On Saturday, the Flutter team announced that, as a competition to Electron, they will soon be releasing native desktop client to accelerate mobile development. Flutter native desktop client will come with support for resizing the emulator during runtime, using assets from PC, better RAM usage, and more.
Flutter is Google’s open source mobile app SDK, which enables developers to write once and deploy natively on different platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Additionally, they can also share the business logic to the web using AngularDart.
Here’s what Flutter for desktop brings in:
Resizable emulator during runtime
To check how your layout looks on different screen sizes you need to create different emulators, which is quite cumbersome. To solve this issue Flutter desktop client will provide resizable emulator.
Use assets saved on your PC
When working with apps that interact with assets on the phone, developers have to first move all the testing files to the emulator or the device. With this desktop client, you can simply pick the file you want with your native file picker. Additionally, you don’t have to make any changes to the code as the desktop implementation uses the same method as the mobile implementation.
Hot reloads and debugging
Hot reload and debugging allows quickly experimenting, building UIs, adding new features, and fixing bugs. The desktop client supports these capabilities for better productivity.
Better RAM usage
The Android emulator consumes up to 1 GM RAM, but the RAM usage becomes worse when you are running the IntelliJ and the ever-RAM-hungry Chrome. Since the embedder is running natively, there will be no need for Android.
Universally usable widgets
You will be able to universally use most of the widgets such as buttons, loading indicators, etc that you create. And those widgets that require a different look as per the platform can be encapsulated pretty easily but checking the TargetPlatfrom property.
Pages and plugins
Pages differ in layout, depending on the platform and screen sizes, but not in functionality. You will be able to easily create accurate layouts for each platform with PageLayoutWidget. With regards to plugins, you do not have to make any changes in the Flutter code when using a plugin that also supports the desktop embedder.
The Flutter desktop client is still in alpha, which means there will be more changes in the future.
Read the official announcement on Medium.