Google: Flutter 1.22 stable release is out – UI support for Android 11 and iOS 14 features

Google's Flutter UI framework brings bug fixes and support for new features in Android 11 and iOS 14.

Why Android developers at Google I/O are excited about Flutter

Google has released the stable release of Flutter version 1.22, its open-source cross-platform user-interface (UI) framework for building apps on Android and iOS and increasingly on the web and desktops. 

Flutter 1.22 is the latest quarterly stable update for the UI framework, which promises to let developers build UIs for multiple platforms from a single codebase. 

And with freshly released Android 11 and iOS 14 now beginning to reach smartphones around the world, Flutter 1.22 is shipping with support for the latest UI updates from Google and Apple to their respective mobile platforms. 

The Android 11 support in Flutter 1.22 also comes as Google begins selling the new Pixel 5, which ships with Android 11. New Pixel devices are generally the first to get the latest Android release.

Flutter 1.22 includes support for Xcode 12, iOS 14's new icons and preview support for Apple's iOS 14 App Clips feature that lets developers show a snippet of a relevant part of their app at the right time. It lets iPhone users test an app's feature before having downloaded the full app.       

There are also a few adjustments and bug fixes in Flutter targeting apps built for iOS 14. Since Xcode 12 requires iOS 9.0 or up, Flutter's default has moved from iOS 8.0 to iOS 9.0.   

Flutter 1.22 fixes crashes and font rendering issues that affected only iOS 14, as well as problems deploying to physical devices. 

Apple at WWDC 2020 announced a raft of new privacy features for iOS and macOS. One of them was tightening restrictions on apps accessing the clipboard, where potentially sensitive pasted data is stored.

Researchers highlighted earlier this year that iOS was leaking precise location information to apps from the clipboard and there was no notification if an app accessed this clipboard data. This was resolved in iOS 14, but it caused problems for some Flutter developers.   

Google says it fixed the issue caused by Apple's policy update, which triggered "spurious" notifications in Flutter apps when they accessed clipboard data.

"If you're targeting iOS 14 with your Flutter app, we strongly encourage you to rebuild it with Flutter 1.22 and deploy it to the App Store now to ensure that your iOS 14 users have the best experience," the Flutter team notes. 

Flutter 1.22 also includes support in Android 11 for new types of displays – such as notches, cutouts and edges of waterfall displays – as well as smoother animation when bringing up the soft keyboard.

Flutter developers can use the MediaQuery and SafeArea APIs to ensure the active UI and interactive elements are placed in the non-obstructed areas of the device's display. Google urges Flutter users to avoid gesture detectors in the waterfall edge area of a display since they may be prone to accidental touches.

Google has also bundled into Flutter 1.22 a host or "universe" of new Material buttons and a stable release for Platform Views to address concerns that the buttons were difficult to use. 

Finally, the Flutter team has announced its Google Maps and WebView plugins are ready for production. The plugins provide Google Maps and WebView widgets for Flutter apps.  

"In the case of the google_maps_flutter and webview_flutter plugins, the gating factor has been the underlying Platform Views implementation, which allows native UI components from both Android and iOS to be hosted in a Flutter app," says the Flutter team. 

"With this release of Flutter, we're happy to announce that we have hardened the framework plumbing enough to declare both of these plugins as production ready."

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