Flutter 2.2.0 Is Here! 3 Reasons Why It’s Awesome
Discover the three most important changes that came with Flutter 2.2.0 announced while Google I/O 2021.
Table of contents
Flutter 2.2.0 is MAJOR minor update
After the big premiere of Flutter 2, Google has shown that it wants to continue developing the framework, which is one of their many projects (we all know what happens with most of them).
We no longer have to worry about the future of our framework because Google wants to leave a mark in the world of mobile cross-platform for good. Flutter is beginning to mature.
On Google I/O 2021, they announced Flutter 2.2.0. Over 1,000 PRs in
flutter/flutter merged and more. Flutter Web, iOS improvements, a new Dart release, new packages, tool improvements and so much more.
In this article, I will show you three changes that in my opinion are important for the future of Flutter developers.
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1. Official Docker support and Dart on Google Cloud
We are getting tested and validated Dart images on Docker, which support AOT compilation. Dart on the backend is not something new. We have projects like Aqueduct, Angel or Jaguar, as well as complex server frameworks created by the community.
Having only Flutter developers in a team creating the frontend and backend with one programming language could have its huge advantages.
Everyone has the same knowledge about the project because there’s no division between backend and frontend devs. We write in one common language, so there’s even some space for reusing components.
If we have only one dev (for maintaining the project, for example) that person can easily switch between platforms if required, without waiting for the backend dev to make changes for him or her.
But backends written in Dart are not a popular solution, and you can easily see it by activity in the packages mentioned earlier.
With this update, Google wants to support that approach. They even work with a community on a package that will allow us to use Cloud Functions in Dart, supporting serverless solutions. I hope that this update will trigger the community to return to this topic.
2. iOS performance improvements
This update is not in production use, but in preview. They finally took care of the legendary iOS jank. I’ve seen many tweets or youtube videos saying that Flutter is completely useless on iOS because of this (for example this video).
We, as Flutter developers, know that the problem with compiling shaders happens only in particular cases, so we can avoid increasing rendering performance. But from a user perspective, when it happens it is a serious issue, it can in the worst cases make them remove the application.
Google came up with an idea of caching shaders so they are ready before the first frame. But it was only working on OpenGL. We know this because, with Metal enabled on iOS by default, this issue still exists.
From this PR we can see that the ability to warm up shaders is also going to be available with Metal. If you want to try it, make sure you’re on the dev channel!
The first user experience is crucial from the business point of view. Users can remove your application because of too long loading indicators, bad UX, or non-performant animations. It’s really good to see Google and the community’s cooperation over this problem.
3. Community appreciation
One thing that Google does better than Apple is noticing its community. They do it at every event by organizing social media initiatives. The best clock written in Flutter, sending photos to be displayed on upcoming Google events, creating your own dash avatar, fun Flutter-related filters and so much more.
Community is an integral part of Flutter development. Community is Flutter.
They let developers maintain core widgets, they appreciate some popular packages by adding them to Flutter Favorites, and they also mention some packages in their tutorials!
Google makes you feel that this framework belongs to you, the developers, and not to the stakeholders of Alphabet.
From a marketing point of view, this is the perfect way to develop your product. The more you engage the community, the more feedback you get. The best testers of your product are your users. The same goes with Flutter.
I talk about all of this because, in Flutter 2.2.0, Google also recognized its community.
Do you perhaps know the provider package?
Of course you do!
This package, created by Remi Roussel, is now available to be debugged in DevTools! This is just a magnificent move isn’t it?
The future is bright!
Those are three things that mean that Google is really serious about Flutter and the times when people were wondering when this project will be closed are finally over. We love Flutter at Droids On Roids (we’re an experienced Flutter development company), and we’re very much looking forward to the next updates!
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