.NET MAUI (former Xamarin) vs. Flutter

.NET MAUI (former Xamarin) vs. Flutter


Are you thinking about developing a mobile application? .NET MAUI and Flutter are at the forefront, each with unique advantages. .NET MAUI, with its .NET roots, promises seamless integration and familiar C# development. Flutter, a modern competitor from Google, surprises with dynamic user interfaces and fast Dart coding. This comparison isn’t just a technical side-by-side; it’s a guide to the real world, drawing on hands-on experience to navigate your application journey choices. 

Let’s explore the ecosystems, performance, and nuances of .NET MAUI and Flutter development to discover the path that best fits your project.

Xamarin end of life: 

As the mobile development landscape evolves, Xamarin’s announced end of life and its transition to .NET MAUI mark a critical juncture, especially in the comparative analysis with Flutter. This development is a signal for Xamarin developers to consider their future strategy:

  • Transition to .NET MAUI: Xamarin’s evolution into .NET MAUI is aimed at unifying and enhancing Microsoft’s development platform, offering a modern approach to cross-platform development. This transition necessitates Xamarin developers to migrate their applications, ensuring they continue to receive support and updates.
  • Implications for Developers: For those invested in Xamarin, this phase signifies the need to reassess and adapt to .NET MAUI or explore alternative frameworks like Flutter. It underscores the importance of flexibility in choosing development tools that align with project requirements and future tech trends.
  • Flutter as an Alternative: With Xamarin’s end of life, Flutter emerges as a strong alternative, offering a robust and continuously evolving framework for building cross-platform applications. Developers might find Flutter’s rich UI capabilities and performance advantages appealing, especially those seeking stability and a vibrant community support.

This transition period is pivotal for developers to strategize and make informed decisions, balancing between embracing .NET MAUI’s new opportunities or leveraging Flutter’s established ecosystem for their mobile app development needs.

The future of mobile app development is being shaped by trends like AI, AR, VR, IoT, and blockchain, enhancing user experiences with personalized, immersive, and secure applications. App migration, particularly to platforms like Flutter, is essential for staying competitive, offering benefits like reduced development time and enhanced performance. As technology evolves, embracing these trends and considering strategic migrations will be necessary for developers aiming to deliver cutting-edge applications.

.NET MAUI Overview

.NET MAUI, a framework for cross-platform mobile application development, utilizes .NET and C# to allow for the creation of iOS and Android applications from a shared codebase. It is integrated within the Visual Studio environment, offering a recognizable space for those accustomed to the Microsoft ecosystem. .NET MAUI provides the benefit of .NET integration and access to native APIs. However, it encounters limitations such as prolonged build times and the occasional need for platform-specific adjustments, potentially lengthening the development process. Furthermore, .NET MAUI ecosystem, while extensive, has shown a need for faster compilation times and a broader spectrum of community resources.

Reflecting on its technological and community challenges, .NET MAUI is gradually being replaced by .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) as part of Microsoft’s strategy to modernize and streamline cross-platform development tools. This shift is attributed to .NET MAUI inability to meet the evolving standards and expectations of modern mobile app development, leading to a decline in support. The transition to .NET MAUI marks a new chapter for developers, urging them to adapt to a framework designed with contemporary development practices in mind.

Flutter Overview

Flutter is a framework for building applications for various platforms with one codebase. It’s recognized for its open-source nature, substantial community engagement, and continuous enhancements. Flutter facilitates the development of applications that operate smoothly across multiple systems, attributed to its robust performance and customizable UI capabilities. While it has been employed in notable projects like Google Payments and Alibaba, Flutter maintains a reputation for reliability despite any historical concerns about Google’s project management.

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Comparative Analysis

Development Experience

Diving into mobile app development with Flutter and .NET MAUI feels like choosing between two flavors of your favorite dessert. Both are sweet, but each has its unique zest. With its Dart language, Flutter feels like a breath of fresh air – modern, efficient, and with a hot reload feature like magic, letting you see changes in real-time without restarting your app. Imagine tweaking the UI and seeing the effects instantly, a real game-changer for productivity.

On the other hand, .NET MAUI, grounded in C# and .NET, offers the cozy familiarity of Visual Studio, a haven for those who’ve grown in the Microsoft ecosystem. It’s like coming home to a warm, familiar setting where everything works just the way you expect, albeit with a bit more setup at the start.

Flutter stands out for quickly getting you from zero to the app with a straightforward setup that reads your mind. .NET MAUI takes a more measured approach, requiring more elbow grease to get going, especially if you still need to budge with Visual Studio.

This exploration isn’t just about choosing a tool; it’s about finding the right partner for your app development journey. Flutter’s quick setup and instant feedback loop make it a tantalizing option for those eager to dive in and see their ideas come to life swiftly. .NET MAUI, with its deep .NET integration, appeals to those with a background in C# looking for a robust development experience.

Ultimately, the choice between Flutter and .NET MAUI might boil down to what feels more like home to you or perhaps which adventure you’re more excited to embark on.

Performance and Efficiency

When considering the performance and efficiency of Flutter and .NET MAUI, each framework brings its strengths to the table. Flutter is celebrated for its superior runtime performance, thanks to its direct compilation into native code, ensuring a smooth and responsive user experience. Its build and compilation times are optimized for efficiency, allowing faster development cycles.

While offering strong performance, especially in applications that rely heavily on the .NET framework, .NET MAUI might experience slightly longer build and compilation times than Flutter. However, its ability to leverage .NET optimizations can make it highly efficient for certain types of applications.

Your choice might depend on the specific performance demands of your project and the development efficiency you prioritize.

UI and Design Capabilities

Flutter shines in UI flexibility and richness, offering a wide array of customizable widgets that ensure a consistent look across platforms. Its design-centric approach allows for highly tailored user experiences, easily adapting to various screen sizes and resolutions. .NET MAUI, with access to native UI components, enables apps to closely mimic the native platform look and feel. However, achieving uniformity across iOS and Android may require more effort compared to Flutter’s widget system. Both frameworks offer strong UI capabilities, with the choice often boiling down to specific project needs and design priorities.

Community Support and Resources

Flutter’s rapidly growing community contributes to a rich pool of learning resources, tutorials, and documentation, facilitating easy access for new developers. Its open-source nature encourages a vibrant ecosystem of shared knowledge. .NET MAUI, with a longer history, benefits from deep-rooted support within the .NET community, offering extensive documentation and a wealth of learning materials. Both frameworks enjoy active community engagement, with forums, social media groups, and developer conferences providing platforms for support and knowledge exchange.

Mobile App Development Trends

The future of mobile app development is rapidly evolving with trends such as AI, AR, VR, IoT, and blockchain, which significantly enhance user experiences by offering personalized, immersive, and secure applications. Platforms like Flutter are becoming essential for developers aiming to stay competitive, allowing quicker development times and improved app performance. These trends underscore the importance of adopting advanced technologies and considering app migration to meet the demands of modern users.

If you’re eager to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, you won’t want to miss out on the insightful article from Codigee.

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Making a choice: Flutter vs. .NET MAUI

When deciding between Flutter and .NET MAUI, professionals weigh several factors:

  1. Project Requirements: Flutter excels in creating highly customizable, visually appealing UIs with its widget-based approach. .NET MAUI, leveraging .NET, is ideal for projects requiring extensive Microsoft ecosystem integration.
  2. Team Expertise: Flutter uses Dart, while .NET MAUI is based on C#. The team’s familiarity with these languages can influence the choice.
  3. Future Outlook: With .NET MAUI transitioning to .NET MAUI, its future is closely tied to the evolving .NET ecosystem. Flutter’s growth is fueled by Google’s backing and a vibrant community, making it a compelling choice for cross-platform development.
  4. Performance and Efficiency: Flutter’s direct compilation to native code offers superior runtime performance. .NET MAUI, while efficient, may have slightly longer build times due to its reliance on the .NET framework.

Professionals recommend Flutter for projects prioritizing innovative UIs and quick development cycles. .NET MAUI is suited for projects deeply integrated with the .NET ecosystem or where team expertise aligns with C#. Considerations should also include the strategic direction of .NET MAUI .NET MAUI transition and Flutter’s expanding toolkit.

Plugin Challenges

In the transition from Xamarin to .NET MAUI (Multi-platform App UI), a significant challenge faced by developers was the outdated nature of some plugins originally designed for Xamarin. These plugins, crucial for integrating various functionalities into mobile apps, such as payment gateways or services specific to manufacturers like Huawei, had not been updated to be fully compatible with the .NET MAUI framework. This incompatibility stems from the fundamental architectural and technological advancements introduced with .NET MAUI, which aimed to provide a more unified and efficient approach to cross-platform mobile development.

The root cause of the issues experienced, particularly the disabling of payments or Huawei services, can be attributed to the differences in how .NET MAUI handles dependency injection, lifecycle events, and platform-specific implementations compared to Xamarin. For instance, a payment plugin developed for Xamarin might rely on certain Android or iOS specific libraries and lifecycle events that .NET MAUI abstracts differently or manages through new patterns such as the Microsoft.Maui.Essentials package. If these plugins were not updated to align with .NET MAUI’s architecture, their malfunction could lead to critical features like payment processing becoming unavailable in the migrated apps. This not only affected the app’s functionality but also its ability to operate in specific markets or with certain service providers, posing significant challenges for developers aiming to maintain or expand their app’s reach in the transition to .NET MAUI.


Reflecting on the discussion, choosing between .NET MAUI and Flutter hinges on several key considerations including project requirements, team expertise, and the anticipated future of the development platform. .NET MAUI offers deep .NET integration, appealing to those familiar with C# and seeking to leverage Microsoft’s ecosystem. Conversely, Flutter, with its dynamic UI capabilities and efficient Dart coding, caters to projects prioritizing innovative interfaces and rapid development cycles. The decision ultimately aligns with which platform best complements your project’s goals, team skills, and the evolving landscape of mobile app development.

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