MAUI: Cross-platform vs Multi-platform


With the appearance of the evolution of Xamarin Forms called MAUI, they have seen a lot of apogee by the community, but it is also true that there are many questions that we have because there are still many unknowns.

Many of the questions are being addressed through the issues of the official repository of .Net MAUI which you can see here.

Personally, cause MAUI means Multi-platform App UI, it makes me think about the difference between multi-platform and cross-platform. The truth is that as a simple concept they mean the same thing but when we navigate deeper waters we can see some interesting details.

In a nutshell, let’s look at these differences. Let’s get started!

Multi-platform vs Cross-platform

Since the early days of mobile app development, there has been a robust debate about whether to build apps using native platform technologies or cross-platform technologies. Flutter, and now MAUI, has created a new dimension to this debate as it shares characteristics of both multi and cross-platform.

In computing, cross-platform, or multi-platform, is an attribute conferred to computing methods and concepts that are implemented and inter-operate on multiple platforms.

Cross-platform or Multi-platform software may be divided into two types;

  • One requires individual building or compilation for each platform that it supports. This means that the app is provided with different builds for different platforms.
  • And the other one can be directly run on any platform without special preparation. So, the app is provided by a single package that can be built for all platforms.

Generally, you do cross-platform development when you use a tool that allows you to write code once and built it for many platforms. While multi-platform means your code runs on many platforms.

It’s confuse. I know

To users, there is no difference. They can get their app and say iOS and Android. But for developers, there is a lot.


MAUI is here to provide a single project structure for developing apps more immediately digestible for those new developers and simplify the current structure for those migrating existing Xamarin.Forms apps, along with reducing the burdens that come with maintaining multiple project heads.

[Discussion] .NET MAUI Single Project

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Luis Matos

Luis Matos

I help professionals and companies to create value solutions. I am a Systems Engineer, blockchain executive, and international mobile application speaker. Founder of the Malla Consulting Agency and several international technology communities.
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