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Flutter is not just another cross-platform app development platform. It is a UI toolkit developed by Google to create natively compiled, high-end applications. Flutter app development has, therefore, gained ground among the developer’s community and the corporate world shortly after its launched in May 2017.
As a robust cross-platform app development tool, Flutter has become the fastest growing open-source project by State of Octoverse report of GitHub.
Recently, Flutter developers have come up with the biggest stable release ever- Flutter 1.12. It is claimed that this release has addressed over 1900 Pull Requests sent by 188 contributors. Google released this version in the Flutter Interact Event held in December 2019. Here we highlight its key features and functionality. What’s more, we will also go through the impact of these features on mobile application development.
Flutter 1.12- New Features and Performance Enhancements
Let’s have a glimpse of new features of Flutter 1.12. We will start with the programming language update of Dart because Flutter is built on this language.
Advent of Dart 2.7
This version is aimed at enhancing the overall Dart experience as compared to Dart 2.5. What’s more, it will help the Flutter app developers to prevent errors in the instances of getting a parse integer in a string or zero variables.
This enhancement sets Flutter apart from other platforms. The mobile app development process using Flutter largely depends on the Dart language. It enables the app developers to reuse the code across web and mobile domains.
Support for macOS
Flutter 1.12 comes with macOS desktop support. This support will facilitate the developers to build a fully-optimized macOS app using a release mode. Also, developers can incorporate the characteristics of material design into Flutter-based software with ease.
Along with this support, Flutter 1.12 has many other improvements for supporting desktop apps. Some of them are visual density assistance, menu dropdown keyboard navigation, radio buttons, checkboxes, and the like.
Dark Mode for iOS 13
Apple’s iOS 13 has several new features and performance enhancements to make appealing, enterprise-grade iPhone apps. One of them is the introduction of dark mode. Now, Flutter 1.12 supports the dark mode in iOS 13, which means that the mobile app development company can build awesome apps with dark mode for the iOS platform using Flutter. Other new features for iOS 13 include shorter long press time, scrollbar fidelity, and improved feedback.
Last year, Flutter had provided support for the dark mode of Android 10. It has enabled Android developers to empower dark mode with the material design widgets.
DartPad update and Android enhancements
Update in DartPad is one of the major updates of Flutter 1.12. Now, the DartPad can edit the entire Flutter code while enabling developers to run Flutter codes efficiently. Mobile app developers can also assess the rendered UI with the help of an updated DartPad.
Another enhancement is designed for Android app development. Flutter has found some issues to enhance the Android build. The Flutter 1.12 version has made the app development process more advanced by utilizing AndroidX-based support libraries.
The Flutter developers team has moved plugins to AndroidX. Gradually, all the apps will be moved to AndroidX along with plugins. What’s more, an alternative code path is present in the Android build that utilizes Android archive files.
This update is also aimed at making the Android app development process more developer-friendly. Android app developers can utilize this feature in the ‘Flutter Module’ that is present in the new Android Studio. They can seamlessly add Flutter to their existing Android apps with the help of an updated add-to-app feature.
This feature also assists the developers to migrate any app to the Flutter. It is easy to add Flutter into any existing iOS or Android apps with the help of this feature.
Related Reading- How to Select the Best Tech Stack for Mobile App Development
Access to Adobe XD
Flutter has a tie-up with Adobe. It makes XD of the Adobe XD accessible to all available Flutter plugins. The latest XD version can convert the XD designs into codes. It is a crucial portion of Flutter app development. Adobe XD access also supports the designers to develop and design a seamless user experience for every available platform.
One of the important deciding factors for the cost of app development is quality testing or debugging. The Flutter UI can be developed and debugged on any one device. Therefore, developers need to spend a lot of time debugging the apps across multiple devices especially in the Android platform. The Flutter’s latest version assist app developers to perform multi-session debugging across various devices at once.
Golden image feature
When it comes to the real rendering of an app, widget, and other visual representation, the Golden image file proves very useful. The Flutter 1.12 comes with GoldenFileComparator and LocalFileComparator classes. These classes successfully replace bits with pixels to reduce false positives effectively.
Both these classes display visual differences to enable developers to make distinctions between the updates in the golden image.
Layout issues are always present in manual or Hot UI-based coding. Thankfully, the Flutter 1.12 has a Layout Explorer feature to minimize such issues. This feature is introduced in the latest version of Dart DevTools. The Layout Explorer can augment the inspector with the visual representation of the layout.
Impact of Flutter 1.12
Flutter 1.12 has many features and functionality that can have a huge impact on enterprises, designers, and app developers. Let’s go through a few of the key effects of Flutter 1.12.
Startups and SMEs
As a powerful framework for developing cross-platform apps, Flutter has shown great potential in just a few years of launching. With this update, the framework has made it possible for startups to test their ideas in the potential market.
Also, as a cross-platform framework, Flutter enables the startups to address a huge audience consists of Android and iOS users without spending a small fortune.
Talking about established companies, they can easily deliver a seamless experience across various platforms by using the features of the Flutter 1.12. This latest version can help them establish a diversity of app experiences in a natively-compiled way through a single codebase.
The mobile app development company can leverage many benefits of Flutter 1.12 and serve its corporate clients with excellent cross-platform app solutions. The latest version facilitates the app developers to use the same language (Dart) for layout requirements and backend development. Also, it is going to ensure that the app developers can get a higher animation speed while developing enterprise-grade apps.
What makes these benefits special is the fact that there will be no major impact on the cost of app development.
The Flutter 1.12 assist both UI and UX designers to create a visually appealing and interactive environment. The hot reload feature assists designers to make changes in the real-time while combining videos, texts, and UI with customized animations. Many other platforms have also extended support for the Flutter 1.12. Simply put, designers can make the most of this latest Flutter update and come up with pleasant user experience.
The growing community and regular updates have helped Flutter emerge as a reliable platform for cross-platform app development. In just 3 years of launch, it has gained a lot of popularity in the developer’s community. Attempts are on for making this platform ready for game development and Google’s much-awaited Fuchsia platform. The release of the Flutter 1.12 is just a small step toward this attempt.
The release of Flutter 1.12 has brought Google’s ambient computing vision closers than before. Over the period, we can expect that Flutter will change the shape of mobile application development. Till then, we have a new version of Flutter 1.12 with excellent features and performance improvements.
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