Cross-platform development: Google releases Flutter 1.0

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The framework may play a major role in the development of apps for Google’s Android successor Fuchsia. But it is already used elsewhere.

Google’s cross-platform mobile UI framework Flutter has reached version 1.0. It is designed primarily for fast development cycles and relies on principles of reactive programming.

Developers use Flutter to create UIs that match Android and iOS, but Flutter does not use native widgets like React Native or NativeScript, nor does it use a web-based rendering. It draws predefined UI elements with the resources of the respective operating system and uses the respective system functions for certain elements such as scrolling.

Since the first beta in the spring of this year, the developers have worked to complement features and to give the framework some refinement. In particular, they’ve been working on supporting pixel-accurate iOS applications with new widgets. Also, nearly twenty different Firebase services have been added. And work has also been done to increase performance and reduce the size of flutter applications.

Flutter 1.0 is based on Dart 2.1 , the latest version of Google’s programming language and JavaScript alternative. While the focus of version 1.0 was on bug fixes and stabilization, two new functions with preview status are also presented, which are to be completed in February 2019: These are “Add to App” and “Platform Views”. First is a feature designed to make it easier to add new fluttering features to existing applications or to migrate applications to Flutter. The second has an opposite role, in that it wants to bring system functions of iOS or Android in its own frame or view in the Flutter application.

Flutter has increasingly become a reference project for Dart. Since the Google I / O in May, Google is registering a rapidly growing interest in Flutter. In July, it seems that the number of active users of Flutter had risen by more than 50 percent, and the tool had also risen to the top 100 software repositories on GitHub.

Despite the early development of the framework, Apple’s and Google’s stores are increasingly seeing new apps written with Flutter. In addition to the in-house Google AdWords team, Abbey Road Studios, Alibaba, Capital One, Groupon, Hamilton, JD.com, Philips Hue, Reflectly, and Tencent Flutter apps are also deploying. The community also uses the Flutter Studio to add a browser-integrated tool to create UIs. In addition, Flutter probably plays a significant role in Fuchsia, which is to replace the mobile operating system Android within the next five years . Herein the Flutter apps seem to run natively.

The framework is mainly optimized for user interfaces and 2D graphics. To connect further program logic it offers interfaces to Java and Kotlin on Android as well as Swift and Objective-C on iOS. It also has access to the native features of the iOS and Android SDKs. Developers can use Flutter plug-ins for Android Studio or IntelliJ IDEA, as well as for Visual Studio Code.

The release 1.0 announcement flutteringly motivates Flutter and introduces a number of applications using Flutter. Otherwise, the Flutter website is the most important resource for getting started .

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