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It’s become a running gag that many commercial apps include release notes that just something like “Bug fixes and improvements”. Often it will be because there are lots of minor fixes that are too small and numerous to list. But just as often, there will be lots of technical changes that while important for various reasons, have no user facing effect. This post will attempt to explain some of the changes.

Xamarin Forms

Tic-tac-toe Collection depends greatly on a library called Xamarin Forms. This version updates it from version 3.4 to 4.4. There aren’t any major features in use yet, but there are a bunch of performance and stability improvements nonetheless.

Xamarin Essentials

This is a new dependency, and is partly the reason for the new Android 5 requirement. The key feature this brings is detection of light/dark mode, but it is also now used for launching external sites (for example: rating an app on iOS < 10.3 or accessing any web page on an Android device with Chrome custom tab support).


Android has long provided Android Support Library as a way of accessing new features on older versions of Android. AndroidX is conceptually just the next version of this. In practice, the implementation is very different and getting support for it in Xamarin has taken a while.


Several libraries have been removed.

Iconize by Jeremy Marcus is a library for using icon fonts in Xamarin Forms. I’ve used icon fonts since the very beginning and this library was a huge part of that. Enough of the functionality is now included directly in Xamarin Forms that the library is no longer needed.

Xam.Plugin.Connectivity and Xam.Plugin.Settings by James Montemagno superseded by Xamarin Essentials.

CarouselView.FormsPlugin by Alexander Reyes. For a long time, this was the best carousel view for Xamarin Forms, but it there is finally a version provided directly.

Acr.UserDialogs by Allan Ritchie provides system dialogs. After including Rg.Plugins.Popup for providing popup functionality, I switched to using that for simpler dialogs too for better style consistency.


There are handful of other libraries that have been updated just on the principle that staying up-to-date is better.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 Wed, Mar 4, 2020 04 Mar '20