.NET 6 Preview Adds MAUI
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 22 March 2021

The second preview of .NET 6 has been released with new APIs and early builds of .NET MAUI, the .NET Multi-platform App UI, a framework for building native device applications spanning mobile, tablet, and desktop.

The new version also has builds for Apple Silicon, which were missing for Preview 1.



The .NET team says this release marks the first of the regularly scheduled monthly previews that will be happening from now until the final release in November. They also promise new features included in each preview. .NET was created from a combination of .NET Framework and .NET Core. Microsoft's plan when .NET 5 was announced was that developers would be able to create a single native .NET 5 project to target Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, tvOS, watchOS and WebAssembly.

This release brings with it the ability to use Microsoft's Multi-platform App UI (MAUI), meaning you can write apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS with the same codebase. It's what Xamarin.Forms has 'evolved into', and the team says that:

"Now that all your .NET apps will run on the same libraries, we want to increase the amount of code you share across desktop and mobile platforms."


Alongside the inclusion of NET MAUI, the preview includes support for Mac Catalyst. This used to be called Project Catalyst, and it gives developers a single UI framework that works on all Apple devices. Catalyst solves the problem that an app written for the iPhone or iPad needed different display elements to work on desktop or laptop Macs. Catalyst makes it easier because you can simply add the Mac as a target device when developing an iPhone or iPad app.

There are a number of MAUI associated performance and tooling improvements including NET/C# Hot Reload, more shared resources and code across different platforms, and better page rendering performance with a more flexible set of UI controls. MAUI also adds the ability to run existing Blazor apps natively on Windows and macOS.


More Information

Download for .NET 6 Preview 2

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Last Updated ( Monday, 22 March 2021 )