Developers can now start building Windows apps with Flutter
Flutter is an open-source app development framework made by Google. One of its main goals is to make developing for multiple platforms easier, by allowing developers to share a single codebase across multiple targets. Up until now, you could use Flutter to build a unified application for Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and the web. If you look closely, you’ll notice there’s a pretty important operating system missing from that list. That omission is now being remedied, as Google has announced that Flutter for Windows is now available in alpha. With that, Flutter has become possibly the most cross-platform framework available for developers.
Windows support means a lot of things, but arguably the biggest effect is that it’s now possible to develop an app for 6 different platforms, without the need for 6 different codebases. On top of encouraging developers to start using Flutter, it also means existing Flutter-based apps can now natively come to Windows.
This is proper support, too. Google has updated the Flutter toolchain to properly support the Windows CLI, along with adding the necessary Win32 shell app that contains the actual Flutter app. And just like with the rest of the platforms, if there’s something you need to do in native code, you can do that too, thanks to Flutter’s plugin system.
If you’re curious how Flutter looks on Windows, Google also has you covered. You won’t need to download the entire SDK and build your own app. Instead, you can take a look at a couple of Windows-compatible Flutter apps, such as Flokk by gskinner and Flutter Gallery.
Finally, if you want to set up your own Flutter for Windows environment, here’s how. First, follow Google’s instructions for installing the Flutter tools on Windows. Next, enable Windows support by running the following commands.
flutter channel dev flutter upgrade flutter config --enable-windows-desktop
And that’s it! You should now have Flutter for Windows up and running. If you need more information, see Google’s documentation. Happy developing for all platforms!