Cross-platform software development frameworks are crucial tools for many developers. They offer the convenience of learning only a single language and SDK while offering the ability to ship code to multiple operating systems and devices. For proof, look no further than the thousands of game developers using Unity. In exchange for committing solely to the Unity development environment, developers can utilize the same codebase for releases across modern consoles, desktop PCs, and web browsers alike. It’s a good fit for smaller teams and veteran developers alike.
Earlier this month, Google announced its own cross-platform development framework, Flutter, had reached version 1.0. The announcement was something of a coming out party for the cross-platform toolkit. Developers will be able to use Flutter to create both Android and iOS applications. Because Flutter provides its own rendering engine that runs on both major mobile operating systems, devs can avoid getting mired in OS-specific UI and rendering code. Instead, they can focus on the core functionality of the app, while still achieving stellar native performance.
The secret sauce behind Flutter is its app engine. The engine acts as the go-between for a Flutter app and the operating system it runs on. Because all apps built with Flutter are packaged with the engine, developers can ensure a consistent user experience across operating systems and devices. It’s not unlike how Java applications run on Android devices through Java virtual machines, but with more quality of life features for developers.
However, while Flutter’s deployment across Android and iOS seems to be the main story, there’s a much more interesting thread running underneath the headline. Google’s long-rumored successor to Android, dubbed “Fuchsia,” will natively support Flutter applications. In essence, Flutter applications written for both iOS and Android will effectively also be native Fuchsia applications. It’s a clever move on Google’s part to ensure that, whenever and however Fuchsia launches to the masses, the OS will already boast a huge amount of native applications.
In terms of Flutter, our team of developers and engineers are already examining how it can be used to develop robust, effective software solutions for our clients. We’re eagerly anticipating Google’s formal plans for Fuchsia, whatever they may be.