Flutter has just rolled out a new update that brings amazing features and improvements to the framework. Flutter 3.7 update is available now, and you should be upgrading to it real quick. Today, we will be taking a closer look at the new update and exploring what it means for the future of Flutter and developers as well.
On January 25th, at the Flutter Forward event, Google released the new version of Flutter, where guests from Google, community members, flutter contributors, and all the tech geeks gathered to witness this action-packed event.
Flutter 3.7 is a stable release, meaning that it is suitable for production use and is supported by Google for an extended period of time. This release focuses on improving the framework’s performance, stability, and developer productivity.
Let’s first give you a sneak preview of what this update has for us, and later on, we will discuss the major additions in detail.
A Complete Overview of Flutter 3.7 Update
Flutter released its latest stable version, Flutter 3.7, on January 25, 2023. It developed amazing new features and enhancements to help developers build intuitive apps. Let’s talk about some major moves one by one.
Take, for instance, Material 3. The comment, floating action, and icon buttons are way better than those in Material 2, the old one. The cards have rounded corners bigger than before. The same goes with the navigation drawer; it has rounded corners now it hadn’t in material 2.
The next cool thing in Flutter 3.7 is the custom context menus. We can add a custom context menu anywhere in our application, whether a text selection toolbar or a widget. Moreover, the text selection has been improved within the scrolling context. A magnifying glass when we select text on iOS and Android.
Furthermore, we can now add menu bars and cascading menus. You can also blur the platform view backgrounds. And one more good news is that the issue with the animation jank on iOS devices has also decreased.
Want to hear more? Well, Flutter added a new package named the “FlexColorScheme” package. It has over 50 pre-built themes that you can easily customize. Interestingly, there is an online playground that you can use to test everything out. In addition, you can customize the widgets, copy the theme code, and use it within your app directly. That’s time-saving.
What’s New in Flutter 3.7 Update?
This year, flutter came up with useful features and awesome announcements that have made Flutter look different. You probably expected this update to be a disaster, but Flutter proved us all wrong. There are some cool features in Flutter 3.7 update you don’t want to miss. The additions are Material 3, Dart 3, adaptive layout, impeller preview, and 3D support.
Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Enhanced Material 3 Support
Material 3 has been added to the Flutter framework, several new widgets have been added like inkwell widget, flutter google map and the old ones have been updated. There is a brand new Material 3 demo app that you can check out with every single supported widget. Now you have more things to use in Material 3. 😉
A FlexColorScheme Package is added to Material 3, which has multiple pre-built themes. You can customize these themes according to your needs and copy the code to use in your app. Material 3 has elements, icons, buttons, cards, etc., having improved designs that offer a new perspective to the ones available in Material 2.
If you want to include Material 3 in your application, you’ll need to set the useMaterial3 property to true in the theme data of your material app.
The Inception of Dart 3
Now, let’s talk about Dart 3. Dart 3 is a major release slated to be out around mid-2023. This version of the dart will be the most productive, portable, and approachable version of Dart until now. Surprisingly, you can relish the alpha version of Dart 3 as it’s not officially released yet. It’s called Dart 3A, the alpha version of Dart.
The Dart 3 will support pattern matching, a highly demanding feature for a long time. Sometimes, you might need the function to return multiple values and types. This wasn’t possible back then. You would normally return values on a list tuple for a class. Now with Dart 3, you can return multiple values of different types using a new built-in collection type called records.
Furthermore, we might need to destructure these values too. In that case, we can discard it by adding an underscore. In addition, we can also use these patterns to match the type and individual fields of each type.
One of Flutter’s most exciting additions in this update is the new Impeller, a graphics rendering engine. It is now available for preview on iOS on the stable channel. The Impeller’s performance is likely to meet or exceed the Skia renderer’s for most apps. In terms of fidelity, Impeller implements all but a small number of rarely used corner cases. Hopefully, a future stable release of iOS will include Impeller as the default renderer.
There are still a few API gaps in Impeller, despite meeting the rendering needs of most existing Flutter apps on iOS. It’s possible that users may also notice minor visual differences in rendering between Skia and Impeller. If you notice such differences, please do not hesitate to file an issue on GitHub.
While Flutter has made significant progress on a Vulkan backend for Impeller, with a fallback to OpenGL on older devices, Impeller on Android is not yet ready for preview. The team is actively working on Android support, and we hope to have more information on support for desktop and web in future releases.
Custom Fragment Shaders
Another interesting feature to look out for in Flutter 3.7 is the fragment shaders. Flutter has extended its support for custom fragment shaders. It’s time to add enthusiastic effects to your apps and elevate the user experience to its fullest. Gather your gaming instincts and build amazing games with Flutter. 😉
The Fragment Program API allows you to create rich graphics that are more amazing than the ones Flutter provides. However, Flutter will not limit its support to mobile only but also to web platforms.
Surprisingly, you will find plenty of effects and amazing animations that people create using shadders. Click here to see an example.
3D Support in Flutter 3.7
Finally, Flutter also showed profound interest in bringing 3D to the table. Although you can import any model you create with Blender, the Flutter team expressed that they are excited to bring full support as the initial performance they are getting is quite satisfactory. However, you can even hot reload the 3D models in Flutter to rebuild the experiences with Blender and see the results in the real-time app.
Custom shaders and 3D are now available in Flutter, opening up the possibility of creating truly impressive graphical experiences.
Improved Efficiency Through Code Reduction
This has been in the discussion for quite some time now, and the code volume should be minified. This has been a major concern of developers. With an increasing user base, the platform needs to be less techy, fast, and lightweight in terms of code.
The Google Classroom team reduced code size by 66% for the same functionality as Flutter. Isn’t it incredible?
Let’s move forward to the other advancements Flutter 3.7 has for us.
Google News Toolkit
The Flutter team at Google has collaborated with the Google News Initiative to develop the Flutter News Toolkit, a free and efficient solution for new application development. The pre-built Flutter app template has been well-received by early adopters, who have reported significant time savings of up to 80% compared to traditional double-ended development on iOS and Android: thanks to Flutter’s cross-platform ability.
With the increasing demand for diverse apps in the online marketplace, news apps are also becoming the most in demand. Owing to this, Flutter has introduced a dedicated news toolkit for developers to build news apps offering some valuable functionalities. These include account creation, user onboarding, content feeds, monetization, search, and settings.
Seamless Integrations for Web and Mobile
As Flutter and Dart can be used to create an entire application, many projects require integration with other code. That is why seamless integration for web and mobile has become an important focus for developers.
Regarding web integration, Flutter announced a new feature called “element embedding,” which allows Flutter content to be seamlessly embedded within standard web elements such as <div>. This feature enables Flutter to function as a web component, seamlessly integrating with the web DOM and allowing CSS selectors and transformations to style the parent Flutter object.
The Flutter 3.7 update brings several new features and enhancements to help developers create more efficient and effective apps. The inclusion of the Dart 3 is surely something that’s going to make a definite impact, as it will make it easier for developers to test and iterate on their code.
Additionally, the new features related to accessibility, localization, and performance will help to ensure that apps built with Flutter can be used by a wide range of users, regardless of their abilities or location. Overall, the Flutter 3.7 update is a significant step forward for the framework, and developers should take advantage of these new features to enhance their apps.
Thank you for standing by! We appreciate your time and hope you better understand what this new update has for us.
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