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Welcome to the Sands of MAUI—newsletter-style issues dedicated to bringing together the latest .NET MAUI content relevant to developers.

A particle of sand—tiny and innocuous. But put a lot of sand particles together and we have something big—a force to reckon with. It is the smallest grains of sand that often add up to form massive beaches, dunes and deserts.

.NET developers are excited with the reality of .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI)—the evolution of modern .NET cross-platform developer technology stack. With stable tooling and a rich ecosystem, .NET MAUI empowers developers to build native cross-platform apps for mobile/desktop from single shared codebase, while inviting web technologies in the mix.

While it may take a long flight to reach the sands of MAUI island, developer excitement around .NET MAUI is quite palpable with all the created content. Like the grains of sand, every piece of news/article/documentation/video/tutorial/livestream contributes toward developer experiences in .NET MAUI and we grow a community/ecosystem willing to learn & help.

Sands of MAUI is a humble attempt to collect all the .NET MAUI awesomeness in one place. Here’s what is noteworthy for the week of June 10, 2024:

Telerik UI

Modern mobile/desktop clients or web frontends are complicated—developers can use all the help available to stay productive. Progress Software maintains a suite of UI components and libraries/tools to help developers be more successful—Telerik UI for all things .NET, and Kendo UI for all things JavaScript. There are fresh new goodies to explore for Telerik UI across .NET platforms and a recent live webinar unpacked all the cool updates—catch up with the Telerik 2024 Q2 release webinar.

With the latest release, Progress aims to set the standard for application development with polished UI components, generative AI integration, enhanced design system capabilities and accessible data visualization. Hosted by Ed Charbeneau and an aging developer, the webinar started with the latest in .NET ecosystem and AI investments—developers could always use some UI help to be more successful.

The Telerik release packed a lot of new enterprise-ready UI components with support for latest runtimes—across ASP.NET Core, Blazor, .NET MAUI, WinUI, WPF, WinForms and more. The Telerik UI for .NET MAUI suite earns a whole bunch of fresh new UI components—say hello to CollectionView, TemplatedButton, ToggleButton and Slider.

Developers can benefit with the right UI that helps infuse AI benefits into apps, and the new AI Prompt control across all Telerik and Kendo UI libraries allows developers to integrate Generative AI capabilities into web, mobile and desktop apps. Additionally, there are new AI-powered Smart Components that help developers create smarter UX with vector search, local embeddings and AI service integrations. The latest Telerik release embraces the latest framework advancements and AI integrations, while supporting modernization of older technology stacks—polished UI all across for developer productivity boost.

What's New in Telerik UI? New web, desktop and mobile components


.NET MAUI is built to enable .NET developers to create cross-platform apps for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows, with deep native integrations, platform-native UI and hybrid experiences that extend the reach of Blazor/JS web UI technologies. As nice as it is to write truly cross-platform apps, some things are plain difficult across various platforms. One classic example is text recognition. Optical character recognition (OCR) means identifying text content from a digital image and this can be quite challenging across mobile/desktop platform implementations. Thankfully, Plugin.Maui.OCR is here to make things simple for developers, and Gerald Versluis produced a video on the topic—OCR in .NET MAUI.

Plugin.Maui.OCR is a wonderful open-source plugin by Kori Francis that provides the ability to do simple text from image OCR using nothing but platform APIs. This is wonderfully handy for anyone wanting to do OCR from .NET MAUI apps. Gerald explains the plugin and begins from the basics—adding the plugin as a NuGet package to a sample .NET MAUI app and configuring it for usage. With just a few lines of code, Gerald is able to pull off a nice demo—pick an image from the media library using .NET MAUI APIs and have Plugin.Maui.OCR perform text recognition from the image.

Gerald explains some nuances of getting things working on Android and follows up with another impressive demo—this time, taking a picture from an Android phone camera and having the Plugin perform OCR. Text recognition from images has plethora of use cases. Thanks to Plugin.Maui.OCR, .NET MAUI developers get the abstraction working across mobile/desktop platforms with ease. Kudos.

.NET MAUI Image to Text - Gerald Versluis

CollectionView in .NET MAUI

.NET MAUI is the evolution of modern .NET cross-platform development stack, allowing developers to reach mobile and desktop form factors from single shared codebase. Most modern apps end up displaying lists of things—this is easier said than done. Developers would need a UI component that can handle huge amounts of data with grace, be completely customizable and bring feature-rich UX interactions. The latest release of Telerik UI for .NET MAUI includes the much-desired CollectionView component, and Viktoria Grozdancheva wrote up an article—perfecting collection management with the Telerik .NET MAUI CollectionView.

Progress Telerik UI for .NET MAUI can help developers building modern cross-platform apps—professionally engineered UI components shine with consistent rendering, fine-tuned performance and dependability with documentation/support. Viktoria invites developers to explore the bravest needs for presenting list of items—the Telerik CollectionView UI component is easy to bring into any .NET MAUI app, and works across platforms. A natural evolution of the Telerik ListView component, the Telerik CollectionView UI is feature-rich by design—developers can expect easy data binding, UI virtualization, single/multiple selection, styling templates, sorting, filtering, grouping and more, all built in.

Viktoria envisions developers having to build a cross-platform email client with needs to display list of emails and showcases the flexibility of the Telerik .NET MAUI CollectionView UI. With easy-to-follow code samples, Viktoria rebuilds a classic full-featured email list, demonstrating the customizability of the Telerik CollectionView UI—thanks for the developer inspiration.

Telerik .NET MAUI CollectionView

AI with .NET

It is the age of artificial intelligence. AI is slowly changing the way we live and work, and AI’s popularity is driving adoption in enterprise and consumer apps. AI presents a huge opportunity for .NET developers to infuse apps with solutions powered by Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs). The desire to expand the AI ecosystem for .NET developers was announced at Microsoft Build and Microsoft’s collaboration with OpenAI is starting to bring benefits—say hello to the official OpenAI library for .NET.

Modern .NET makes it easy to infuse smartness in apps, and developers have plenty of inspiration and tools to explore AI integration from .NET apps. The OpenAI team has released their first beta of the official OpenAI library for .NET—this would make it super easy for .NET developers to tap into all the power of Open AI or Azure Open AI. The preview of OpenAI library for .NET is already feature-rich, including support for entire OpenAI API, integration with GPT-4o which is OpenAI’s latest flagship model, and extensibility to enable the community to build libraries on top.

The official OpenAI .NET library offers smooth integration with OpenAI services and is being developed with open-source code on GitHub. Work will continue over the next few months to gather developer feedback to improve the library and release a stable NuGet package. Infusing the smartness of OpenAI inside .NET apps is becoming easy—cheers to all the possibilities of AI-powered elevated user experiences.

The official OpenAI library for .NET

.NET Conf

Modern .NET is powerful, open-source, cross-platform and welcoming to all with mature tooling accompanied by rich ecosystems. The next big milestone with .NET is already in the works—.NET 9 is scheduled for arrival in November 2024. Developers can now mark their calendars to know all about what’s next with .NET—.NET Conf is happening virtually November 12-14, 2024.

With .NET, developers can now build native cross-platform apps with .NET MAUI, modern web apps with Blazor/ASP.NET Core, power cloud-native development with .NET Aspire and have deployment flexibility with trimmed containers. Modern .NET also embraces the latest in AI—developers’ workflows get better with GitHub Copilot and infused AI smartness improves app UX.

Announced at Microsoft Build, .NET Conf looks to be the next developer event to learn about all things .NET 9—developers can expect significant investments in performance, productivity and optimizations across the .NET platform. Over the course of the three days, .NET Conf will provide a wide selection of live sessions that feature speakers from the developer community and .NET team members—the conference is always virtual with wide audience reach. With all the cool updates across .NET 9, this year’s .NET Conf looks poised to be amazing—much to look forward to for .NET developers.

.NET Conf 2024 - Celebrate and learn about what you can do with .NET 9 at the biggest .NET virtual event November 12-14

That’s it for now.

We’ll see you next week with more awesome content relevant to .NET MAUI.

Cheers, developers!

About the Author

Sam Basu

Sam Basu is a technologist, author, speaker, Microsoft MVP, gadget-lover and Progress Developer Advocate for Telerik products. With a long developer background, he now spends much of his time advocating modern web/mobile/cloud development platforms on Microsoft/Telerik technology stacks. His spare times call for travel, fast cars, cricket and culinary adventures with the family. You can find him on the internet.

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