Flutter 1.17 New Features & Dart 2.8 is out now!

By 25 November 2020 January 7th, 2021 No Comments

Flutter 1.17 New Features & Dart 2.8 is out now!

Flutter 1.17 and Dart 2.8

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Flutter 1.17 Features and Update
Flutter is a popular cross-platform software development framework that helps create impressive apps without worrying about excessive coding. On the other hand, the knowledge of Dart’s additional programming language permits a developer to build apps for iOS, web, and desktop. Google has recently launched the new v1.17 Flutter version together with the v2.8 release of Dart. In 2020, these are marked as the first stable launch for Flutter and Dart. In the previous version, Flutter 1.12 closed within six months. Therefore, the new version has been released with performance enhancement, Metal support for iOS, and the latest material widgets. Whereas the new Dart 2.8 version effectively resolves pertaining development issues with material improvements related to web, desktop, and mobile apps. The launch took place on 6th May 2020, when Google announced significant changes (as mentioned above) within both Flutter & Dart. These changes within the release process were required because the Flutter developers were unaware of the code that were to be used in it. These stable versions have something vital to offer, and the Google team specifically focused on enhancing accessibility and performance. Let us take a better look at these updates to understand them better.  

Read- Why should CTOs choose flutter for app development?


Flutter 1.17

At the start of this year, Google had announced significant changes within its release process. As per the tech giants earlier process, there wasn’t any clarity regarding the build status, code used, and a lot more. Currently, Google aims at delivering stable releases on an expected quarterly cycle. Such a plan posed several challenges since the release infrastructure required major revamping to accommodate a new release process. Flutter 1.17 has been launched across a stable channel for assisting developers. It is interesting to know that Google has blocked 6,339 concerns troubling the initial Flutter 1.12 release. Apart from bug fixes, the latest version of Flutter is loaded with other vital benefits such as performance improvements, better metal support on iOS, and the latest material widgets. Let us take a look at these aspects to get a clear insight into their advantages:  

Performance Enhancement

The software apps built using Flutter 1.17, when compared to older releases, exhibit a 20 to 37% speedup in default navigation exhibition. Furthermore, apps developed using Flutter showcase substantial improvement when it comes to app sizes.  

New Material Widgets

The latest Flutter 1.17 version has successfully added new support with Material widgets. Moreover, there are additional updates with existing widgets as well. For example, developers get useful assistance from NavigationRail for adding receptive app navigation to the applications. This feature is helpful to switch between desktop and mobile form factors without any hassle. You can even see that TextSelection and DatePicker overflow widgets are also updated in Flutter 1.17. The availability of new visuals within DatePicker is similar to restructured Material guidelines. It includes the presence of the latest text input mode. TextSelection, on the other hand, offers better fidelity for Android and iOS. It is also updated that Google is delivering a new Animations Package which comprises of pre-built animations which deploy the new Material motion design.  

Metal Support

Metal is basically Apple’s graphics API that almost offers direct access to the fundamental GPU concerned with iOS devices. At present, Flutter by default, uses Metal for building supported iOS devices. This collaboration makes Flutter apps operate faster. The enhanced Metal support is known to impact the rendering speeds of various iOS apps directly.  

Additional Changes in Flutter 1.17

Apart from the immediate changes and modifications detailed in the above sections, several other improvements are available with Flutter 1.17. Some of these vital alterations are:  
  1. The implementation of the Type Scale segment from the 2018 Material Design arrangement has been successful fulfilled by Google; this is achieved without breaking the existing Flutter apps.
  1. Google has smartly refined the accessibility aspect of Flutter apps. These fixes are evident in text fields, scrolling, and different input-form widgets.
  1. You can now access Google Fonts related to the Flutter v1.0. Developers get the liberty to make use of any font available on fonts.google.com present in their app. Furthermore, it is solely the developer’s decision to bundle the font using the APK or allow the users to access the font by downloading from the API.
  1. The “fast start” option permits you to access Flutter app debugging at a 70% faster rate at the time of building an Android app.
  1. Google also has plans to switch the latest version of Dart DevTools to launch a fresh Flutter version. The topmost improvement offered by the newest Flutter Dart DevTools version is associated with the latest Network tab. Its purpose is to highlight the network traffic for your concerned Flutter app the moment you press the “Record” button.

Dart 2.8 Updates

  1. The team specifically highlighted their efforts in improving the null safety feature. According to sources, the team is willing to address the invalid references as a “billion-dollar-mistake”; however, the final testing is still pending.
  1. The pub has surpassed a count of 10,000 packages. It means the new Dart 2.8 version has improved significantly in terms of better visuals and visibility.
  1. The availability of edge cases, along with library changes, makes Dart 2.8 a smarter version.
  1. Major alteration with Pubget is a blessing for the developers as it would now take less time to gather all the packages.
  1. The most striking feature with this latest version is the offering of “out-of-date” dependencies. For instance, if you are using several repositories, packages, and plugins in an app, it gets difficult to spot the outdated version. However, you can now use a simplified feature that requires you to write the puboutdated command, and a proper list comprising all the outdated versions would be presented.
  1. Dart 2.8 provides a new tab within the networking tools. This particular Dart Dev tool tab offers assistance in analyzing almost all the network requests. This revised tool also provides a traffic inspection tool which is useful in debugging complex state conditions.


Flutter has efficiently grown with time to resolve crucial issues faced by developers. Helpful updates majorly drive its popularity as a capable mobile app development framework. Looking at the alterations mentioned above within existence features and the launch of new features, developers do receive a better advantage at building quality apps without wasting much time. Flutter 1.17 and Dart 2.8 are launched this year as stable SDKs. These technology suites are promising and are aimed at building more robust apps across multiple platforms. The deployment of Flutter ensures higher capability in designing and delivering apps, which are the deciding factors for your business. These updates are recent and require careful analysis before adding them to your software development model. It is better to get in touch with potent software developers who are well versed with the use of Flutter 1.17 and Dart 2.8 stable versions. Be it performance enhancement or widget updates, receiving precise knowledge about every feature is necessary before applying them for creating software apps.  

Author Bio

Manish Gidwani is the Co-Founder & Sales Director of Bloom Consulting Services. His far-reaching management skills range across multiple industries Healthcare, Business Development, Corporate Sales, IT Products & Services; Territory Management and Partner Management. Manish has been successfully managing global customers in his 10 + years of experience, especially across the ASEAN countries. He specializes in consulting across Microsoft practice, custom application development, Professional Services, office of CIO and Business Process Workflow. Manish holds diverse academic knowledge merged with professional leadership expertise to showcase his mastery with the latest business components. He is a man with strong confidence, and being a team player adds onto his overall personality. Manish has acquired an undergraduate degree in Electronics Engineering from Nagpur University. He went on to complete his Graduate degree in Engineering management from University of Florida. To enhance his academic glory Manish has even completed Executive Education from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in the field of B2B Marketing. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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