Google’s Flutter 3.0 – What’s new Worth Exploring?

Google’s Flutter 3.0
October 31, 2022

Google I/O 2022 – An annual developer conference announced many advantages for app developers with the release of Flutter 3.0. 

Flutter 3.0 is fully-packed with exceptional feature updates such as,

  • Consistent support for macOS and Linux desktop apps along with Windows 
  • New productivity and performance features 
  • Flutter/Firebase integration improvements 
  • Apple Silicon Support 
  • And much more. 

In this blog, you can deep-dive into the top features and announcements about Flutter 3.0. So let’s start exploring. 

Flutter – A Brief Intro

Flutter is Google’s mobile app SDK used to deliver superior native experiences on Android and iOS platforms. 

It offers excellent features like dynamic gestures and material design language that aid developers provide intuitive UIs. 

Since the launch of Flutter, Google’s team has constantly updated the improvements and functionalities to offer programmers an extensive range of opportunities for Flutter App Development

According to the 2021 developer survey, Flutter is the widely used mobile framework by global developers.  

2021 developer survey

Journey of Flutter Framework 

Flutter 1.0 

The Flutter 1.0 version emerged with new development tools and Metal support. 

Flutter 2.0 

In the Flutter 2.0 version, Google included various features like,

  • Native Platform views
  • Web support with a desktop preview
  • Sound null safety by default

Flutter 2.5 

In the Flutter 2.5 version, Google included various features like Material You, which is an advanced material design. 

Flutter 3.0 

In the latest Flutter 3.0 version, Google embedded new features which will offer enhanced and robust development tools to build an engaging UX.

Since its release, an open-source programming SDK has evolved into one of the best and easy to use tools for developers that aid in developing Android and iOS mobile apps. 

The latest updated SDK version includes essential keynotes in the below-mentioned fields. 

Highlighting Features of Google’s Flutter 3.0 

1. Stable macOS and Linux apps support 

In the Flutter 2.0 version, the Flutter community revealed support for Windows and Web platforms along with Android and iOS.

Now the latest Flutter 3.0 version includes consistent support for Linux apps and macOS. You can build an app on any or all of these platforms through a single codebase. 

It supports macOS with Universal Binary. It is a format for practical files that executes natively on Apple silicon and Mac computers (Intel-based). For Linux, Google and Canonical have interacted to provide a highly integrated development setup. 

Flutter 3.0 enables developers to grab cross-platform perks and share UI and logic among these platforms. It also facilitates faster time-to-market and improves developers’ productivity and presence on different platforms. 

Flutter now supports,

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux  

2. Support for Material You 

Material You is the new unified design language of Google. 

According to Google, it is a new revolutionary approach to thinking about design. It goes out of old-school paradigms and focuses on individualisation. 

With Flutter 3.0, programmers can now leverage Material Design 3, which provides updated visual elements and dynamic colour schemes. Material Design 3 is the latest update of Material Design that adds personalisation and accessibility features centred on users. 

3. Firebase Integration  

Google’s Firebase is a BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) app development platform. It supports Flutter and provides hosted backend services. 

In the latest Flutter update, Firebase extended its support and incorporated Flutter as a first-class integration. Programmers will leverage improved documentation, tooling, and exceptional widgets such as FlutterFire UI. It provides a reusable UI for profile screens and auth.  

4. Flutter Casual Games Toolkit   

Many app development platforms are accessible for game development but Flutter 3.0 drives some thrilling updates for casual game developers. 

Flutter provides a Casual Games Toolkit with templates’ starter kit and casual game development best practices. The game development community gets the advantage of an open-source Flame engine and hardware-expedited graphics to build casual games. 

Nevertheless, Flutter is not for game development that includes high-performing 3D action. 

5. Dart 2.17

Flutter framework is empowered by a multi-platform, highly productive, and portable Dart programming language formed by Google. It helps with simplified UI creation for mobile and web platforms.

Dart’s latest version 2.17 emerged at Google I/O 2022 with new features and updates. 

Features of Dart 2.17 

  • Better flexibility for a named parameter 
  • Improved tools for more productivity 
  • In-depth and broader platform integration 
  • Enums with member support 
  • Better parameter forwarding to superclasses 
  • Update for Core library API documentation 

6. Firebase Crashlytics 

It is a lightweight and real-time crash-reporting service. It monitors fatal errors so you can gather analytics and data on crashes. It helps to discover, prioritise, and resolve issues. 

Flutter 3.0 enables you to avail of this using Flutter Crashlytics Plugin. It provides multiple features to developers to ensure app stability.

7. Performance Improvements 

Some performance improvements get released with Flutter’s 3.0 version such as,

  • Better opacity animations execution in simple cases
  • Modernised policy for raster cache admission 
  • Partial repaint availed on Android devices 
  • Experimental rendering back-end called Impeller
  • Quick frame development times because UI threads execute at a priority on iOS and Android

Additionally, multiple pull requests are combined to provide Flutter with a significant performance boost over the former version.  

8. Web App Lifecycle

Flutter web apps get a new lifecycle API with the release of the Flutter 3.0 version. It helps developers to manage the app’s bootstrap process. It is implemented in multiple cases including,

  • A Splash Screen
  • A loading indicator
  • An HTML landing page is shown before the Flutter App

9. Foldable Mobile Device Support 

Flutter 3.0 has announced foldable mobile devices support that enables developers to build engaging, responsive, and lively experiences through new features and widgets. 

10. All Desktop Platforms Accessibility 

As mentioned above, the Flutter framework is now used to build apps for iOS, Android, Web, Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. It helps with accessibility services like inverted colours, screen readers, accessible navigation, etc. 

11. Deprecating Windows 7/8 for Development  

The old Windows versions are not supported by Microsoft anymore. With Flutter 3.0, the community also endorsed the Windows 10 version for development. However, the Flutter framework now provides restricted testing on older versions. 

The Flutter community keeps supporting Flutter apps running on Windows 7 and 8.  

12. Variable Refresh Rate Support on iOS   

With the announcement of Flutter 3.0, the framework now helps with the variable refresh rate on different iOS devices through ProMotion displays. 

Flutter-based applications can now perform at a refresh rate of 120 Hz on iPad Pro and iPhone 13 devices that were limited to 60 Hz previously. It helps with a flawless experience through fast animations. 

13. Simplified iOS Releases  

Flutter 3.0 has included new options for the Flutter build IPA command. It helps to streamline the application releases. 

In a Nutshell

As part of a material design initiative, the Flutter framework generates a hierarchy of ARIA attributes that let you access app content effortlessly. Users can leverage visual impairments that move around the app with the help of keyboard shortcuts and gestures. It also enables navigation using apps that are complicated to read. 

Moreover, Flutter creates an accessibility tree automatically according to widgets. 

Global brands are adopting Flutter 3 as it backs accessibility services in production apps making it highly suitable for prominent platforms. 

With Flutter’s latest version, developers can build leading-edge apps for any user. So, download Flutter 3 today to leverage the benefits it drives for your users.  

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