.NET MAUI - FREE Early Access Preview of Collection View, Drawer, Tab View and More for Mobile Development (v21.2)

In this post, I’ll describe our latest additions for .NET MAUI Preview 7. To learn more about our Data Grid and Charts, please check out the .NET MAUI Preview 5 announcement. We expect to ship our .NET MAUI controls in November 2021. Before you get your hands on an early access preview (EAP), however, two quick reminders:

  • Reminder: Our Xamarin and .NET MAUI EAP components are available free-of-charge. If you have yet to download your free copy, please visit https://www.devexpress.com/xamarin/ to reserve your free license today.
  • If you are not familiar with Microsoft’s .NET Multi-Platform App UI (MAUI) platform or how Microsoft has positioned MAUI (the evolution of Xamarin Forms), please review Carl Franklin’s interview with Jonathan D, a developer on Microsoft’s MAUI team and Carl’s interview with James M, a well-known Xamarin-MAUI community influencer. Both videos are available on the DevExpress YouTube Channel. Additionally, be sure to check out our FAQ at the bottom of this post for more information.

Prerequisites to Test DevExpress Controls for .NET MAUI Preview 7

If you’re ready to explore the capabilities of our .NET MAUI controls (Data Grid, Charting, Collection View and Navigation library for mobile development), please review the prerequisites for Visual Studio 2022 in our online .NET MAUI documentation.

Early Access and CTP builds are provided solely for early testing purposes and are not ready for production use. This EAP may not include all MAUI features/products we expect to ship in our v21.2 release cycle. As its name implies, the EAP offers an early preview of what we expect to ship in 3-4 months.

What's New for .NET MAUI Preview 7

.NET MAUI Collection View for iOS and Android

The DXCollectionView component uses a template to display a collection of data items in a single column or row in your .NET MAUI apps for Android and iOS. The component is included within the DevExpress.Maui.CollectionView NuGet package and ships with the following  built-in features:
  • Templates for Data Items and Group Headers
  • Data Sorting, Filtering, and Grouping
  • Vertical and Horizontal Scroll
  • Item Drag and Drop
  • Pull-to-Refresh
  • Infinite Scroll
  • Swipe Gestures
  • Multiple Item Selection
  • Themes
  • and much more - please check out the full description for our Xamarin Collection View to see what to expect from its MAUI counterpart.

.NET MAUI Navigation Controls for Android

Navigation views and pages allow you to implement lateral navigation in your .NET MAUI apps for Android. Our Drawer and Tab components are included within the DevExpress.Maui.Navigation NuGet package. For more information on built-in features, please review the following help topics:

Drawer Page | Drawer View

Tab Page | Tab View

.NET MAUI Charting for iOS and Android

DevExpress Controls for .NET MAUI Preview 7 allow you to create native iOS apps (Android app support was introduced in .NET MAUI Preview 5).

Getting Started Tutorials & Examples

Future Plans

We expect to publish NuGet packages for our .NET MAUI Data Editors library and Scheduler Controls shortly. We will also introduce iOS support for our .NET MAUI Data Grid, Drawer, and Tab controls. Said simply, we will synchronize with Microsoft’s preview builds and port all existing Xamarin Forms UI controls to .NET MAUI in the coming months.

Once we port all MAUI controls, we want to add the following capabilities to our MAUI component suite:

  • Migrate to and apply the power of the DevExpress.Data library (we are currently using a clone). This will help us deliver a seamless user experience for DevExpress customers who have used our WinForms, WPF and ASP.NET components in the past.
  • Template Gallery support. This will allow customers to create mobile apps more quickly (we will redistribute a VSIX from the Visual Studio Marketplace).
  • New UI elements such as chips; simplified localization; auto column width within the MAUI Grid, and much more.

Of course, we will further enhance our online documentation, publish more GitHub examples, and videos on the DevExpress YouTube channel.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is .NET MAUI different from Xamarin Forms?

If you're using Xamarin.Forms today, MAUI should be a painless transition as it represents an evolution of Xamarin.Forms – the two platforms have many similarities. For more information, see Xamarin.Forms Are Available Free-of-Charge | Transition to .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI).

Is technical support included with the free .NET MAUI preview?

No, this free MAUI preview does not include technical support from DevExpress. Technical support for DevExpress MAUI controls is only available if you own the DevExpress Universal Subscription.

How can I report bugs or share suggestions on DevExpress .NET MAUI development?

If you encounter a bug, please submit a bug report via our online support system: https://www.devexpress.com/ask. For suggestions to our development team, please complete our survey.

Is the source code included in this free .NET MAUI preview?

No. Component source code is not included in this offer.

Will DevExpress .NET MAUI controls be available free of charge once they are released?

We have NOT finalized our product delivery model for .NET MAUI – we may continue to offer our .NET MAUI controls free of charge OR we may bundle them with an existing DevExpress Subscription.

Will your .NET MAUI controls support desktop form-factor (Windows, Linux, macOS)?

We are excited about the capabilities that .NET MAUI offers for cross-platform UI development. We will finalize our plans for desktop support in our MAUI controls in early 2022. In particular, we look forward to further .NET MAUI evolution for Windows (we also ship WinUI controls). As far as I know, Microsoft also has given higher priority to Windows and WinUI support than Linux and macOS at this stage.

What your native control "wrapper" approach means for developers and end-users?

  • Developers can deliver unmatched performance, usability, and functionality to their end-users AND do so using C# and .NET 6 (what’s under the hood "just works").
  • DevExpress UI controls abstract the complexities of native mobile development - our developers did the dirty work for you (= dealt with difficult programming languages and platform specific headaches).
  • Speed, speed, and more speed. For instance, DevExpress .NET MAUI Charts use OpenGL graphics rendering with C++ for the best possible performance on mobile devices, even with millions of points. Our data grid scrolling performance is second to none (when compared to our current competitors). We will publish detailed performance metrics in the coming weeks.

Your Feedback Counts!

If you are currently using Xamarin Forms, considering .NET MAUI, or just investigating your options, feel free to comment below, we’ll be happy to follow-up. Thanks for considering DevExpress for your development needs.

Free DevExpress Products - Get Your Copy Today

The following free DevExpress product offers remain available. Should you have any questions about the free offers below, please submit a ticket via the DevExpress Support Center at your convenience. We'll be happy to follow-up.
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