Our last release, Visual Studio 2017 version 15.5, featured awesome new updates, such as the iOS Remoted Simulator becoming available to all developers, live XAML previewing in Android emulators with the Xamarin Live Player, new Xamarin.Forms project templates for .NET Standard, and improvements to the Mac pairing mechanism.In our latest release, Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6, we’re excited to build on that progress with features, including automatic macOS environment setup, iOS WiFi deployment, live XAML previewing in the Remoted iOS Simulator, and more! Update today by using the Visual Studio Installer, and check out the post below for more details on the new features.

Machine Learning with CoreML

CoreML was introduced in iOS 11. With Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6, iOS apps can now take advantage of this new framework to use trained machine learning models to perform tasks.

Check out our Introduction to CoreML tutorial and sample project to get started today.

iOS WiFi Deployment

The Remoted iOS Simulator allows developers to test and debug iOS apps entirely in Visual Studio on Windows. It was made available to all editions of Visual Studio, including the free Community Edition, in the last release. The simulator supports functionality such as location simulation, rotation, gestures, and even includes functionality that the iOS simulator on Mac does not, like multi-touch. This provides a great simulator experience for developers building iOS apps on Windows, but what about the experience for devices?

With Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6, you can now deploy your iOS apps to devices over the network with WiFi deployment, no cables required! After setting up a wireless device in Xcode, it will show up in Visual Studio just like a normal deploy target.

Automatic macOS Environment Setup

Building iOS apps with Visual Studio 2017 just got even easier. With the new automatic macOS setup feature, instead of manually maintaining your Mac build machine, all you need to do now is connect to the Mac and we’ll handle the heavy lifting of installing and configuring your build machine with the correct Xamarin.iOS and Mono bits, all from Visual Studio on Windows!

Android Oreo 8.1 Support

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6 adds support for Android Oreo 8.1, so you can take advantage of new features like Android Go, Neural Networks API, Autofill framework enhancements, and SharedMemory API in your Android apps. For more detailed information on how to get started with Android Oreo, please see our documentation.

Live XAML Previewing with the iOS Simulator

The Xamarin Live Player enables developers to continuously deploy, test, and debug their apps using just Visual Studio and an iOS or Android device. We previously added support to preview real-time XAML changes directly in the Android emulator without requiring a recompile or redeploy, and this release brings that same functionality to the Remoted iOS Simulator for Windows.

To get started, select an iOS simulator from the deployment targets dropdown, and choose Live Run Current View using the context menu, keyboard shortcut, or the banner at the top of each XAML file.

So much more!

This release also includes Xamarin.iOS 11.8 and Xamarin.Android 8.2, improvements to design-time build performance for Android developers (which affects solution load and provides metadata for IntelliSense, among other things), and static analysis for Xamarin.iOS projects.

Let Us Know Your Feedback

We need you to help shape the future of Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin! Tell us what you think of Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6 by sharing with us on Twitter via @xamarinhq or @pierceboggan. If you encounter any bugs, performance issues, or other strange behavior, let us know by using the Report a Problem tool in Visual Studio. For more information on everything that’s new in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.5, check out the complete release notes.