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Cross-Platform Development: Flutter Launches Beta

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 | bitcoin updates

  
  

  
    
  

      Cross-platform development: Flutter starts the beta phase

      

      

      
    

At the Mobile World Congress, Google unveiled the first beta of the cross-platform programming framework for Android and iOS. Flutter apps have been around for quite some time for both operating systems.

  

    
  

    
    
    
    

    

    

    Google unveiled the first beta version of Flutter at the Mobile World Congress. The preparation for this took, including the alpha phase over two years. In May 2015, Google launched the framework as Project Sky and renamed Flutter half a year later.
Flutter relies on reactive programming and is designed for fast development cycles. Developers create UIs that match Android and iOS, but Flutter does not use native widgets such as React Native or NativeScript, nor does it use web-based rendering. It draws predefined UI elements with the resources of the respective operating system and uses the respective system functions for certain elements such as scrolling.

Dart in interaction with Java, Swift, ObjC and Kotlin

As programming language Google's JavaScript alternative Dart is used. Some of the enhancements to the recently introduced Dart 2 are specifically tailored to Flutter, including simplifying the process of integrating UI elements with the optional use of the keywords new and const to reduce the boilerplate code. However, the current Flutter Beta probably still offers a connection to the preview version of Dart 2.
The framework is mainly optimized for user interfaces and 2D graphics. To connect further program logic it offers interfaces to Java on Android as well as Swift and Objective C on iOS. It also has access to the native features of the iOS and Android SDKs. The link to the JVM language Kotlin, which Google chose in autumn 2017 alongside Java as the official programming language for Android, the blog post does not mention, but the Flutter documentation contains an example of the implementation of the Android-specific code in Kotlin.
Toolbox and Widget Inspector Developers can use Flutter plug-ins for Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA and Visual Studio Code. A hot-reload feature has recently accelerated the testing process. Also new is the Widget Inspector, which gives the developer an insight into the tree structure of the widget.

  

          
          The Flutter Inspector provides insight into the tree structure of the widgets.
        
          (Image: Google)

        
    Further details can be found in the blog post, which also refers to the wide selection of packages to connect to, among others, SQLite, Firebase or Facebook Connect. Despite Flutter's previous alpha status, Google's AdWords team is one of them, and there are Flutter-written apps on the App Store and Play Store. In the future, the team wants to release fresh beta versions about every four weeks. A date for the release of Flutter 1.0 remains the blog post but guilty. If you want to try the beta, you will find instructions for installing and getting started on the Flutter site.

(RME)

  

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