Microsoft is Adding Support for Foldables to Flutter

Posted on March 4, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev, Mobile with 4 Comments

Last year, Flutter lead Tim Sneath publicly reached out to Microsoft in an effort to get its support for Google’s cross-platform developer framework. And this week, as part of the Flutter 2 announcement, we learned that Microsoft has embraced Flutter and will soon offer its first contribution, for foldable devices.

“Flutter is one of the fastest-growing frameworks today and certainly a powerful toolkit for building amazing apps, which is why we’re adding foldable support,” Microsoft’s Andrei Diaconu explains. “We love Flutter and foldable devices and want developers to have the best possible experience when working with both.”

Based on Microsoft’s description, it appears that its support for foldable devices includes both true foldables, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, as well as devices with two displays and a hinge, like Surface Duo. It includes functionality related to how and where dialogs will appear—avoiding a hinge or cutout is obviously key here—and adaptive layouts that can span two displays or a single display that is unfolded to offer more room.

“Microsoft is not stopping here,” Diaconu says. “Building amazing apps for foldable devices using Flutter should be easy and fun and our next areas of focus will be navigation, codelabs, and more components to help developers.” I’m hoping that Microsoft’s support of Flutter doesn’t stop with the Surface team, either. Hopefully, this work will inspire other groups at Microsoft to take a look at Flutter too.

Microsoft’s contribution to Flutter isn’t live in the framework yet, Diaconu says: It’s looking for feedback first so it can make sure it’s meeting the needs of the community. But the “goal is to empower you to easily build amazing experiences for all foldables.”

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Microsoft is Adding Support for Foldables to Flutter”

  1. martinusv2

    I have the feeling that Microsoft prefers other frameworks than their own. I hope for the sake of Xamarin devs that MAUI will be as good as Flutter, if not better.

  2. illuminated

    MS's' inability to build their own cross-platform UI framework is mind boggling.

    • rmac

      In reply to illuminated: I think what you say is very true. I've been saying for a long time XAML should leave behind the full Windows object graph and instead embrace and extend purely UI elements, starting with HTML and SVG. Maybe it needs to stem from SGML, but whatever it takes to create a lean, mean and extensible cross platform markup or language equivalent.

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