In Google’s quest to create a universal OS (project fuchsia), they also need the tools to make it a reality. A big part of Android’s success can be attributed to the open source nature of the OS and the excellent SDK support for developers. We know Flutter will run natively on Fuchsia, but it does bring notable benefits now.
Flutter 1.0 Google’s Portable UI Toolkit
Google released Flutter 1.0 today, marking its first stable release for devs. Flutter helps developers develop native applications for both Android and iOS, without having to create them separately.
There are existing SDKs which help in migrating applications from one platform to other, but they are far from a native experience, often slowing down performance and making it buggy. As Google states “Flutter doesn’t replace the traditional Apple and Android app models for building mobile apps; instead, it’s an app engine that you can either embed into an existing app or use for an entirely new app.”
This is made possible by the dart platform which enables compilation to native 32-bit and 64-bit ARM code for both iOS and Android.
Helps Create Beautiful and Responsive Applications
With current industry trends, you not only need a smooth application but also something that looks good. This is where Flutter comes in, helping devs develop beautiful apps “having best of both worlds: hardware-accelerated graphics and UI, powered by native ARM code, targeting both popular mobile operating systems.” It is powered by the hardware-accelerated Skia 2D graphics engine, also used on chrome and Android.
Flare is a tool that helps designers create vector animations that can be embedded directly into a Flutter app and can be manipulated with code.
This obviously saves development time, helping devs implement great UI animations with minimal effort.
Uses Beyond Phones
Google wants flutter to reach a broader audience, as they state in their blog post “Yet our ambitions for Flutter extend beyond mobile to a broader set of platforms. Indeed, from the outset Flutter was architected as a portable UI toolkit that is flexible enough to go wherever pixels are painted.” Work for this is already underway, and Flutter Desktop Embedding is in its early stages.
The Road Ahead
Flutter is set to do a lot of things, but there’s still a lot of development left, as there are several issues with its current form as evident from tons of requests on Github.
Dart is also not a well known coding language, which seems to be an important part of Flutter. As always there should be great documentation and support before adoptability comes around. Nevertheless, Flutters launch is a step in the right direction.