May 18, 2022
  • May 18, 2022

Google extends its Flutter SDK to Windows apps

By on September 23, 2020 0


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Google has announced that Flutter, its open-source UI development kit for building cross-platform software from the same codebase, is finally available for Windows apps in alpha release.

For the world’s first desktop operating system with some 1 billion Windows 10 installations alone, it’s been a long time coming. The alpha incarnation of Flutter was initially released at Google’s I / O Developer Conference in 2017, before going into beta less than a year later. In its original form, Flutter was designed for developing Android and iOS apps, but has since expanded to cover the web, macOS, and Linux, which are currently available in various alpha or beta iterations.

Developers had to take into account platform-specific factors when designing for desktop or mobile phones, such as different screen sizes and how people interact with their devices. On smartphones, people typically use touch and swipe gestures, while keyboards and mice are commonly used on PCs and laptops. This meant that Flutter had to expand its support to cover the additional inputs.

Reproduction

Leveraging Google’s Dart programming language, Flutter enables developers to build apps that appear native to every platform they run on, sharing as much code as possible to avoid duplication of effort and ‘accepting’ differences where they exist, ”as Google puts it.

Flutter, like other cross-platform frameworks, encourages developers to think about what they want to create, rather than what device they’re building for. This is arguably more relevant for small businesses or independent developers who don’t have the resources to target multiple platforms individually, although it also allows large companies to streamline and consolidate their development processes.

A recent report from JetBrains, a software development company that builds integrated development environments (IDEs), found that Flutter’s popularity had increased by 9 percentage points over the past year and was just behind React Native’s Facebook among cross-platform mobile frameworks.

According to Google, Flutter has been used to create more than 100,000 apps for Android on the Google Play Store alone, including from big companies like eBay. As it continues to open up support for more form factors, its adoption is expected to increase accordingly. Google said its own data shows that more than half of all Flutter developers already use Windows, so offering native desktop support for Microsoft’s ubiquitous operating system makes perfect sense.

Flutter supports Windows 7 and later devices, and Google has said it will continue to “stabilize” Flutter for Windows in the coming months.

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