.NET MAUI Android Auto : Launching Navigation Apps from your app

Android Auto is a popular platform that allows users to seamlessly integrate their Android devices with their car’s infotainment system. This integration extends to navigation, allowing users to launch navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze directly from Android Auto. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to achieve this functionality from within your Android application using .NET MAUI.

The key to launching navigation apps on Android Auto is to construct a URI with the desired latitude and longitude and use an Intent to open the navigation app. Let’s break down the code snippet you provided to understand how it works:

public class NavigationOnClickListener : Java.Lang.Object, IOnClickListener
{
    private readonly CarContext _context;
    private readonly double _latitude;
    private readonly double _longitude;

    public NavigationOnClickListener(CarContext context, double latitude, double longitude)
    {
        _context = context;
        _latitude = latitude;
        _longitude = longitude;
    }

    public void OnClick()
    {
        string uri = $"geo:{_latitude.ToString(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)},{_longitude.ToString(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)}";
        Intent intent = new Intent(CarContext.ActionNavigate)
            .SetData(AndroidUri.Parse(uri));
        _context.StartCarApp(intent);
    }
}

AndroidUri is the Android.Net.Uri class alias achieved by:

using AndroidUri = Android.Net.Uri;

Let’s dissect this code step by step:

  1. NavigationOnClickListener is a custom class that implements the IOnClickListener interface. This class is responsible for handling the click event that launches the navigation app.
  2. In the constructor, we receive three parameters: context, latitude, and longitude. context is the CarContext instance, and latitude and longitude are the destination coordinates (double).
  3. Inside the OnClick method, we construct a URI in the following format: "geo:latitude,longitude". The CultureInfo.InvariantCulture is used to ensure that the decimal separator is a period (.) rather than a comma (,) to make the URI universally compatible. This is crucial because different regions may use different formats for numbers.
  4. We create an Intent with the action CarContext.ActionNavigate. This action specifies that we want to launch a navigation app.
  5. We set the data of the intent by parsing the constructed URI using AndroidUri.Parse(uri).
  6. Finally, we start the navigation app by invoking _context.StartCarApp(intent).
This content has 7 months. Some of the information in this post may be out of date or no longer work. Please, read this page keeping its age in your mind.

.NET MAUI Android Auto: Async loading of lists

Android Auto has become an integral part of the modern driving experience, allowing users to access important information and features without taking their eyes off the road. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to implement asynchronous loading of lists in Android Auto to ensure a smooth and responsive user experience.

If you are new how to implement Android Auto in your .NET MAUI Application, then scroll to the very end of this post, and you will find a detailed tutorial video by Christian Strydom how to do it.

Implementation

Let’s assume that we have a class with a list of SomeObject named _allItems.
This list contains the data we want to display in an Android Auto list. If you dont have this private field of List<SomeObject> in your Android Auto Screen class, then define it like this: ‘private List<SomeObject> _allItems;’

We’ll use the OnGetTemplate method to check whether _allItems has data. If it doesn’t, we’ll start an asynchronous task to load the data and show a loading indicator. If it does, we’ll build the list with the existing data.

OnGetTemplate modify

In the OnGetTemplate method, we’ll first create a ListTemplateBuilder and check if _allItems has data:

public override ITemplate OnGetTemplate()
{
    var listTemplateBuilder = new ListTemplate.Builder();

    if (_allItems?.Any() != true)
    {
        // Start an async task to load data
        _ = LoadData();

        // Show a loading indicator
        return listTemplateBuilder.SetLoading(true).Build();
    }
    
    // Build the list using the existing data
    var items = BuildListItems(_allItems);
    listTemplateBuilder.AddItems(items);

    return listTemplateBuilder.Build();
}

Implement the Async Task

Now, let’s create an asynchronous task, LoadDataAsyncTask, which will invoke a method asynchronously to fetch and set the value of _allItems. We will use a hypothetical API call as an example:

    private async Task LoadData()
    {
        try
        {
            // Perform an asynchronous operation (e.g., an API call)
            var result = await SomeApiCallAsync(); // Replace with your actual API call

            // Set the value of _allItems with the result
            _allItems = result;
        }
        catch (Exception e)
        {
            // Handle exceptions and show a CarToast
            CarToast.MakeCarToast(CarContext , "An error occurred", CarToast.DurationLong).Show();
        }
        finally
        {
            // Ensure that the UI is invalidated
            // This will trigger the OnGetTemplate again.
            Invalidate();
        }
    }

Implementing asynchronous loading of lists in Android Auto ensures that your app remains responsive and user-friendly. By following this approach, you can fetch and display data efficiently, handle exceptions gracefully, and maintain a smooth user experience while driving. Android Auto provides a powerful platform for developers to create safe and engaging automotive experiences, and proper asynchronous loading is a key part of that experience.

This content has 7 months. Some of the information in this post may be out of date or no longer work. Please, read this page keeping its age in your mind.

.NET MAUI Android Error: Type androidx.collection.ArrayMapKit is defined multiple times

One common challenge is AndroidX dependency conflicts. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through resolving compilation errors related to AndroidX in .NET MAUI. Before we proceed, let’s take a look at the error message that may have troubled you:

/Users/Username/Documents/src/ProjectFolder/Project: Error JAVA0000: Error in /Users/Username/.nuget/packages/xamarin.androidx.collection.jvm/1.3.0.1/buildTransitive/net6.0-android31.0/../../jar/androidx.collection.collection-jvm.jar:androidx/collection/ArrayMapKt.class:
Type androidx.collection.ArrayMapKt is defined multiple times: /Users/Username/.nuget/packages/xamarin.androidx.collection.jvm/1.3.0.1/buildTransitive/net6.0-android31.0/../../jar/androidx.collection.collection-jvm.jar:androidx/collection/ArrayMapKt.class, /Users/Username/.nuget/packages/xamarin.androidx.collection.ktx/1.2.0.5/buildTransitive/net6.0-android31.0/../../jar/androidx.collection.collection-ktx.jar:androidx/collection/ArrayMapKt.class
Compilation failed
java.lang.RuntimeException: com.android.tools.r8.CompilationFailedException: Compilation failed to complete, origin: /Users/Username/.nuget/packages/xamarin.androidx.collection.jvm/1.3.0.1/buildTransitive/net6.0-android31.0/../../jar/androidx.collection.collection-jvm.jar
androidx/collection/ArrayMapKt.class

In my case the meaning of this error message is: Type androidx.collection.ArrayMapKt is defined multiple times

Examine Dependencies and Manually Delete bin and obj Folders:

Start by inspecting your project’s dependencies. Ensure that you have the same versions of .NET MAUI packages and other libraries. Dependency mismatches can often lead to compilation errors.

Sometimes, cleaning your project isn’t enough.
To ensure a fresh build, you might need to manually delete the bin and obj folders. You can find these folders in your project directory. They contain build artifacts and removing them helps clear cached data.

Verify NuGet Packages:

Review your NuGet packages. Look out for multiple versions of the same library, as this can lead to conflicts. If you find any conflicting packages, remove the outdated or conflicting versions. You may need to edit your project’s .csproj file to resolve these package issues.

Additionally, if you’ve recently installed a new NuGet package with has an Android dependency, make sure you have the correct version. A different version might introduce incompatibilities with the already installed pacakages.

This content has 7 months. Some of the information in this post may be out of date or no longer work. Please, read this page keeping its age in your mind.

Troubleshooting Xamarin and .NET MAUI: iOS Deployment Issues after XCode Upgrade

Are you facing deployment issues with your Xamarin or .NET MAUI iOS app after upgrading XCode? You’re not alone. Many developers encounter the frustrating “/usr/bin/xcrun exited with code 1” error message, coupled with the “actool exited with code 1” and an error about failing to locate a simulator runtime. In this blog post, we’ll delve into this problem and provide you with a solution to get your iOS app deployment back on track.

Understanding the Problem

After upgrading XCode to a newer version, you may notice that you can’t deploy your Xamarin or .NET MAUI iOS app to physical iOS devices, and the simulator targets are mysteriously missing from the drop-down menu where you select deployment targets. This issue can be perplexing and hinder your development workflow.

The error message you encounter typically looks something like this:

Resolution

To tackle this deployment challenge, you should delve into your XCode configuration and confirm that the iOS platform is both accessible and correctly installed on your development machine. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch XCode on your Mac.
  2. Click on “XCode” in the top menu bar and choose “Preferences.” This will open the XCode preferences window.
  3. Within the preferences window, select the “Platforms” section. Here, you’ll find the key settings related to platform configuration.
  4. After you’ve confirmed that all the required iOS components are installed, close and restart Visual Studio (or your preferred development environment).
This content has 8 months. Some of the information in this post may be out of date or no longer work. Please, read this page keeping its age in your mind.

.NET MAUI: Enhancing apps with Microsoft App Center: Analytics and Diagnostics

As the world of software development continues to evolve, building robust and responsive applications has become crucial. Microsoft’s App Center offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to streamline the development process and elevate user experiences. In this extended blog post, we’ll dive into integrating Microsoft App Center into .NET MAUI projects, specifically focusing on how Analytics and Diagnostics can provide invaluable insights for developers and project owners.

What is Microsoft App Center?

Microsoft App Center is a unified platform that empowers developers to build, test, distribute, and monitor mobile and desktop applications. By offering a wide range of tools and services, App Center enhances collaboration, accelerates development, and ensures the quality and performance of applications.

Analytics and Diagnostics: Why Are They Important?

  1. Analytics: App Center Analytics provides comprehensive insights into user behavior, enabling developers and project owners to make data-driven decisions. By tracking user interactions, app usage patterns, and feature engagement, you can understand how users are interacting with your application. This data is invaluable for optimizing user experiences, improving user flows, and tailoring your app’s functionalities to better meet user needs.
  2. Diagnostics: Diagnosing and resolving issues quickly is essential for maintaining a positive user experience. App Center Diagnostics helps you monitor crashes and exceptions in real-time, allowing you to identify and address problems as they arise. This feature significantly reduces downtime and enhances app stability, thereby improving user satisfaction and retention.

Integrating Microsoft App Center into .NET MAUI Projects:

Integrating Microsoft App Center into your .NET MAUI projects is a straightforward process. The steps closely resemble the integration with Xamarin.Forms.

Set Up App Center

  1. Create an account on App Center if you don’t have one already.
  2. Follow steps on this link to create new projects within the AppCenter portal: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/appcenter/sdk/getting-started/xamarin.

Add SDK to Your Project

Install the Microsoft.AppCenter and Microsoft.AppCenter.Analytics packages via NuGet.

Create a Crash Analytics Service

Create an interface and an implementation for the crash analytics features (Analytics and Diagnostics):

public interface ICrashAnalyticsService
{
    void TrackEvent(string eventName, Dictionary<string, string>? properties = null);
    void TrackError(Exception exception, Dictionary<string, string>? properties = null);
}

public class CrashAnalyticsService : ICrashAnalyticsService
{
    public void TrackEvent(string eventName, Dictionary<string, string>? properties = null)
    {
        Analytics.TrackEvent(eventName, properties);
    }

    public void TrackError(Exception exception, Dictionary<string, string>? properties = null)
    {
        Crashes.TrackError(exception, properties);
    }
}

Initialization and dependency registration

In your MauiProgram.cs file, register the ICrashAnalyticsService in the ServiceProvider:

using Microsoft.Maui.Controls.Hosting;
using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection;
using YourNamespace.Services; // Import the namespace for your service implementation

public static MauiApp CreateMauiAppBuilder()
{
    var builder = MauiApp.CreateBuilder();
    // Other configurations
    .....
    builder.Services.AddTransient<ICrashAnalyticsService, CrashAnalyticsService>();

    AppCenter.Start("YOUR_APP_CENTER_SECRET",
        typeof(Analytics), typeof(Crashes));

    return builder.Build();
}

Inject and Use Crash Analytics Service:

In your ViewModel or code-behind (or wherever you want to use analytics or crash reporting), inject the ICrashAnalyticsService and use it to track events and errors:

using Microsoft.Maui.Controls;
using YourNamespace.Services; // Import the namespace for the service

public class MainViewModel : BindableObject
{
    private readonly ICrashAnalyticsService _crashAnalyticsService;

    public MainViewModel(ICrashAnalyticsService crashAnalyticsService)
    {
        _crashAnalyticsService = crashAnalyticsService;
    }

    public void ImportantButtonClick()
    {
        // Track an analytics event
        var properties = new Dictionary<string, string>
        {
            { "UserID", "123" },
            { "Action", "ButtonClick" }
        };
        _crashAnalyticsService.TrackEvent("ImportantButtonClick", properties);

        // Simulate an exception and track the error
        try
        {
            // Simulate an error
            throw new Exception("Simulated error");
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            _crashAnalyticsService.TrackError(ex, properties);
        }
    }
}

Conclusion:

Microsoft App Center is a powerful ally for .NET MAUI developers, offering robust tools for application development, testing, distribution, and monitoring. Analytics and Diagnostics components provide insights that empower developers and project owners to make informed decisions, optimize user experiences, and ensure application stability. By integrating App Center into your .NET MAUI projects, you’re embracing a proactive approach to delivering high-quality, user-centric applications.

Note: Although .NET MAUI support isn’t available on App Center at the time of writing, it’s important to stay informed about updates. The .NET MAUI community is actively evolving, and it’s possible that support for .NET MAUI on App Center will be available in the near future. This would streamline the integration process and provide a dedicated platform for managing your .NET MAUI applications.

This content has 10 months. Some of the information in this post may be out of date or no longer work. Please, read this page keeping its age in your mind.