You can be using the System, System.IO, System.Net and the rest of the .NET class libraries to access the underlying Linux operating system facilities.
You can access the various features in the operating system either by calling into .NET APIs that you know or using the classes exposed in the Android name spaces which provides a bridge to the Java APIs that are exposed by the Android Runtime.
You need to download necessary files - which has quite simple installation process to be able to develop applications with Xamarin Android.
You can download Xamarin Installer by clicking here
and follow installation steps.
After installation process completed, you must check updates for several reasons :
- New Android API levels, Android 6.0 , 5.1 etc.
- New Mono framework
- Updated Xamarin Studio
- Alpha features ( in Alpha channel only )
- Minor or Major bug fixes and more...
So, if you checked updates and looking for next step, you also need to be sure Android SDK Libraries are up to date and compatible with your project. This step depends on Google of course, updates are not related with Xamarin.
Click Tools > Open Android SDK Manager such as following image
and download or update libraries that related with your project. You don't have to download all of API levels and tools.
Do not forget change Target Android Version in project options, you also can change minimum Android version.
Xamarin releases updates under three channel options. You can change your channel from stable to beta or alpha for specific situations, for beta platform developments for example.
Before opening any project, click Xamarin Studio > Check for updates and you will be able to change channel as you wish.
If there is not any installation related problem, you are ready to develop some awesome projects even if you don't have any real Android device.
Xamarin Android player is quite good for baby steps, layout tests and many other scenarios. Click here
to see download options and any other significant notes from Xamarin.
Hope you start developing with Xamarin Android today !