104 – Keeping up to date

Once your PC is set up there are a few things you should do periodically to stay up to date.

Prerequites

James Montemagno, one of the most prolific Xamarin evangelists out there has a great article on preparing your PC for everything that has to be in advance of updating the Visual Studio Xamarin plug-in. I’m not going to plagiarize his work. Go there, read it, follow it, live it, become one with the process of getting all the prerequisites in place before you update the actual Xamarin plugin. Because if you don’t, Visual Studio will become very, very cranky with you; your projects won’t be happy, things won’t compile, and most of all the Xamarin update installer is not smart enough to first check for all the prerequisites and will merrily try to updates when your machine is not ready for and f’up a lot of stuff. http://motzcod.es/post/150380059392/preparing-machines-for-xamarin-cycle

Xamarin plugin for Visual Studio

Once you have run out of things to update on your PC: Android, Java, Windows, Android emulators, other Visual Studio updates, your dog’s shot records… everything… Then it’s time to update the Xamarin environment plugin. From Tools|Options, open the4Xamarin group then select Other. In the right pane, you’ll see a link for ‘Check Now’: Click it. If there is an update to the plugin you’ll be prompted to download and install it. Once the installer is ready to start, close Visual Studio so it doesn’t have to fight to install updates to files that are in use.

Any time you update the environment in Visual Studio you need to update the environment on your Macintosh build machine. They like having synchronized versions so they can keep a good connection, speak the same protocol, have the same expectations etc. The same guidelines apply here: Update everything else first, then update Xamarin.

Open Xamarin Studio on the Mac. Updating the Xamarin environment on the Mac is about the only thing I ever do with Xamarin Studio. From Xamarin Studio menu choose “Check for Updates“. Download all the updates. Click the “Restart and install updates” button. “Restart” in this case is restarting Xamarin Studio, not your entire mac. Even though none of these updates said to restart your mac do it anyway: What does it cost you?