Flutter 1.0 : An Introduction

The Next Big Thing In App Development hits 1.0

On the 4th of December, Google unveiled the stable release of Flutter, Flutter 1.0, at the Flutter Live event in London.

You can watch the recap here:

In this article, we’ll discuss what Flutter is, what was announced at Flutter Live and a bit about the future of Flutter.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a new way to develop apps for Android, iOS and many other platforms (but more on that later).

Flutter builds native apps and they are written in the Dart language. Dart is easy to learn and allows a lot of versatility to the Flutter platform. It allows you to create apps for Android and iOS with the same codebase!

Flutter has been in Beta since February 2018 and since then the Google team and the community has been adding new features and tweaks, fixing bugs and creating great resources.

Announcements from Flutter Live

Flutter 1.0

At Flutter Live, Tim Sneath announced the release of Flutter 1.0, marking the platform as stable after 9 months of being in Beta and going through 3 release previews.

Google Maps and WebView for Flutter

Google Maps and WebView are now available for Flutter. Note that these are still developer previews and are not stable as of yet.

Here is an article I wrote for an example use of Maps in Flutter and the functionality it currently includes.

Flutter for the Web and beyond

Before Flutter Live, the Flutter team gave hints of something beyond Flutter 1.0 being announced at the event. That thing turned out to be Hummingbird, Flutter for the web!

Not only will Flutter run on mobile (Android/iOS) devices, it will run on desktop, embedded systems and now, the web.

Not only that, the entire Flutter slideshow at Flutter Live was displayed with a Flutter desktop application!

When writing the title for this article, I couldn’t write “The next big thing in mobile app development” because it’s not just mobile app development anymore. Flutter will run ubiquitously on many platforms.

Dart 2.1

Dart 2.1 was announced a bit before Flutter Live but Dart 2.1 launches with Flutter 1.0. Dart 2.1 has various improvements related to speed and usability. One especially useful feature for Flutter developers is int to double conversion.

In-app payments from Square

Square announced the preview of a new package to support in-app payments in Flutter and one to support the Square Reader.

Flare by 2Dimensions

2Dimensions announced a fantastic tool called Flare. Flare offers powerful realtime vector design and animation for app and game designers.

Codemagic by Nevercode

Codemagic makes Continuous Integration/ Continuous Delivery easy for all apps. It automates builds and can differentiate Flutter projects from others when you sign in with Github. It can also send notifications directly to Slack notifying of build statuses.

The Future of Flutter

The core part of Flutter is now stable and hence we can expect more experiments outside the mobile domain.

The Google Team promised to reveal more details on Hummingbird in Google I/O 2019. This means in 5 months or lesser we may have a pretty solid implementation of Flutter on the web.

Since Flutter was designed to operate on all platforms, not just phones, we can expect Flutter to unify development in general for everything including desktop, mobile and web. Perhaps Flutter will one day need a better tool than Android Studio or VSCode and get its own IDE.

A Thanks to the Flutter Community

Overall, the development of Flutter in just a few years from idea to 1.0 has been remarkable and I’m happy to have been a part of the community which made it bigger.

As part of the community we have been promoting, building packages and writing demos and articles which made more people understand and try Flutter while learning so much ourselves.

I cannot cover everyone here, but I’d like to mention a few members who do really good work with Flutter and I’d recommend definitely check out their work and articles on the topic: Romain Rastel, Matthew Carroll, Poojã Bhaumik, Jermaine Oppong, Raouf Rahiche, Marcin Szałek, Marie Jaksman, Hillel Coren, Simon Lightfoot, Nash, Scott Stoll, Bhavik Makwana.

I look forward to helping build this platform to its full potential.

Get started with Flutter at flutter.io today!