Google Ships Final Flutter Preview for Building iOS and Android Apps with Dart
Google has shipped the final preview of its open source Flutter project, which uses the company's Dart programming language to build native iOS and Android mobile apps.
Even though Google declared Flutter "production ready" earlier this year and is already used in many production apps, it earlier this month shipped Flutter Release Preview 2, following a first preview that shipped in June.
One major feature of the final preview is work to more closely track the look and feel of native iOS apps. This is despite Flutter providing its own rendering engine to create widgets, instead of using native widgets, lending it to the creation of "brand" apps that don't mimic the look-and-feel of native apps, but rather convey brand identities through the use of app designs featuring custom fonts, colors, shapes, motion and so on.
But, apparently, that didn't sit well with some iOS developers.
"While we designed Flutter with highly brand-driven, tailored experiences in mind, we heard feedback from some of you who wanted to build applications that closely follow the Apple interface guidelines," said the Flutter team in a blog post. "So in this release we've greatly expanded our support for the 'Cupertino' themed controls in Flutter, with an extensive library of widgets and classes that make it easier than ever to build with iOS in mind."
Other new features include:
- Support has been added for executing Dart code in the background, even while the application is suspended.
- A reduction of up to 30 percent in application package size on both Android and iOS.
The dev team also noted the growing momentum of Flutter, which cracked the top 50 (coming in at No. 45) list of active software repos on GitHub, while showing more activity on StackOverflow, more, in fact, than React Native, Xamarin and Angular.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.