Canonical and Google have partnered to add Linux as one of the target platforms for the Flutter framework.
Flutter is a popular UI framework Google created to make it easier to develop cross-platform apps. Unlike some other cross-platform frameworks, such as React Native or NativeScript, Flutter does not use the target operating system’s (OS) native controls. Instead, it uses its own rendering engine to mimic native controls.
Until now, Flutter primarily targeted Android, iOS, Fuchsia, macOS, Windows and web apps. While it could run on Linux and be used to develop Android and iOS apps, it did not target Linux. Still, for developers looking for a fast way to develop cross-platform apps, Flutter has been steadily gaining in popularity. Google’s latest move is sure to improve that popularity even more, as it has worked with Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu, to bring full Linux support to Flutter.
“By enabling desktop Linux support in Flutter, Canonical is making it very easy for application developers to publish their apps for Linux users via the Snap Store, the app store for Linux,” write Google’s Chris Sells and Canonical’s Ken VanDine. “By making Linux a first class Flutter platform, Canonical is inviting application developers to publish their apps to millions of Linux users and broaden the availability of high quality applications available to them.”
While this initial release is an alpha, both companies are dedicated to ensuring Flutter provides a top-level experience for Linux developers.
“Canonical is making a significant investment in Flutter by dedicating a team of developers to work alongside Google’s developers to bring the best Flutter experience to the majority of Linux distributions,” continues Sells and VanDine. “Canonical will continue to collaborate with Google to further improve Linux support and maintain feature parity with the other supported platforms.”
This is good news for all parties involved, as it will open up new opportunities for developers, as well as Google and Canonical.