and Trial

To start developing cross platform app, refer to the Visual Studio with Xamarin guides.


Xamarin is included in Visual Studio

Xamarin is included in Visual Studio, including Visual Studio Community.

Your existing MSDN license will allow for cross platform application development with Xamarin with no additional charge.

You do not need to log in with a separate Xamarin account.


Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.