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InfoQ Homepage News .NET MAUI 8 Preview 6: Visual Studio Code Extension, Bug Fixes & Native AOT for iOS

.NET MAUI 8 Preview 6: Visual Studio Code Extension, Bug Fixes & Native AOT for iOS

Microsoft has recently released the sixth preview of the .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) framework in .NET 8 roadmap. As reported, this latest preview release resolves a number of high-impact issues, including Visual Studio for Mac 17.6.1 support, Native AOT for iOS and the new Visual Studio Code extension for .NET MAUI development.

Regarding the improvements, the latest update for .NET MAUI addresses and resolves several critical issues affecting the desktop experience and font-related problems have been tackled, ensuring a smoother user experience when dealing with text and typography for the desktop apps.

Also, this version includes changes and fixes for navigation, associated with crashes, modals, and Shell. Additionally, tabs have been fine-tuned for better functionality including fixes for colours and redraw issues, and the file picker issue on MacOS has been resolved, making it more reliable control.

Furthermore, the development team has made strides in improving memory management and addressing potential leaks. This step forward ensures more stable and reliable performance for .NET MAUI applications.

In another exciting development, the .NET 8 preview 6 brings Native AOT (ahead-of-time compilation) support for iOS. This feature offers developers the option to opt-in for a preview of Native AOT, resulting in a reported 30-40% reduction in app sizes when compared to the Mono. This optimization promises faster loading times and more performance for iOS apps.

The big news about this version is the preview release of Visual Studio Code extension .NET MAUI. The extension is an integrated toolset aimed at enhancing the development experience for .NET MAUI applications. Its primary focus lies in providing developers with improved code editing, debugging, and deployment capabilities.

In the original announcement post about Visual Studio Code Extension, Maddy Montaquila, senior product manager, states the following:

The .NET MAUI extension lets you develop and debug your app on devices, emulators, and simulators from VS Code. .NET MAUI and C# Dev Kit borrow some familiar features from Visual Studio to enhance your productivity, making your mobile and desktop development delightful with C# in VS Code.

Based on the source, the extension is powered by the Roslyn compiler platform, and it offers advanced C# code editing functionalities. The newly updated open-source C# Extension supports IntelliSense code completion, providing developers with context-aware suggestions while writing C# code. Additionally, AI-assisted features, such as whole-line completions and starred suggestions as developers type, are made available through the integration of the IntelliCode for C# Dev Kit extension.

As reported, when working with XAML, the extension facilitates a more user-friendly editing process. It offers lightweight syntax highlighting and autocomplete features that adapt to developers coding habits, leading to increased editing efficiency. Regarding debugging and deployment, the .NET MAUI extension simplifies the process of targeting various devices, including Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows.

In the current preview version, the extension supports specific device targets for different operating systems. On Windows, debugging is available for local Windows machines, Android emulators, and Android devices. On macOS, debugging can be performed locally on Mac machines, as well as on iOS simulators or devices and Android emulators or devices. For Linux users, debugging is supported on Android emulators and devices.

The comment section of the original release blog posts has generated significant activity, with users engaging in numerous questions and discussions with the development team. Developers are encouraged to explore the comment section for further information and insights about community feedback and development team answers to those suggestions.

Lastly, in addition to an original release blog post, and as part of the development process, the development team calls on developers to test the new release and share feedback through the GitHub issue tracker.

The community members are also invited to visit the official GitHub project repository and learn more about this project and its future roadmap.

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