Animations and focus are specified by accessing the underlying Xamarin.Forms control and using Xamarin.Forms animation specifications. The underlying control is usually accessed via a ViewRef, akin to a ref in HTML/JavaScript and React.

  • A ViewRef must have a sufficient scope that it lives long enough, e.g. a global scope or the scope of the model. The ViewRef can be held in the model itself if necessary.

  • Initially ViewRef are empty. They will only be populated after the view function has been called and its results applied to the visual display.

For example, the following shows the creation of a ViewRef and associating it with a particular element:

let animatedLabelRef = ViewRef<Label>()

let view dispatch model = 
    View.Label(text="Rotate", ref=animatedLabelRef) 

The underlying control can also be accessed by using the created handler:

let mutable label = None

View.Label(text="hello", created=(fun l ->  label <- Some l))

NOTE: A ViewRef only holds a weak handle to the underlying control. The Value property may thus fail if the underlying control has been collected. As a result it is often sensible to use the TryValue property which returns an option.


Animations are specified by using a Xamarin.Forms animation specification on the underlying control, e.g.

let animatedLabelRef = ViewRef<Label>()

let update msg model =
    match msg with 
    | Poked ->
        match animatedLabelRef.TryValue with 
        | None -> () 
        | Some c -> c.RotateTo (360.0, 2000u) |> ignore

let view dispatch model = 
    View.StackLayout [
        View.Label(text="Rotate", ref=animatedLabelRef) 
        View.Button(text="Rotate", command=(fun () -> dispatch Poked)) 

Animations in Xamarin.Forms specify tasks. These are ignorable if the animation is simple. Composite animations must compose tasks, either by using async { ...} and Async.AwaitTask and Async.StartAsTask, or by using task { ... } from the F# community TaskBuilder library.

Examples of custom tasks are shown in C# syntax in Animation in Xamarin.Forms.

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