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.NET MAUI and the future of Xamarin

If you have ever considered developing a mobile app and wondered about various development paths available to follow, you indeed have come to the right place. We’ve brought a comprehensive overview featuring two cross-platform development platforms: .NET MAUI and Xamarin. In it, we relied on our vast experience in building different digital products for customers representing an all-around market segment.

This article will shed light on the features of .NET MAUI, the future of Xamarin, and all the aspects essential for mobile application development services.

What is .Net Maui?

What is .NET MAUI?

.NET MAUI, otherwise known as .NET Multi-platform App UI, is a cross-platform network for building natively compiled desktop and mobile apps using XAML and C# in a single codebase. With .NET MAUI, one can easily develop apps running on Android, iOS, macOS, or Windows. Moreover, .NET Multi-platform App UI provides an option for devs to add resources and source codes that are specific to particular platforms.

The core purpose of .NET MAUI is to allow devs to use as many resources in a single shared code as possible. It also simplifies the work of .NET developers, offering a single project that supports all major platforms’ development, including native Android development and native iOS development. In short, you write an app in .NET language that runs without any alterations on one of the target platforms. As such, all your logic can be written in a .NET development language, and your UI can be defined in either your .NET language of choice or XAML.

Applications of .NET MAUI

.NET MAUI allows using a cross-platform API for accessing each platform’s UI controls and features, meaning that devs are now able to create no-compromise UX. Keeping this in mind, let’s look through the main applications .NET MAUI developers can utilize.

  • Devs can create cross-platform applications in C# and XAML from a single source on Visual Studio.
  • With MAUI features, they can easily share tests and codes across mobile platforms.
  • It is also possible to share the app’s design and UI layout on different platforms.

.NET MAUI vs. Xamarin: skill comparison

Since .NET Multi-platform App UI is the evolution and improved version of Xamarin.Forms, it shares a lot of similarities and common features. One can find almost all capacities that Xamarin provides in .NET MAUI, including layouts, gestures, controls, templates, Shell, and cross-platform APIs. All these features are available in .NET MAUI only with a different namespace.

However, even though .NET MAUI and Xamarin share a lot in common, differences exist as well. So here, let’s move on and break down the features of both application development platforms to see how .NET MAUI performance overpowers Xamarin.

#1 Single project for different platforms

If you have ever used Xamarin, you probably know that it uses separate projects for each target platform. With .NET MAUI, you will no longer have this problem, as here, all the platforms can easily be managed in a single project. To create a .NET MAUI project, you can find all necessary features like fonts, app icons, images, styling, raw assets, and splash screen in the Resources folder. While MAUI will do the remaining by optimizing them for each platform’s specific requirements.

#2 Support for .NET 6

.NET Multi-platform App UI is integrated into .NET 6, while Xamarin is .NET Core 3.1. So, due to the integration of .NET 6, you can use the new C#10 and .NET 6 features in MAUI for your enterprise development.

#3 Graphics APIs

In Xamarin, you can’t find any direct APIs for drawing requirements. You can do it only by using renderers on the native side. However, with .NET MAUI, the situation is different: its cross-platform graphics functionality offers a drawing canvas for painting and drawing shapes.

#4 Slim renderers

Instead of Custom Renderers that were used in the Xamarin App Platform, now you can use Slim Renderers which make an app more lightweight as well as boost the development and app experience.

#5 Support for MVU pattern

In addition to Xamarin’s ReactiveUI and Model-View-ViewModel patterns, MAUI supports Blazor and Model-View-Update development patterns. Due to this pattern, devs can build cross-platform native front ends from one shared codebase.

#6 Unification of libraries

.NET Multi-platform App UI allows the unification of vital libraries. It merges the Xamarin.Essentials library into MAUI, enabling access to features like contacts, photos, device sensors, and other services, including secure storage and authentication. 

#7 Hot reloads

With .NET MAUI, one can edit a managed source code and XAML even when the application is still running. More importantly, this makes observing and monitoring the results of edits without stopping, rebuilding, and starting your app possible.

What does the future hold for Xamarin and cross-platform app development?

As it is well known, no progress can be achieved by standing still and not making efforts to improve. That is why having a vision of much better performance with the extension of the .NET development platform, Xamarin has evolved into .NET MAUI.

Since the .NET MAUI release date in May 2022, it has become available for general use giving its users a premium, cross-platform UI stack for Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS. Its significantly better tools have evolved to simplify the tasks of individual developers as well as .NET MAUI application development company teams. Moreover, .NET MAUI greatly aids Xamarin app development, helping Microsoft achieve a stronger position in competing against React Native and Flutter.

It’s undeniable that mobile app development services are growing based on demand, and many businesses recognize the importance of providing their customers with the most professional app experience possible. And while the future of Xamarin and cross-platform app development, in general, seems unpredictable, there is strong evidence of its upcoming success.

Bottom line

With the growing demand for mobile apps and skyrocketing use of mobile devices overall, it is no wonder that many companies expect that .NET MAUI developers will provide a seamless experience to their users. Hence, if you are looking to hire .NET MAUI developers for your projects, Innowise Group is the right place for you. With our extensive mobile app expertise and custom software development services, you will definitely get exactly what you need.

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