Google announces Flutter 2, Google Mobile Ads for Flutter beta, and more

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Google announced its UI toolkit for cross-platform app development in 2018. On Wednesday, the company announced Flutter 2 and the availability of Dart 2.12.

Image: Google

In 2018, Google announced Flutter, the company’s UI toolkit for cross-platform app development. On Wednesday, Google announced Flutter 2, extending the toolkit to additional platforms with Flutter 2, the availability of Dart 2.12, a Google Mobile Ads for Flutter beta and more.

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“Our goal is to fundamentally shift how developers think about building apps: Starting not with the platform you’re targeting but rather with the experience you want to create. Flutter allows you to handcraft beautiful experiences where your brand and design comes to the forefront,” the release said.

In the age of the smart home and connected car, people interact with applications in a number of environments via myriad devices and systems. In a press release, Google explained that Flutter 2 can be embedded in smart home appliances, TVs and cars to provide the “most pervasive and portable experience for an ambient computing world.”

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With Flutter 2, Developers are able to deliver apps to a total of five operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux, and utilize web experience targeting for Firefox, Safari, Edge, or Chrome browsers, according to Google.

Flutter 2 expands the toolkit to function as a portable framework and the thousands of Flutter apps available now will receive a free Flutter 2 upgrade, “since they can now grow to target desktop and web without a rewrite,” the release said.

Today, Microsoft released Flutter engine contributions offering support for foldable Android smart devices, according to Google, and it was revealed that Flutter would be the “default choice” for Canonical-created mobile and desktop apps moving forward.

“The early foundation of the web was document-centric. But the web platform has evolved to encompass richer platform APIs that enable highly-sophisticated apps with hardware-accelerated 2D and 3D graphics and flexible layout and paint APIs,” the release said. 

“Flutter’s web support builds on these innovations, offering an app-centric framework that takes full advantage of all that the modern web has to offer.”

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Google described the production-quality web support as “perhaps the single largest announcement” with Flutter 2. The initial release focuses on a few scenarios such as progressive web apps (PWAs), which combines “the web’s reach with the capabilities of a desktop app,” single-page apps (SPAs) “that load once and transmit data to and from internet services,” and delivering existing mobile Flutter apps for the web, according to the release.

Google Mobile Ads for Flutter and plug-in updates

Google also announced a beta release of a new software developer kit (SDK) called Google Mobile Ads for Flutter. This SDK functions with AdMob and AdManager to offer “a variety of ad formats.” The company said it piloted these capabilities with a number of “key partners” specifically naming the music platform Sua Música.

Google also announced a number of Flutter plug-in updates for Firebase services such as Authentication, Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, Cloud Storage, Cloud Messaging, Crashlytics, and more.

Dart: Google’s “secret sauce”

Google described its programming language Dart as the “secret sauce behind Flutter” and announced the availability of Dart 2.12, which the company said was its largest release since 2.0 and includes sound null safety support, a stable implementation of FFI, and other features.

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