Flutter Update Timeline – What’s new?

Flutter has changed the mobile app development game since its first release in 2018. Over all these years, there have been major and minor updates to Flutter, adding new functionalities, features, and performance improvements. Today we will walk you through all the updates included in the latest 3.3.0 release, Vikings while covering other updates released over the years and the major changes they packed.  

Google announced the Vikings update of Flutter’s version: 3.3.0, and everyone is excited to find out more about the amazing new features incorporated this time. Flutter 3.3 update is a major one, which has been expected since Google merged pull requests to provide mobile app developers with more options and ammunition. 

This blog will discuss the seven major highlights of the Vikings Flutter 3.3 update, which every developer should be aware of. But first things first. 

A Brief About Flutter 

Flutter is an exception framework offered by Google to build interactive, feature-rich, multi-platform apps. You can easily build engaging cross-platform apps that run smoothly over Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the web with a single code. 

This open-source UI framework was first introduced to the developers in May 2017. Since then, the search giant Google has rolled-out various versions of Flutter, each with unique features. Recently, the launch of Flutter 3.3 has gained quite a high momentum due to its excellent benefits for developers.   

What is the Difference Between Flutter 2 and Flutter 3.3? 

Before we move forward to discuss the excellent features of Flutter 3.3, it is essential to know something about the current version, which may be the favorite for some developers! 

The Flutter 2 version had minimal or no support for Linux and macOS devices. However, the recent launch has got it covered. Flutter 3.3 version now supports macOS and Universal Binaries so that the apps can run seamlessly on Apple Silicon chips and Intel.  

Besides that, Google has also partnered with Ubuntu’s Canonical to enable flutter app development for the Linux platform. Clearly, the launch of Flutter 3.3 has made it possible for developers to offer engaging apps over multiple platforms with a single code. 

What are the New Features in Flutter 3.3? 

Here are all the latest features offered by Flutter with its recent launch of Flutter 3.3.0. 

Multi-platform Support 

Unlike Flutter 2, Flutter 3.3 version support macOS and Linux devices. That means the coders can now easily create a cross-platform app that runs seamlessly on Apple and Intel. Besides that, thanks to the open-source feature of Flutter, anyone can contribute to the documentation to make the latest version more powerful and effective for its users.  

Games Toolkit 

Another exciting feature of Flutter 3.3 is the casual games toolkit. Yes, you heard it right! Flutter has not only made app developers happy but also released new functionalities for game developers.  

Flutter 3.3 offers a casual gaming toolkit to game developers that contains a set of templates, guidelines, and video tutorials for developers that want to try Flutter for their game development.  

In fact, the developers at Flutter have already leveraged the new version to create an engaging game called Pinball. That game is powered by Flutter 3.3 and Firebase, which shows the versatility of the latest version.  

Material Design 3 

Flutter, which is majorly used for app development, has also been used by developers for app designing purposes. Previously Dart was used by the developers, which was difficult to understand. However, the recent release of Flutter 3.3 has made it quite simple. 

The app development framework has also been updated to Material Design 3, an in-house design language of Google to help developers create engaging cross-platform apps for web and mobile. Motion system updates, a new range of color schemes, and better designing elements are notable features of the Material Design 3 update.   

Firebase Support 

According to some sources, nearly 62% of developers use Firebase for creating and supporting web and mobile apps. Besides that, Firebase is also used for data management, user authentication, testing, and cloud functions. 

Hence, Flutter 3.3 version announced a complete Flutter Firebase integration. That means you can easily check errors in your app using Firebase Crashlytics plugin. Besides, you can also keep your Flutter app stable using the “crash-free users” feature of the Flutter Firebase integration.     

Support for Foldable Phones 

What more in Flutter 3.3? Well, we all know that recently many brands launched their foldable mobile devices. Hence, Flutter made sure it covers those devices for app development by offering support services. 

With new widgets and features, app developers can now create Flutter apps for foldable phones. The Flutter developers can build engaging apps having appealing user interfaces. That functionality has been integrated into Flutter 3.3 via collaborating with Microsoft! 

Image Decoding 

That feature is specific for web apps created using the Flutter 3.3 framework. The flutter 3.3 version offers new APIs to the app developers that decode the images to facilitate the thread-calling process.  

That means the images are decoded off the main thread through built-in image codecs. That eventually speeds up the decoding process while making the main thread available for the function-calling process. In short, the web apps built on Flutter 3.3 perform better than those built on the Flutter 2 version.  

Variable Refresh Rate for iOS Apps 

The refresh rates in iOS devices, which were limited to 60Hz, have now been updated. Flutter 3.3 version now supports variable refresh rates and ProMotion displays for iOS apps. That means the users can easily enjoy iOS apps having 120Hz refresh rates with the Flutter 3.3 version.  

That feature results in better video processing and navigation of the iOS apps. The users will have an enhanced scrolling experience and a better view of fast animated videos.  

Scribble Inputs 

Yes, you read it correctly! Thanks to the amazing contribution of Flutter’s community members, the Flutter 3.3 version now supports scribble inputs. That means the users can write on the iPad using Apple Pencil to give inputs to the framework.  

The scribble input feature is currently available on CupertinoTextField, TextField, and EditableText. The users only need to update Flutter 3.3 to access these unique text input features.  

What Other Features Make Flutter 3.3 Amazing? 

We all know that when it comes to surprising its users, Google never backs off. The same is true with the latest Flutter 3.3 release. The features mentioned above make a great deal for Flutter developers; however, some other amazing functionalities Flutter 3.3 offers.  

Text Input 

One of the great deals about Flutter 3.3 is that it offers a wide array of functionalities, making app development a piece of the cake. For instance, the ‘text input’ functionality provided by Flutter 3.3 is an amazing way to support a rich text editor. That means you can now change the size and shape of the text to make it more engaging using the properties of the Flutter 3.3 version.  

go_router Package 

Another excellent feature of the latest Flutter is the updated go_router package. Simpler navigation has always been a problem for Flutter developers when designing a complex app. However, the recent version of Flutter has made it possible for developers to offer easy navigation across mobile and web apps. 

The team updated the go_router package of Flutter. That means the developers now get URL-based API making routing and navigation easier for desktop, web, and mobile apps. The users can easily navigate the app, and the APIs can even handle deep links, all thanks to the Flutter 3.3 version.  

DevTools Update 

Many of you might think, what are DevTools? They are interactive performance and debugging tools used in Dart and Flutter. With Flutter DevTools, you can easily inspect the UI of your app, diagnose the UI Jank performance issues, and even analyze your Flutter app’s code.  

Since the release of the last Flutter version, there have been multiple updates in DevTools. The recent version of Flutter offers improvements in the UX and performance of the apps. The scrolling of a large list has also become easier, thanks to the Flutter 3.3 version!  

Elimination of Pixel Snapping 

The Fractional Translation problem was a major concern in the previous Flutter versions. The Flutter framework always aligned the composited layer to match the pixel boundaries. But since the older version of iPhones (32-bit) does not match the pixel boundaries of the desktop, the problem of image fading was clearly seen.  

But not anymore! The release eliminated the pixel-snapping feature from its engine, making it possible to view high-quality images on mobile and desktop apps. Since the newer versions of the iPhones do not require pixel snapping, the feature was removed, making it possible for the users to view perfect images on all the devices.  

Global Selection Made Easier 

Better user experience and smooth navigation is the main aim of Flutter 3.3. To achieve that, Flutters now offers users to select the complete text of the app with just a slide.  

The sliding gesture allows the users to select the entire data on the web app. To enable such functionality, the developers need to wrap the widgets with the “SelectableArea” widgets. 

Launch of Wonderous 

Yes, a new UI reference app meant to assist users with fabulous UI and graphics. Google recently launched a new UI reference app for the users of Flutter 3.3 to help them enhance their app’s user experience. 

Wonderous, the new reference app is made by associating with the skinner team. The apps help the developers to learn and explore more about app design. The users can explore that app to explore ways to offer a highly engaging design to their users.  

A New Graphic Engine 

Lastly, we have a new graphic engine that Google’s Flutter team launched with the release of Flutter 3.3. Impeller, the new graphic engine, has been made on an experimental basis to enhance the overall performance and UX of the Flutter apps.

The Impeller will leverage the capabilities of hardware-accelerated graphic APIs to boost refresh rates, deliver better animations, and reduce the relevance of runtime shader compilation. That means better visuals and smooth navigation across all devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, etc.  

Majorly, the new graphic engine is working to offer the following benefits: 

  • Offers predictive performance by compiling the code offline at build time. 
  • The Impeller is fully portable and not connected with any third-party API of the client.  
  • Multithreading is possible in the case of complex app development, which means better performance under high loads.  
  • All the graphic resources are labeled and tagged.   

What to Expect More from Flutter? 

Flutter’s future is all bright and exciting while transforming the mobile app development journey for developers. Recently, with the launch of the Flutter 3.3 version, the requirement of a single code for multiple platforms was also fulfilled. 

However, there’s always the question of “what’s next” in the mind of the developers. Well, the Impeller is still in the experimental stage; hence, we might see full use of that new graphic engine in future versions of Flutter. 

 Apart from that, we believe that question remained unanswered till the next launch of Flutter. However, Google answered that question very efficiently. According to Tim Sneath, the product manager for Flutter, the main aim will be to raise the productivity of the developers while expanding the capabilities of Flutter. 

Final Takeaway! 

In today’s digital world, change is the only constant. 

The recent updates in Flutter have proved the above saying true. With all the exciting features like image decoding, foldable device support, casual games toolkit, and more, Flutter 3 is ready for production on all desktop platforms! Obviously, there will be more updates soon. 

But as of now, we can leverage these amazing features and toolkits offered by this excellent app development technology. The new release of a gaming toolkit, support for Firebase, multi-platform support, and even scribble inputs are some of the major benefits offered by Flutter 3.3 

You can connect with the best flutter app development company to know more about the latest version and leverage those features for your next custom mobile application.  

Till then, Happy Reading!

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