Google’s ‘Flutter’ framework allows software developers to build apps that run on mobile devices, macOS, Windows, Linux, and even web browsers. Flutter 3.0 has just been announced, which could power more apps in the near future.
Flutter is a framework for building applications in the Dart programming language, which can work on many different desktop and mobile platforms. It now powers many apps and games, including Google Pay, eBay Motors, Google Stadia, WeChat, and others. Although it is most widely used for building Android, iPhone, and iPad apps, some high-profile desktop apps are also written in Flutter, such as the Ubuntu Linux installer.
Google revealed Flutter 3 today during its Google I/O presentation, which adds some important features for app and game developers using Flutter. Linux and macOS are now fully supported, in addition to Windows (which was added to the list in February), including native support for Macs with Apple Silicon (M1) chipsets. For those of you keeping track at home, that means Flutter apps can work on Android, iOS/iPadOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and the web. Granted, not all features are available on all platforms (web apps can’t access all of your files, even if they’re built with Flutter), but it’s still an impressive achievement.
Google highlighted Superlist, a to-do and task management app, as a high-quality desktop app built with Flutter. Although the app is currently only available for Mac, the team mentions that they are building Windows, Android, and iOS versions with the same code base.
Flutter 3 also includes almost complete support for Material You, the dynamic theme feature available on most phones and tablets running Android 12 or later. Material You generates color palettes from your phone or tablet wallpaper and themes, and now Flutter apps can easily use them in their designs.
To showcase Flutter’s ability to create games, Google also created a 3D pinball game in Flutter that runs on the web, with online high score tracking. You can play it in your browser, and it’s quite fun (especially if you’ve played a lot of Pinball 3D on Windows in the past).