Google announces alpha release of Flutter support for Windows 10

    Google announces alpha release of Flutter support for Windows 10

    Google announces alpha release of Flutter support for Windows 10


    Posted: 23 Sep 2020

    Our mission is to provide developers with an open source, high-productivity framework for building beautiful, native apps on any platform. So far, we’ve shipped production-quality support for Android and iOS, with eight stable releases and over 100,000 apps shipped to the Google Play Store alone. We continue to broaden our focus to include other platforms including web, macOS, and Linux. Today, we’re pleased to announce an additional target for Flutter with the alpha release of Flutter support for Windows.

    Windows remains a popular choice for desktop and laptop devices, with Microsoft reporting over one billion active devices running Windows 10. Our own statistics show that over half of all Flutter developers use Windows, so it’s a natural target for Flutter. Native desktop support opens up a variety of exciting possibilities for Flutter, including improved developer tooling, reduced friction for new users, and of course apps that can reach any device a user might have from a single codebase.

    Adding Windows to Flutter

    As described in our architectural overview, Flutter is a cross-platform UI toolkit that is designed to allow code reuse across operating systems such as iOS and Android, while also allowing applications to interface directly with underlying platform services. The goal is to enable developers to deliver high-performance apps that feel natural on different platforms, embracing differences where they exist while sharing as much code as possible. At the core of Flutter is the engine, which supports the primitives necessary to support all Flutter applications. The engine is responsible for rasterizing composited scenes whenever a new frame needs to be painted. It provides the low-level implementation of Flutter’s core API, including graphics, text layout, file and network I/O, accessibility support, plugin architecture, and a Dart runtime and compile toolchain.

    Each new platform we add to Flutter expands the core framework with new services to enable it to shine on that platform. We started on Android and iOS with Material Design as well as a touch-based, mobile-centric user interface that is designed to be pixel-perfect on both mobile platforms. Adding support for desktop form factors with web, Windows, macOS, and Linux brings a whole new set of services, including robust support for keyboards, mice, mouse wheels and controllers on the input side as well as widgets that adapt or even work best at the larger screen sizes that come with web and desktop apps.

    Furthermore, each new platform doesn’t just influence the Flutter framework and engine, but a lot of other things as well:

    • Toolchain updates: adding a new target to the CLI and IDE tools (in this case Windows)
    • Shell: support for handling input from Windows via WM_* messages and output via ANGLE, which uses Skia to render at native speed to an underlying DirectX surface
    • Runner: every project gets a shell application for the supported targets. For Windows, it’s a Win32/C++ program that loads your Flutter code and executes it at runtime. It’s a good place to add native code to your app if you need it.
    • Plugins: A plugin is a mixture of Dart code and native code for each of the platforms that the plugin supports. That native code needs to be added for each plugin that is compiled into your Flutter app on Windows.

    This alpha release offers a solid foundation that we’ll stabilize over the coming months. With support for Windows 7 and above, we hope this gives adventurous developers something to get started with.


    Read more: Announcing Flutter Windows Alpha | Flutter


    Brink's Avatar Posted By: Brink
    23 Sep 2020


 

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