Flutter
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Flutter

Announcing Flutter 2.8

A new release of Flutter: and a look back on a year of growth

New features and improvements: faster and more productive

One of the major areas of focus for this release is mobile performance. Ideally great performance would come for free, but in practice any complex app needs optimization to make sure it uses the underlying hardware and libraries well. That includes startup performance, which can be constrained by network bandwidth or other initialization costs; memory usage, particularly on memory-constrained devices; and graphics rendering. We’ve been using some of our experiences with large Google apps like Google Pay to invest both in making Flutter itself more performant, and in giving you better tooling to guide profiling and optimization of your own app. Your apps should start faster and use less memory just by upgrading to Flutter 2.8.

With the new developer productivity enhancements to Flutter, an app can support sign-in to multiple authentication services with just a single drop-in widget.

Casual game development with Flame

For most developers, Flutter is an app framework. But there’s also a growing ecosystem around casual game development, taking advantage of the hardware-accelerated graphics support provided by Flutter.

Tomb Toad, Gravity Runner and Bonfire: three examples of games built with Flame.

Flutter’s continued momentum

We’re amazed to see how fast Flutter continues to grow, with a flourishing ecosystem of apps and tools that build on top of the core framework. At this year’s Google I/O event, we noted that there were already over 200,000 apps built with Flutter in the Play Store. In just over six months since that event, the number of Flutter apps has nearly doubled, with more than 375,000 Flutter apps now in the Play Store.

Flutter supports Android, iOS, iPadOS, web, Windows, macOS and Linux: so you don’t have to rewrite your app just to target a different device or form factor.

Looking back at 2021, looking forward to 2022

Over the course of this difficult last year, our own engineering teams have been busy. As well as the features in Flutter 2.8, we’ve rewritten our developer tools, shipped null-safety and web support, completed FFI for native code integration, added initial Material You support, and worked hard to improve performance and quality. We’ve closed out almost 20,000 issues in total. We’ve created a smart new website to better showcase Flutter. And we’ve spent a considerable amount of effort over the last few months overhauling our engineering infrastructure to increase engineer productivity and expand testing.

A few closing thoughts and a dedication

We want to dedicate this Flutter 2.8 release to Kevin Gray, a developer at Very Good Ventures who sadly passed away just a week ago. Kevin has been a key contributor to the success of Flutter since the earliest days; he was the developer behind many of the early Flutter demos, including one of our first high-profile customer wins, the first ever demo of Flutter on desktop, and the first Flutter demo featured at a Google I/O keynote. He was a talented, caring, funny, and kind man and those who knew him will readily agree that he leaves a gaping hole. As we grieve, we also celebrate his life, and we remember him publicly so that his impact may be known by all. Flutter wouldn’t be what it is without him.

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Tim Sneath

Product Manager for Flutter (a framework for building mobile apps) and Dart (a modern, client-optimized programming language) at Google.