Google announced the launch of Flutter 2.2, the latest version of its open-source app development toolkit, at Google I/O 2021. Google also shared some interesting statistics about Flutter and its growth at its annual developer conference 2021. It confirms that 1 in every 8 apps on the PlayStore is built with Flutter.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source mobile SDK, a cross-platform framework that allows developers to create native-looking Android and iOS applications from the same code base. Flutter has been around since Google introduced it in 2015, and it remained in beta until its official launch in December 2018. Since then, the talk surrounding Flutter has grown.
Its first version, Sky, was released exclusively for Android in 2015 at the Dart Developer Summit. At the Flutter Live event on December 4, 2018, the first stable version 1.0 was officially presented. Since then, Flutter has surpassed React Native in vogue on both GitHub and Stack Overflow.
What is Flutter 2.0?
Flutter took a significant step forward earlier this year with the release of “Flutter 2.0” which transformed the project from a mobile development kit to a massively cross-platform app development framework. Google’s Flutter SDK, which began as a way to create Android and iOS apps, is now capable of creating apps for the web, Windows, Linux, macOS, and entrenched systems.
One of the most significant changes in Flutter 2 was the addition of optional null safety, which allows developers to be more optimistic in the code of their apps. Null safety is now the default for all new projects in Flutter 2.2. Over 5,000 packages on Dart’s “Pub” package manager have been converted to null safety to assist developers in making their apps fully null safe.
What’s new in Flutter 2.2?
Flutter 2.2, Google is releasing an in-app payments plugin powered by Google Pay to handle purchases, as well as updates to their AdMob plugin. Otherwise, the prevalence of Flutter 2.2’s updates is under-the-hood enhancements to help apps load faster and perform better mobile app development across multiple platforms.
Flutter 2.2 also encompasses a simplified process for bringing apps to desktop operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Flutter 2.2 is aimed at monetization and cloud service integration, as opposed to Flutter 2.0, which focused on bridging mobile apps and desktop, web, and embedded apps.
In addition to null safety, Flutter 2.2 includes some performance enhancements. When developing for the web, you can now use service workers to cache resources in the background. On Android, you can use deferred components, which allow you to download Flutter components as needed at runtime, curtailing app size
Furthermore, for iOS, you can precompile shaders to make animations run more smoothly the first time. Finally, new tools in the DevTools suite allow you to analyze memory usage in your app and identify problem areas.
Flutter 2.2, like nearly every other Flutter version bump, heralds the release of a new Dart update, version 2.13. Dart 2.13’s main feature is type aliases, which help to make code more readable and easier to refactor. Flutter 2.2 is now available in the stable channel, along with Dart 2.13, which can also be downloaded individually.
Updates in Flutter 2.2 include:
- Android performance gains from background caching and deferred components. Flutter for iOS provides tooling to reduce first-run errors.
- Memory allocation tracking and third-party tool extensions have also been added to the DevTools suite.
- With a new ads SDK and a payment plugin that allows payment for physical goods on both iOS and Android, flutter app development is also being integrated into the developer stack.
- Dart 2.13 now includes support for GitHub Actions and a Docker image for business logic, as well as expanded support for native interoperability.
New Features in Flutter 2.2
Tim Sneath of Google says – “Flutter 2.2 is the best version of Flutter yet, with updates that make it easier than ever for developers to monetize their apps through in-app purchases, payments, and ads; to connect to cloud services and APIs that extend apps to support new capabilities; and with tooling and language features that allow developers to eliminate a whole class of errors, increase app performance and reduce package size,”
Let’s see Its features: –
- New ads SDK
The New Ads SDK includes adaptive banner formats as well as a new payment plugin developed in collaboration with the Google Pay team that allows developers to accept payment for physical goods on both iOS and Android. There’s also a new in-app purchases plugin and a codelab to go with it.
- Dart 2.13.
Dart’s latest version improves native interoperability by adding support for arrays and packed structs in the FFI (foreign function interface), the interface for interacting with legacy C code. It also includes type alias support.
- Sound null safety is now the default for new projects.
Dart’s support for null safety, which adds protection against null reference special cases and app crashes, will be installed by default on new ventures.
- Performance improvements.
Using service workers, web apps can now perform background caching. Deferred components are supported by Android apps. In addition, iOS developers will have access to new tools for precompiling shaders to eliminate or reduce first-run jank (Google’s term). The DevTools suite has also gained a slew of new features that will assist developers in understanding how memory is allocated in their apps, and it now supports third-party tool extensions.
- New Platforms
Google has highlighted two more points in this release.
Flutter for Tizen is the first. Tizen is an open-source Linux-based operating system used by Samsung on its smart devices such as televisions and smartwatches.
Flutter for UWP is the second option. UWP stands for Universal Windows Platform, and it is the platform on which (some) modern-style apps in Windows 10 are built. With UWP support, developers will be able to create more native-looking applications for Windows. This is an alpha, similar to Flutter for Tizen, so it isn’t quite ready for primetime.
With Flutter 2.2 and Dart 2.13, quite a bit has changed for a point-release. There are new language features, SDKs, and even platforms available. Flutter’s popularity is already skyrocketing, and these changes aren’t going to slow it down.
There are numerous reasons why flutter is the most popular, but we want you to see it for yourself. With its latest V2.2 release, try Flutter App Development for your next project.
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