The first stable releases for Flutter and Dart in the year 2020 are out now! 6339 issues since the previous version Flutter 1.12 (within just six months) closed along with performance improvements, new material widgets, and Metal support for iOS introduced in the Flutter 1.17. And Dart 2.8 version solves the dev puzzle along with material improvements for web, mobile, and desktops apps. We are excited to share the insights of the new versions and the Flutter 1.17 features, Are you? If yes, read this blog and find out what is stored in it for the future.
It was just last month that Google announced the changes in their release process. The changes in the release process were much needed because the Flutter developers could never know the next version update date, or about the code that can be in it. But, thankfully, the issue resolved when Google changed its plan and announced a quarterly cycle for the secured version releases.
On 6th May 2020, Google released Flutter 1.17 along with Dart 2.8 version. Flutter is a cross-platform programming framework having the programming language Dart. The unified UI kit helps developers to build Android, iOS, and Desktop apps swiftly.
But this stable version has something more to offer this time. This time the Google team majorly focused on improving the performance and accessibility. Let’s have a look at the updates in depth.
The speed performance of the apps built using the updated version Flutter 1.12 will observe a speed rise by 20-37% as compared to the earlier version. The app sizes will be considerably less from the apps of previous versions. This is because the Flutter gallery size is reduced to 8.1MB from the 9.6MB size. The animation packages are improved, which will contribute to speed performance. The scrolling feature changes through large images will reduce memory usage by almost 70%.
This feature support shines out exceptionally amongst all the updates of this version, Flutter 1.17. What more does an iOS developer need when they can have direct access to the underlying GPU of the iOS device? Flutter now extends its support to Metal, Apple’s low-level graphics API, which helps in running the app faster than ever before.
The iOS app speed is improved by almost 50% by using Metal as default support. This update will majorly be implemented for iOS version 8.0 and more. But for the earlier versions, it will still use the old OpenGL API.Google is also working on extending Metal support for simulators.
The latest version, Flutter 1.17, allows you to build responsive apps using NavigationRail. NavigationRail is a really cool widget update that allows you to add mobile, desktop elements to your app. Another widget update is the new version of DatePicker and TextSelection.
The DatePicker widget is redesigned for a better look and to match the Material guidelines. And TextSelection issues have been fixed, and the fidelity for iOS and Android buttons has been improved. Google is also releasing a new Animation Package, where you can perform the shared transition, container transformations, shared axis transformations, and more. You can check it out online.
Google Fonts for Flutter version 1.0 is released, and now the Flutter app development company or Flutter developers can use any fonts from fonts.google.com. It’s upon the developer to choose if they want to bundle the font with APK or download it using API.
Other updates are:
The accessibility and internationalization of the apps have been improved. The text input widget, scrolling problems have been resolved in this update.
Also, the Samsung keyboard issue which many developers faced has been solved in the latest Flutter version.
Another major update is that Google implementation of the Type Scale portion of the 2018 Material design specification has been completed without affecting the existing apps.
The “Fast Start” option of Flutter 1.17 facilitates the hired flutter developers to start debugging applications on Android devices. It loads all your plugins and codes, not Dart code and assets. Fast start option helps in bootstrapping applications quickly without the need to rebuild the application again and again. So if you have a slow device, you can try it out.
It is necessary to use Android X as default now.
Hot Reload issues have been fixed, and Google has improved the feature.
If you are facing any issue with the flutter application then, there is a link in the console which will directly create an issue for you on GitHub. This is an extremely useful feature update for the developers.
Dart 2.8 updates:
This update is not huge but definitely worth it. The team announced its efforts to improve the null safety feature. The team is planning to address the “billion-dollar-mistake” of null references, but the final testing is yet to be done.
Dart 2.8 version has edge cases and library changes, but the rest of the code will run the same.
Also, the pub has crossed almost 10,000 packages, so the new version Dart 2.8, has improved a few things with the pub. The pub has now improved visibility and recommendations visuals.
They have improved Pubget, so the developers will now take less time to fetch all the packages and the versions.
Another feature that has caught thousands of developers’ eyes is the introduction of “out-of-date” dependencies. Say, for example, you are using many repositories, plugins, and packages in an app, then, it was difficult to find out the outdated version. This task has been simplified, and now, you can only write puboutdated command, and the list of all the outdated versions will be available along with the new versions available.
A new tab in the networking tools has been added. This Dart Dev tool tab assists you in checking all the network requests. You can either do it manually or use the tab for the same. The revised tool has a traffic inspection tool that will help in debugging the tricky state conditions.
Dev plugins channel introduced for the developers.
Flutter seems to be promising in solving all the woes faced by the developers. The Dart 2.8 stable SDKs for app development and the Flutter 1.17 will definitely help in building stronger apps across the platforms. Are you excited to use the new Flutter and Dart versions for app development?
Principal Mobile App Developer