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RISC-V support, enhanced rendering, and more

Google created Flutter several years ago, with the goal of creating a cross-platform software framework. Flutter’s biggest strength is that it can be used to build apps for Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS, and even the web, all from the same shared code source. Now, at its “Flutter Forward” event in Nairobi, Kenya, the company has taken some time to outline some of the features coming in the future, all while also sharing a number of key milestones.

First of all, Google has shared more information about Impeller, Flutter’s next-generation rendering engine. It takes advantage of both Metal and Vulkan, the modern low-level APIs in iOS and Android. In the video below, the left side shows the traditional Flutter rendering engine. On the right shows the impeller.

Not only that, but there’s newly introduced support for custom shaders that are hardware-accelerated, working in iOS, Android, and browsers. Finally, 3D models are now supported, with a demo during the keynote showing how a model can be imported after creating it in Blender.

Flutter will now also allow content to be embedded using any standard web tag

. It is part of a file Seamless web and mobile integration investment. The feature is called Embed item, as Flutter will become a web component. There will also be interoperability between Dart code and JavaScript, thanks to a new dubbed package youth. Dart 3 has also been officially revealed.

If none of that excites you, perhaps the fact that Google is starting to support new and emerging architectures, such as RISC-V, will. The company revealed Android support for ISA earlier this month, and it looks like it’s going full steam ahead with Flutter now getting the RISC-V treatment. It technically launched with Flutter 3 last year, though it’s labeled “beta.”

Finally, we also get a rare glimpse into some key insights into how Flutter is currently performing on the Google Play Store. There are now over five million Flutter developers, with more than 700,000 apps on the Google Play Store taking advantage of Flutter. Google claims that it is one of the top three open source projects based on contributors.

Flutter is an exciting framework for cross-platform software development, and with more improvements and changes to come, it may also be the case that we see more popular applications start to take advantage of it. Apps like Google Ads, eBay Motors, and Philips Hue benefit from it, and we only expect that support to grow in the future.

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