Visual Studio for Mac Preview, A Mobile-first Cloud-first Development Tool for .NET and C# Introduced

Primary workloads supported by Visual Studio for Mac are native iOS, Android and Mac development via Xamarin, and server development via .NET Core with Azure integration.

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Visual Studio for Mac and make it your macOS IDE of choice for cloud and mobile development! If you have a Mac, will be available later this week—revealed just ahead of Microsoft Connect() developer conference in NYC.

The download of the preview Visual Studio for Mac will be available from VisualStudio.com.

At its heart, "Visual Studio for Mac is a macOS counterpart of the Windows version of Visual Studio... Its UX is inspired by Visual Studio, yet designed to look and feel like a native citizen of macOS," Microsoft writes.

This is an exciting development, as the compnay describes it as "evolving the mobile-centric Xamarin Studio IDE into a true mobile-first, cloud-first development tool for .NET and C#,"

And like the Windows counterpart, it's complemented with a lightweight yet rich standalone source editor, for times when you don't need a full IDE. And below the surface, "its IntelliSense and refactoring use the Roslyn Compiler Platform, while project system and build engine use MSBuild, and the source editor supports TextMate bundles," added Microsoft.

It also uses same debugger engines for Xamarin and .NET Core apps, and the same designers for Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android.

Although since it's a new product and doesn't support all of the VS project types yet, "it uses the same MSBuild solution and project format" for those it does have in common.

Those whose team member switch between macOS and Windows, can seamlessly share their projects across platforms, without needing any conversion or migration.

Microsoft acquired Xamarin earlier this year, and like Xamarin Studio, VS for Mac is based on the open source MonoDevelop IDE, and it's written entirely in C#, and is powered by Roslyn Compiler Platform.

The rich extensibility model lets you add functionality ranging from simple editor commands to entirely new languages and project types. Even core features such as C# editing, Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android and ASP.NET Core are implemented as extensions.

Visual Studio for Mac supports editing a wide range of languages though the use of TextMate bundles, which provide syntax highlighting and simple IntelliSense.

It also includes a number of open source TextMate bundles from Visual Studio Code.

Visual Studio for Mac support for .NET Core projects allows to write .NET Standard libraries, the new way to share code across .NET platforms going forward.

".NET Standard libraries replace Portable Class Libraries (PCLs) and offer a much broader API surface area." Because .NET Core and Xamarin Platform are .NET Standard-compliant, they're a great way to share code, both within your solution and via the NuGet Package Manager.

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