Flutter 2.5, the latest version of Google’s UI toolkit for native application development, offers better performance as well as full-screen enhancements for Android.
Introduced September 8, Flutter 2.5 improves frame rasterization by wiring up shading precompilation via Metal rendering. Proponents of Flutter stressed this move as another step toward reducing iOS jank. Also, frame processing now takes priority over processing other asynchronous events, eliminating jank from this source in testing of Flutter. A further move to reduce jank involves the garbage collector (GC), which has suffered from jank when the GC pauses the UI thread to reclaim memory; now, memory for unused images is reclaimed eagerly, considerably reducing GCs.
Flutter 2.5 was announced as stable on September 8. Installation instructions can be found at flutter.dev. Also in Flutter 2.5:
- For Android, issues have been fixed related to full-screen modes. Support is offered for varying full-screen modes, which affect the visibility of UI overlays such as status and bottom navigation bars.
- Dart 2.14, also unveiled September 8, is included, featuring new formatting to make cascades clearer, new pub support for ignoring files, and language features, including the return of the legendary triple shift operator. Also included in Dart 2.14 is a standard set of lints shared between new Dart and Flutter projects that come out of the box.
- Flutter’s text-editing features give developers a new choice to make text-editing keyboard overridable, allowing them to remap keyboard shortcuts to do new tasks.
- There are also dozens of improvements to the camera plugin for iOS and Android UI development. The Flutter camera plugin, for example, gives an app access to the device cameras.
- Flutter DevTools gains several improvements to help spot UI performance issues, such as slow frame times, allowing developers to pinpoint what needs to be fixed. The DevTools inspector should now more clearly display what debug buttons do, making it easier to find widgets in the widget tree view,
- On the IDE side of things, Google highlights improvements for the IntelliJ and Android Studio plugin for Flutter.