UPDATED 14:45 EDT / AUGUST 05 2020


Google releases Flutter 1.2 amid accelerating developer adoption

Google LLC today released a new version of Flutter 1.2, its open-source development toolkit for building user interfaces.

The launch follows three months in which adoption of the framework accelerated significantly. Google recorded 50,000 Flutter-powered apps on the Google Play store in April and, today, by way of an update, the search giant disclosed that this number has since grown to more than 90,000.

Android is not the only operating system on which Flutter sees use. The framework is cross-platform, enabling developers to create the user interface for an application once and reuse the code across the desktop, Mac, Android and iOS versions of that program. Google as of late has also been working to adapt Flutter for building web services. 

Today’s update introduces pre-packaged software building blocks that developers can use to speed up their projects. Among them is a bundle of components that makes it faster to add zoom, pan and drag-and-drop features to application interfaces. On iOS and Android, Google has added a capability to let Flutter-based apps autofill data such as passwords that users save to their devices.

The search giant is looking to ease developers’ work in other ways as well. Dart DevTools, a set of tools used to debug and test the performance of Flutter applications, is becoming available in Microsoft’s highly popular Visual Code Studio code editor. That means the many developers who use Visual Code Studio for their work can access Dart DevTools directly from the native interface.

The integration underscores the importance of ecosystem interoperability for developer tooling providers. For a solution to gain traction, it must generally work well with the other technologies programmers use in their projects. Google isn’t the only player harnessing this dynamic to drive adoption of its technology: Docker Inc. recently partnered with Microsoft to add deeper integration between its developer tools and Visual Code Studio and Azure.

In addition to easing the creation of interfaces, the new Flutter 1.2 release aims to make those interfaces faster. Google has added in an optimization that can halve loading delays when a user views an animation inside an app for the first time. For desktop developers, Flutter 1.2 provides a feature they can use to improve some cursor operations’ performance by a factor of up to 15.

Image: Google

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