Navigating .NET MAUI: Pros and Cons in Living Colour

Sakthivel AmirthaGanesan
Jul 4, 2024
5
mins read

.NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI) is an exciting new framework from Microsoft that allows developers to build native cross-platform apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android using C# and .NET. As someone who has worked with .NET MAUI, I wanted to provide an introductory overview of this framework - its capabilities, pros and cons, and things to consider if you're thinking of using it for your next project.

What is .NET MAUI?

Put simply, .NET MAUI is the evolution of Xamarin.Forms - Microsoft's previous cross-platform framework. It builds on Xamarin's functionality with improved support for macOS and Windows apps. With .NET MAUI, you can develop the user interface portion of your app once using C# and XAML and deploy it natively to multiple platforms. The UI layer will render using native controls on each platform for optimal performance and experience.

Key Benefits of Using .NET MAUI

Here are some of the major advantages of using .NET MAUI for cross-platform development:

  • Write Once, Use Everywhere: Develop UI once, and deploy to multiple platforms with native performance. Less code to maintain.
  • Leverage C# and .NET: Use mature languages and frameworks you already know. Large ecosystem of tools and libraries.
  • Native Controls and Experiences: Apps feel right at home on each platform, adhering to design guidelines.
  • Visual Studio Integration: Get the full power of Microsoft's leading IDE for building desktop and mobile apps.
  • Open Source: .NET MAUI is open source with an active community behind it.
  • Cloud Connectivity: Integrate easily with web APIs and cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure.
  • Mature Ecosystem: Build on proven .NET technologies like ASP.NET Core, Entity Framework, and more.

Key Challenges with .NET MAUI

Despite its many benefits, .NET MAUI also comes with some challenges to consider:

  • Still in Early Days: Framework is evolving rapidly. You may encounter bugs and missing features.
  • Performance Overhead: Some overhead compared to native code, though constantly improving.
  • Steep Learning Curve: Can be challenging if you're new to .NET and mobile development.
  • Platform-Specific Needs: May still need custom native code for some platform-specific needs.
  • Scarce Resources: Limited documentation and tutorials available currently.
  • Smaller Community: Community is still growing, with less support available compared to other cross-platform options.
  • Stability concerns: In the latest Android 14 update, some operating systems are experiencing random crashes and UI issues when loading WebView in collection view cells.

Should You Use .NET MAUI?

.NET MAUI is a great choice if:

  • You want to leverage C#/XAML and .NET ecosystem.
  • Your team has .NET/C# skills already.
  • You need a native cross-platform UI layer.
  • You want native performance with minimum overhead.
  • You want to share business logic and data access code.

However, for some scenarios, alternatives like native platforms, React Native, or Flutter may be more suitable depending on your requirements, team skills, and resources.

Conclusion

.NET MAUI is a promising new framework that makes cross-platform development easier for .NET developers. However, it has its share of limitations being in the early stages. If you do decide to use it, be ready to deal with rapid changes, scarce resources, and a smaller community. But overall, it holds great potential to become the de facto solution for .NET cross-platform apps in the future.

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July 4, 2024
|
5
mins

Navigating .NET MAUI: Pros and Cons in Living Colour

Sakthivel AmirthaGanesan

.NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI) is an exciting new framework from Microsoft that allows developers to build native cross-platform apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android using C# and .NET. As someone who has worked with .NET MAUI, I wanted to provide an introductory overview of this framework - its capabilities, pros and cons, and things to consider if you're thinking of using it for your next project.

What is .NET MAUI?

Put simply, .NET MAUI is the evolution of Xamarin.Forms - Microsoft's previous cross-platform framework. It builds on Xamarin's functionality with improved support for macOS and Windows apps. With .NET MAUI, you can develop the user interface portion of your app once using C# and XAML and deploy it natively to multiple platforms. The UI layer will render using native controls on each platform for optimal performance and experience.

Key Benefits of Using .NET MAUI

Here are some of the major advantages of using .NET MAUI for cross-platform development:

  • Write Once, Use Everywhere: Develop UI once, and deploy to multiple platforms with native performance. Less code to maintain.
  • Leverage C# and .NET: Use mature languages and frameworks you already know. Large ecosystem of tools and libraries.
  • Native Controls and Experiences: Apps feel right at home on each platform, adhering to design guidelines.
  • Visual Studio Integration: Get the full power of Microsoft's leading IDE for building desktop and mobile apps.
  • Open Source: .NET MAUI is open source with an active community behind it.
  • Cloud Connectivity: Integrate easily with web APIs and cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure.
  • Mature Ecosystem: Build on proven .NET technologies like ASP.NET Core, Entity Framework, and more.

Key Challenges with .NET MAUI

Despite its many benefits, .NET MAUI also comes with some challenges to consider:

  • Still in Early Days: Framework is evolving rapidly. You may encounter bugs and missing features.
  • Performance Overhead: Some overhead compared to native code, though constantly improving.
  • Steep Learning Curve: Can be challenging if you're new to .NET and mobile development.
  • Platform-Specific Needs: May still need custom native code for some platform-specific needs.
  • Scarce Resources: Limited documentation and tutorials available currently.
  • Smaller Community: Community is still growing, with less support available compared to other cross-platform options.
  • Stability concerns: In the latest Android 14 update, some operating systems are experiencing random crashes and UI issues when loading WebView in collection view cells.

Should You Use .NET MAUI?

.NET MAUI is a great choice if:

  • You want to leverage C#/XAML and .NET ecosystem.
  • Your team has .NET/C# skills already.
  • You need a native cross-platform UI layer.
  • You want native performance with minimum overhead.
  • You want to share business logic and data access code.

However, for some scenarios, alternatives like native platforms, React Native, or Flutter may be more suitable depending on your requirements, team skills, and resources.

Conclusion

.NET MAUI is a promising new framework that makes cross-platform development easier for .NET developers. However, it has its share of limitations being in the early stages. If you do decide to use it, be ready to deal with rapid changes, scarce resources, and a smaller community. But overall, it holds great potential to become the de facto solution for .NET cross-platform apps in the future.

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