Google’s Flutter Beta 3 Takes Another Leap Towards Simple Cross-Platform App Design
Tomorrow at Google I/O’s developers keynote, we will see the official launch of Flutter Beta 3. This beta is an important step towards the 1.0 build for Flutter, with a heavy focus on solidifying the improvements that Google has been working since they launched the initial Flutter Beta.
First and foremost among those improvements is the implementation of the Dart 2 programming language. The second version of Dart was designed specifically with the challenges that early Flutter builds ran into in mind and brings some substantial changes, including strong typing, cleaner syntax, and an updated developer toolchain.
With the attempts to flesh out the flutter framework of course comes a focus on making it available to as many people as possible. Flutter Beta 3 brings improved localization support (including support for right-to-left languages) and makes it easier to design highly-accessible applications. Google is also attempting to allow developers to use whatever tools they are most comfortable with, by adding full native first-class support for Visual Studio Code.
Arguably the largest improvement in Flutter Beta 3 however is the widget inspector. This tool makes it simple to tweak and test individual parts of your UI design, without having to wait for a full instance to boot up each time. The Widget Inspector will have a substantial impact on speeding up Flutter development, and will play a critical role in debugging Flutter in the future.
If you want to get a sneak peek at the features that Google is going to be demonstrating tomorrow at Google I/O, we have a little treat for you. Thanks to the open source nature of Flutter, Google Developer Expert Faisal Abid (who spoke about Flutter at AndroidTO) was recently able to give a talk showing off the alpha versions of some of these upcoming features, and you can view it right now on YouTube!
Despite all these improvements, Google’s work still is not done. The Flutter framework is unfortunately still not quite small enough to be used in Instant Apps, but Google is working towards making it a possibility in the future. As we approach the 1.0 mark for Flutter, Google will also be putting substantial effort into ecosystem and compatibility.
Speaking of Flutter 1.0, Google mentioned that they are currently hoping to release the first official stable build of Flutter within the next year (possibly at Google I/O 2019’s Developer Keynote?). While there is still a lot of work to be done for Flutter, Google seems to be on the right track, and as a result we have already seen surprising adoption of Flutter by various apps in the Android ecosystem.
Check out the Getting Started Guide to start designing apps with Flutter today!