3 min read

Yesterday, Google announced the release of Flutter 1.0, its first stable release, at the Flutter Live event. They further shared that they are working on a project called Hummingbird, which is a way to bring Flutter apps to the “modern, standards-based web”.

Flutter Live was held yesterday at the Science Museum on Exhibition Rd, Kensington, London SW7 2DD, UK. At this event, Google shared the latest from Flutter, Google’s free and open source SDK for building high-quality native iOS and Android apps from a single codebase.

Flutter 1.0 updates

The primary focus of Flutter 1.0 was bug fixes and stabilization. Some of the updates introduced in this release are:

  • They have added support for nearly twenty different Firebase services.
  • Performance is improved and work has been done around reducing the Flutter apps size.
  • Dart platform has been updated to 2.1, which offers smaller code size, faster type checks, and better usability for type errors.

They have also introduced previews of two new major features namely, Add to App and platform views, which are estimated to be released in February 2019. Developers can try these features in the preview mode.

Add to App

Add to App is introduced for the developers who wanted to use Flutter for adding new features in their existing applications or to convert their existing application to Flutter in stages. This feature makes it easier to incrementally adopt Flutter by updating templates, tooling, and guidance for existing apps. Also, the tooling has been reworked to make it easy to attach to an existing Flutter process without launching the debugger with the application.

Platform views

The newly-added platform view widgets, AndroidView and UiKitView allow you to embed an Android or iPhone platform in a Flutter app. These platform view widgets participate in the composition model, which means that you can integrate it with other Flutter content.

Hummingbird to bring Flutter to web

Flutter primarily focussed on iOS and Android, but now Google is extending it to a broader set of platforms. To achieve this goal, they recently shared a project called Flutter Desktop Embedding, which aims to brings Flutter to desktop operating systems. Also, to expand Flutter to the web they introduced Hummingbird. It is a web-based implementation of the Flutter runtime that utilizes the capability of Dart to compile not just to native ARM code but also to JavaScript.

Google’s product manager for Flutter, Tim Sneath told TechCrunch, ”From the beginning, we designed Flutter to be a portable UI toolkit, not just a mobile UI toolkit. And so we’ve been experimenting with how we can bring Flutter to different places.”

To explain more about what Hummingbird exactly is, Mr. Sneath added, “One of the great things about Flutter itself is that it compiles to machine code, to Arm code. But Hummingbird extends that further and says, okay, we’ll also compile to JavaScript and we’ll replace the Flutter engine on the web with the Hummingbird engine which then enables Flutter code to run without changes in web browsers. And that, of course, extends Flutter’s perspective to a whole new ecosystem.”

Read the official announcement about Flutter, check out Google’s blog.

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