Introduction to .NET MAUI
.NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI), Microsoft’s cutting-edge cross-platform framework, empowers software developers to construct apps for diverse platforms using a unified code base. With .NET MAUI, you can craft applications for Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Windows utilizing C# and XAML.
Aiming for Code Base Unification
This framework aims to allow developers to implement as much of their app logic and UI layout as possible in one code-base, with the flexibility to choose any of the 4 supported platforms to build and debug the app. Similar to Xamarin, .NET MAUI produces native app packages:
- Android apps are compiled from C# into intermediate language, then just-in-time (JIT) compiled into a native assembly when the app launches.
- iOS apps are fully ahead-of-time (AOT) compiled from C# into native ARM assembly code.
- macOS apps utilize Mac Catalyst, augmenting it with additional AppKit and platform APIs as required.
- Windows apps use the Windows UI 3 library to create native apps targeting the Windows desktop.
Extended Pattern Support and Library Integration
Alongside supporting MVVM (model-view-viewmodel) and RxUI (ReactiveUI) patterns, .NET MAUI will support MVU (model-view-update) and Blazor development patterns.
Popular libraries of controls, such as Syncfusion, Telerik, DevExpress, have already introduced versions for .NET MAUI, further bolstering the rapidly growing open-source community.
Performance Comparison and Future Releases
At present, .NET MAUI is compatible with .NET 6 (long-term support release) and .NET 7 (standard-term support release). Jonathan Peppers’ article on the Microsoft blog offers a comparative study of app performance across these releases.
Significantly, the .NET 7 MAUI performance for Android apps outpaces its .NET 6 MAUI counterpart, and it’s almost three times more efficient than Xamarin.Forms app performance. The upcoming release of .NET 8 (long-term support release) promises even better results for .NET MAUI apps.
End of Xamarin Support and Migration to .NET MAUI
Please note that Xamarin’s support is scheduled to end on May 1, 2024, for all Xamarin SDKs. Android 13 and Xcode 14 SDKs will be the last versions targeted by Xamarin. Microsoft encourages migration to .NET MAUI and provides several articles detailing the migration process from Xamarin native and Xamarin.Forms projects to .NET MAUI. The migration process may not be seamless, especially when dealing with custom renderers frequently used in Xamarin apps. While these custom renderers can still function using a compatibility package, Microsoft recommends migration to the new slim renderer pattern.
In conclusion, .NET MAUI presents itself as the framework of the future for cross-platform software development. It is an excellent choice for migrating existing projects and initiating new ones, given its superior performance and more sophisticated developer experience than Xamarin. With the forthcoming end of Xamarin support, there’s no compelling reason to start new projects on Xamarin when .NET MAUI offers a more efficient, future-ready solution. .NET MAUI is indeed here to shape the future of cross-platform software development.
Considering migrating your existing projects to .NET MAUI? Or perhaps starting a new one? Diatom Enterprises has the expertise in cross-platform software development you need. Our team can assist you in leveraging the power and efficiency of .NET MAUI for your applications. Don’t wait until tomorrow, shape the future of your projects today. Contact us.