During the Google I/O 2021 keynote, the company shared their vision for the next generation of Material Design. Google’s Flutter team has committed to the massive cross-platform app framework being ready for “Material You” when that design language launches.

While Flutter has vastly grown from its roots as a framework for mobile apps, Google is still paying special attention to making Flutter look native on both Android and iOS and making Material Design easily accessible to developers. During Google I/O 2018, with the launch of Material Theming, the Flutter team was ready with a full session showing how to use the new design language.

For 2021, Google is once again refreshing their Material design language, and during Google I/O’s developer keynote, Flutter product manager Zoey Fan confirmed that the developers will be able to create apps using the new Material You as soon as it launches later this year.

Primarily, this means Flutter developers will gain access to new widgets and possibly older ones that have been tweaked to line up with the Material You spec. To follow along and experiment with the new developments as they arrive, you may want to consider switching to one of Flutter’s less stable but more frequently updated channels like “dev” or “beta.”

Update 5/20: As Google I/O is coming to a close, the Flutter team still has one more trick up its sleeve. This afternoon, the first Material You widget — “NavigationBar” — has been submitted to the Flutter project for approval. It should be made available for developers on Flutter’s unstable “master” channel in the coming days and progressively roll to more stable branches from there.

Notably, this new Material You navigation bar does not replace the existing “BottomNavigationBar” available to Flutter developers. Developers will have time to transition their apps to using new Material You widgets at their own pace.

Of course, this is just the beginning. Over the coming months, Google’s Material Design team will continue adding more Material You widgets to Flutter in preparation for the updated design language’s launch later this year.

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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