GOOGLE HAS released the first stable version of its cross-platform app builder, Flutter.
Flutter 1.0 is designed to stop devs needing to create a separate app for Android and iOS, instead enabling the use of a common codebase which can then be compiled into the appropriate app format.
Google explains: "Developers are forced to choose between either building the same app multiple times for multiple operating systems, or to accept a lowest common denominator solution that trades native speed and accuracy for portability.
"Flutter gives you the best of both worlds: hardware-accelerated graphics and UI, powered by native ARM code, targeting both popular mobile operating systems."
Amongst the boasts, Flutter is said to be able to handle ‘unlimited' graphics and can control 'every pixel on the screen'.
It offers hardware acceleration from the Skia 2D graphics engine from Chrome. Additionally the "hot reload" feature lets you see how the changes you've made to the code affect the app without having to reload the app every time.
And that code can come from just about anywhere - this is to build native apps, not just web-wrappers, and so it can work with code written in Kotlin, Java, Swift and Objective-C. It is also being tested with Google's mysterious Fuchsia OS.
Best of all, Flutter works on a 'BSD-style' open source licence and already includes the work of hundreds of developers, and thousands of plug-ins so you don't need to reinvent the wheel.
"Put this all together", Google continues, "Combine it with best-in-class tooling for Visual Studio Code, Android Studio, IntelliJ or the programmer's editor of your choice, and you have Flutter -- a development environment for building beautiful native experiences for iOS or Android from a single codebase."
Many companies are already extolling the virtues of Flutter based on the preview editions and early access builds. Now, Flutter is officially stable, though the usual beta, dev and master channels are also available and being updated all the time.
Best start with the stable and see how you go, yeah?
Weirdly, Google actually bought a gesture recognition firm, also called Flutter a while back. This is not that. μ
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