Google Announces Flutter 2.2

At Google I/O 2021 today, Google announced the release of Flutter 2.2, the latest release of its open source app development toolkit. And guess what? Microsoft is expanding its support of Flutter too.

“Flutter 2.2 is the best version of Flutter yet, with updates that make it easier than ever for developers to monetize their apps through in-app purchases, payments, and ads; to connect to cloud services and APIs that extend apps to support new capabilities; and with tooling and language features that allow developers to eliminate a whole class of errors, increase app performance and reduce package size,” Google’s Tim Sneath says.

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As you should expect, Flutter 2.2 builds on Flutter 2.0, which was released in March with support for creating apps across iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, and the web. New features in Flutter 2.2 include:

New ads SDK. The New ads SDK supports adaptive banner formats and a new payment plugin, built with the Google Pay team, that lets developers take payment for physical goods on both iOS and Android. There’s also an updated in-app purchases plugin and a matching codelab.

Dart 2.13. The latest Dart version expands its support for native interoperability, with support for arrays and packed structs in FFI (foreign function interface), the interface for interacting with legacy C code. It also includes support for type aliases.

Sound null safety is now the default for new projects. Now that the Dart programming language supports null safety—which adds protection against null reference exceptions and app crashes—it will be enabled by default on new projects.

Performance improvements. Web apps can now do background caching using service workers. Android apps support deferred components. And iOS developers get new tooling to precompile shaders to eliminate or reduce first-run jank (Google’s word). The DevTools suite has also picked up a bunch of features that will help developers understand how memory is allocated in their apps, and it now supports third-party tools extensions.

There are now over 200,000 apps built with Flutter in the Google Play Store, and some, like WeChat, can claim billions of users. Samsung is porting Flutter to Tizen with an open source repository, and Sony is working to deliver a Flutter solution for embedded Linux. But here’s the biggest news (at least for readers of this site): Microsoft has expanded its collaboration with Google and has released an alpha version of Flutter support for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps built for Windows 10.

You can learn more about Flutter from the Flutter website.

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Conversation 6 comments

  • martinusv2

    Premium Member
    18 May, 2021 - 6:17 pm

    <p>Well… Google has a very good head start. I hope for Microsoft sake that MAUI will be very good at launch. If MAUI is not as good as Flutter, it will be another dead framework very quickly.</p>

    • eric_rasmussen

      Premium Member
      19 May, 2021 - 1:08 am

      <p>Microsoft moves too slowly to attack the mobile app development market in any meaningful way. Flutter is quickly becoming THE way to build a mobile UI and with time may become the way to build cross platform UIs in general.</p><p><br></p><p>I’m a C# developer through and through but even with that I really enjoy Dart and Flutter. It’s familiar enough that I can be productive and there are some neat features of the language and the framework that make me wonder why C# never did something similar.</p>

      • jt5

        Premium Member
        19 May, 2021 - 9:15 am

        <p>Have you ever considered the Uno platform? It uses c# on top of xamarin- but overcomes a lot of things I don’t like about xamarin. It allows your app to run on iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, etc. It is open source and we’ll supported. I have had excellent succeess with it.</p>

      • rmac

        19 May, 2021 - 7:47 pm

        <p>They’ve lost any agility they had by not parking up a bunch of stuff with .NET 5</p>

    • rmac

      19 May, 2021 - 7:45 pm

      <p>I have to say, Google’s announcement that a new Flutter (alpha I think) will run on UWP does not exactly bode well. There was talk back awhile MS were experimenting with Flutter running in Blazor, then Flutter running on Surface Duo. </p><p><br></p><p>Of course, UWP is part of MAUI, right? But if Flutter runs on Windows desktop or in the browser, why should UWP matter at all? And the whole VS offering is bizarre. Taking Windows (the screens on an OS) to equate to a retail capability, why would it make sense to let some other firm’s stack run in your shop window when you hadn’t got your own (UI) act together?</p><p><br></p><p>I thought the following might interest contrasting Google IO with MS Build – on a unique session basis:</p><p><br></p><p>MS Build: Python 8; JavaScript 7; Node 5; C# 5; Java 4; Edge 3; UI 3; Blazor 3; MAUI 2; WinUI 2; Fluent 2; WebView2 2; Win32 1; HTML 1; CSS 1; React 1; WebAssembly 1; designer 0; PWA 0; Personal Web App 0; SVG 0; XAML 0; UIX 0; Blazor Desktop 0; Angular 0; Visual Basic 0; Fugu 0</p><p><br></p><p>Google IO: Flutter 12; Chrome 5; Material Design 4; Dart 4; Kotlin 4; Fugu 4; PWA 2; designer 1; desktop 1; personal web app 0; WebAssembly 0; UI 0; UIX 0; SVG 0; HTML 0; CSS 0; JavaScript 0</p><p><br></p><p>It’s east to see that MS is not UI centric to the avail of 3rd party devs.</p><p><br></p><p>I’d had a hunch that MS devs were being held back a long time ago when MS begun .NET to run on Linux, but it’s quite apparent MS are only interested in getting other languages on board at the expense of some real UI innovation.</p><p><br></p><p>Therefore what exactly is the point of Windows?</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

  • Oreo

    19 May, 2021 - 1:26 am

    <p>I don’t think Microsoft’s APIs will matter in the grand scheme of things. Google has Flutter and Dart, Apple has SwiftUI and its other set of APIs and Swift, and this is where the focus lies. Add to that existing cross-platform APIs like electron and I don’t see any role that MAUI can play here. </p>

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