Visual Studio Mobile Center Preview Adds UWP, Push, Test Frameworks, New Repo Support

Microsoft announced a substantially expanded preview of Visual Studio Mobile Center—mission control for mobile apps.

Share online:

Visual Studio Mobile Center in Previe, since last year, is a cloud service designed to help developers manage the lifecycle of their mobile apps and ship higher-quality apps faster than ever. At //build this year, Microsoft expanded features of the service with several improvements, and also extended it to new audiences and platforms.

Towards this, the company this morning, announced support for Windows apps alongside iOS and Android platform. With this launch, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) developers can access Mobile Center's Build, Distribute, Analytics, lifecycle, and new Push services today. While, the Crashes and Test service will be coming later this year.

Additionally, developers can also now connect their Bitbucket and Visual Studio Team Services repositories to build iOS, Android, and UWP apps.

With Xamarin Live Player Preview, developer can start with Android and iOS development in minutes. "Simply pair iOS or Android device with Visual Studio by scanning a QR code, and hit debug like you normally would."

The application is deployed in seconds to Live Player app, enabling you to quickly develop and test changes without having to recompile and redeploy application. And, on a single screen, view, or segment of code, by entering in to Live Run Current View mode from the menu, simply modify your C# or XAML, and the current view is redeployed as you develop.

Xamarin Live Player Preview
Xamarin Live Player Preview
  • The Mobile Center Build, Test, and Distribute services are designed to make CI/CD pipeline a part of every developer's workflow.
  • Crash reporting and Analytics services ensure that you can learn about each release's quality and usage.
  • Push service allows developers to send push notifications to all or to a subset of devices, and with support for the XCUITest and Espresso frameworks, native app developers can write their automated UI tests in their preferred languages and port existing tests to Mobile Center Test.
  • Push Service in Visual Studio Mobile Center
    Push Service

You can now use the Build service with your repository from Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), Bitbucket, and GitHub. It's never been easier to set up Continuous Integration and Delivery for your app.

In addition to Appium and Xamarin.UITest, Mobile Center now supports the platform-specific test frameworks for iOS and Android – XCUITest and Espresso – enabling you to write test scripts in your preferred framework.

With Distribute service, developer can promote their latest build directly to an app store or company portal. This feature is already available on Google Play Store and will soon come new connectors for Intune, App Store, and Windows Store.

Visual Studio Mobile Center Deply to Store
Deply to Store

HockeyApp and Mobile Center integration let users use existing apps from HockeyApp inside Mobile Center, analyze crash reports and analytics, and connect to the Build, Test, and Push services.

"Apps, organizations, collaborators, and testers now co-exist in HockeyApp and Mobile Center, so developers can use Mobile Center's new services on active HockeyApp apps without affecting the HockeyApp experience. Changes made in HockeyApp will update Mobile Center to ensure consistency, and incoming app data from the HockeySDK will be streamed to Mobile Center," writes the team.