Flutter 2 is Now Available with its Desktop Update

For a long time, creating mobile applications quickly and cost-efficiently for major mobile platforms was a problem. Initially, most companies would have separate teams for each platform and develop their apps individually. However, this was very costly for most; apps would have different feature sets, different issues, and all because the code for each was not being reused in any way.

Yurii Tsap,
Head of Mobile Lab Lviv, Ukraine

One of the first attempts at a solution was PhoneGap, an open-source framework that leveraged browsers in mobile platforms. Essentially, you would write a web app that could run on both mobile platforms. However, the apps were terribly slow and very limited on which features of the native platform were accessible. As a result, PhoneGap was discontinued later on.

These days if you want to build cross-platform mobile apps, the two most popular options are: React Native or Flutter.

Today, we will take a closer look at the newly released Flutter 2.0 and how its updated features will make coding easier for cross-platform app development.

What is Flutter 2? 

Flutter is an open-source framework released by Google. It allows you to develop cross-platform apps using one codebase.

In the past, Flutter 1.0 very successfully took over both Android and IOS platforms. However, the new and improved Flutter 2.0 release now brings stable support for all major desktop platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS), foldables and embedded devices (so your app most likely can run on your fridge or in a car). 

With Flutter 2.0, you can easily migrate your code for mobile and web apps onto a desktop.

Flutter 2.0 comes with great support from major integrated development environments, such as Intellij IDEA, Android Studio and Visual Studio Code. It features a stateful hot reload (like every respectable UI-related framework should), so you can see the results of your changes nearly instantly while preserving the state of your application. This is done so you can have a very fast and satisfying development process.

With Flutter 2.0, you receive a large set of ready-to-use components out of the box. With these, you could build practically any application without spending too much time. Plus, new components are being added by developers every day. The Dart/Flutter community is also very active on StackOverflow, so many newcomers can find answers to all their questions there.

Dart vs. React 

Flutter 2.0 uses Dart, which is a great object-oriented programming language that has optional null safety and can compile to a very efficient native code or even JavaScript. At the release, it had performance showcases where human-written JavaScript was slower than Dart compiled into JavaScript. Currently, Dart is one of the fastest-growing programming languages on Github.

The major difference between Flutter and React Native is performance and maintainability. 

In terms of performance, Flutter 2.0 greatly outperforms React Native. This is because unlike React’s JavaScript, it uses Dart, which compiles into native machine code (while JavaScript is interpreted language and gets JIT compiled at runtime). During its release, Dart was demonstrating significant performance gains compared to JavaScript. With React, your JavaScript code interacts with native components of the platform via a background running thread. With Flutter, your code compiles into native code and needs no bridges to work with the platform. 

Dart is great when it comes to maintainability since it’s a mix of functional and object-oriented programming languages and is very easy to learn (especially if you know some JavaScript already). Unlike JavaScript, Dart doesn’t need extra solutions like Typescript; it will catch most of your issues before runtime and supports optional null safety, which will help avoid unexpected errors and bugs in your software. 

Google Partnerships for Flutter 2 

In the summer of 2020, Canonical and Google announced an exciting collaboration to support Flutter with desktop. This includes adding the SDK to Linux, completely refreshing and updating the Ubuntu installer (with Flutter, of course) and, in the near future, making it the default option for all Canonical apps. Flutter is an amazing open-source, cross-platform tool that could open the doors for further developing the Linus ecosystem. 

On the list of Flutter partners and supporters is Microsoft. Windows now offers support in Flutter. Recently, tMicrosoft announced it is contributing to the Flutter engine that will be used in the new foldable Android devices. The apps developed for these devices must be able to expand for dual screens or provide simultaneous content on both.

Last but not least is Toyota. The vehicle manufacturer plans to upgrade their vehicles through infotainment systems built using Flutter. This is a large step in the digital auto experience with large developments from past software. Toyota uses the many features of Flutter to provide the best in-vehicle system possible. 

Why you should try Flutter

In a nutshell, Flutter/Dart offers one of the best solutions for cross-platform development on the market. You get an easy-to-learn, maintainable codebase that can run pretty much everywhere with minor or no changes. Tooling support and rapid iterative development also show great results very quickly, saving you hassle and stress. 

So, if you haven’t tried Flutter yet, there has never been a better time. We believe you’ll find it to be a significant improvement in your software development experience. Early come – fastest grow. That’s a great possibility to catch the last train. Here at Skelia, we’ve got broad experience building m-commerce apps and mobile apps in other domains. Get in touch with us, and we’ll accompany you on a mission to creating ground-breaking mobile commerce software.

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About Skelia

Skelia, a Nortal company, is an international leader in building cross-border IT and engineering organizations and affiliate companies in Eastern-Europe. For over a decade, we have provided staff augmentation services to a diverse range of clients—from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. We operate in Luxembourg, the UK, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Poland, and the US.