Platform Features

Taking advantage of platform-specific features with Xamarin.Forms

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last updated: 2016-01

Xamarin.Forms is extensible to let you incorporate platform-specific features using custom renderers, the DependencyService, and the MessagingCenter.

This section contains some platform-specific examples for iOS, Android, and Windows, that provide samples and guidance for implementing platform-specific functionality in any Xamarin.Forms app.


Some iOS styling can be done via Info.plist and the UIAppearance API.

Includes examples of how to include iOS 9 features into the iOS app of a Xamarin.Forms solution, including Core Spotlight search.


Describes how to implement Material Design by updating existing Xamarin.Forms Android apps.


Xamarin.Forms has support for four different types of Windows project:

  • Windows Phone 8 Silverlight (the original Windows platform supported by Xamarin.Forms),
  • Windows Phone 8.1 (WinRT),
  • Windows 8.1 (WinRT), and
  • Universal Windows Platform (Windows 10).

This section describes the differences between them, and how to add them to an existing Xamarin.Forms solution.

Device Class

How to use the Device class to create platform-specific behavior in shared code and the user interface (including using XAML). Also covers BeginInvokeOnMainThread which is essential when modifying UI controls from background threads.


There is already a wide variety of open-source plug-ins available on Github, Nuget, and the Xamarin Component Store to help extend Xamarin.Forms apps.

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.