I cannot put it simpler than that: you can install Xamarin for Visual Studio 2015 directly from Visual Studio itself.
If you don’t want to read the full story, just open VS 2015, create a new project of type “C# | Android | Build Android native apps in C#” and voilà, you are presented with a “download Xamarin” page. Follow the easy steps and you’ll have the starter edition of Xamarin for Android and iOS installed into your Visual Studio 2015.
Else, if you like stories, keep reading.
This morning I was asking myself if Xamarin could run with the preview edition of Visual Studio 2015. On the “Connect()” event Miguel de Icaza said that Xamarin was able to run with it, but I didn’t understand if it was something readily available or something still to come.
I do have a Virtual Machine with Windows 10 on my Surface Pro, but when I want to test new things from scratch, I prefer to use my Azure subscription and create a new remote Virtual Machine, especially when a VM image is available in the gallery, as announced in the Visual Studio Blog.
Therefore, I started experimenting, opening my Xamarin Subscription page from the web browser of the newly created Azure VM, and downloading and installing Xamarin. When finished, I opened my VS 2015 just to discover that no Xamarin.Forms templates where present, and no Xamarin Tools commands where present either.
Then, looking at the Visual Studio installed plugins I understood:
Visual Studio 2015 has a plugin to download Xamarin!
Ok, but how can I activate it?
So I decided to start all over again (here is the best part of using Azure VM, just delete the VM and create a new one with the VS2015 image readily available in the gallery).
Then I looked at what was available on Visual Studio 2015 prior to install Xamarin. First of all the “Get Xamarin” plugin was already in place, as expected. Then I clicked on the New Project link and found that Visual Studio 2015 come with two templates, one for Android and one for iOS:
More than this, these projects are for apps written in C#, so this cannot be something related with Cordoba.
Therefore, I tried to create an Android app, just to see what will have happened and voilà, the way was open and clear:
The created project contained a single item “GetXamarin.xambe”, showing a page with a “Download Xamarin” button. From there, I finally installed it.
You can do the same thing too, doing it the right way the first time.
Just install Visual Studio 2015 Preview, create a new project using the “C# | Android | Build Android native apps in C#” template.
On the “Install Xamarin” project page click the “Download Xamarin” button and fill the info on the web page (don’t worry, you can later set your Xamarin account) and download Xamarin:
When done, the Visual Studio 2015 will have the Xamarin plugin and all the project templates in place.
Moreover, the tools menu now contain the three Xamarin commands, and choosing the “Xamarin Account…” command, you get the login page:
There you can log in with your Xamarin account and get your Android and/or iOS subscription unlocked. Or you can continue to use the starter edition for free.
Hope this will help experimenting with Xamarin and Visual Studio 2015 Preview.
That’s all folks.
After installing Xamarin for Visual Studio 2015, two updates became available for Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android. Unforunately those updates do not install properly. Trying to install them with Xamarin Studio destroy the Xamarin for Visual Studio 2015, so do not install them, by now.
I’m sure Xamarin will fix it ASAP.