.NET MAUI flings out lucky 13th preview as feature completion closes in

.NET MAUI flings out lucky 13th preview as feature completion closes in

In-progress versions for the .NET multi platform app UI keep rolling in, but with feature completion in sight, the MAUI team uses its 13th preview to focus on quality, documentation … and maybe a feature implementation or seven.

The latest sneak peek of the cross-platform app framework comes with implementations of Label.FormattedText, and the ListView, RadioButton, SwipeView, WinUI Flyout, WinUI TabbedPage, and several WebView features that Xamarin.Forms users will already be familiar with. While Label.FormattedText can be used to present text in multiple fonts and colours in one view, the other additions are pretty much self explanatory and should provide developers with most of the components needed for a sightly creation.

To help get users started, a fair bit of additional documentation is part of the release as well, covering topics such as building Blazor Hybrid apps, XAML fundamentals, different properties and RelativeLayout.

On the performance side of things, the .NET MAUI team decided to rework the startup pattern of its framework slightly. After identifying Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting as overhead, the team got rid of the feature and disabled logging for release builds to reduce the time needed to get an app going.

.NET MAUI is described as the evolution of Xamarin.Forms, and looks to provide developers with a framework for writing native and desktop applications in C# and YAML that are supposed to run on Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. The open source project was first introduced in May 2019 and is currently on its 13th preview iteration.

A date for the final .NET MAUI release hasn’t been given yet, though principal program mManager for .NET client apps at Microsoft David Ortinau mentioned plans to ship a release candidate in Q1 with the final version following in Q2 earlier this year. He also commented “Release candidate will be declared once we hit feature complete and finish breaking changes. It’s a release by release call from this point on. That’s a fancy way of saying ‘when it’s ready’.” on an inquiry made in response to the preview announcement.

Developers interested in .NET MAUI Preview 13 can take it for a spin via the first preview of Visual Studio 17.2, which has just become available. The IDE update also provides a number of enhancements promising to help with .NET developer productivity, such as syntax highlighting based on the type of data a string represents, the capability to insert parameter or type names by double clicking on inline parameters or type hints, and a refactoring that gets rid of unnecessary lambda expressions. 

Other than that, the preview sports dependent tracepoints, support for interactive staging with Git, and a search experience in the add dependency dialog in the connected services module. Details are available in the Visual Studio documentation.