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Introduction to .Net MAUI: a Framework for Building Cross-platform Apps on the Microsoft .NET

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NET MAUI overview

New technologies and products are constantly emerging. There is no point in trying to keep up with every single one. However, some of them are exceptionally noteworthy, as they can significantly influence the market. In this article, we will talk about one of these products. It has appeared fairly recently and has a great future.

What Is .NET MAUI and Who Is It For?

.NET MAUI is an open-source cross-platform framework designed to build cross-platform apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS with beautiful native interfaces, using a single code base.

.NET MAUI is the successor to Xamarin Forms, version 5.0, released in January 2021. After that, the next version of Xamarin Forms was announced to be based on .NET, and it would be MAUI.

Xamarin Forms versions evolution

What is the difference between .NET MAUI and Xamarin Forms? It is about evolution rather than revolution. The main difference is that we receive one project with multiple outputs instead of several projects for each separate platform.

Microsoft strives to unify the .NET platform into a single base class library (BCL) with multiple software development kits (SDK).

Using .NET MAUI provides several benefits as follows:

  • The possibility to work within a single interface and project file while writing both cross-platform code and code focused on a specific platform.
  • Developers can centrally manage all fonts and images used in the project.
  • The same UI layouts and designs are available for all platforms.
  • Developers can apply the same business logic, code, and testing routines on different platforms.
Cross-platform development simplified

Source: Microsoft

Possessing experience in working with Xamarin, developers will have no problem mastering the work with .MAUI and can easily start using this framework in real projects.

There are two key advantages from a business perspective as well: increased development speed and lower software development cost.

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Advantages of .NET MAUI over Xamarin, and Why It Is the Future of Cross-Platform App Development

Being the next generation of Xamarin Forms, MAUI is a new milestone in their transformational growth with broader support for the .NET platform. Its development team will go on working on both solutions until the new framework becomes more advanced.

.NET MAUI wins over Xamarin Forms due to the following:

  1. To be part of .NET means that Xamarin and Xamarin.Forms, or .NET MAUI, are first-class citizens within Microsoft.
  2. The performance issue will improve, and that will positively affect application launch speed. Xamarin had certain problems in this respect, and solving them is important for gaining the upper hand over Flutter and React Native.
  3. A unified project interface allows creating product versions for different platforms within one project. Developers can write both cross-platform and platform code within one project.
Xamarin Forms vs MAUI comparison
  1. Besides MVVM (model-view-view model) and RxUI (ReactiveUI) patterns, MVU (model-view-update) and Blazor development models will be supported as well.
  2. MAUI’s unified important libraries make it easier for apps to use more device capabilities and provide several other benefits to developers.

Currently, .NET MAUI is in Preview 7 (official release announcement and roadmap). According to the latest news from Microsoft, .NET MAUI will not be ready for production with .NET 6 global availability in November this year. The new planned date is set for early Q2 of 2022.

Why should you choose .NET MAUI over other cross-platform frameworks?

See some important reasons why you should choose in favor of this particular framework:

  • working with .NET MAUI, you can build apps for more platforms than with other cross-platform frameworks;
  • the cross-platform API provides more capabilities for connecting to functions available on the devices where the application is installed;
  • in the nearest future, Microsoft promises to implement support for macOS on MAUI.
  • the company unites the entire .NET ecosystem into a single whole, and that will increase development efficiency and provide new opportunities.

Cross-platform app development continues to evolve, being a tangible step forward in improving software engineers’ productivity and user experience.

Lvivity can boast extensive experience in app development aimed at meeting various business needs. If you have plans to create your own software product and need help, contact us, and we will be glad to answer all your questions.

October 06, 2021

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