Building or developing a mobile application is complex and challenging, and various frameworks provide excellent features to create such applications. Android provides a native framework based on Java and Kotlin languages, while iOS offers a framework based on Objective-C/Swift language. Developing applications for both iOS and Android require the use of these different languages and frameworks. To overcome this complexity, several frameworks, known as cross-platform development tools, have been introduced, which support both operating systems and desktop apps.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source mobile application development framework developed by Google. It is used to build high-performance, cross-platform mobile applications from a single codebase for iOS, Android, and the web. Flutter uses the Dart programming language, also developed by Google, and provides a rich set of pre-built widgets and tools for building beautiful, responsive, fast user interfaces.
Flutter is made of two parts;
- Software Development Kit (SDK), which is a collection of tools that help develop applications and includes tools that compile the code into native machine code
- Framework is a UI library based on widgets, a collection of reusable UI elements like buttons, text inputs, and sliders that can be used to personalize as per need.
What is Flutter 3.0?
Features of Flutter 3.0
- Firebase support – Firebase is a backend-as-a-service for Flutter developers and provides hosted backend services like cloud storage, real-time database, crash reporting, etc. Firebase integration with the Flutter platform is now more robust and powerful.
- The source code and documentation are now a core part of Firebase, enabling Flutter developers to create better and more feature-rich apps. A suite of Flutter plugins is also being developed by Google, making it easier to use Firebase. Firebase Crashlytics is another real-time update where developers can check out the errors and crashes.
- Flutter casual games toolkit – The casual games toolkit enables developers to create and launch casual games from scratch. The open-source platform supports hardware-accelerated graphics and allows developers to integrate new and exciting features via the games toolkit.
- macOS and Linux support – Flutter supported Android and iOS app development, which expanded to Windows, Web, and embedded devices. Flutter 3.0 version now extends support to app development for macOS and Linux operating systems.
- Dart 2.17 – Dart 2.17 has been updated in Flutter 3.0 and is now accessible to all developers. The added support for enums makes writing code that uses named parameters in construction easier. It has refined the use of named arguments in constructors and helps streamline writing code for forwarding parameters to superclasses.
- Foldable phone support – Collaboration with Microsoft has allowed Flutter 3.0 to support foldable devices. Developers using Flutter 3.0 can now use the Media Query class and assign rules for Display Features which details the information about device elements like hinges, folds, cutouts, etc.
- Support for iOS variable refresh rate – Higher refresh rates provides a smoother experience and eliminates choppiness experienced while scrolling or during transitions. Flutter supports refresh rates higher than 60 frames per second (fps), and apps can now run up to 120 fps on devices with high-resolution displays. It will directly support the variable refresh rates on iOS devices like iPhone 13 Pro and iPad Pro.
- Support for macOS system menu bar and cascading menus – The Cascading Menu widget in Flutter 3.0 SDK allows the creation of app-wide menus. This cascading menu generates a seamless transition between the app’s primary and secondary menu by combining the new pop-up menu, the native menu bar, and the native system menu bar. Features of Cascading Menu widget:
- The Cascading Menu automatically gets placed at the top of the screen when created and removed when it is no longer needed. It can be customized by setting the top offset value in pixels.
- It allows the creation of multiple menus that can be added to the screen simultaneously and changes the order and appearance of these menus.
- Menus can be added dynamically, enabling menus to appear on the screen even if they are not available in the app.
- Web app lifecycle – Webapp Lifecycle is another new feature in Flutter 3.0 and provides developers with more flexibility and control over the bootstrap process of the Flutter app when it is hosted via an HTML page. The lifecycle can now analyze app performance in real time and provide valuable inputs.
- Image decoding – In the Flutter 3.0 version, the Flutter Web interface can automatically perceive and deploy image coder API from the browser itself. This helps Flutter Web to decode images asynchronously, resulting in 2x improvement in loading images.
Many other features have been added, updated, and enhanced in Flutter 3.0. Flutter 3.0 now supports Material Design 3, which makes the UI more polished, intuitive, and user-friendly. It is also fully native to Apple’s M1 processor enabling faster speed and seamless compilation. For anyone looking to develop mobile apps using Flutter 3.0, a dedicated Flutter application development services company can help leverage the new features and capabilities that Flutter 3.0 provides.