Flutter, the open source mobile application kit created by Google, has announced an updated release, which includes some notable new features.
Flutter 2 will now be completely supported for website and desktop applications, which will allow code writers to use a common codebase for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems. The first edition of the UI tool kit specifically targeted app developers when it was released in 2017. The developers hope that this compatibility, among other advanced features, will drive more programmers to the platform, as many competing open-source programs are only supported for mobile apps.
“The big thing that justifies the major version number shift is, of course, the availability of web and desktop support,” commented Tim Sneath, Product Leader at Flutter. “And that’s just a fairly profound pivot. It’s rare for products that you suddenly have all these additional endpoints.”
Sneath explained that the Flutter 2’s web platform was created with a DOM-centric approach, but found it was limiting for more advanced features that his team wanted to include. This led the Flutter team to devote an entire year to make Canvas Kit, a programming tool which allows developers to use the Skia graphics engine for web applications.
“What that’s meant is that we can now essentially bypass the core HTML — sort of the document-centric parts of the web platform — and really use the app-centric parts of the web platform without leaving [behind] things like auto-complete of text or passwords and all the things that keep the web feeling very unique,” Sneath added.
The new features have driven other tech companies to create supported software for Flutter 2. Microsoft has even announced that it will be releasing contributions to the engine, specifically for foldable Android devices. Sneath and his team at Flutter plan to make the kit an industry standard for embedded devices, and will continue to work with other tech leaders to increase the kit’s popularity.
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