Your favorite apps and services could soon become available on all your devices thanks to a Google tool you've probably never heard of
- One of Google's best developer tools, called "Flutter," will bridge the gap between mobile operating systems, desktop operating systems, and web browsers, the company announced at Google I/O.
- And yet, it's something that most people won't have heard about - it's mostly a tool for developers.
- Flutter will let app developers make a single version of their app that will work on almost any platform, which makes their jobs easier, and should bring a better experience when using their apps and services across the variety of devices we own.
- Still, app developers need to adopt Flutter in the first place, so it's not guaranteed that your favorite app or service will suddenly work flawlessly across all your devices.
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Google is fixing one of the biggest hurdles for app developers that not only makes their jobs easier, but also makes their apps and services better to use on pretty much every platform we most commonly use, including Android, iOS, Windows 10, macOS, Chrome OS, and web browsers.
With the latest update to its Flutter "framework" tool announced at Google I/O, the company is essentially letting app developers make a single seamless, coherent, and consistent version of their app that will work on mobile operating systems, desktop operating systems, and web browsers.
Currently, app developers need to make different versions of their apps for each platform, which costs time and money. For some companies and developers, time and money isn't always on tap - that's why you might see a mobile app that works well on your smartphone, but isn't quite as polished on the desktop or web versions.
In a demonstration to Business Insider, Google's Flutter group manager Tim Sneath showed how the New York Times' popular crossword mobile app could be ported over to a web browser or a desktop app. This was a particularly good example of how Flutter will improve our favorite apps and services across different platforms, as the web version of the New York Times' crossword puzzles looks and feels outdated.
So far, Google's Flutter already helps app developers create one single app that looks and works identically on both the Android and iOS mobile operating system. The latest Flutter update will help bridge the gap between mobile, desktop, and web.
To be sure, the company behind your favorite apps and services will need to actually adopt Google's Flutter framework in order to bring its customers that seamless and consistent experience across multiple platforms. It's not a flick of the switch that will suddenly make every app or service look and work great on every platform the moment it's released.
Instagram is the first app that comes to mind where users could appreciate Google's Flutter tool, as it would help bring the mobile Instagram app to desktop or a web browser. With that said, it's still unclear if Instagram would ever use Flutter to bring its app to more platforms. The company surely has the resources to make good desktop or web versions of Instagram without Flutter, but it hasn't taken the initiative. Perhaps the company simply wants to keep the experience on mobile.
Google's Flutter update is still under development, and you'll probably never hear about its release when it does roll out. Perhaps you'll know when your favorite mobile app becomes available on your laptop, and it looks and works just as well as it does on your smartphone.
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