The 2nd of April 2019 marked the release of the IDE Visual Studio 2019. A preview version was released earlier in 2019, but now the stable version is available to the general public. After watching the live streamed release event I thought I’d write a few lines about some of the IMHO more interesting new features and changes to Visual Studio.

So if you didn’t watch the release event or had the time to read up, here’s a short recap:

Live Share installed by default

One of the major themes for VS 2019 and the launch event seemed to be collabing and enabling remote work. Live Share has been available for some time as an extra extension (a plugin), but is now installed by default in the IDE.

Live Share allows you see a friend or coworkers editor and it’s changes in real time, no matter what platforms you are on. You can use a PC running Windows with VS Enterprise and do a live share with a person using VS Code on a Mac.

Mind that this is not a screen share - you’re actually streaming the content in the IDE, not the screen image. The caster can restrict how much the viewer can interact with the IDE, whether the viewer is only supposed to view or to interact more hands on.

IntelliCode - IntelliSense on steroids

IntelliSense is a feature that helps programmers autocomplete methods, properties etc when typing. This helps the programmer minimize typos and increases typing speed. The suggestions are usually ordered alphabetically and updated character by character when typing.

IntelliCode now utilizes AI and suggests what you’re probably looking for by analyzing the code you’re writing. IntelliCode is trained on 2000 open source projects on GitHub to learn what to suggest and when.

IntelliCode only supported C# in the preview, but now also supports C++ and XAML.

Smarter auto refactoring

VS has been able to do some auto refactoring (á la e g Resharper) for a couple of versions, but Microsoft has kicked it up a notch in VS 2019. Place your marker at any code block and press “ctrl + .”. You will now be presented with a number of refactoring suggestions where applicable.

Data breakpoints for C#

Data breakpoints has been available for some time for C++, but is now also available for C#. Data breakpoints allows you to set a breakpoint on a data value or an object. When that value is changed the code execution is paused, rather than when a specific line is hit.

A preview to C# 8.0

When this blog post is written in early April 2019, C# 8.0 is not yet released. VS 2019 does despite this have support for some of the new features coming with C# 8.0.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Default interface methods
  • Async streams
  • Improvements to pattern matching
  • Nullable reference types
  • New syntax for expressing a range of values
  • New syntax for switch expressions

Optimizations for Xamarin development

I like developing mobile apps with Xamarin, but sometimes Xamarin can really be a pain in the ass when disrupting the work flow. Especially the spin up time for the emulators has been a source for much frustration. The emulators now have gotten a haul over and spin up times has been greatly reduced.

A property editor for Xamarin.Forms controls. You can now edit the properties with point and click and in real time see what the changes looks like, instead of typing the property values in your XAML code.

Please not that this is just a handful of what’s new in VS 2019. More extensive information can be found here.

So what are you waiting for? Download Visual Studio 2019 today! All features from Professional edition is now included in the free Community edition. The only difference is in licensing.