Google has launched its portable UI Toolkit Flutter 1.0 during its Flutter Live conference in London. Flutter 1.0 is a mobile development platform allowing its user to write apps that share a single code base across iOS and Android with a Native User Interface.
According to a Google post, Flutter enables the “ultimate realization” of Material Design, Google’s own design language for Android, to create a foundation for user interfaces; thus “enables users to build beautiful apps.” The platform is powered by hardware-accelerated Skia 2D that allows lightning speed transitions.
Flutter is free and an open source with a BSD-style license, and includes the contributions of hundreds of developers from around the world. It also develops a new capability for developers and designers to iterate on their apps in real time.
Flutter 1.0 is the first stable release of the platform. The new version focused on stabilization and bug fixes. It also added new features such as Dart 2.1, Add to App, and Platform Views.
Dart 2.1 is an update to Dart which provides smaller code sizes, faster type checks, and better usability for type errors. According to an announcement by Google, Dart 2.1 version reduced minified output size by 17% and improved compilation time by 15%.
Add to App is a feature that will let users add Flutter easily to an existing app. Currently, the feature is in preview since the APIs and tooling are still in development.
Platform Views enables the inclusion of an Android or iPhone platform control in a Flutter app. For this to work, Google developed two platform view widgets, AndroidView and UiKitView. Android support is still in preview and will soon support iOS as well.
Flutter can be used for both UI and backend instead of using one technology stack for UI and one stack for business logic. It is also aimed to reduce a lot of code as there are customizations and pre-defined libraries available in the Flutter SDK.
Google also announced Hummingbird, a web-based implementation of the Flutter runtime which enables Flutter code to run on the standards-based web without change.
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