Best Features Of Flutter 2.0 That Boost Mobile App Development

In a landmark launch event, Google unveiled Flutter 2.0 in the first week of March 2021. The new Flutter updates that have left every enthusiast and developer talking about the latest additions have inspired us to create an excerpt on Flutter’s new features.

Best Features Of Flutter 2.0 That Boost Mobile App Development

Flutter 2.0 is here to boost the mobile application development process. It offers better web support than before, compatibility with foldable devices, Flutter Folio, new SDK, widgets, and Devtool, plus Flutter Fix.

The collective impact of all these additions is that you will get your hands on a remarkable technology that will help you stabilize, scale, and improve your mobile application development processes. 

What’s New in Flutter 2.0 - Best Features

The earlier versions of Flutter helped develop applications for iOS and Android. With the new additions, support for other platforms like Mac, Linux, Windows, and embedded devices has become possible. Let’s look at the features that will make comprehensive development possible. 

Better Web Support

By far, this is one of the most exciting additions to technology. Under the Flutter 2.0 new features, the developers can use Flutter to build web applications with code reusability.

Web applications are the programs that will run on the web platform irrespective of the device-this addition transitions Flutter’s approach from document-centricity to the app-centric framework. The Flutter developers have got the option and the means to build web applications with the same ease as they were earlier building Android or iOS applications.

The new version of Flutter will not allow building interactive and performant web applications, which was not possible before. Besides adding the basic functionalities, you can also use the APIs to insert 2D and 3D graphics to make your web app more interactive.

Technically, Flutter 2.0 has transitioned from the beta to the stable channel. With this, the developers can reuse the code to support different web platforms. Imagine building an application for iOS or Android; now you can build the same app for a web platform.

Adding to the previous HTML rendered, Flutter 2.0 is built with a CanvasKit-based renderer. 

Flutter Folio

With the new release, Flutter provides development capabilities for six different platforms. Three production apps for Android, iOS, and Web plus three additional in beta with Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The task here is to write an application that adapts itself according to the platform. You will have to consider different screen sizes, input modes, idioms, etc. To conquer all these, Flutter 2.0 features Flutter Folio.

Flutter Folio is a scrapbooking application for developing programs to run on all devices. The Folio is advantageous as it considers every input mode and other things while letting developers create the magic they want only once.

In technical terms, Folio is a platform adaptive application built within the Flutter development environment. Even though it’s at a nascent stage, you can expect to get more functionalities with the same in the future.

So the codebase you write, which results in an application adapts itself conforming to the required platform. If you are interested, check out the source code for Flutter Folio and explore what it can do. 

Google Mobile Ads

Another one of the great Flutter 2.0 new features helps developers insert native ads and inline banners over the existing formats like rewarded, Interstitial, etc. into the current overlay formats. This creates an immersive user experience while helping developers put in much less effort for promoting the application.

The Google Mobile Ads SDK also integrates with Admob and Ad Manager, which are used to customize the ads running on the mobile application. This means irrespective of the size of your publishing activities; you can use this new feature to run ads for any scenario.

Before launching this feature for the public, the Flutter development shared the same with selected developers via a private beta program. As a result, Sua Musica used this feature to launch a new application built on Flutter.

They used Google mobile Ads SDK to run ads within the overlay formats and recorded a 350% increase in the number of impressions along with a 43% increase in the Click Through Rate (CTR) and a 13% increase in eCPM.

These figures suggest that by using the new Flutter plugin, businesses can create better-performing ads and get impressive results. 

Sound Null Safety

Any Flutter app development company will fall in love with this new feature as it helps prevent any sort of null error crashes during development. Sound Null Safety is added to the Dart language, which is used to write programs in Flutter. But you that bit, right?

How does this new feature of Flutter help with development? Sound Null Safety distinguishes the nullable types from the non-nullable ones. This, in turn, helps prevent null error crashes.

Working with this feature incorporates null checks within the type system. This allows catching errors during development, thus preventing crashes. The ultimate benefit of preventing crashes is working in a stress-free environment. Your application won’t crash in the creation stage, and working will be smoother and streamlined. 

Support for Desktop Applications

This is, by far, one of the most amazing additions into Flutter 2.0 new features. The revamped Flutter development environment has support for developing desktop-based applications. This means that you can build programs that will run on Windows, macOS, and Linux-powered systems.

The good thing is that Flutter 2.0 does not leave any stone unturned to let developers create a native-like experience for the end-users while they are engaging with the platforms.

A few examples of this native experience include mouse dragging, text selection, context menu (built-in), and so much more. Within the built-in context menu, the developers can finish their material and Cupertino design with the help of TextField and TextFormField widgets.

It comes with an updated scrollbar and grabs handle suitable for mouse and touch-based input sequences. We can say that every new addition has been made after due consideration of the usability and utility of the platform application.

Some other functions added to the desktop application development system include the scrollbar widget. This allows users to drag the thumb or use the mouse to move the page up and down. The scrollbars can also be customized according to different themes to make them look better and more presentable.

Finally, within the Flutter new features for Desktop applications, you will find command-line argument handling. This makes it easier and intuitive to find and open files in the application. Flutter 2.0 comes jam-packed with relevant features for Windows and macOS applications.

One thing you will notice down the line is that the resizing of applications meant for desktops has become smoother. With better community support that can help you with native text editing and top-level menu creation, you will find catching up with the new features accessible and possible. 

New Features for iOS

Flutter 2.0 brings new Pull Requests (PRs) for iOS application development; these new PRs and other updated functions are added to enhance the quality of applications built for the platform.

Flutter 2.0 brings with it 178 PRs connected to iOS. Some of the major PRs that are a part of the new release include 23495 enabling State Restoration to iOS. Another is 67781 that helps build an IPA from the command line directly without opening Xcode.

In addition to the PRs, you will find a new CupertinoSearchTextField within the system meant for improving the UI of the search bar on iOS devices. Other Cupertino based additions include;

  • CupertinoFormSection
  • CupertinoFormRow
  • CupertinoTextFormFieldRow 

These new developmental aspects are added to validate form fields to improve the visual aesthetics of the iOS sections.

While the development work is still in progress, you can expect to observe improvements in the research performance, shaders, and animation aspects of iOS devices. 

Added Some New Widgets

Flutter 2.0 comes with a plethora of new features, including widgets, but two of them stand out. The Autocomplete and ScaffoldMessenger widgets are added to improve the development work and increase the speed of creating an application with Flutter.

The AutoCompleteCore widget is about adding minimal functionality to enable the automatic information filling in the application. This feature comes in response to the user’s request about the same.

If you are an avid developer, you will understand the importance of SnackBar in development and how frustrating are the issues arising in the same. The good thing is that the ScaffoldMessenger addresses the SnackBar issues and facilitates different functions related to the same. Some of them are,

  • Creating a SnackBar as a response to AppBar action. 
  • Creating them to work between the Scaffold transitions. 
  • Showing SnackBars at the end of an asynchronous action.

DevTools is now Flutter DevTools

Flutter DevTools is used for debugging the applications and has become a core of Flutter 2.0 new features. The debugging system provided by this function is added to improve the production quality of the applications built with this technology.

Flutter DevTools lets you come across issues before you have launched the debugging application. This means that the Flutter DevTools runs in the background, checking the codebase as you write and edit.

This zeroing in on the issues works in correspondence with Android Studio, IntelliJ, or Visual Studio Code. Technically, the Flutter DevTools enables these development frameworks to notice these issues and bring them up to the DevTools interface for resolution.

Once the issue is highlighted and displayed on the relevant interface, you can resolve it amicably. Even in modular development aspects, changing one line of code will require changing some other parts of that feature or function.

But with the Flutter new features, you can resolve the code issues while developing. There are some additional innovative features in the revamped DevTools,

  1. Error Badges
    When you open the Flutter DevTools interface, you will see the number of errors organized into tabs. This is useful in tracking the specific issues in the codebase. 
     
  2. Track Image Resolution
    Oversized images slow down the application, which leads to a bad user experience. Flutter DevTools recognizes this and tracks the oversized images that can increase the application size and memory usage. It will inform you about the same so that you can rectify it. 
  3. Now you can view added average FPS information within the development environment along with recommendations about usability improvements. 
  4. The memory view charts have been reprogrammed to work faster with a smaller size and easy usability. 

Add-to-App

Another one of the innovative features comes in the form of Add-to-App, which allows you to reuse the Flutter code and add it to the existing iOS and Android codebase.

The Add-to-App is compatible with both the mobile platforms and does not change the existing native codebase. The issue with this functionality in the previous version was the problems users faced while integrating the first screen into Flutter.

This issue has been addressed in the Flutter new features. Now the newly added APIs enable the new screen addition in preview on the beta channel. The same are documented on flutter.dev while showing the new patterns.

Flutter Fix

Flutter 2.0 is a future-oriented technology. We say because it has been developed with a future perspective in mind and accommodates the development needs of the future.

Flutter Fix is one of the best examples in this regard. Before understanding what it is, let’s see why Flutter Fix is added to the list of Flutter 2.0 new features.

As any development technology grows and scales, a large number of developers become a part of the community. Due to this, making changes to the frameworks and APIs becomes complex and time-consuming.

There are more than 500,000 developers using Flutter. Imagine the trouble one developer has to go through just because he wants to change one line of code in an API.

Flutter Fix is the answer to the troubles faced by developers in this scenario. Dart fix is a CLI tool of the dart, which helps developers look for the list of deprecated APIs and change, edit, modify, or alter its codebase.

Secondly, Flutter Fix also shows the list of available development fixes that are grouped in Flutter SDK. Lastly, the Flutter Fix also represents an updated group of extensions compatible with Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ, and Android Studio.

This list of Flutter 2.0 new features is not the end of everything new about the updated version of the framework. There are a few more tricks on the sleeve that you will come to know about while developing the applications. 

Conclusion

Flutter 2.0 is creating a high-performance application development ecosystem. The developers can build applications for almost every popular platform with a single codebase and let the technology adapt to provide a native-like experience.

We have listed the top Flutter 2.0 new features. Rest assured that there will be new ones coming in the future, and there will be some changes according to the community’s response.

It is important to understand the ways and means of developing an application with Flutter before you begin working with Flutter 2.0. The more you work with this technology and explore its features, the better you will get at building performant applications for every platform.