Google announces Flutter 3, now compatible with macOS and Linux

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Google created Flutter a few years ago, with the goal of creating a cross-platform software framework. Flutter’s greatest strength is that it can be used to build apps for Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS, and even the web, and all from the same shared codebase. While building apps for Windows received stable support in February, macOS and Linux were still only in beta. Now that’s changing, as Google announced Flutter 3 at this year’s Google I/O, with stable support for building apps for macOS and Linux.

Of course, cross-platform support for these two new platforms requires more than just programs that can run. They should integrate with the rest of the experience and should also support specific features that may be unique. This is why Google puts forward two things: the first is that the support of Linux helped by Canonical (the editor of Ubuntu) and Google collaborating in order to “To offer a highly integrated and state-of-the-art development option.”

As Google says, Canonical is already growing with “Flutter for key shell experiences, including installation and firmware updates.” Also, their Linux-specific packages “provide an idiomatic API for core OS services, including dbus, gsettings, networkmanager, Bluetooth, and desktop notifications, as well as a comprehensive set of themes and widgets for Yaru, the look and feel of Ubuntu.”

When it comes to macOS, Google has invested in support for Intel and Apple Silicon devices, with Universal Binary support allowing apps to package executables that run natively on both architectures.

Firebase and Flutter

Google’s Firebase is a pretty comprehensive set of development tools. Its goal is to make application development and maintenance easier, with features like detailed crash reporting, user analytics, authentication, and storage. According to Google, 63% of Flutter developers use Firebase in their apps, so the team tried to integrate Firebase and Flutter. This integration is now better than ever, with improved documentation and tools and new widgets such as FlutterFire UI which provides developers with a reusable user interface for authentication and profile screens.

Additionally, Flutter’s Crashlytics plugin has been updated so developers can track fatal errors between users in real time, with the same set of features other iOS and Android developers would get. It is also much easier to install and configure.

Fundamental Flutter 3 improvements

Of course, Flutter 3 isn’t just about extending the framework’s platform support. It also introduces other things, including support for Material Design 3. Android 12 saw the launch of Material Design 3, including the Material You color theme engine.

Flutter 3 Material Design 3

Material Design 3 isn’t the only fundamental improvement that Flutter 3 brings. It now supports Apple Silicon natively, both for development and compiled output. Dart added Apple Silicon support late last year, and Flutter can take advantage of that for much faster compilation on M1-powered devices.

As for Dart-specific changes, Google says it has introduced three new language features that will help developers. These three characteristics are improved enumerations, named arguments anywhereand super builders. They also added executable signing, experimental RISC-V support, an upgraded linter, and new documentation. Google has a dedicated blog that you can check out for more information on Dart 2.17.

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