Friday, December 1, 2023

Google updates its cross-platform Flutter UI toolkit

Flutter, Google’s cross-platform UI toolkit for building mobile and desktop apps, is getting alittle but important update at the company’s I/O conference today. Google also announced that Flutter now powers 200,000 apps within the Play Store alone, including popular apps from companies like WeChat, ByteDance, BMW, Grab and DiDi. Indeed, Google notes that one in eight new apps within the Play Store are now Flutter apps.

The launch of Flutter 2.2 follows Google’s rollout of Flutter 2, which first added support for desktop and web apps in March, so it’s no surprise that this is often a comparatively minor release. In some ways , the update builds on top of the features the corporate introduced in version 2 and its reliability and performance improvements.

Version 2.2 makes null safety the default for brand spanking new projects, for instance , to feature protections against null reference exceptions. As for performance, web apps can now use background caching using service workers, for instance , while Android apps can use deferred components and iOS apps get support for precompiled shaders to form first runs smoother.

Google also worked on streamlining the general process of bringing Flutter apps to desktop platforms (Windows, macOS and Linux).

But as Google notes, tons of the work immediately is occurring within the ecosystem. Google itself is introducing a replacement payment plugin for Flutter inbuilt partnership with the Google Pay team and Google’s ads SDK for Flutter is getting support for adaptive banner formats. Meanwhile, Samsung is now porting Flutter to Tizen and Sony is leading an attempt to bring it to embedded Linux. Adobe recently announced its XD to Flutter plugin for its design tool and Microsoft today launched the alpha of Flutter support for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps for Windows 10 in alpha.

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