Google has pulled the wraps off the first beta release of its Flutter mobile UI framework at MWC 2018. Flutter is meant to help developers build high-quality native apps for iOS and Android. This isn't to be confused with the Flutter gesture recognition startup that Google bought back in 2013.
Google writes, "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."
Flutter is aimed at both new and experienced developers, and promises to help developers build apps in record time. It features high-velocity development with features including stateful Hot Reload, new reactive framework, rich widget set, and integrated tooling. Flutter also promises expressive and flexible designs with composible widget sets, rich animation libraries, and layered, extensible architecture.
High-quality experiences are possible across devices thanks to GPU-accelerated render and high-performance, native ARM code runtime and platform interop. Google wrote, "Since our alpha release last year, we delivered, with help from our community, features such as screen reader support and other accessibility features, right-to-left text, localization and internationalization, iPhone X and iOS 11 support, inline video, additional image format support, running Flutter code in the background, and much more."
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. The Flutter beta also works with pre-release of Dart 2.
Google wrote, "Thanks to the many new features across the framework and tools, teams across Google (such as AdWords) and around the world have been successful with Flutter. Flutter has been used in production apps with millions of installs, apps built with Flutter have been featured in the App Store and Play Store (for example, Hamilton: The Musical), and startups and agencies have been successful with Flutter."