January 2, 2015 .net spout

Launching the Native Map App from Xamarin.Forms

My goal was to take the name and address of a place and show it on the native map app regardless of what mobile platform on which my app was running. While Xamarin.Forms provides a cross-platform API to launch the URL that starts the map app, the URL format is different depending on whether you’re using the Windows Phone 8 URI scheme for Bing maps, the Android Data URI scheme for the map intent or the Apple URL scheme for maps.

This is what I came up with:

public class Place {
  public string Name { get; set; }
  public string Vicinity { get; set; }
  public Geocode Location { get; set; }
  public Uri Icon { get; set; }
public void
LaunchMapApp(Place place) { // Windows Phone doesn't like ampersands in the names and the normal URI escaping doesn't help var name = place.Name.Replace("&", "and"); // var name = Uri.EscapeUriString(place.Name); var loc = string.Format("{0},{1}", place.Location.Latitude, place.Location.Longitude); var addr = Uri.EscapeUriString(place.Vicinity); var request = Device.OnPlatform( // iOS doesn't like %s or spaces in their URLs, so manually replace spaces with +s string.Format("http://maps.apple.com/maps?q={0}&sll={1}", name.Replace(' ', '+'), loc), // pass the address to Android if we have it string.Format("geo:0,0?q={0}({1})", string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(addr) ? loc : addr, name), // WinPhone string.Format("bingmaps:?cp={0}&q={1}", loc, name) ); Device.OpenUri(new Uri(request)); }

This code was testing on several phone and tablet emulators and on 5 actual devices: an iPad running iOS 8, an iPad Touch running iOS 8, a Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8.1, an LG G3 running Android 4.4 and an XO tablet running Android 4.1. As you can tell, each platform has not only it’s own URI format for launching the map app, but quirks as well. However, this code works well across platforms. Enjoy.