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DependencyService is a feature in Xamarin, a framework for building mobile apps, that allows developers to access native features of the device, such as the camera or GPS, using a single codebase. This is done by creating an interface in the shared code, and then implementing that interface in each platform-specific project.
The idea behind DependencyService is to provide a way for your Xamarin app to access platform-specific functionality that is not available in the shared code. This means that instead of writing separate code for each platform, you can write a single piece of code that will work on all platforms.
For example, let’s say you want to take a photo in your app. In the shared code, you would create an interface called ICamera, with a method called TakePhoto. Then, in the Android project, you would create a class called Camera_Android that implements the ICamera interface, and uses the Android camera API to take a photo. In the iOS project, you would create a class called Camera_iOS that implements the ICamera interface, and uses the iOS camera API to take a photo.
When your app needs to take a photo, it calls the TakePhoto method on the ICamera interface. The DependencyService then figures out which implementation of the ICamera interface to use, based on the platform the app is running on. This allows your app to use the appropriate camera API for the platform, without having to worry about the differences between the Android and iOS camera APIs.
DependencyService is not only limited to camera functionality, it can be used for a variety of tasks such as accessing the device’s GPS, storage, or interacting with platform-specific libraries or frameworks.
It is important to note that DependencyService is not a replacement for the platform-specific APIs themselves, but rather an abstraction layer that makes it easy to use them in a cross-platform way. You will still need to be familiar with the underlying APIs in order to use DependencyService effectively.
Another important aspect is that, DependencyService is also useful for testing. For example, you can use DependencyService to swap out a real camera implementation with a mock implementation for testing purposes. This allows you to test your app without needing access to a real device.
In summary, DependencyService is a powerful feature of Xamarin that allows developers to access native functionality in a simple and consistent way across multiple platforms. It provides an abstraction layer that makes it easy to use platform-specific functionality in a cross-platform way, while still allowing you to write testable code. It is not a replacement for platform-specific APIs, but rather a way to access them in a consistent way across all platforms, making it an efficient way for developers to make cross-platform apps.
Cookbook – Xamarin for Beginners – Chapter 12
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