Flutter is a renowned open-source User Interface (UI) software development kit. Google designed this tool in May 2017. It helps users develop cross-platform applications from a single codebase. 

Since the initial release, this UI kit has gone through several upgrades. In this post, we are exploring its recently released version, called Flutter 3.16. 

Let’s learn what new features it brings to users. 

Flutter 3.16:  New Additions and Improvements

Material 3 Has Become the Default Visual Style

One of the major changes you can notice in Flutter 3.16 is its framework. The Material 3 Visual style is the default setting on Flutter apps now. 

Since the launch of version 3.10, Flutter’s Material library has been upgraded to align with current Material Design guidelines. Thankfully, it happened in this new version.

Earlier, users had to enable these updates by setting a theme flag. Nevertheless, now they can relish the Material 3 visual style as a default setting on Flutter apps. 

Material 3 expresses Google’s evolution of Material Design Guidelines. This design follows grid-based layouts and supports responsive animations and transitions.


Impeller Graphics Engine

Another significant addition you can witness in Flutter 3.16 is the Impeller Graphics Engine. This graphic rendering engine employs the next-generation GPUs to render colors on the screen.

Currently, it is available in preview on Android. Impeller utilizes Vulkan, a cross-platform 3D graphic API, to access the GPU acceleration features available on mobile devices.

This graphic engine improves the graphical performance of Flutter to a great extent. It ensures smooth UI rendering, minimum jank, and higher frame rates. Therefore, users get a smoother scrolling experience.

Compared to the Skia graphic engine, Impeller is better at handling applications with intense graphics requirements.

Although the Impeller engine is only available in preview for now, it has the potential to bring meaningful improvement to Flutter’s graphical capabilities. 



Flutter 3.16 features a new TextScaler widget that controls text sizing. Web developers can adjust the text sizes depending on the screen sizes and resolutions. The feature improves the visibility and visual appeal of text across different devices.


Predictive Back Navigation

Another primary advancement in Flutter 3.16 is predictive back navigation on Android 14 devices. You can see the home screen preview while swiping back using Android’s gesture. The feature makes the navigation quicker and easier. 

It helps users determine whether they should continue with the back gesture or stay in the current view. The navigation system utilizes the animations and transitions framework released in Android 14.


Support for iOS App Extension

Flutter 3.16 is capable of rendering UI and graphics for specific app extension points on iOS, such as share sheets. 

Earlier, Flutter code was able to function within a limited environment of the iOS app extension. 

This new Flutter version can fuel UI elements in specific app extension scenarios.


Updates in Casual Games Toolkit 

Developers also use Flutter to develop standard 2D games. This new version has brought substantial updates to the Casual Games Toolkit. 

Gaming developers get different types of support, ranging from new game ideas to finished games. They can build games in Flutter with one code base. The good thing is that developers can deploy games across different devices. 

The toolkit offers templates for various games, including endless runners, puzzles, cards, match 3, and more. Developers can accelerate gaming development using built-in integrations. 


Improvement in Scrolling Functionality

Users can notice numerous improvements in the scrolling system as well. Flutter 3.16 features an improved 2-dimensional scrolling experience. 

There is excellent support for KeepAlive widgets. Users get more natural navigation that fits the users’ expectations. 


DevTools Extensions

Flutter 3.16 enables developers to create custom extensions for DevTools. It is a robust suite of profiling and debugging tools. Users can now create custom DevTools to meet the precise requirements. 

DevTool Extensions support seamless integration with different development environments. It makes the setup process simpler. Moreover, it enables developers to use all these tools during the development process.


Canvas Testing

Users also get the PaintPattern class in the Flutter Test package. It is a crucial update for all the developers who do unit testing on custom painting code. 

PaintPattern allows developers to confirm the properties of paint calls without the cumbersome process of making golden files. These files help capture and compare visual renderings.


Updated Gesture Support

Flutter 3.16 improves SelectableRegion and SelectionArea widgets to support natural gesture controls for text selection. 

These advancements are streamlining the text interaction experience across various devices. 

Now users can place the cursor with a single click and select the word with a double click. And if they have to choose multiple words, they can combine double-click with a drag. 

Using long-pressing and dragging on a touch device, they can block text selection. 



Flutter has introduced its new version with a myriad of improvements. Flutter 3.16 focuses on enhancing the user interface. Moreover, enhancements like Framework stability, motion support, TextScaler, and other performance optimization elevate the development experience.

All-in-all, we can mention that this new version of Flutter is an excellent framework for creating cross-platform applications. If you haven’t used it yet, give it a try.



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