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Google Unveils the Beta Version of Its Mobile UI Framework Flutter

03 March 2018

At Mobile World Congress this year, Google announced that Flutter will be available to all developers, as it announced the first beta for the SDK.

Google says that "Flutter targets the sweet spot of mobile development: performance and platform integrations of native mobile, with high-velocity development and multi-platform reach of portable UI toolkits".

Google releases Flutter SDK beta, for better cross-platform app development

Google has some good news to share for app developers, a new platform that will allow them to develop apps for both Android and iOS at the same time.

With Flutter, Google clearly is cognizant of the demands from brands that seek a more uniform look for apps: "The brand identity and customization of the app's aesthetic design is now becoming more important than strictly adhering to traditional platform aesthetics", Google said on the developer site for Flutter.

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Google has also established a Gitter chat platform for developers to support each other. Just as a game would ignore most of the existing app framework and ship with its own engine that serves various goals, Flutter apps don't use the existing app framework but come packaged with the Flutter app framework.

Rather, Flutter ships with its own widgets that are rendered with its own built-in engine. If you want it to, a Flutter app really can feel just like a native app on both platforms. Google for instance is working to make it easier for developers to embed Flutter into an existing mobile application, on integrating Android and iOS WebView component for viewing web content within mobile applications and on building additional support for its Firebase messaging system.

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Since Flutter's alpha release a year ago, Google has built support for additional features Ladd said.

The tools Flutter offers support Android Studio, Visual Studio Code, new refactoring to manage widget code, platform interop bringing the power of mobile platforms to the code, and a widget inspector helping devs to browse the widget tree. On Android, you can take a peek behind the scenes with the Flutter Gallery demo app. The Flutter beta also works with pre-release of Dart 2. While Google's new OS is called "Fuchsia", a better name for it might be "Flutter OS". We'll certainly hear more about it at Google I/O 2018, where there are already several talks scheduled to get developers up and running on the new SDK.

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Fuchsia may be Google's attempt at an operating system that considers smartphones first and can be immediately updated. When developers are writing Flutter apps for Android and iOS, they're also technically writing Fuchsia apps, or at least code that will carry over to Fuchsia very easily. Google still faces many challenges with Android, such as distributing updates among the profusion of devices that run the mobile operating system, which originally was designed for digital cameras, per Digital Trends.

Google Unveils the Beta Version of Its Mobile UI Framework Flutter