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 may power more of your apps in the near future.
Flutter is a framework for building apps in the Dart programming language, which can run on many different desktop and mobile platforms. It now powers many apps and games, including Google Pay, eBay Motors, Google Stadia, WeChat and others. Even though it’s most widely used for building Android, iPhone, and iPad apps, a few high-level desktop apps are also written in Flutter, like the Ubuntu Linux installer.
Google today unveiled Flutter 3 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 run on Android, iOS/iPadOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and the web. Admittedly, not all features are available on all platforms – web apps can’t access all your files, even if they’re built with Flutter – but it’s still an impressive achievement.
Google has highlighted Superlist, a to-do and to-do management app, as a high-quality desktop app built with Flutter. Even though 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 nearly full support for Material You, the dynamic theme feature available on most phones and tablets running Android 12 or later. Material You generate color palettes from your phone or tablet wallpaper and themes, and now Flutter apps can easily use them in their designs.
To show off Flutter’s ability to make games, Google has 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 pretty fun (especially if you’ve played a lot of 3D Pinball on Windows back in the day).