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Google has been working on Flutter for a few years now, with the goal to create the cross-platform software framework of developers’ dreams. Flutter can be used to build applications for Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS, and even the web — all with a shared codebase and visual design. Flutter 2.10 is now available, which includes stable support for Windows.
Flutter has supported Linux, Windows, and macOS in beta for a while now, but Windows is the first to reach stable status. Google announced on Thursday, “today marks a significant expansion of this vision with the first production release of support for Windows as an app target, enabling Windows developers to benefit from the same productivity and power that mobile developers have been enjoying.”
Flutter applications on Windows can use most of the usual Flutter framework available on iOS and Android, but they can also use the Win32, COM, and Windows Runtime APIs as needed. Google has also updated some common Flutter plugins to support Windows, such as camera, file_picker, and shared_preferences — all of those have supported desktop platforms for a while, but Google now deems them production-ready. There’s also an implementation of Microsoft’s Fluent design in Flutter, so Flutter apps on Windows don’t have to stick out like a sore thumb.
Google also noted Microsoft’s contributions to the effort, saying, “several teams from Microsoft have contributed to today’s announcement. In particular, we’d like to express our appreciation to the Fluent design team for their contribution of iconography for Flutter apps on Windows. The fluentui_system_icons package has been awarded Flutter Favorite status as a signal of its quality. ”
Even though this is the first time a desktop Flutter platform has been given the stable label, Flutter already has a foothold on desktop, especially on desktop Linux. Google and Canonical (the developer of Ubuntu Linux) have been working together to make Linux Flutter apps easy to distribute through the Snap Store, and the installer for Ubuntu Linux is currently being rewritten in Flutter.