The Best Cross-Platform Mobile Toolset Just Got Better.
We're very excited to announce that Crosslight 3 is now available to the public. In this release, Crosslight brings many beautifully-crafted components that's ready to use across iOS and Android platforms, so you can build gorgeous looking apps within a fraction of the time. In addition, we've also added support for Xamarin Studio on Mac, bringing 50+ Crosslight item templates right at your disposal. That's not all. The powerful Form Builder gets even mightier with enhanced support for radio buttons, checkbox list and the ability to display child list. Check out the full list below.
This page guides you through the new features and enhancements available in Crosslight 3.
Click the links below to jump to the section of your interest.
- New UI Components
- Develop Even Faster with Improved IDE Integration
- Supercharged Form Builder
- Exciting Features for iOS
- Improvements for Android
- New Samples
The initial release of Crosslight sets the rock-solid foundation that allows you to build cross-platform apps natively using Xamarin and Visual Studio, leveraging MVVM capabilities to mobile platforms that have never been done before. It sets the bar for a rapid and enjoyable cross-platform mobile development.
Enterprise apps will certainly need access to data. In Crosslight 2, we introduced a whole new set of APIs that allows developers to process data from various sources, while leveraging solid design pattern with data access repositories. The entity data services that's built into Visual Studio also allow easy and seamless integration while manipulating data tables with SQL Server and Visual Studio.
No app will be thoroughly complete without beautiful and highly functional UI components. Introducing Crosslight 3, this major release includes a multitude astounding UI components that will help you achieve what matters in mobile apps: beautiful interface and great user experience. Crosslight 3 also includes full support for iOS 8 and custom gesture support. Read on.
New UI Components
Crosslight 3 delivers many powerful UI components that simply works out-of-the-box, enabling you to build great cross-platform apps in the shortest time possible. Show markers and directions with map views. Display full-scale images, either with paged view or slideshow. Attach messaging-like input views for easy commenting or creation of chat apps. Present what's on your agenda for the month with the calendar month view. Transform a static table view into an in-line editable table with the all-new resizable table cell. The list keeps on growing.
Completely native on both iOS and Android, the MapView allows you to show contextual places in regards to the user location. Showing different placemarks with different markers and routing between two locations can be easily done with the MVVM-enabled MapView support. Learn more: iOS, Android.
At times, you will want to display a list of images in a more engaging way. This is where Carousel View excels at – displaying images at its full size and glory. It can be used to take up the whole screen, and present images in a carousel manner.
It can also be configured for auto transition at the specified interval. With built-in data binding support, Carousel View is perfect for displaying tutorials, or perhaps a list of special offers. Learn more: iOS, Android.
Message Input View
Most chat apps and comment-based apps require inputs with common interface. The message input input view for both iOS and Android provides a versatile solution that works great in various scenarios.
Users will only need to insert the text and hit the Send button. It will then automatically add the entered text to the list view in the screen – all done with smooth animation. Applying Facebook-style commenting, or building a simple chat app has never been so easy. Learn more: iOS, Android.
Calendar Month View
Tracking the schedule in your agenda could be tedious, but not anymore with the new calendar month view. This month view provides a bird-eye view of the month to easily track your agenda for a month. You can also customize the starting days to adjust to your needs. Easily customizable, the calendar month view provides an excellent, intuitive navigation that users will enjoy. Learn more: iOS, Android.
Develop Even Faster with Improved IDE Integration
Building great cross-platform apps with Crosslight is now easier with your favorite IDEs – Xamarin Studio and Visual Studio. In this release, Crosslight is strongly focused on better integration with Xamarin Studio on Mac as well as various enhancements for item and project templates on Visual Studio.
Integration with Xamarin Studio on Mac
The tooling support for Mac development environment is here, finally. Featuring 50+ item templates specifically designed for Xamarin Studio on Mac, you can now build great-looking and high-performance Crosslight apps right from the Mac. It is directly accessible from the "New" menu located in the top toolbar.
Contextual Help Integration with Visual Studio
When developing with classes available in Crosslight, you will need to look at the class documentation to learn the available properties or methods for that particular class. In this new release, we've added better support for Visual Studio 2012 and above. Just put your cursor to the particular class that you want to reference, then hit F1 on your keyboard and you will be taken directly to the Developer Center page with the class reference.
New Navigation Drawer Template for Windows 8
The new navigation drawer template for Windows 8 adds to the full lineup for navigation drawer across all platforms. in Crosslight 2, we've introduced a new panorama drawer feature for Windows Phone that displays the navigation menus in a gorgeous presentation. Crosslight 3 completes the whole navigation drawer lineup for Windows 8 as well, so developers now can take advantage of the consistent navigation experience throughout its lineups of apps across all major platforms. Learn more.
New Item Templates for iOS and Android
To accommodate increasing needs for quick class generation, we've added new item templates for iOS that will surely boost your development time. New templates including group header and footer view for iOS, Crosslight UIViewController with and without XIB, as well as Crosslight Sync Configuration for Android.
Supercharged Form Builder
Since the introduction of Crosslight, developers have enjoyed great benefits of using the Form Builder to create rich data forms using simple metadata definition. Built with rock-solid architecture, Form Builder sports a vast array of time-saving features such as support for 30+ editor types, loosely-coupled model binding, visibility binding, built-in data validation, and more. In this release, Crosslight adds three new editor types: radio button editor, checkbox list, and child list view. While this may not seem like a large addition, it is a truly significant one. The introduction of these editors open up a whole new possibilities which lets you build complex yet intuitive forms in just a few minutes. Learn more.
Exciting Features for iOS
Aside from the great cross-platform features, the iOS operating system also receives significant platform-specific enhancements. Some of the great additions are in-line editing featuring auto-resizable cells, custom edit actions via swipe gesture in table view, display beautiful modal view with translucent visual effect, and much more.
Built-in In-Line Editing Support
Forget all the tedious efforts you need to implement in-line editing in familiar iOS apps such as the Reminder app. With the resizable text cells, you can implement direct editing when the users tap on the cells, which is perfect for a to-do list app. With intuitive context, the resizable text cells automatically adjusts itself when it is in editing mode, disabling the touch events that will trigger the auto-editing. As you would expect, it works great on iOS 7 and above, all done with very smooth transition during text resize. Learn more.
Custom Edit Actions via Swipe Gesture
Most popular apps on iOS supports extra editing actions through a swipe gesture on the UITableView cell. This allows more options to be done on a particular item. One particular feature is that iOS does not allow editing a batch of items during this mode.
Designed with MVVM and command design pattern, the table view routes the action information to the command bound in ViewModel. This enables you to streamline all UI logic in the ViewModel, and instantly reuse it for other platforms. Learn more.
Beautiful Modal View with Translucent Effect
By popular demand, Crosslight 3 includes the support to show translucent visual effect when performing navigation, particularly designed for modal navigation mode. You can enable translucency with just a simple property set on supported Crosslight's view controllers. It supports three kind of translucency – light, extra light, and dark. Learn more.
Improvements for Android
In addition to iOS, Android also received some major perks that will delight Crosslight developers even more. Now you can enjoy buttery smooth list view when used in combination with ImageLoader service. We've also added bindings support for MapViews and ImageButton. Dialog-based presenters have also received proper rotation handling so that it will be redisplayed upon rotation. Inputting text is no longer a chore with the new auto-complete text box. Also, when navigating using the push navigation with a Fragment inside a DrawerActivity, the Navigation Drawer Toggle button changes to an up button, but with the navigation drawer still accessible.
Refined Scrolling and Image Loader Performance
In Crosslight 2, we introduced a versatile image loader component that is able to display images asynchronously with great performance. However, in very stressed use-cases, users will find that the image loader still suffers in performance. In this release, we've improved the async image loader performance further by moving the UI-blocking threads to the native Android's AsyncTask so that you can expect an ultra-smooth scrolling experience when using the ListView in combination with the image loader. Learn more.
MVVM-enabled MapViews and ImageButton
By popular demand, we've added new support for popular native Android controls: MapViews and ImageButton. You can now bind items in MVVM fashion. Display a list of photo or products in a stunning and presentable way that Android users will love. Showing a list of markers and displaying directions is also easy with the new MapView support. Learn more.
Improved Rotation Handling for Presenters
Crosslight introduces versatile presenters that are useful for common purposes: displaying messages, toast, list of actions and activity indicators that are easily accessible from the ViewModel. In this release, we've improved on these dialog-based presenters rotate and redisplayed to maintain current context. Learn more.
Auto Complete Edit Text
Designed for the Android platform, the auto complete EditText allows users to generate suggestions based on text entered. This allows for easy input when editing certain data that requires inputs with precision. Simply start typing in, then an in-line popup dialog will show with a ListView showing the suggestions. Learn more.
Up Button for Drawer Navigation
The navigation drawer brings up a whole new navigation pattern towards mobile usage. First incorporated in Facebook app, the navigation drawer allows developers to display consistent and orderly navigation menus in a presentable and intuitive way. In Crosslight 2, we've incorporated this feature natively so that developers like you can immediately take advantage of the same popular navigation pattern for use in your apps.
Now we've enhanced the experience when using the push navigation with the DrawerActivity, allowing the action bar toggle button to change to an up button after push navigation, while retaining the navigation drawer accessibility.
In addition to reference samples, we've added smaller, feature-focused samples in the Crosslight Support project of our Git to help you on your quest to become a Crosslight ninja.
Map View Samples
The Map View samples demonstrates the elegant MVVM way to fully utilize Map View in Crosslight apps. This sample leverages features such as displaying markers and placemarks, customizing the detail callouts, as well as displaying different driving, cycling, and walking routes.
The calendar sample demonstrates how you can take advantage of the new calendar month view in Crosslight apps. Featuring event bindings, as well as displaying the event details when the calendar cell is tapped.
Carousel View Samples
The carousel view provides an excellent way to showcase sets of images in a more engaging and powerful way. This sample provides the necessary know-how on how to display the images correctly, as well as customizing various properties such as enabling the slideshow mode, and also customizing the page indicator color to your liking.
Message Input View Samples
Available for iOS and Android, the message input view sample provides the necessary best practices to create usable and high performing chat apps. It defines the basic groundwork that is needed to fully maximize the potential of the message input view.
Form Builder Samples
This sample demonstrates the powerful and rich capabilities of the Crosslight Form Builder which allows you to build data entry forms with ease, complete with advanced interaction and validation support. It showcases numerous supported editors as well as their customizable properties that will prove useful for Crosslight developers.
Custom Group Header Samples
Leveraging the existing MVVM infrastructure, Crosslight developers around the world have enjoyed the powerful capabilities of the ListViews and TableViews that allows rich data display with great performance, complete with grouping. This sample demonstrates how you can easily customize the group header samples to match the app's branding.
Android Auto-Complete Text Box Sample
Available for the Android platform, the AutoCompleteTextView provides a convenient way for Android developers to provide guided text inputs to the users. Now, you can take advantage of the same feature and use them in Crosslight Android applications. Of course, MVVM-style.
iOS Translucent Modal View Sample
The introduction of iOS 8 presents a new opportunity for iOS developers to take advantage of the blur view introduced in iOS 7, avoiding hacky techniques altogether. This sample demonstrates the use of UIBlurView in combination with the modal navigation, all done from the ViewModel.
iOS Resizable Text Cell Sample
The in-line editing has been a popular input style with iOS users, found in common apps such as Apple's own Reminder app. Crosslight leverages this technique gracefully using a custom resizable text cell that is packed with beautiful and carefully calculated animations. This sample demonstrates how you can take advantage of the new in-line editing feature found in most iOS apps.
iOS Custom Edit Actions Sample
The Mail app introduced a very nice feature that allows users to perform actions against a table cell easily with a swipe gesture. This sample demonstrates how you can also leverage the same feature in your Crossilght iOS apps elegantly, displaying different custom actions and performing actions against a table cell item.