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Uno Platform 3.1 Released

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Earlier this month, Uno released version 3.1 of their multi-platform UI framework for .NET developers. The highlight of the new release is the extended support for Linux, built using a Skia-based backend. Other relevant features include new controls (such as WinUI TreeView and TabView), WinUI Color Picker support for mobile applications, and Prism 8.0 templates.

The Uno Platform acts as a bridge for WinUI and UWP apps to run natively on iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, and WebAssembly. It is built over different technologies (Xamarin Native Stack, Mono-WASM, and Skia, depending on the target platform), allowing the creation of single-source C# and XAML applications with responsive design and pixel-perfect control.

With the new release, the Uno Platform introduces support to Linux applications by using a new Skia rendering backend. Skia is an open-source 2D graphics library that provides standard APIs for multiple hardware and software platforms. It serves as the graphics engine for Google Chrome and Chrome OS, Android, Flutter, Mozilla Firefox, and Firefox OS.

Support for Linux applications was a highly expected feature since its announcement at UnoConf 2020 earlier this year. A few weeks ago, Uno released an open-source Windows Calculator port to Linux as a showcase. The new rendering backend also uses SkiaSharp (Mono's API based on Skia) and GtkSharp (a C# wrapper for Gtk and its related components), which also makes it a target for Windows (7 and 10) and macOS.

The new WinUI TreeView and TabView controls are also an important part of this release. This release includes TreeView (for all platforms) and TabView (Skia and WASM only) in both Dark and Light mode. You can find a short video showing the new controls at work here.

Other features in this release include WinUI ColorPicker support for mobile applications (iOS/Android) and Prism 8.0 templates. Prism is a framework for building loosely coupled XAML applications. Their latest release officially included the Uno Platform as part of their supported platforms. Uno Platform 3.1 also ships many bug fixes and features, such as Windows.Globalization.Calendar updates (paving the way for Date and Time pickers), FolderPicker support for macOS, and VoiceOver support for WebAssembly.

This was the sixth release of the Uno Platform in 2020, which shows its rapid development pace. Their technology stack of choice also puts them in a comfortable position to be used by early adopters of .NET 5, expected in a couple of weeks (Xamarin Native will be a part of .NET 5 / .NET 6, and the Mono-WASM is also part of .NET 5). They also support the use of Fluent and Material design systems. With all of their new features released this year and .NET 5 at the door, we are excited to see what 2021 will bring.

Uno Platform is Open Source (Apache 2.0) and available on GitHub. It can be used with Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio for Windows (16.3 or later), Visual Studio for Mac, and JetBrains Rider (2020.2 or later). Regardless of your IDE of choice, Uno Platform 3.1 requires .NET Core 3.1 SDK.

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