Flutter, Google's cross-platform UI framework, is now expanding to build applications for Linux, thanks to the collaboration between search engine giant and Canonical.
Flutter was never completely alien to Linux when Google was released a year ago at last year's Google I / O Developer Conference on Flutter 1.5. opened it up for web and desktop applications as well, already published guidelines for development on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms, but at that time the project was still in its infancy, it was a “proof-of-concept” rather than a truly usable solution. This is changing now, with alpha-labeled Linux support, developers can embark on more serious projects on the system, with the official support of the Ubuntu development team.
apps are already there on Google’s smart displays in addition to Android and iOS – Flutter also relies on Google Assistant running Nest Hub Maxon. With the growing support for desktop and web platforms, Flutter is becoming an increasingly serious competitor to segment solutions like React Native. Flutter's rise is well illustrated by the fact that although it is still relatively early, the base of developers using the framework has gained weight recently, since the launch of version 1.0 at the end of 2018, it has been used by about two million developers in its projects. and in April it had already exceeded half a million. The Google Play Store already has 80,000 Flutter-based Android apps.
SPECIAL LINUX DEVELOPER GUARD
With the recently announced partnership, Canonical is also allocating a dedicated development team to the project, working with its developers, they are refining the framework so that it can be used seamlessly on “most Linux distributions”. The team not only provides better Linux support, but also that features available on other platforms in Flutter are always up-to-date under Linux.
It is also an important milestone for Flutter that Flutter apps for Linux can be published in the Snap Store. Downloadable “snaps” from the app store are containerized software packages that run natively on more than 40 Linux distributions, with automatic updates, and strong security and rollback features.
Of course, the collaboration is also beneficial for Canonical, as it can open up its system to applications from a rapidly growing development community that also supports mobile platforms. With Flutter, well-optimized, native-running applications can arrive on popular Linux distributions, with a modern UI framework and an extensive development platform — Visual Studio Code, Android Studio, and IntelliJ can be deployed for Flutter work.
The Google team has also created a an app called Flock Contacts: you can import a list of contacts stored in Google Contacts into the app, manage information, contacts, and even add GitHub and Twitter profiles to different people. As Google puts it, it’s quasi-a “personal social network”. The app, as it is now almost mandatory, is available in both traditional and dark display modes. Flokk Contacts is open source, so those interested can freely scrutinize its source code.
So Flutter on Linux is ready to go, and the exact process is described in detail in Google's related blog post. If you are interested in the topic, you will definitely want to join the CountingNews Flutter developer online meetup on July 21st, which, like the previous events, will be streamed on YouTube!
Gellert is Technology Editor at Counting News Media and contributor at other major tech publications. Her interests includes testing new gadgets and reading.