Bartek Wilczynski bio photo

Bartek Wilczynski

IT consultant and entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in a variety of medium-size line of business applications, mostly in .NET technology.

Email Twitter LinkedIn Youtube

I was waiting for my first post on iDevBlogADay for quite a long time. I signed on in September so it was about half of a year of waiting for my turn. I must admit - frequency of my blog posting has significantly dropped recently and my last blog post is from beginning of January. This is mostly due to my involvement in a current .NET project I am in and my concerns are more towards LOB applications rather than iPhone games at the moment. My iPhone game that I started about half year ago is not finished yet and I hope it will not end on my projects' graveyard.

Due to the lack of current iPhone related developments recently I decided I will try something new for this idevblogaday posting. When I was starting my journey with iPhone development I had over 7 years of professional experience in .NET development. Learning Obj-C was a great fun and a challenge for me but what I found is that I am a LOT less productive in Obj-C than I am in C# on .NET platform. I believe it is mostly due to the following:

  1. I have much more professional experience in .NET, I wrote already tons of code in C# for many projects (mostly LOB applications), I have several certificates in MS technology which proves I know this technology by heart ;)
  2. C# & VS.NET is in my opinion much more modern and productive platform than Obj-C & XCode.

When I started learning Obj-C I heard about MonoTouch which allows developers to write C# code and reuse both iOS library and .NET to build applications for iPhone / iPod & iPads. Doesn't sound great for all of you .NET folks? Where is the catch then? You probably heard about mono project - a free cross-platform .NET development platform for Linux, Mac & Windows. Unfortunately MonoTouch doesn't come for free - you need to pay at least 299$ for a commercial license. When you sum it up with 99$ for Apple developer license you might be a bit worried that it is a bit to much considering the fact that the application that you are building might not necessary need to be a success story like Angry Birds.

But... nothing prevents you from just trying it - it is for free and the only limitation is that you can run your applications only on iPhone simulator (there is currently no time limit for evaluation). For my planned 10 weeks #idevblogaday posting I would like to share with you some of my experiences with this technology and I hope that after a while you will be able to decide yourself whether this technology is worth paying some money or not. I haven't yet decided so this is also a great opportunity for me.

How to start? It's quite easy - follow these installation steps from official product page and you will have MonoDevelop IDE installed and ready for your iPhone .NET development. When you have a working environment you can enjoy C# syntax and .NET library on your own. The example I built asynchronously invokes Web Service to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit and then updates UI accordingly - all done in few lines of code.

var convert = new;
convert.CelsiusToFahrenheitCompleted += (sender, e) =>
    InvokeOnMainThread(() => { lblFahrenheit.Text = e.Result; });

btnConvert.TouchDown += (sender, e) =>

Celsius to Fahrenheit convert in MonoTouch
Please notice - syntax supports C# 3.0 lambda expressions and... LINQ. More on that in my next blog post that should come in 2 weeks. By then I should have more experiences with MonoTouch to share.