Flutter, Google's UI toolkit for building native applications for mobile, web, and desktop, has announced the release of v1.17. This is Flutter's first stable release of 2020, and the Flutter team indicated that it plans on new releases arriving on a quarterly basis. In addition to the more than 3,000 PRs included in this release, v1.17 brings increased performance and many new features including Metal support on iOS, new Material components, new Network tracking, and more.
Simply by upgrading to v1.17, the Flutter team reports that developers will see immediate improvements including 20%-37% speedup in navigation and a 40% reduction in CPU/GPU usage. The biggest performance improvements come from iOS support for Metal. Metal is now used by default in Flutter and increases app speed by 50% on average.
New Material components include NavigationRail, DatePicker, and more. NavigationRail is a widget that provides a new responsive app navigation model. It easily swaps in for BottomNavigator and is, therefore, a good candidate for apps that switch between mobile and desktop. DatePicker has been redesigned with new Material guidelines, visuals, and inputs. For a complete list, check out the DatePicker redesign specification. Other components updates include Flutter text theming, Google fonts for Flutter, accessibility, and internationalization, and new tooling.
Finally, new network tracking tools are available on the network tab. Once the record button is selected, developers can track network traffic on an app. For more details on all new features, check out the blog post announcement.