Android designer constraint layout editor

MacJawa 1 Reputation point

Hey guys. I was looking for some information about constraint layout in Xamarin.Android. So I've read almost 2 years old blogpost about Android designer features and at the end, some nice features were announced, specifically:

  • navigation editor
  • constraint layout editing
  • motion layout

But even with latest VS2019 I don't have an option for example to design constraint layout with drag-and-drop like it's possible in Android Studio. I thought "constraint layout editing" would be exactly this. What is even stranger for me, I can't find any information about these topics anywhere. I checked, search on bing and google, but there is no word about neither of abovementioned features in Xamarin.
I expected the same experience with Xamarin as one could find in Android Studio. Maybe with latest features lagging a little bit, but not 2+ years. But I'm quite new to Xamarin, so possibly I got it all wrong or I'm missing something here.

Or, if I place a second question. Should I even consider using Xamarin.Android? I see much more topics around internet about Xamarin.Forms, like if Xamarin.Android is something outdated that no one is interested about. But on the other hand, I saw an online course saying there are limitations in Xamarin.Forms and if one would like to use full power of either OS (Android and iOS) with options to use any third-party libraries, "Xamarin classic" is way to go.

Right now, my primary focus is to build enterprise application for Android with usage of specific enterprise hardware features (Zebra and Honeywell). Later on, I would most probably like to port this application to iOS as well. For this reason I'm considering Xamarin. But I'm getting more and more confused which way to go. Should I use native development with Android Studio, then rewrite application for iOS? Should I use Xamarin and if so, Xamarin.Android + Xamarin.iOS or Xamarin.Forms?

Maybe this question was answered already elsewhere, but I really couldn't find a definitive answer with explanation that would help me to decide. If someone could throw more light to this, it would be greatly appreciated.

A Microsoft open-source app platform for building Android and iOS apps with .NET and C#.
5,003 questions
0 comments No comments
{count} votes

2 answers

Sort by: Most helpful
  1. JessieZhang-MSFT 7,531 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor


    Welcome to our Microsoft Q&A platform!

    Xamarin.Forms is an open-source UI framework. Xamarin.Forms allows developers to build Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS, and Windows applications from a single shared codebase.

    Xamarin.Forms allows developers to create user interfaces in XAML with code-behind in C#. These interfaces are rendered as performant native controls on each platform.

    And Xamarin.Forms provides a consistent API for creating UI elements across platforms. This API can be implemented in either XAML or C# and supports databinding for patterns such as Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM).

    At runtime, Xamarin.Forms utilizes platform renderers to convert the cross-platform UI elements into native controls on Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS and UWP. This allows developers to get the native look, feel and performance while realizing the benefits of code sharing across platforms.

    So, if we develop a app in xamarin forms, we can deploy it to Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.iOS and UWP.

    For more details, you can check:

    I saw an online course saying there are limitations in Xamarin.Forms and if one would like to use full power of either OS (Android and iOS) with options to use any third-party libraries, "Xamarin classic" is way to go.

    For this, we can use DependencyService to achieve this , which is a service locator that enables Xamarin.Forms applications to invoke native platform functionality from shared code.

    Note: There are a lot of developers joining the Xamarin family, and if you have any problem, you can come to this forum and talk about it. Everyone will be very helpful to each other.

    Best Regards,

    Jessie Zhang

    If the response is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.

    Note: Please follow the steps in our documentation to enable e-mail notifications if you want to receive the related email notification for this thread.

    0 comments No comments

  2. MacJawa 1 Reputation point

    Hi Jessie,

    thank you for you reply. I understand what Xamarin.Forms is about and I've also read the documentation. But unfortunately this does not answer my questions.

    As I already stated, I was first looking for Constraint layout in Xamarin.Android. That lead me to the blogpost mentioning Constraint layout editor, which almost 2 years later I'm unable to find. And this worries me. And there are also these other 2 features mentioned in the blog I'm interested in, but I really can't find any more information about it. And that worries me even more. That's why I asked if Microsoft's primary focus is on Xamarin.Forms, as it feels like Xamarin.Android is not very popular.

    But maybe I combined too many questions and big topics in one post. Let's simplify it a bit and get back to the beginning:

    • is it safe and future proof to use Xamarin.Android over Xamarin.Forms?

    If yes:

    • is there a constraint layout editor for Xamarin.Android?
    • how can I use Navigation component in Xamarin.Android?
    • is there Motion Layout editor in Xamarin.Android?

    If no:

    • is performance of Xamarin.Forms apps on par with native apps? (I've seen several posts about performance issues in Xamarin.Forms)
    • what component do you recommend to use to show 100000+ items?

    Thank you for your reply.