Flutter Interact, was held by Google by bringing the Flutter Community together. It ended with some important news, a newer version of Flutter was released. Many developers, including us, were eager to know the future of Flutter and how close it is to Ambient Computing vision.
These are the updates from Flutter Interact:
Although a minor release, this new version of Flutter fixed a lot of issues and bugs along with bringing many new exciting APIs and material theme additions.
Let’s have a look at the fresh features of Flutter 1.12:
Added Google Fonts Packages
This is a relief, you don’t need to download and add Google fonts in your Flutter app, then and in a Pubspec file. This new version of Flutter has Google Fonts plugin, which allows direct use of Google fonts in Dart. We’ll write a separate blog post about it soon.
With version 2.7, Dart is now safer and more expressive. The most notable changes are Extension methods, character packages, and Null safety. All of these new additions were long requested by the community, and the Dart team delivered them in this release. There are, of course, more changes, but these are the major ones.
All New Dart Dev Tools
The new Dart Dev Tools are web-based and have got many interesting features. The major ones are:
- Widget Inspector to view the hierarchy of the widget tree.
- Timeline view to diagnose the app frame-by-frame so that you can identify the performance issues in the layout rendering
- A log view to view the logs, network requests and garbage collection events.
- Full source-level debugger to view the call stack and to set breakpoints.
A piece of big news for Flutter developers is that upcoming Flutter projects will fully support AndroidX. No need to manually migrate each project to AndroidX anymore.
Enabled iOS 13 dark mode
Flutter Framework already has extensive support for the Material theme and Material widgets, which can be used for making both Android and iOS apps. Cupertino widgets, however, took some time to catch up. There’s good news, though. Flutter themes now support iOS 13 dark mode. This means your apps will look amazing in the dark!
Updated Add-to-App Support
Flutter 1.12 now supports the direct add-to-app feature in Android Studio. This means that you can now add Flutter to your existing Android app easily. Previously, it took several steps to import a Flutter project in an Android application.
Upgraded Flutter Gallery
All-new Flutter Gallery has been introduced. It is fully renewed where you can find the code samples for new Flutter widgets and features. Flutter Gallery has always been the go-to source for many new developers to understand Flutter widgets, and this new Gallery app will be more helpful now.
This one is a game-changer, in our opinion. Flutter was already fantastic for doing quick iterations in terms of UI thanks to Hot Reload, but now with Hot UI, you can preview the design right there in the IDE without even running the project. That’s awesome, isn’t it? Moreover, HotUI also stores the data of the last preview of Android Studio.
Multi Debugging Tool: VS Code
After building the Flutter UI and app layout on a single device, wouldn’t it be great, if you can perform debugging on multiple devices at the same time?
The multi-debugging extension allows multiple devices to be attached at the same time to the debugger while you debug your app in VS Code.
You can use multiple platforms and devices to run and debug your app simultaneously. You can also view the call stack of each device separately while it’s running on multiple devices.
AtFlutter Interact, they represented the live preview of this feature with 7 devices connected to a Mac. All the 7 devices were running the same code, and when a change was made, it was reflected on 7 devices at the same time with Hot reload. And guess what? They called it Flutter Octopus!
Supernova and Adobe XD
Supernova is an application that can help you generate UI code for Flutter from your Sketch and Adobe XD files. The code can be edited directly from an editor with the app running on a real device.
With the Adobe XD plugin for Flutter, you can now generate Flutter UI code directly from Adobe XD itself. It’ll be a great tool to simplify the communication between design and development teams. XD to Flutter is a collaboration between Adobe and Google that will be available in early 2020.
Flutter for the Web
The beta version of Flutter for Web has been released and can be used by developers for developing prototypes. It has many great plugins and features like Page routing, control over native text, mobile accessibility, and more. Of course, it’s not ready for production usage yet, so be careful with where and how you use it.
Flutter for Desktop
An alpha version of Flutter for Desktop is now active for MacOS. Moreover, Flutter Gallery supports Flutter desktop apps. Many enhancements are made in the desktop version of Flutter, like keyboard accessibility.
Undoubtedly, Flutter is the best Ambient Computing platform that has long been desired by developers worldwide. To know more about ambient computing, the significance of Flutter, and what makes it unique? Read more here.
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