Monday, February 20, 2017

Configure Xamarin.Forms iOS to use Caliburn.Micro

Update 2017/10/15: This walk through is now available as a Visual Studio Template! More details here:

We’re continuing with our series of getting started with Xamarin.Forms and Caliburn.Micro, check out these previous posts if you’re interested:

Today, we’ll set up our Xamarin.Forms iOS project. Unlike the Droid project, we can get our project up and running with very few changes to the default template. So we'll start this post with configuring our Visual Studio instance to talk to our Mac.

And before you ask, unfortunately, although it's C# you absolutely need a Mac to compile and run the solution. On the plus side, you can do most of your development on your PC.

Verify Prerequisite Software on your Mac

You will need the following installed on your Mac:

  • XCode 7+
  • Xamarin Studio
  • Xamarin.iOS SDK

Setup your Mac for Remote Access

Before you can configure Visual Studio to use your Mac as a Build Host, you'll need to configure your Mac to allow users to remotely login to your machine. You can get the full details following this post, but in short we can simply set up our mac using the following:

  • Press Command ⌘ + Space to bring up Spotlight Search
  • Type Remote Login to open Sharing
  • Enable Remote Login and then specify Allow access for: All Users 

Configure your Build Host

Now that your Mac will accept remote logins, we can now configure Visual Studio on the PC to use your Mac as a build host.

  • From your PC, open our XF.CaliburnMicro project.
  • In the toolbar, click on the Xamarin Mac Agent icon (also Tools –> iOS –> Xamarin Mac Agent):


  • If your mac is running, it should appear in the dialog:


  • Select your Mac, click Connect…
  • You’ll be prompted to login, so provide the credentials you use when logging into the Mac
  • Once connected, the toolbar changes colour and provides the option to launch the simulator:


Note this assumes that both the Mac and the PC are on the same network and that all required software is installed and configured for use.

Create and configure IoC Container

Now that we have our environment dependencies out of the way, we can turn our attention to modifying the template code to leverage Caliburn.Micro.

Similar to our Droid project, we need to set up our IoC container. For iOS, we do this by using a CaliburnAppDelegate which looks almost identical to the Application class we created for Android.

namespace XF.CaliburnMicro1.iOS
    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Reflection;
    using Caliburn.Micro;
    using XF.CaliburnMicro1.ViewModels;

    class CaliburnAppDelegate : CaliburnApplicationDelegate
        private SimpleContainer _container;

        public CaliburnAppDelegate()

        protected override void Configure()
            _container = new SimpleContainer();


            // TODO: Register all platform services here

        protected override void BuildUp(object instance)

        protected override IEnumerable<object> GetAllInstances(Type service)
            return _container.GetAllInstances(service);

        protected override object GetInstance(Type service, string key)
            return _container.GetInstance(service, key);

        protected override IEnumerable<Assembly> SelectAssemblies()
            return new[]

We then modify the AppDelegate to leverage our CaliburnAppDelegate, and change the start-up routine to use our App singleton.

namespace XF.CaliburnMicro1.iOS
    using Foundation;
    using UIKit;
    using Caliburn.Micro;
    using Xamarin.Forms.Platform.iOS;

    public partial class AppDelegate : FormsApplicationDelegate
        private readonly CaliburnAppDelegate appDelegate = new CaliburnAppDelegate();

        public override bool FinishedLaunching(UIApplication app, NSDictionary options)


            return base.FinishedLaunching(app, options);

Build and Run

To run your application, you’ll need to change the start project, select a target and the Device. Here I’ve selected XF.CaliburnMicro.iOS project, specified the iPhoneSimulator target and the iPhone 6s iOS 10.x simulator.


If everything worked, you should now see our Xamarin.Forms app backed by our Caliburn.Micro ViewModel.

Next Steps

So there you go! We’ve got both Android and iOS projects running. Our next post we’ll continue down this path and our Xamarin.Forms project to leverage the Universal Windows Platform which will target tablets, phones and PCs.

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