IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Google Flutter 1.0 enables apps to run on both Android and iOS using a single code base

Tech giant's user interface toolkit could cut out repetition in app development

Flutter interface with code and preview

Google has launched a cross-platform user interface (UI) toolkit for creating apps from a single code base, which will allow apps to work for both Android and iOS using the same code. 

The tech giant claims it will save developers from either creating the same app multiple times for different platforms or building a limited version of it just to be portable.

It's an open sourced platform powered by the Skia 2D graphics engine that underpins Chrome and Android. Its code is powered by the Dart platform, which enables compliance with native 32-bit and 64-bit ARM code for iOS and Android.

A beta version of Flutter was released at Mobile World Congress 10 months ago and has already been used to build apps currently available on the Apple and Google Play stores. Companies such as Abby Road Studios, Alibaba, JD.com and Capital One have already begun to develop and ship apps with Flutter.

"Our engineers have appreciated the rapid development promise and hot reload capabilities, and over the past year, we have seen tremendous progress in the framework and especially the native integration story," said Michael Jones, senior director of engineering at Capital One.

"Flutter can allow Capital One to think of features not in an 'iOS or Android-first' fashion, but rather in a true mobile-first model. We are excited to see Flutter 1.0 and continue to be impressed with the pace of advancement and the excitement in the engineering community."

Rather than replace the traditional Apple and Android models for app building, Google said Flutter can be embedded into existing apps. From there, developers can control every pixel on the screen, overlaying and animating graphics, video, text and controls without limitation. It includes a full set of widgets that supposedly deliver pixel-perfect experiences on both iOS and Android.

Graphical capabilities embedded into an existing app - courtesy of Google

Flutter also houses a capability for mobile developers and designers to rebuild on their apps in real time, called "stateful hot reload", which developers can use to make changes to the code of their apps and see the results instantly without restarting or losing its current state.

As an open source project, it includes the contributions of hundreds of developers from around the world and uses the standard Android and iOS build tools. Everything from the underlying operating system is available, including code and the UI written in Kotlin or Java on Android, and Swift or Objective-C on iOS.

Featured Resources

2023 Strategic roadmap for data security platform convergence

Capitalise on your data and share it securely using consolidated platforms

Free Download

The 3D trends report

Presenting one of the most exciting frontiers in visual culture

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Cloud Pak® for Watson AIOps with Instana

Cost savings and business benefits

Free Download

Leverage automated APM to accelerate CI/CD and boost application performance

Constant change to meet fast-evolving application functionality

Free Download

Recommended

Organisations are scaling back their open source software due to security fears – Anaconda
open source

Organisations are scaling back their open source software due to security fears – Anaconda

15 Sep 2022

Most Popular

What's powering Britain’s fibre broadband boom?
Network & Internet

What's powering Britain’s fibre broadband boom?

3 Feb 2023
Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria
data breaches

Dutch hacker steals data from virtually entire population of Austria

26 Jan 2023
Windows 10 users locked out of devices by unskippable Microsoft 365 advert
bugs

Windows 10 users locked out of devices by unskippable Microsoft 365 advert

3 Feb 2023