Flutter 2.0 reaches stable and adds support for foldable and dual-screen devices
It’s March 3rd, and Flutter 2.0 is here! There are a whole bunch of changes in this version compared to Flutter 1, and this article is going to focus on what changed for the desktop and mobile versions.
For a while now, Flutter for Desktop has been in an alpha stage, which meant changing APIs, bugs, and performance issues. With Flutter 2.0, Google has moved its status to somewhere between beta and stable. What does that mean? Well, it’s available in Flutter 2.0 Stable, but Google doesn’t think it’s fully complete yet. It should be fine for production use, but there may be a bug here and there.
Flutter for Desktop should also have proper support for keyboard shortcuts, making it feel more like a truly native app on Windows, Linux, or macOS. If you’re not convinced of its stability, Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) has already begun remaking the Ubuntu installer in Flutter and has decided to use Flutter for all of its apps going forward.
Since Flutter was originally a cross-platform mobile framework, there’s not really too much to say here. For the most part, Flutter has been feature-complete of mobile for a while now, except for one thing: foldables. With Flutter 2.0, there’s now support for foldable displays, thanks to contributions made by Microsoft. Flutter now knows how to deal with this form-factor and lets developers lay their apps out how they want.
There’s now a new TwoPane widget in Flutter 2.0 that lets you, as the name implies, show two panes. The first pane will show on any device, while the second will show on the right half of a foldable display. Dialogs will also let you choose on which side of a foldable display they should show.
The crease or hinge on a foldable is exposed to developers as a display feature (like a notch), so apps can still stretch to the entire foldable display if they want, or take into account where the hinge is located and display accordingly.
On top of that, Google has moved its Mobile Ads SDK plugin to beta. This is an SDK for Android and iOS that lets you display AdMob ads in your mobile app. Currently, there’s no desktop support, but now you should be able to make relatively stable mobile apps with ads using Flutter.
These are the big changes in Flutter 2.0 concerning desktop and mobile platforms. What do you think about Flutter as a framework for desktop and mobile development? Let us know!