Developers: Google's Flutter 2.5 and Dart 2.14 have arrived. Here's what's new

Developers using Google's Dart language and its Flutter UI framework can now try out the latest stable releases.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google has released Flutter 2.5 and Dart 2.14, the latest updates to its UI framework for multiple form factors and its app development programming language, respectively. 

Newly announced Flutter 2.5 makes some improvements for apps on Android devices when running in full-screen mode. The full-screen options for developers include "lean back, sticky, sticky immersive, and edge to edge", as well as customization options. 

The Dart SDK 2.14, meanwhile, brings stable support for Apple's Macs using its Arm-based silicon chips as well as lints for catching errors as code is written.   

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Many of the updates and changes come from pieces of Flutter that contributors to the open-source project have made since Flutter 2.0 was released in March. 

Google has also updated Flutter's "floating action button" for Android with new sizes and themes and early support for Google's updated design language called Material You -- an evolution of Material Design, which it began applying to apps in 2014. Flutter can now also handle scrollbars differently, allowing it to appear or disappear even if the user isn't scrolling but using a screen where it makes sense. 

Flutter 2.5 includes some new capabilities to the ScaffoldMessenger widget that was built to deal with "SnackBar" or pill-shaped, vanishing notifications; developers can add a banner to the top of a scaffold that persists until the user dismisses it.

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.

The Flutter image picker plugin for iOS and Android also gained a few updates, including compliance with the Google Play Store "scoped storage" requirement for apps on Android 11 and up. It became mandatory in May and is meant to provide better protection for app and user data on external storage by restricting an app's access to the app-specific directory on external storage. 

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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.

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