|Flutter 3.13 Improves Impeller|
|Written by Kay Ewbank|
|Monday, 28 August 2023|
Flutter 3.13 has been released with improvements to Impeller, Flutter's new graphics renderer. The new version also has new Engine APIs for foldable devices.
Flutter is Google's open source mobile UI framework that can be used to create native interfaces on iOS and Android. It was created as a combination of Google's Dart programming language and a runtime environment that is referred to as an app engine in Flutter.
A large part of the improvements to Flutter 3.13 are to the engine, with changes to improve the performance of Impeller on iOS. The iOS renderer now has lower latency thanks to the developers eliminating shader compilation jank. In addition, some benchmarks show an average frame rasterization time of around half of what it was with Skia. Alongside Impeller for iOS, Impeller for macOS is now available in preview.
Android developers will still have to wait to get Impeller on Android, though. The Flutter team says they're still making progress on the Vulkan backend for Impeller, but it:
"hasn't yet reached the level of quality where an official preview period would be useful".
The team hopes to have a stable preview release later this year.
The developers say that despite Impeller on Android not being ready for preview yet, the work on improving the back end for Impeller has had positive effects for the OpenGL and Vulkan backends. In particular, average frame rasterization times for Android have improved significantly on the flutter/gallery transitions performance benchmark.
Work has also been carried out on foldable support, with the addition of a new API to retrieve various properties of a display. The new getter FlutterView.display returns a Display object that reports the physical size, the device pixel ratio, and the refresh rate of the display.
The Material Framework has also been improved with a variety of changes so it's more adaptable to a particular platform, can be customized more easily, and has new capabilities such as character recognition in text fields so the device camera can recognize characters and insert them into the field.
Flutter 3.13 is available now.
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