New Mobile podcast with a healthy emphasis on .NET and Xamarin

A wild podcast has appeared, this one is called Gone Mobile and made by some cool guys including Greg Shackles (@gshackles), Nic Wise (@fastchicken) and Jonathan Dick (@redth). The podcast as the title says is about Mobile stuff, including news, interviews with people in the industry and much more. The first episode has already aired, which I though was quite enjoyable and I will listen to it in the future.
If you have not given it a listen, I advise you to and see for yourself if it is interesting. The podcast is also available on iTunes if you are into that kind of stuff.

Apple Y U NO FIX Developer Center?!

Apple Y U NO FIX Developer Center?! I need a new provisioning certificate and I need to add an App!

Xamarin Activation issues

I've been having Activation Issues with the Xamarin products numeral times now, although it has become better over time. Today it seems like Xamarin is having issues with their servers. My Xamarin products worked well yesterday. Now when I try to start VS and open up a Xamarin project it tries to call home to Xamarin and Activate my product... Why is it necessary to call home every time I open up a Xamarin project?

Below you see a screenshot of the log, telling me that there is an Internal Server Error when contacting Xamarin Activation Server.

And here is a screenshot of their store page, which just dumps source code.

Why is it that when Xamarin has problem with their servers, I have to stop developing my products and wait till they fix that?

To your information I am running the latest Xamarin Alphas where it is said that these issues should be fixed and should not require Internet connection once activated. I see something different.

Xamarin, please fix these issues. I love your products, except your Activation :(

MvvmCross Plugin Bootstrapping on iOS

Usually when creating bootstrap files to load Plugins in Mvx, you just write something in the lines of
However this does not work with iOS, because it is not as cool as WP8 and Android, as it does not use cool JIT compilation. Hence, in order to get Plugin Bootstrapping to work you have to use MvxLoaderPluginBootstrapAction instead to tell iOS AOT compiler a bit more about this Plugin.
This way you avoid a nasty MvxException telling you that there is no Plugin registered for a specific type.

Silly iOS...

Creating a MapMarker to imitate XML Drawable - Maps V2

I spent a lot of time yesterday debugging why BitmapDescriptorFactory was throwing a null pointer exception all the time. After a while I realised it was only when I was using a Drawable I had created using XML, more specifically a layer-list with a shape and an item which has a Drawable. This should show up as a slightly translucent circle with an image on top, and works very fine when using it as a source for an ImageView. However, when trying to use it as Icon for a Marker with the new Google Maps v2 API, it just throws a null pointer exception, without much reason why :-(

So from here I have two choices, either create an image with the desired marker, or draw it programatically on a Bitmap Canvas. The first one is easy enough and I will not show that here, it is just a simple image you pop into the drawable folders in your Android project. The latter is way more fun and could be useful to you. The sample will be using Xamarin.Android to demonstrate how it is done there, however, it may be applicable to Java Android.

So first you need to know how big you want to have the marker to be.

In this case I just set it to 60dp, you can experiment with that. Now you have to do the drawing action.

Now that you have your BitmapDescriptor you can set it as an Icon for the map Marker.

There, done!