May 25, 2017

Force Landscape or Portrait for a single page in Xamarin Form.

Device screen orientation in xamarin is usually configured from Host(Android/iOS) project as suggested here . But what if i need to change the screen orientation of one particular screen(say to landscape) in xamarin form and other screens are different (may be portrait), to do so there is no direct options available from xamarin form.
We will do the configuration in host project for the common screen orientation required throughout the application, to do any changes for particular screen need to touch back to the host project settings again because as of now there is no wrapper Form level API’s available. 

For example consider the scenario that my Form project contains the Five screens out of that, for Third screen i need give support for both Portrait and Landscape and for all other remaining screen only in portrait. This can be done in android as follows,

Use the MessageCenter class to send the message from the Form screen for which orientation need to be changed and receive the same from Android MainActivity class.

ThirdPage.xamal.cs
  public partial class ThirdPage : ContentPage
    {
        protected override void OnAppearing()
        { 
            base.OnAppearing(); 
           MessagingCenter.Send(this, "allowLandScapePortrait”);
        }
         //during page close setting back to portrait
        protected override void OnDisappearing()
        {
            base.OnDisappearing(); 
            MessagingCenter.Send(this, "preventLandScape");
        }
    }

May 22, 2017

Platform specific UI changes in Xamarin.Form


Brief: Walkthrough on the options available in xamarin form for changing UI element behaviour for specific platform.

Description: Xamarin form wrapper UI controls when it renders in each platform shows the native look and feel but still there are some quirks that has to be worked around to get the UI perfection.

For example if i add one label in my xamal page and on run in android and iOS shows the below output:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ContentPage xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms" xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml" xmlns:local="clr-namespace:CodeLog" x:Class="CodeLog.CodeLogPage">
<RelativeLayout HorizontalOptions="FillAndExpand"  >
    <Label Text="Code Log" 
          FontSize="25" 
          FontFamily="Roboto-Bold" 
          HorizontalTextAlignment="Center" 
   HorizontalOptions="FillAndExpand" />  
</RelativeLayout>
</ContentPage>
In iOS label has been overlapped with toolbar. So alone for iOS we need add To padding(Tool bar height 20px).

This kind of changes for particular platform can be achieved by using the below mentioned approaches without using the Custom renderer.

1.Using a generic class OnPlatform
2.PlatformConfiguration(https://blog.xamarin.com/bringing-platform-specific-functionality-to-xamarin-forms-apps/)
3.Bindable Native Views in Xamal page (https://blog.xamarin.com/adding-bindable-native-views-directly-to-xaml/)
4.customisation with effects(https://blog.xamarin.com/customizing-xamarin-forms-controls-with-effects/)
In this article i will be making use of the OnPlatform for different UI control properties. From Xamarin.Forms version 2.3.4, Device.OnPlatform API has been deprecated with OnPlatform and On APIs.
 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ContentPage xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms" xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml" xmlns:local="clr-namespace:CodeLog" x:Class="CodeLog.CodeLogPage">
<RelativeLayout HorizontalOptions="FillAndExpand"  >
  <RelativeLayout.Margin>
    <OnPlatform x:TypeArguments="Thickness">
      <On Platform="iOS" Value="0,20,0,0" />
      <On Platform="Android, WinPhone, Windows" Value="0,0,0,0" />
    </OnPlatform>
  </RelativeLayout.Margin>
    <Label Text="Code Log" FontSize="25" FontFamily="Roboto-Bold" HorizontalTextAlignment="Center" 
  HorizontalOptions="FillAndExpand" />  
</RelativeLayout>
</ContentPage> 
Platform specific Text color:
 <Label Text="Code Log" FontSize="18" FontAttributes="Bold"  FontFamily="Roboto-Bold" XAlign="Center"  HorizontalTextAlignment="Center" 
 HorizontalOptions="FillAndExpand"
 RelativeLayout.WidthConstraint="{ConstraintExpression Type=RelativeToParent, Property=Width, Factor=1}"> 
  <Label.TextColor>
    <OnPlatform x:TypeArguments="Color" iOS="Red" Android="Blue"  />
     </Label.TextColor> 
   </Label>