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Xamarin Live Player Setup

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last updated: 2017-08

Xamarin Live Player lets you make live edits to your app and have those changes reflected live on the device. Your code runs inside the Xamarin Live Player app – no need to set up emulators or to use cables to deploy! This article describes how to set up Xamarin Live Player.

Preview feature

1. Get the App

Xamarin Live Player is available from the iOS App Store and Google Play:

Download from iOS App Store Available on Google Play

2. Get the Visual Studio 2017 Preview on Windows (or for Mac)

Xamarin Live Player requires:

  • Visual Studio 2017 Preview with the Xamarin Updater Extension installed to get the latest updates that include Xamarin Live Player support.
  • A Visual Studio computer and a device on the same WiFi network

3. Using Xamarin Live Player for the first time

  1. Open Visual Studio 2017 Preview.
  2. Go to Tools > Options... and select the Xamarin > Other tab.
  3. Tick Enable Xamarin Live Player:

    Check the Enable Xamarin Live Player box in the Options window

  4. Create or open a Xamarin project (or a sample).

  5. Choose Live Player in the device list:

    Device list includes a Xamarin Live Player option

    • If you have already paired a device, it will be available as an option.
    • Otherwise you'll be prompted to pair a device when required.
  6. Press the Run button, or select one of the following options from the Run or right-click menu:

    • Start Without Debugging – you can edit the app and see the changes occur on the device (app is restarted as changes are made and the file saved).
    • Start Debugging – you can set breakpoints and inspect variables, but code cannot be edited.

    Alternatively, select Tools > Xamarin Live Player > Live Run Current View, which lets you edit the app and see the changes occur on the device. The current view is shown (instead of the application's main screen).

  7. If a device is already paired and the Xamarin Live Player app is running on the device, the code will execute straight away!

    If no device is is paired, a barcode will appear with instructions on how to pair a device:

    Pair a device window

    If the device cannot be contacted for pairing, an error may appear.

2. Get the Visual Studio for Mac Preview (or for Windows)

Xamarin Live Player requires:

  • OS X 10.11, macOS 10.12, or greater
  • Visual Studio for Mac (Alpha channel preview)
  • A Mac and a device on the same WiFi network

3. Using Xamarin Live Player for the First Time

  1. Open Visual Studio for Mac.
  2. Go to Visual Studio > Preferences... and select the Xamarin > Other tab.
  3. Tick Enable Xamarin Live Player:

    Check the Enable Xamarin Live Player box in the Options window

  4. Create or open a Xamarin project (or a sample).

  5. Choose Live Player in the device list.

    Device list includes a Xamarin Live Player option

    • If you have already paired a device, it will be available as an option.
    • Otherwise you'll be prompted to pair a device when required.
    • Choose Xamarin Live Player Devices... to manage the devices you wish to use with Xamarin Live Player.
  6. Press the Run button, or select one of the following options from the Run or right-click menu:

    Run menu options

    • Start Without Debugging – You can edit the app and see the changes occur on the device (app is restarted as changes are made and the file saved).
    • Start Debugging – You can set breakpoints and inspect variables, but code cannot be edited.
    • Live Run Current View – You can edit the app and see the changes occur on the device. The current view is shown (instead of the application's main screen).
  7. If a device is already paired and the Xamarin Live Player app is running on the device, the code will execute straight away!

    If no device is paired, a barcode will appear with instructions on how to pair a device:

    Pair a device window

    If the device cannot be contacted for pairing, an error will appear:

    Cannot connect to device error message

If you experience any issues, see limitations and troubleshooting.

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.