Google LLC today announced the release of Flutter 3.3, the company’s cross-platform UI application development framework that expands support for even more specifications as the team focuses on replacing of its graphics engine.
This release follows Flutter 3’s latest milestone in May, which extended access to support for the framework to macOS and Linux desktops, making it available on six platforms. With Flutter, developers can create a user interface for their app that will run and look the same across multiple devices.
It allows developers to quickly create stunning user interfaces and now includes improved support for Material 3 specifications on Android, as well as new features for tablets and desktops, including handwriting support for tablets.
Flutter’s growth has increased since the release of Flutter 3. There are now more than 25,000 Flutter packages available to developers and the developers who use them continue to release more than 1,000 new apps to the Apple App and Google Play stores every day.
The team has worked hard to improve Turbine, Flutter’s new and improved graphics engine. This is a significant rewrite of the core rendering layer that currently underpins all of Flutter’s display capabilities. Once the code is complete, Impeller will replace the old Skia code with custom code capable of taking full advantage of the new chipsets and hardware-accelerated application programming interfaces such as Metal on iOS and Vulcan on Android.
Impeller provides predictable performance on all devices where all graphics compilations occur during build time and not while applications are running and caching is explicit. This reduces what is known as “jank” in today’s applications, when what should be smooth scrolling suddenly jumps or stutters.
As a result, Impeller should be able to deliver a smooth, near-solid refresh rate of 60 Hertz for most apps on mobile, which will be overkill for most productivity experiences and essential for any game.
Although Impeller is not yet complete and is still optimizing performance, it is available for interested developers to test it out for themselves. Early adopters can try it now on iOS without any code changes other than enabling it with a flag. More information about the Impeller architecture and how to enable it is available at the developer wiki.
This new release also included Dart 2.18, a programming language for developing powerful apps, which includes the ability to call functions and libraries written in Swift or Objective-C, which are common languages for iOS and Android apps.
As for showcasing everything in the new Impeller-enhanced Flutter 3.3, the Flutter team has teamed up with a design team from gskinner to release a new app to showcase all the new improvements in Flutter and Impeller.
The app, called Wonderous, lets users navigate a beautifully designed user interface and also provides an example of a wide variety of visual techniques and best practices in hopes of inspiring developers. It will include visuals from the Taj Mahal in the Indian city of Agra to the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the idea is to provide a portal to history, art and culture with an eye for design and compilation.
Over the next few weeks, gskinner will be sharing more in-depth technical articles about the creation of the app, including animation techniques and how Flutter was used to produce to make the app more accessible and capable.