Xamarin.Android project migration

A .NET 8 project for a .NET Android app is similar to the following example:

<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">

For a library project, omit the $(OutputType) property completely or specify Library as the property value.

.NET configuration files

There's no support for configuration files such as Foo.dll.config or Foo.exe.config in .NET Android projects. <dllmap> configuration elements aren't supported in .NET Core at all, and other element types for compatibility packages like System.Configuration.ConfigurationManager have never been supported in Android projects.

Changes to MSBuild properties

The $(AndroidSupportedAbis) property shouldn't be used:

  <!-- Used in Xamarin.Android projects -->

Instead, the $(AndroidSupportedAbis) property should be replaced with .NET runtime identifiers:

  <!-- Used in .NET Android projects -->

For more information about runtime identifiers, see .NET RID Catalog.

The following table shows other MSBuild properties that have changed in .NET Android:

Property Comments
$(AndroidUseIntermediateDesignerFile) True by default.
$(AndroidBoundExceptionType) System by default. This property alters the types of exceptions thrown from various methods to better align with .NET semantics, at the cost of compatibility with Xamarin.Android. For more information, see Some of the new wrapped Java exceptions use BCL exceptions that differ from the related BCL types.
$(AndroidClassParser) class-parse by default. jar2xml isn't supported.
$(AndroidDexTool) d8 by default. dx isn't supported.
$(AndroidCodegenTarget) XAJavaInterop1 by default. XamarinAndroid isn't supported.
$(AndroidManifest) Defaults to AndroidManifest.xml in the root of projects because Properties\AssemblyInfo.cs is no longer used in SDK-style projects. Properties\AndroidManifest.xml will also be detected and used if it exists, to ease migration.
$(DebugType) portable by default. full and pdbonly aren't supported.
$(MonoSymbolArchive) False, since mono-symbolicate isn't supported.

In addition, if Java binding is enabled with @(InputJar), @(EmbeddedJar), or @(LibraryProjectZip), then the $(AllowUnsafeBlocks) property defaults to True.


Referencing an Android Wear project from an Android app isn't supported.

Changes to AndroidManifest.xml

In Xamarin.Android, Java, and Kotlin Android projects, the <uses-sdk/> element denotes the minimum Android version your app supports, as well as the target Android version your app is compiled against:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
  <uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="21" android:targetSdkVersion="33" />
  <application android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher" android:label="@string/app_name" android:theme="@style/AppTheme" />

For more information about the <uses-sdk/> element, see the Android documentation.

In .NET 8 Android apps, there are MSBuild properties to set these values. Using the MSBuild properties has other benefits. In most cases the <uses-sdk/> element should be removed in favor of values in your project's .csproj file:


In this example, net8.0-android is shorthand for net8.0-android34.0. Future versions of .NET will track the latest Android version available at the time of the .NET release.

TargetFramework maps to android:targetSdkVersion. At build time, this value will automatically be included in the <uses-sdk/> element for you. The benefit of using TargetFramework in this way is that you're given the matching C# binding for Android API 34 for net8.0-android34.0. Android releases independently of the .NET release cycle, so we have the flexibility to opt into net8.0-android35.0 when a binding is available for the next Android release.

Similarly, SupportedOSPlatformVersion maps to android:minSdkVersion. At build time, this value will automatically be included in the <uses-sdk/> element for you. Android APIs are decorated with the SupportedOSPlatformAttribute so that you get build warnings for calling APIs that are only available for some of the Android versions your app can run on:

error CA1416: This call site is reachable on 'Android' 21.0 and later. `ConnectivityManager.ActiveNetwork` is only supported on: 'Android' 23.0 and later.

To safely use this API, you can declare a higher SupportedOSPlatformVersion in your project or use the IsAndroidVersionAtLeast API at runtime:

if (OperatingSystem.IsAndroidVersionAtLeast(23))
    // Use the API here

Default file inclusion

Default .NET Android related file globbing behavior is defined in AutoImport.props. This behavior can be disabled for Android items by setting $(EnableDefaultAndroidItems) to false, or all default item inclusion behavior can be disabled by setting $(EnableDefaultItems) to false. For more information, see Workload props files.

Runtime behavior

There are behavioral changes to the String.IndexOf() method in .NET 5+ on different platforms. For more information, see .NET globalization and ICU.


.NET 5+ has new settings for the linker:

  • <PublishTrimmed>true</PublishTrimmed>
  • <TrimMode>link</TrimMode>, which enables member-level trimming.

For more information, see Trimming options.

In .NET Android projects by default, Debug builds don't use the linker, and Release builds set PublishTrimmed=true and TrimMode=link. TrimMode=copyused is the default for the .NET SDK but isn't appropriate for mobile apps. However, you can still opt into TrimMode=copyused if required.

If the legacy AndroidLinkMode setting is used, both SdkOnly and Full default to equivalent linker settings:

  • <PublishTrimmed>true</PublishTrimmed>
  • <TrimMode>link</TrimMode>

With AndroidLinkMode=SdkOnly, only BCL and SDK assemblies marked with %(Trimmable) are linked at the member level. AndroidLinkMode=Full sets %(TrimMode)=link on all .NET assemblies.


You should migrate to the new linker settings, because the AndroidLinkMode setting will eventually be deprecated.

Ahead-of-Time compilation

$(RunAOTCompilation) is the new MSBuild property for enabling Ahead-of-Time (AoT) compilation. This is the same property used for Blazor WASM. The $(AotAssemblies) property also enables AOT, in order to help with migration from Xamarin.Android projects to .NET Android projects.


You should migrate to the new $(RunAOTCompilation) property, because $(AotAssemblies) is deprecated from .NET 7.

Release builds default to the following AOT property values:

<PropertyGroup Condition="'$(Configuration)' == 'Release'">

This is the behavior when the $(RunAOTCompilation) and $(AndroidEnableProfiledAot) properties are unset, and chooses the optimal settings for startup time and app size.

To disable AOT, you need to explicitly set the $(RunAOTCompilation) and $(AndroidEnableProfiledAot) properties to false:

<PropertyGroup Condition="'$(Configuration)' == 'Release'">

Supported encodings

If your Xamarin.Android app uses certain international codesets, they have to be specified explicitly in your project file using the Mandroidl18n MSBuild property, so that the linker can include supporting resources. For more information about this build property, see MAndroidl18n.

However, the Mandroidl18n MSBuild property isn't supported in .NET Android apps. Instead, support is provided by the System.TextEncoding.CodePages NuGet package. For more information, see CodePagesEncodingProvider.


.NET Android supports using .NET command-line interface (.NET CLI) to create, build, publish, and run Android apps.

dotnet new

dotnet new can be used to create new .NET Android projects and items using project templates and item templates that are named following the patterns and naming of existing .NET templates:

Template Short Name Language Tags
Android Activity template android-activity C# Android
Android Java Library Binding android-bindinglib C# Android
Android Layout template android-layout C# Android
Android Class library androidlib C# Android
Android Application android C# Android

The following examples show using dotnet new to create different types of .NET Android projects:

dotnet new android            --output MyAndroidApp     --packageName com.mycompany.myandroidapp
dotnet new androidlib         --output MyAndroidLibrary
dotnet new android-bindinglib --output MyJavaBinding

Once .NET Android projects have been created, item templates can be used to add items to the projects:

dotnet new android-activity --name LoginActivity --namespace MyAndroidApp
dotnet new android-layout   --name MyLayout      --output Resources/layout

dotnet build & publish

For .NET Android, dotnet build produces a runnable app. This means creating an .apk or .aab file during the build process, and reordering MSBuild tasks from the .NET SDK so that they run during the build. Therefore, .NET Android does the following during a build:

  • Run aapt to generate Resource.designer.cs and potentially emit build errors for issues in @(AndroidResource) files.
  • Compile C# code.
  • Run the ILLink MSBuild target for linking.
  • Generate java stubs, and AndroidManifest.xml.
  • Compile java code via javac.
  • Convert java code to .dex via d8/r8.
  • Create an .apk or .aab and sign it.

dotnet publish is reserved for publishing an app for Google Play and other distribution mechanisms such as ad-hoc. It also signs the .apk or .aab with different keys.


Behavior inside IDEs will differ. The Build target will not produce an .apk file if $(BuildingInsideVisualStudio) is true. IDEs will call the Install target for deployment, which will produce the .apk file. This behavior matches Xamarin.Android.

dotnet run

dotnet run can be used to launch apps on a device or emulator via the --project argument:

dotnet run --project HelloAndroid.csproj

Alternatively, you could use the Run MSBuild target:

dotnet build HelloAndroid.csproj -t:Run

See also