by jonathanpeppers

jonathanpeppers / Xamarin.Android.Lite

Prototype/proof of concept of a "lite" Xamarin.Android that only supports Xamarin.Forms

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Prototype/proof of concept of a "lite" Xamarin.Android that only supports Xamarin.Forms.

DISCLAIMER: I created this project during Microsoft's #HackWeek 2018. It is not "a real thing" or endorsed/supported by Xamarin/Microsoft. If you would like it to be "a real thing", show your support! Star this Github repo, like the YouTube video, post on social media, comment, etc.! Every bit helps!

Download Xamarin.Android.Lite on NuGet



Demo Video


NOTE: in the video, I have

in my
example on how to do this here.

The path to my MSBuild is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Enterprise\MSBuild\15.0\Bin

Mac users can just run

and it works...

How do I use it?

The easiest way to create a new project, is to use the Xamarin.Forms project template in Visual Studio. Just check one platform, use

, and delete the platform-specific project.

NOTE: shared projects won't work (or make sense), Xamarin.Android.Lite is for NetStandard only

Edit your project file to look something like:



Remove the existing

 to Xamarin.Forms from the
Xamarin.Forms project template, as Xamarin.Android.Lite is pinned to a
specific version of Xamarin.Forms.

To run the app: - Launch the emulator, or connect an Android device via USB - Use the Android-specific MSBuild targets:

, or

Details on each target: -

drops an APK file in
deploys the APK to the connected device -
launches the main activity on the device

So, assuming the right

is in your path on Windows (Mac will "just work"):
msbuild MyApp.csproj /t:Run

This command gets you going!

Visit the MSBuild documentation for further details about MSBuild (project) properties.

How do the build times compare?

Comparing the

target deploying to an emulator and device (Pixel 2). I deleted
and ran
msbuild /t:Restore
before timing each test. On the
Second Install
, I modified a XAML file and ran

Xamarin.Android.Lite - Emulator / First Install -

Time Elapsed 00:00:06.54
- Emulator / Second Install -
Time Elapsed 00:00:03.01
- Device / First Install -
Time Elapsed 00:00:05.60
- Device / Second Install -
Time Elapsed 00:00:02.71

Xamarin.Android "proper" - Emulator / First Install -

Time Elapsed 00:00:49.46
- Emulator / Second Install -
Time Elapsed 00:00:06.22
- Device / First Install -
Time Elapsed 00:00:46.87
- Device / Second Install -
Time Elapsed 00:00:05.95

NOTE: I compared this times on Windows with Visual Studio 15.7.5, using the default Xamarin.Forms Master Detail project template.

What are the limitations?

Mark Seeman on an episode of .NET Rocks talked about: "constraints liberate". I don't know if he originated the idea, but that is definitely what is happening here.

  • NetStandard
    2.0 projects only, Xamarin.Forms only
  • Mono.Android.dll
    or native APIs? Nope.
  • Android resources/assets? Nope. Use
  • Debugging? Sadly, not yet.
  • Release builds? Not yet.

What's in the box?

Xamarin.Android.Lite is bundled with Xamarin.Forms and Xamarin.Essentials to get the best APIs available for NetStandard.

Currently using:

If another library is deemed useful here, let me know--I could bundle it!

How do I use images?

As noted in the project file above,

 is the way
to go:

Then to load the image, you will need to use the following C#:

yourImage.Source = ImageSource.FromResource ("YourNameSpace.xamarin_logo.png", typeof (App));

Or better yet, make your own XAML markup extension to do this!

How do I contribute? Or build this repo?

msbuild build.proj /t:Bootstrap
msbuild build.proj

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