Last year was a huge year for Flutter. Some notable milestones include: The release of Flutter 3.0, the arrival of the Flutter Casual Games Toolkit and Flutter Vikings, which allowed the Flutter community to gather in-person for the first time in years. We also saw many companies like ByteDance, Tonal, and Superlist share how their teams have found success with Flutter. We are more optimistic than ever for Flutter’s upward trajectory in 2023. We imagine a future where organizations can efficiently manage an entire ecosystem of applications with the same tools, skills, and teams. Flutter and Dart enable a future where apps are not only multi-platform, but are complementary and build on shared foundations of common code and processes.
Taking a cue from the annual Flutter strategy and roadmap, we wanted to provide a look back at what we accomplished in 2022, where we think the Flutter industry is heading in 2023, and how VGV will be a part of it.
First, a look back at some of the work we accomplished in 2022.
Pushing the limits of Flutter
We’ve been on the cutting edge of what Flutter can do since Day 1. VGV started out by building the first commercial app outside of Google, then expanded to even more projects to show the world what Flutter can do, such as creating the first demo of Flutter on macOS, demoing the first large-scale web app with New York Times’ KENKEN, and more recently, building a 2D game in Flutter at Google I/O 2022. Last year, we worked on over 50 Flutter projects! In 2023, we’ll continue to be on the forefront of pushing Flutter to new heights, new use cases, and new screens. We predict we’ll see more proof-of-concepts but also real applications of Flutter far beyond mobile and “traditional screens.”
Design and development
We’re keeping a close eye on the efforts the community is making to improve the designer and developer feedback loop. We’ve seen firsthand that using Flutter is a huge opportunity for companies to bring their brands to any and all screens in a beautiful and performant way. Companies like Parabeac, Widgetbook, and Adobe (via the Adobe XD plugin) are actively developing solutions to make it even easier for developers and designers to collaborate, so that teams can ship Flutter apps that look beautiful and don’t compromise on design. Last year, we brought on Josh Musick to help us expand our design expertise. In 2023, we’ll continue to grow our design team, help teams design and deploy high-quality multi-platform experiences.
Templates can be a useful tool to jumpstart app development by providing useful out-of-the-box features but also establishing best practices and architectural patterns for a new codebase. The Casual Games Toolkit and Flutter News Toolkit are two recent examples of high-quality Flutter templates. The former provides everything you need to get started with casual app-like games including pre-built features like a main menu screen, music, ads, leader boards, and Firebase Crashlytics. The Flutter News Toolkit is currently being used by publishers to jumpstart building mobile news apps by “reducing the app development time up to 80%.”
In 2023, we hope that we see even more templates hit the market with helpful out-of-the-box functionality, so that teams can focus on building unique features, instead of the basics. At VGV, we have developed a few templates that are widely used by developers around the world. Our open source tool Very Good CLI can be used to generate a Flutter Starter app — all with our built-in best practices, 100% test coverage, and scalable architecture. For an enterprise-grade Flutter app foundation, check out our Very Good Start solution.
Full stack Dart
Flutter on all screens
There are plenty of examples of beautiful, high-quality mobile apps built with Flutter. The most recent Flutter user survey found that 76% of developers were using Flutter for two or more platforms, and 32% were developing for three or more platforms. In 2023, we expect to see Flutter on even more screens, including web apps, embedded devices like Toyota’s in-vehicle infotainment system, devices running Fuchsia, and more!
This is great news for companies that want to build beautiful digital experiences for any screen. It’s even better news for developers because being able to develop for any device (not just mobile) can open up a lot of career opportunities — you’re no longer limited by the popularity of a given device or screen. Using a tool like Flutter can unlock the super power to build for any screen.
App support and growth
In 2022, we started to see more solutions and maturity when it comes to supporting and growing Flutter apps that are in production. With companies like Amplitude, Braze, and Sentry developing Flutter SDKs, it’s clear that analytics performance tools are gaining ground within the Flutter community. We are proud to have contributed to this ecosystem by helping Embrace build a Flutter SDK for their observability tools using our best practices. We’ve also seen tools such as LaunchDarkly for feature flagging, and Wiredash for in-app feedback, gain in popularity within the Flutter ecosystem. These tools are a signal to us that the Flutter ecosystem is maturing. We expect The Flutter ecosystem to continue to grow with tools that support apps in production, making it even easier for teams to deliver top-notch experiences to users over time.
Organizational impact of Flutter
While Flutter is still a fairly new technology, companies that have embraced it a few years ago are commenting on how it can powerfully unify and improve teams. In the words of Will Lockwood, a Senior Software Engineer at Betterment: “Our mobile velocity has left our backend resources struggling to keep up in supporting feature development.” Check out the full Twitter thread for more on the organizational benefits of Flutter. At VGV we’ve observed that companies that develop with Flutter see efficiency impacts on all teams related to the product, not just the engineering team. This year, we are excited to help clients harness the power of Flutter within all of their teams — from development to design to product to project management, and beyond! Flutter is more than just a UI toolkit, it is a tool with huge transformational power.
At Very Good Ventures, we partner with clients to build enterprise-grade experiences for any screen using Flutter. Want to unlock the transformational power of Flutter for your team? Contact us →