Flutter 1.2 Hints at a Future Beyond Mobile

Posted on February 27, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Mobile with 16 Comments

Google has announced Flutter 1.2, the first feature update for its mobile app development framework. Notably, this release sets up the technology for a future that includes web, Windows, and Mac development as well.

“We’ve focused this release on a few major areas,” the Flutter team explains in a post to the Google Developers blog. “[These are] improved stability, performance, and quality of the core framework; work to polish visual finish and functionality of existing widgets; [and] new web-based tooling for developers building Flutter applications.”

Google announced Flutter a year ago and delivered the initial stable 1.0 release in December. Since then, it has focused on various quality improvements, the team notes, including updating the Material and Cupertino widget sets that make Flutter apps look and feel like native apps on both Android and iOS.

But Flutter 1.2 goes further by adding support for new features like support for in-app purchases, the new Android Bundles packaging scheme, and the latest version of the Dart programming language. It also improves on the technology’s support for development environments like Android Studio and Visual Studio Code, as well as the command line.

Most notably, Flutter 1.2 is accompanied by a preview version of a new web-based suite of programming tools that will help developers debug and analyze their apps.  These tools include a widget inspector, a timeline view, a source-level debugger, and a logging view. Google says it will continue to expand and improve these tools while making them available directly in environments like Visual Studio Code as well. This way, developers can use whatever tools they prefer, from anywhere.

And 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for Flutter: Google says that it will grow the framework beyond mobile to the web using a project codenamed “Hummingbird.” After that, it will evolve to include support for desktop app development for Windows and Mac as well.

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