Xamarin.Tip – Read All Contacts in iOS 2.0

This is a second post to follow Xamarin.Tip – Read All Contacts in iOS to give a more efficient alternative to interacting with the CNContact API. Check out the change in the ContactService below! Using the EnumerateContacts ensures we get contacts from all groups including non standard groups like those brought from backups or iCloud integrated contacts. It is also a newer API call that has better performance.

Since Xamarin hasn’t been working on the Xamarin.Mobile component for a while, and James Montemagno dropped support for his Contacts Plugin, if you want to access the contact APIs on each platform, you might just have to go at it yourself – or just copy this code!

iOS

Today we’ll look at getting all of the contacts in iOS and mapping them to a local shared model that any platform can ingest.

So let’s first define a simple model for our contact. This can have more models that are shared, but we will focus on the phone number and name for the sake of demonstrating.

PhoneContact.cs


    public class PhoneContact
    {
        public string FirstName { get; set; }
        public string LastName { get; set; }
        public string PhoneNumber { get; set; }

        public string Name { get => $"{FirstName} {LastName}"; }

    }

Now let’s create a service in our iOS app project that uses the CNContact API. This will be responsible for getting all of the devices contacts (whether they have come from a back up, added, or are synced through iCloud).

The breakdown of this code can be found below.

ContactService.cs

    public class ContactService
    {
       public IEnumerable<PhoneContact> GetAllContacts()
        {
            var keysTOFetch = new[] { CNContactKey.GivenName, CNContactKey.FamilyName, CNContactKey.PhoneNumbers };
            NSError error;
            //var containerId = new CNContactStore().DefaultContainerIdentifier;
            // using the container id of null to get all containers
            var contactList = new List<CNContact>();

            using (var store = new CNContactStore())
            {
                var request = new CNContactFetchRequest(keysTOFetch);
                store.EnumerateContacts(request, out error, new CNContactStoreListContactsHandler((CNContact contact, ref bool stop) => contactList.Add(contact)));
                
            }
            var contacts = new List<PhoneContact>();

            foreach (var item in contactList)
            {
                var numbers = item.PhoneNumbers;
                if (numbers != null)
                {
                    foreach (var item2 in numbers)
                    {
                        contacts.Add(new PhoneContact
                        {
                            FirstName = item.GivenName,
                            LastName = item.FamilyName,
                            PhoneNumber = item2.Value.StringValue

                        });
                    }
                }
            }
            return contacts;
        }
    
    }

Let’s breakdown what the code is doing here:

  1. Identify the properties of the contacts you want to grab – see keysToFetch
  2. Instantiate the CNContactStore and get all of the collections which will contain all of the contacts.
  3. Fetch all of the contacts from each container and add them to the master list.
  4. Loop over all of the contact data and add a new PhoneContact
    for each of the phone numbers they have. This could be done with giving a contact an IEnumerable PhoneNumbers rather than just one phone number, but in order to separate each phone number, that’s how we will do it.
  5. Return the formatted list of contacts/phone numbers

We can list this out in a UITableView, or in the case of the screenshot below, in a Xamarin.Forms ListView.

The last thing we need to do is make sure we have the permission to access the user’s contacts! We can do this by updating the info.plist with a Privacy - Contacts Usage Description property.

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 10.34.43 AM

Try building some other fun features into your ContactsService or selector!
– Filter the list via search
– Build a more user friendly selector without duplicating contacts
– Gather additional properties for contacts

Simulator Screen Shot Aug 21, 2017, 11.20.32 AM.png

Next we’ll look at building this same type of ContactService for Android in order to be able to gather all of the contacts on the device and follow up with using both of these services in Xamarin.Forms to create a contact picker control!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

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Xamarin.Meetup – “Fluxing” Up Your Apps With Alex Dunn

Join us at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge for the September Boston Mobile C# User-group on September 20th!

I’ll personally be speaking about implementing the Flux design pattern in your Xamarin and other .NET applications.

https://www.meetup.com/bostonmobiledev/events/242742363/

Meeting Details

Flux is the design pattern created by Facebook in your .NET apps to build robust and manageable data-driven interfaces. Learn what Flux is, how it differs from other patterns such as MVVM and MVC, and follow along and build your first app with Flux.

About the Presenter

Alex Dunn is a software consultant and architect with a passion for mobile application development and edge technology such as machine learning, AI, IoT, and modern web. He’s a Xamarin MVP and a Microsoft MVP for .NET, and can be found giving Guest Lectures at Xamarin University or organizing Boston’s Mobile C# User-group. Follow Alex and learn how to build beautiful and robust applications.

Twitter: @Suave_Pirate
GitHub: @SuavePirate
Blog: https://alexdunn.org
Flux Resources:

Source code for demo: https://github.com/suavepirate/xamarin.flux
Xamarin University Lecture:
https://university.xamarin.com/guestlectures/architecting-your-app-with-xamarin-facebook-flux
Gone Mobile Podcast:
http://gonemobile.io/blog/e0044.fluxing.up.your.xamarin.apps.with.alex.dunn/

 

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Read All Contacts in iOS

Since Xamarin hasn’t been working on the Xamarin.Mobile component for a while, and James Montemagno dropped support for his Contacts Plugin, if you want to access the contact APIs on each platform, you might just have to go at it yourself – or just copy this code!

iOS

Today we’ll look at getting all of the contacts in iOS and mapping them to a local shared model that any platform can ingest.

So let’s first define a simple model for our contact. This can have more models that are shared, but we will focus on the phone number and name for the sake of demonstrating.

PhoneContact.cs


    public class PhoneContact
    {
        public string FirstName { get; set; }
        public string LastName { get; set; }
        public string PhoneNumber { get; set; }

        public string Name { get => $"{FirstName} {LastName}"; }

    }

Now let’s create a service in our iOS app project that uses the CNContact API. This will be responsible for getting all of the devices contacts (whether they have come from a back up, added, or are synced through iCloud).

The breakdown of this code can be found below.

ContactService.cs

    public class ContactService
    {
        public IEnumerable<PhoneContact> GetAllContacts()
        {
            var keysToFetch = new[] { CNContactKey.GivenName, CNContactKey.FamilyName, CNContactKey.PhoneNumbers };
            NSError error;
            //var containerId = new CNContactStore().DefaultContainerIdentifier;
            // using the container id of null to get all containers.
            // If you want to get contacts for only a single container type, you can specify that here
            var contactList = new List<CNContact>();

            using (var store = new CNContactStore())
            {
                var allContainers = store.GetContainers(null, out error);
                foreach (var container in allContainers)
                {
                    try
                    {
                        using (var predicate = CNContact.GetPredicateForContactsInContainer(container.Identifier))
                        {
                            var containerResults = store.GetUnifiedContacts(predicate, keysToFetch, out error);
                            contactList.AddRange(containerResults);
                        }
                    }
                    catch
                    {
                        // ignore missed contacts from errors
                    }
                }
            }
            var contacts = new List<PhoneContact>();

            foreach (var item in contactList)
            {
                var numbers = item.PhoneNumbers;
                if (numbers != null)
                {
                    foreach (var item2 in numbers)
                    {
                        contacts.Add(new PhoneContact
                        {
                            FirstName = item.GivenName,
                            LastName = item.FamilyName,
                            PhoneNumber = item2.Value.StringValue

                        });
                    }
                }
            }
            return contacts;
        }
    }

Let’s breakdown what the code is doing here:

  1. Identify the properties of the contacts you want to grab – see keysToFetch
  2. Instantiate the CNContactStore and get all of the collections which will contain all of the contacts.
  3. Fetch all of the contacts from each container and add them to the master list.
  4. Loop over all of the contact data and add a new PhoneContact
    for each of the phone numbers they have. This could be done with giving a contact an IEnumerable PhoneNumbers rather than just one phone number, but in order to separate each phone number, that’s how we will do it.
  5. Return the formatted list of contacts/phone numbers

We can list this out in a UITableView, or in the case of the screenshot below, in a Xamarin.Forms ListView.

The last thing we need to do is make sure we have the permission to access the user’s contacts! We can do this by updating the info.plist with a Privacy - Contacts Usage Description property.

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 10.34.43 AM

Try building some other fun features into your ContactsService or selector!
– Filter the list via search
– Build a more user friendly selector without duplicating contacts
– Gather additional properties for contacts

Simulator Screen Shot Aug 21, 2017, 11.20.32 AM.png

Next we’ll look at building this same type of ContactService for Android in order to be able to gather all of the contacts on the device and follow up with using both of these services in Xamarin.Forms to create a contact picker control!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.University – Guest Lecture Available for Free!

Xamarin University has now published my second guest lecture on WebRTC and building cross-platform voice/video conferencing apps for free! Check it out here:

 

 

And as always, find the source code on my GitHub here: https://github.com/SuavePirate/Xamarin.WebRTC

 
If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Borderless Inputs

I published multiple posts this week about creating Xamarin.Forms controls without borders using Custom renderers. This post is your one stop shop for all these posts. These are the controls that are used in my repository to create Material Design inputs in Xamarin.Forms that you can find here:
https://github.com/SuavePirate/SuaveControls.MaterialFormControls. These will be talked about in posts to come!
Check the borderless controls out here:

  1. Xamarin.Forms Borderless Entry
  2. Xamarin.Forms Borderless Picker
  3. Xamarin.Forms Borderless DatePicker
  4. Xamarin.Forms Borderless TimePicker
  5. Xamarin.Forms Borderless Editor

And check out how they look here:

BorderlessEntry


BorderlessEditor

BorderlessPicker

BorderlessDatePicker

BorderlessTimePicker

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Playing Audio Through the Earpiece in iOS

There is plenty of documentation from Xamarin on how to play audio files in our Xamarin.iOS apps (or Xamarin.Forms apps):

But none of these talk about piping the audio to either the speaker or the earpiece (the onboard one used for phone calls). Handling this logic is useful for applications that have a “voicemail” sort of feature or a real-time communications app. Here’s a brief bit of code that can handle playing an audio file through the speaker or through the earpiece:

AudioService.cs

 public class AudioService : IAudioService
    {
        public AudioService()
        {
        }

        public void PlaySoundThroughEarPiece(string fileName)
        {
            var session = AVAudioSession.SharedInstance();
            session.SetCategory(AVAudioSessionCategory.PlayAndRecord);
            session.SetActive(true);
            NSError error;
            var player = new AVAudioPlayer(new NSUrl(fileName), "mp3", out error);
            player.Volume = 1.0f;
            player.Play();

        }

        public void PlaySoundThroughSpeaker(string fileName)
        {
            var session = AVAudioSession.SharedInstance();
            session.SetCategory(AVAudioSessionCategory.Playback);
            session.SetActive(true);
            NSError error;
            var player = new AVAudioPlayer(new NSUrl(fileName), "mp3", out error);
            player.Volume = 1.0f;
            player.Play();
            
        }
    }

The key is calling the SetCategory with the appropriate AVAudioSessionCategory and setting the session to active before playing the sound through the AVAudioPlayer.

and you can call it like so:

var audioService = new AudioService();
audioService.PlaySoundThroughEarPiece("sample_sound.mp3");
audioService.PlaySoundThroughSpeaker("sample_sound.mp3");

Check out an example of this on my GitHub here in Xamarin.Forms: https://github.com/SuavePirate/XamarinEarpieceAudioTest

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.

Xamarin.Tip – Borderless Editor

I previously put out a post on removing the border of a Xamarin.Forms Entry which was then used to create a custom PinView as well as a MaterialEntry that follows the material design standards for text fields. Check those out here:

In this post, we’ll apply some of the same principles to create a BorderlessEditor. It’s going to use a simple custom renderer, although this could and should be done using an Effect if being used on its own. However, this BorderlessEditor will be the foundation for future controls.

You can find this code as part of my library in progress to create Material Design Form controls for Xamarin.Forms – https://github.com/SuavePirate/SuaveControls.MaterialFormControls.

Let’s get started with our custom control by first creating a custom subclass of Xamarin.Forms.Editor followed by a custom renderer class for iOS, Android, and UWP that kills the border.

BorderlessEditor.cs

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms
{
    public class BorderlessEditor : Editor
    {
    }
}

Nothing special here since we are using the default behavior of the Editor.

Android

Now let’s create an Android custom renderer.

BorderlessEditorRenderer.cs – Android

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessEditor), typeof(BorderlessEditorRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.Android.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessEditorRenderer : EditorRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Editor> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);
            if (e.OldElement == null)
            {
                Control.Background = null;

                var layoutParams = new MarginLayoutParams(Control.LayoutParameters);
                layoutParams.SetMargins(0, 0, 0, 0);
                LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.LayoutParameters = layoutParams;
                Control.SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
                SetPadding(0, 0, 0, 0);
            }
        }
    }
}

We simple kill the default padding and margins while setting the Background property to null. This Background is what creates the drawable underline for the AppCompat Editor.

iOS

Follow with an iOS renderer.

BorderlessEditorRenderer.cs – iOS

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessEditor), typeof(BorderlessEditorRenderer))]
namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.iOS.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessEditorRenderer : EditorRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementPropertyChanged(object sender, PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            base.OnElementPropertyChanged(sender, e);

            Control.Layer.BorderWidth = 0;
        }
    }
}

All we do here is set the BorderWidth to 0.

UWP

Lastly a renderer for UWP

BorderlessEditorRenderer.cs – UWP


[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(BorderlessEditor), typeof(BorderlessEditorRenderer))]

namespace SuaveControls.MaterialForms.UWP.Renderers
{
    public class BorderlessEditorRenderer : EditorRenderer
    {
        public static void Init() { }
        protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs<Editor> e)
        {
            base.OnElementChanged(e);

            if (Control != null)
            {
                Control.BorderThickness = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Margin = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
                Control.Padding = new Windows.UI.Xaml.Thickness(0);
            }
        }
    }
}

Similar to how we did it on Android, we set both the Margin and Padding to 0 and also set the BorderThickness to a 0’d Thickness.

Using the BorderlessEditor

Now you can use the BorderlessEditor in your XAML or C# code:

MainPage.xaml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<ContentPage xmlns="http://xamarin.com/schemas/2014/forms"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2009/xaml"
             xmlns:local="clr-namespace:ExampleMaterialApp"
             xmlns:suave="clr-namespace:SuaveControls.MaterialForms;assembly=SuaveControls.MaterialForms"
             x:Class="ExampleMaterialApp.MainPage">

    <ScrollView>
        <StackLayout Spacing="16" Margin="16" BackgroundColor="Blue">
            <Label Text="Borderless Editor!" Margin="32" HorizontalOptions="Center" HorizontalTextAlignment="Center"/>
            <suave:BorderlessEditor BackgroundColor="Black" TextColor="White" HeightRequest="300" Margin="32"/>

        </StackLayout>
    </ScrollView>

</ContentPage>

Check out those results on iOS:

If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Suave_Pirate, check out my GitHub, and subscribe to my blog to learn more mobile developer tips and tricks!

Interested in sponsoring developer content? Message @Suave_Pirate on twitter for details.