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.
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.