Flutter made a name for itself by delivering an open-source framework that allows developers to build apps once, and distribute that app across multiple ecosystems (e.g. Android, iOS, etc.). One of the missing operating systems from Flutter’s support portfolio has been Windows. Last week, Flutter introduced an alpha release for Windows.
“Windows remains a popular choice for desktop and laptop devices, with Microsoft reporting over one billion active devices running Windows 10,” Flutter’s Chris Sells commented in a blog post announcement. “Our own statistics show that over half of all Flutter developers use Windows, so it’s a natural target for Flutter. Native desktop support opens up a variety of exciting possibilities for Flutter, including improved developer tooling, reduced friction for new users, and of course apps that can reach any device a user might have from a single codebase.”
Expanding the reach of Flutter to desktop-based operating systems comes with a host of challenges. Mobile device applications need not worry about keyboards, mice, mouse wheels, controllers, and more. But that’s just the beginning. Screen size, toolchain updates, shell, runner, plugins, and much more were all needed to expand Flutter to support Windows.
To help developers get started on Flutter for Windows, Flutter has published some sample apps. For example, Flokk is available on GitHub, including a guide to how it was built with Flutter. Check out more apps built with Flutter at its app gallery.
Flutter expects to release a stable version in the next few months. Currently, Flutter supports Windows 7 and above. To learn more, visit the Flutter architectural overview.