Google’s open-source UI software development platform: Flutter has just been revamped and refreshed with the current version Flutter 2.2, which has been armed with some interesting new features and capabilities.
This was announced during the recently concluded Google I/O 2021 event.
Flutter’s Popularity Rises
Flutter by Google has now become the world’s most popular cross-platform development framework. According to Slashdata, approximately 45% of all cross-platform developers are now using Flutter for creating mobile apps.
In fact, between 2020 and 2021, usage of the Flutter framework witnessed a massive surge of 47% in growth, and right now, 12% of all mobile apps in the Google Playstore are using Flutter.
Launched in 2017 by Google, Flutter supports a cross-platform app development framework for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and also for web-form via one single codebase.
That’s the beauty and capability of Flutter.
Now, without much ado, let’s discuss the top 5 updates in Flutter 2.2, that you should be aware of…
Update #1: Null Safety Is Now Default
With release 2.0, Flutter introduced the Null Safety feature, which has now become the default for new projects. With the Null Safety feature, developers can easily indicate whether a variable or value can be null or not, directly from the code. It provides protection against null reference exceptions.
This way, null-pointer-related errors can be drastically reduced and controlled.
In fact, with the Dart language being used in Flutter, the compiler is smart enough to eliminate all null-checks in run-time, which makes the app perform remarkably fast.
Update #2: Payments Mechanism Updated
A big development has been announced in the payment space, for mobile applications made using Flutter 2.2 version. With the new update, a new payments plug-in has been introduced that has been built with the help of the Google Play team. With this useful plug-in, developers can embed features to accept payments for physical goods, for both Android and iOS apps.
Besides, the existing in-app purchase plug-in has been updated with more security and encryption for safe financial transactions.
Update #3: Development For Web Becomes More Powerful
In the space for web development, Flutter 2.2 has some interesting updates. Now, developers can use service workers for background caching. This means that the web-based apps will be faster, and leaner, translating to better performance.
Update #4: Dart Updated With More Features
Originally released before Flutter, Dart is the programming language that supports Flutter development framework for cross-platform apps.
With version 2.2, Dart too has been upgraded to version 2.13. With this new version, Dart will now extend support to native interoperability as well. This has been made possible by supporting arrays and packed structs in FFI (foreign function interface).
This update will help to enhance readability and opens up a portal for refactoring scenarios.
Update #5: App Size Can Be Now Reduced
In a bid to further make the mobile apps light-weight and less bulky, Flutter 2.2 will now allow Android apps to have deferred components. This way, the Flutter elements needed for the proper functioning of the app can be downloaded at run-time, and thus, no need to load extra code into the app.
This way, apps will be lighter in size now.
Bonus: For iOS development, Flutter 2.2 now allows developers to precompile shaders, which will make animations extra smooth and seamless (when they are run for 1st time). Besides, some new tools have been added which will enable developers to analyze memory usage in any app, thereby empowering them to streamline memory usage and make the app perform better.
To know more about the new developments, please visit the official Flutter resource website here.
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