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Flutter Interact 2019: All You Need to Know (Big Announcements)

Flutter Interact left developers awestruck with many updates in the framework. We have summed up everything here, about Flutter Interact: 2019 and the big announcements made in the event.

Flutter Interact 2019: All You Need to Know (Big Announcements)

Saturday December 21, 2019,

6 min Read

Flutter Interact, an event recently held by Google along with the Flutter Community, has ended with some great announcements. Some amazing Flutter features are declared in this immense event that made the developer community excited all around the world.

In the event, every announcement came with a note saying “there’s more to come!”. Many developers, including us, were astonished to hear what Flutter has for the future.

All the Flutter update previews were enough to make you go crazy about Flutter, let’s have a look at what this event brought to the Flutter world.

Here’s all you need to know about Flutter Interact:

Flutter 1.12

Although a minor release, still, this new version of Flutter fixed a lot of issues and bugs along with bringing many new exciting APIs and material theme additions.

Let’s have a look at the fresh features of Flutter 1.12:

AndroidX Support

A piece of big news for Flutter developers in India that upcoming Flutter projects will fully support AndroidX. No need to manually migrate each project to AndroidX anymore.

Enabled iOS 13 dark mode

Flutter Framework already has extensive support for the Material theme and Material widgets which can be used for making both Android and iOS apps. Cupertino widgets, however, took some time to catch up. There's good news though. Flutter themes now support iOS 13 dark mode. This means your apps will look amazing in the dark!

Added Google Fonts Packages

This one brings a lot of relief. Now you don’t need to download and add the Google fonts in your Flutter app and the Pubspec file. This new version of Flutter has Google Fonts plugin, which allows direct use of Google fonts in the Dart code. We’ll write a separate blog post about it soon.

Updated Add-to-App Support

Flutter 1.12 now supports the direct add-to-app feature in Android Studio. This means that you can now add Flutter to your existing Android app easily. Previously, it took several steps to import a Flutter project in an Android app.

Upgraded Flutter Gallery

All new Flutter Gallery has been introduced. It is fully renewed where you can find the code samples for new Flutter widgets and features. Flutter Gallery has always been the go-to source for many new developers to understand Flutter widgets, and this new Gallery app will be more helpful now.

Flutter community has introduced Flutter 1.12  as a big announcement for Flutter developers.

Hold On! 

You thought that’s all? 

No! Flutter Interact brought more cool things, Check out:

Dart 2.7

With version 2.7, Dart is now safer and more expressive. The most notable changes are Extension methods, character packages, and Null safety. All of these new additions were long requested by the community and the Dart team delivered them in this release. There are, of course, more changes but these are the major ones.

Hot UI

This one is a game-changer in our opinion. Flutter was already fantastic for doing quick iterations in terms of UI thanks to Hot Reload, but now with HotUI, you can preview the design right there in the IDE without even running the project. That’s awesome, isn’t it? Moreover, HotUI also stores the data of the last preview of Android Studio.

All New Dart Dev Tools

The new Dart Dev Tools are web-based and have got many interesting features. The major ones are-

  • Widget Inspector to view the hierarchy of the widget tree.
  • Timeline view to diagnose the app frame-by-frame so that you can identify the performance issues in the layout rendering
  • Full source-level debugger to view the call stack and to set breakpoints
  • A log view to view the logs, network requests and garbage collection events

Multi Debugging Tool: VS Code

After building the Flutter UI and app layout on a single device, wouldn’t it be great, if you can perform debugging on multiple devices at the same time?

The multi-debugging extension allows multiple devices to be attached at the same time to the debugger while you debug your app in VS Code.

You can use multiple platforms and devices to run & debug your app simultaneously. It is not ending here, you can even view the call stack of each device separately while it’s running on multiple devices.

In the Flutter Interact event, they represented the live preview of this feature with 7 devices connected with a Mac. All the 7 devices were running the same code and when some changes were made, it reflected on 7 devices at the same time with Hot reload.

And guess what? They called it Flutter Octopus!

Supernova & Adobe XD

Supernova is a software that can help you in generating UI code for Flutter from your Sketch and Adobe XD files. The code can be edited directly from an editor with the app running on a real device.

With the Adobe XD plugin for Flutter, you can now generate Flutter UI code directly from Adobe XD itself. It’ll be a great tool to simplify the communication between design and development teams. XD to Flutter is a collaboration between Adobe and Google that will be available in early 2020.

Flutter for Web

Beta version of Flutter for Web has been released and can be used by developers for developing prototypes. It has many great plugins and features like Page routing, control over native text, mobile accessibility and more. Of course, it’s not ready for production usage yet, so be careful with where and how you use it. Know what Flutter community has offered in Flutter for Web here.

Flutter for Desktop

An alpha version of Flutter for Desktop is now active for MacOS. Moreover, Flutter Gallery supports Flutter desktop apps. Many enhancements are made in the desktop version of Flutter, like keyboard accessibility and more.

Know what is new in Flutter for Desktop.

Wrapping Up the Flutter Interact Event

All in all, it's very clear that Flutter is going to be the Ambient Computing platform that has long been desired by developers worldwide. Google is also putting a lot of effort & investments in making sure that the developer community at large is happy and contributing more to Flutter, one way or the other. With so many shiny new things, one can rely on Flutter to be here for the long-term.