What’s new in Google’s Flutter mobile dev framework

The first beta release is now available for Android and iOS developers

Flutter, Google’s UI framework for building native interfaces for Android and iOS mobile applications, has just moved to its first beta release.

With the open source Flutter, you build applications and interfaces via a single code base that compiles directly to native ARM code.

Where to download Flutter

You can download the Flutter framework from the Flutter webpage.

Flutter features: What’s new in Flutter

The applications can use the device’s GPU and access platform APIs and services. Also, its stateful hot reload capability allows for quick code changes, with results of changes viewed quickly without losing application state.

Other highlights of the framework include:

  • A set of interactive widgets.
  • Integration with other development tools so developers can use their familiar editor or IDE. Android Studio, and Visual Studio Code are supported.
  • Widgets, rendering, and gestures are moved into the framework, providing control over pixels and offering the ability to build custom designs.
  • Platform conventions are followed, such as scrolling, navigation, and fonts.

Existing code written in Java and Kotlin for Android applications, and in Objective-C and Swift for iOS applications, can be reused with the framework. Since its alpha release last year, Flutter has added iPhone X and iOS 11 support, along with inline video and additional image formats. The framework also works with a beta of Google’s Dart 2 language.

New betas of Flutter are expected roughly every four weeks. The Flutter framework project is not related to Google’s 2013 purchase of the gesture recognition startup of the same name.

Flutter roadmap: What’s next for Flutter

The roadmap for Flutter includes capabilities such as:

  • embedding of Flutter screens into existing applications
  • improved APis for routing and navigation
  • additional support for Google’s Firebase development platform
  • inline maps
  • a smaller core engine

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