The most recent version of Google’s cross-platform app development kit, Flutter 3.3, includes enhancements to Dart, more Material You widgets, and an experimental new renderer that may dramatically speed up your app.
Since it was first revealed in 2015, Google’s Flutter has developed into what is known as a massively cross-platform development kit, allowing the development of programs for several platforms with a single codebase, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and many others. The inaugural day of Flutter Vikings , an Oslo-based Flutter and Dart-focused conference, has just passed. Google is releasing Flutter 3.3, which has a fair number of new features, to celebrate the conference.
Flutter 3.3 features a few newly redesigned widgets, including more colorful Icon Buttons, Chips, and App Bars, for aficionados of Google’s newest design language, Material You. These newly designed widgets are now optional, and requiring you to opt-in should adopt Material 3.
In other areas, Flutter 3.3 completely reworks touchpad movements, making Flutter apps seem more native across Android, ChromeOS, Mac, and other platforms. Additionally, you’ll discover that the update adds support for the Apple Pencils Scribble functionality in the various text fields of your apps without any additional effort needed.
The addition of the SelectableArea widget, which makes text selection simpler and more straightforward for both developers and users, will probably be appreciated by Flutter Web app developers.
The whole list of changes in this release can be read over on the official Flutter blog . Generally speaking, though, Google is urging developers to switch to Flutter 3.3 because of some significant speed gains for apps, even if you don’t see any significant improvements that would aid your present project.
With this most recent update, Google is enabling Flutter developers to start testing their brand-new Impeller rendering layer. Without requiring any changes to your code, Impeller will replace Flutter’s reliance on Skia and significantly improve the speed of Flutter apps on both Android and iOS.
The Flutter team is now urging only iOS developers to test Impeller with their apps and provide feedback. With support for Vulkan-based APIs still to come, the work to get Impeller operating smoothly on Android is still underway and not quite ready for prime time.
The Flutter team notes that Impeller is currently being extensively tested with iOS apps of the same caliber as Google. And to offer users a better idea of the performance to anticipate, Google collaborated with gskinner to develop Wonderous, a new demo app that is both intriguing in and of itself and acts as an open-source demonstration of what Flutter is capable of. Impeller was used to create the version of Wonderous that is currently offered in the iPhone App Store.
The most recent update to Flutter, version 2.18, also included an AA5 to the Dart programming language. Darts ffi support has been expanded to communicate with code written in Swift and Obj-C, which will please Mac and iOS developers. In some circumstances, Dart 2.18’s platform-specific code support for HTTP requests on iOS and Android is helpful.
The Dart team was also happy to report that programmers had embraced the language’s null safety features with speed. As a result, they have plans in place to completely stop supporting non-null-safe code, which will speed up Dart and make future development simpler. They’re giving developers plenty of time to prepare, as null safety won’t be necessary until at least next year.
The Flutter team also announced that Eric Seidel, one of the co-founders of the project since its 2015 debut ‘s original public faces, is departing Google at the Flutter Vikings conference. Seidel is embarking on his next journey as Flutter is now firmly established as a key player in the app development industry, while the rest of the Google team is still fully committed to Flutter’s continued growth.
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