Today at Mobile World Congress, Google introduced Flutter, their new cross platform mobile SDK. The new development tool will allow for developers to create native UI frameworks for both Android and iOS that are native to each platform.
The beauty of Flutter is that it comes packing its own rendering engine and framework which, in essence, bypasses the native UI frameworks in both platforms. This is not something new for developers, especially game developers who have used different rendering engines. This allows for significant performance increases (particularly on Android). When you compile the app with the available Android and iOS SDKs, you get the appropriate app & framework for the respective platform.
While Flutter is considered to be a beta, that doesn’t mean it isn’t already out there. Google themselves are using the new platform and are driving AdWords which is a solid endorsement of the platform given the monetary value of that platform. Other apps using Flutter in the Play Store include Hamilton: The Musical official app. There are also a lot of packages, over 1,000 in all, that work with Flutter. These include things like SQLite, Firebase, Facebook Connect, and GraphQL. You can get a full list here.
What this means for end users is that app performance on Flutter built apps should be better and you should have a native experience with apps regardless if you are on Android or iOS.
For developers who are interested, you can head over to flutter.io to get signed up and get started on developing in the new platform.