Welcome to the New Era of App Development: Introducing Avalonia v11

Avalonia v11 offers enhanced cross-platform support, visual rendering advancements, improved text and accessibility features, refined testing, control themes, Ahead-of-Time compilation, and updated documentation.

Steven Kirk

Today, we are thrilled to announce the release of Avalonia 11.0!

After nearly a year in preview and countless thousands of hours of dedication, it is time to unleash a game-changer in cross-platform application development. Avalonia v11 embodies a huge leap forward in our goal to provide developers with an efficient, feature-rich, and seamless experience to create exceptional UIs across all major platforms.

What makes Avalonia v11 a milestone in our journey? Here's a peek into the wealth of features we have packed into this revolutionary version:

Broadened Horizons with New Platforms

The broadened platform support is one of the most significant updates in v11. With this release, we've included iOS, Android, and WebAssembly support, taking our cross-platform capabilities to new horizons.

Avalonia Solitaire sample running on WebAssembly, iOS and Android

Looking to the future, we’ve also previewed support for Apple's visionOS and seen our incredible community work to enable Avalonia UI on Samsung's TizenOS! Our unique architecture enables us to add new platforms with ease, which we wrote about last year.

Avalonia Solitaire sample running on visionOS

New Composition Renderer

Our new composition renderer is a significant advancement in visual capability and performance. At its core, the composition renderer brings new animation possibilities to the table. With support for implicit animations, connected animations and render thread animations, the visual dynamism of your application can reach new heights. These features allow for smooth, high-performance animations that can enrich your user interfaces and provide engaging user experiences.

Beyond the animation enhancements, the composition renderer provides substantial performance improvements. It’s designed to be highly efficient, reducing memory pressure and enabling high frame rates even on low-powered embedded devices. A testament to Avalonia's efficiency is its widespread use in embedded systems. Our architecture enables delivering a seamless user experience, even when operating on 20-year-old embedded CPUs. This level of performance optimization is rare, demonstrating Avalonia's ability to adapt to diverse hardware configurations while maintaining smooth, responsive applications.

Advanced Text Rendering and Layout

Avalonia v11 ushers in a new era of text rendering capabilities, significantly enhancing control and flexibility over the visual elements in your UI. We’ve introduced rich text rendering that supports inline elements. This feature allows for dramatic variations in a single TextBlock, from changing font styles to adding hyperlinks, or even embedding controls - something that wasn’t previously achievable.

These improvements and capabilities set the foundation for full rich text editing, a feature we’re excited to explore in the upcoming versions of Avalonia.

IME Support

Our commitment to global reach and inclusivity has led to the introduction of Input Method Editor (IME) support in v11. This vital feature assists users in entering characters and symbols not found on their input devices. IME support also enables seamless integration with on-screen keyboards on mobile and web platforms. This means that Avalonia apps now play nicely with features such as auto-completions and other OS provided text features. As a result, Avalonia apps are become even more user-friendly and adaptable to a range of input methods.

Avalonia Control Catalog running on visionOS, demonstrating IME features for text entry

Accessibility Support

We believe that technology should be inclusive and accessible to all. Therefore, we're excited to introduce our new accessibility support, which ensures that Avalonia applications can be used and enjoyed by everyone, including those with disabilities.

We've laid the groundwork for full accessibility support, implementing critical features that make apps more accessible to users with visual, motor, or cognitive disabilities. These enhancements comply with industry standards and guidelines, making Avalonia a more attractive choice for developers concerned with building accessible software.

We've made strides in keyboard navigation, screen reader support, and high-contrast themes. And while we're proud of our progress, we consider this to be just the beginning. We're committed to continuously improving the accessibility of Avalonia, making it easier for everyone to use the applications built with our framework.

Automated Testing

We’ve overhauled our automated testing capabilities to ensure you can develop robust and reliable applications with ease. This release introduces support for automated testing that extends beyond the Avalonia test environment to include traditional testing frameworks like Appium. With v11, you can take advantage of the testing tools you’re already familiar with to ensure your application runs flawlessly across platforms.

But the enhancements to our testing capabilities go even further. With the introduction of a ‘Headless’ mode, you can run your entire application and execute tests on it at incredibly high speed. This headless mode streamlines the testing process, enabling you to validate functionality and detect bugs more efficiently than ever before. This is a monumental leap forward in our testing capabilities, and we believe it will dramatically improve your development workflow.

Control Themes

One of the notable enhancements in v11 is the significant improvements made to our control themes. While we've always prided ourselves on the customizability offered by Avalonia, in this version, we've taken it a step further to provide developers with even more flexibility and control over the look and feel of their applications.

Image description

Control themes in v11 have been restructured for easier customization, which is particularly beneficial if you have a precise, consistent visual identity you'd like to maintain across your applications. This ease of customization also increases efficiency, enabling you to achieve the desired aesthetic with less time and effort.

Additionally, we've improved our support for theme switching, allowing your users to switch between light and dark modes or other custom themes you provide seamlessly and dynamically.

AOT & Trimming

We're excited to announce that v11 fully supports Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation and trimming, resolving issues from previous versions. The updated trimming functionality eliminates unused code during the publishing process, dramatically reducing application sizes. With v11, developers can now experience ~60% smaller application sizes, providing faster downloads, quicker startup times, and less end-user storage used.

Revamped Developer Documentation

Your feedback has been invaluable, and we’ve heard you loud and clear about improving our documentation! We’re thrilled to reveal that we’ve transitioned our documentation from GitBook to a new custom platform that aligns more precisely with our evolving needs.

A screenshot of the new Avalonia documentation portal

This significant step forward offers us enormous flexibility for future enhancements. The goal is to continually adopt and refine the documentation to better serve our expanding community.

We’ve also worked on creating quick-guides, which are focused example applications that demonstrate specific functionalities.

We hope to see more participation from the community to help us improve documentation. This doesn’t necessarily mean writing documentation yourself - although that would be welcome. Equally important is sharing your experiences. Tell us about the areas where you encountered hurdles, or where our current documentation fell short in supporting your journey. This kind of feedback is immensely valuable and helps us understand where to focus our improvement efforts. Every contribution, whether big or small, goes a long way in refining Avalonia into an even more developer-friendly framework.

Template Studio

We’ve released our first version of Template Studio for Avalonia - a streamlined solution designed to accelerate the creation of new Avalonia apps using an intuitive, wizard-based UI.

Getting started with Template Studio for Avalonia is a breeze. Simply install the extension and select the Template Studio project template when creating a new project in Visual Studio.

A screenshot of Template Studio for Avalonia

Ecosystem Growth

We've had the privilege of working closely with a range of pro-control vendors who have been developing specifically for Avalonia.

This marks an important milestone in Avalonia's journey as it signals a shift in the broader ecosystem - attracting commercial interest from vendors who have previously dedicated their efforts to supporting WPF, Xamarin and other Microsoft UI toolkits.

A screenshot of ActiPro's sample app for Avalonia

"We’ve examined various .NET-based cross-platform UI frameworks for our next set of UI controls, but none of them capture the magic of WPF in the way that Avalonia does. Avalonia has a very strong community, offers pixel-perfect rendering on a multitude of platforms, is easy to customize, and frankly is a joy to work with."
Bill Henning, President, Actipro Software

It's exciting and humbling to observe this growth and be part of the vibrant community that is driving it. We're immensely grateful for the collaboration of these vendors and their belief in Avalonia's potential. As we move forward, we're enthusiastic about future collaborations and the continuing growth of Avalonia's ecosystem.

Thank you!

Avalonia has always been a labour of love, a community-driven project open to all. Over the past decade, more than 300 contributors worldwide have shaped Avalonia into what it is today. Avalonia v11 is not just a new version; it embodies our vibrant community's collective hard work and ambition to create the best cross-platform UI framework.

We invite you to join us on this exciting journey and help shape the next decade of Avalonia and the future of cross-platform .NET app development.

Getting Started

Ready to dive into Avalonia v11 and explore all the amazing new features? Head over to our Get Started guide to begin building with Avalonia.

If you’re already developing with Avalonia and want to upgrade to v11 then check out our upgrade guide.