Google unveiled Flutter 3 at its I/O conference last week. “It completes our journey from a mobile-centric to a multiplatform framework,” product manager Tim Sneath stated.
[Also read: What’s great about Flutter?]
“Dart has stuck in the mid-30s approximately 36 months ago, but now it’s not just in the Top 20, but it’s tied with the darling of developers, Rust,” said RedMonk analyst Stephen O’Grady in a recent assessment of programming languages. Surveys of programming languages were discussed by O’Grady.
When Flutter 2.0 was released in March 2021, it extended support for web apps and gave a sneak peek at Windows and macOS capabilities. As of Flutter 2.10, production support for Windows was enabled, as well as full support for macOS and Linux in Flutter 3.
Flutter 3.0 on Mac OS X builds universal binaries that run on both Intel and Apple chips. As a result of the collaboration between Canonical and Flutter, Linux support has been introduced to the Ubuntu installer and mobile and desktop apps.
According to Sneath, Flutter 3.0 also supports Material Design 3, the most recent version of Google’s design language, to the extent that it is “largely complete.” In addition, he noted that 62% of Flutter developers utilize Google’s Firebase application services, which are now incorporated into the core Firebase SDK. A new toolbox for casual games has also been included.
The cross-platform.NET framework Sneath worked on at Microsoft was discontinued during the development of the catastrophic Windows 8 and Sneath used to work there. Xamarin was purchased by Microsoft as a way to develop mobile apps that can run on different platforms. One of the company’s newer products, which is built on the cross-platform development platform of the same name, will be called.NET MAUI (Multi-application App UI).
As evidenced by the growing popularity of Dart, developers are particularly interested in Flutter, but MAUI has been delayed and has lost momentum.
Because they are direct competitors, Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager Richard Lander stated: “Flutter and MAUI are not the same app. The other is an abstraction, while the former is a rendering engine.” While MAUI encapsulates native controls, Flutter draws its own visual components.
There are still some areas of Flutter that Microsoft and Google have collaborated on with others, such as its support for foldable devices such as the Surface Duo.
A notable proponent of Flutter is Miguel de Icaza, a co-founder of Xamarin who left Microsoft in March. “The Flutter crew is fantastic,” he gushed. As an amazing project for building mobile apps, it has evolved into a powerhouse that operates across various platforms.