flutter3.png
(Credit: Google)

Developers, start your engines. Google finally unveiled version 1.0 of Flutter at their Flutter Live event in London yesterday. Flutter, which has gone through six different updates since it was announced as an early alpha at Google's I/O conference in the summer of 2017, has already been used by companies across the world to create useful apps.

Flutter has helped thousands of developers create easy-to-use apps for both iOS and Android, Google said, and it has already been used by major corporations like Alibaba and Tencent to create apps.

"Flutter doesn't replace the traditional Apple and Android app models for building mobile apps; instead, it's an app engine that you can either embed into an existing app or use for an entirely new app," Google said in a press release.

"Flutter is used by Google and developers and organizations around the world to deliver beautiful native apps on iOS and Android," Google said.

SEE: New 'Google Sounds' Android app will make it easier to customize ringtones, alarms, notifications, and other sounds

Using Google's Dart programming language, developers can use Flutter to "control every pixel on the screen, and its powerful compositing capabilities let you overlay and animate graphics, video, text and controls without limitation."

The first beta release was debuted at the Mobile World Congress in February and the final developer preview was shown off at Google Developer Days China in late September.

Tim Sneath, group product manager for Flutter, wrote in a blog post that the platform is designed to help average people and companies create simple apps that are powerful, fast, and easy to edit.

"Developers are forced to choose between either building the same app multiple times for multiple operating systems, or to accept a lowest common denominator solution that trades native speed and accuracy for portability," he said.

"With Flutter, we believe we have a solution that gives you the best of both worlds: hardware-accelerated graphics and UI, powered by native ARM code, targeting both popular mobile operating systems."

Flutter, he added, will "enable designers to deliver their full creative vision without being forced to water it down due to limitations of the underlying framework." Flutter puts you in charge of every aspect of your app's design, allowing you to use animated graphics, video, text and a full set of widgets that work on both iOS and Android. The platform takes advantage of Google's Skia 2D graphics engine that helps run Chrome and Android as well.

Flutter also gives developers access to stateful hot reloads, which allows you to make changes to the code of the app and see the updates instantly without having to restart or refresh anything. The open source platform gives you the option of taking advantage of plugins and other work from developers across the world. A great example of this is Square, which showed off a plugin that allows other apps to easily accept payment with a Flutter app.

Google says there are already thousands of Flutter apps in the App Store and Google Play store, and the numbers will only rise now that an official version has been released.

"I was blown away by the speed of all the animations and transitions in production builds. As a web developer, it was super easy to make the transition to Flutter, and I can't believe I was able to build a fully working app that can take payments in just a week," said Dean Papastrat, a developer who creates apps for small businesses.

FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.

Takeaways

  1. With the release of Flutter 1.0, people now have a way to easily create apps for both iOS and Android devices.
  2. The platform has been in development since last year and a number of beta versions have been released this year ahead of the official debut.

Also see

Jonathan is a Contributing Writer for CNET's Download.com. He's a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.