Google fixes Flutter’s most infamous scrolling bug

    Google has just announced a game-changing fix for one of the most well-known bugs in the Flutter app development framework. Flutter's primary mission is to make cross-platform apps feel completely "native" across various systems like Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, the web, and more. The framework automatically adjusts certain behaviors to match users' expectations on each platform.

However, a peculiar issue has persisted in Flutter apps, making them deviate from the typical behavior of Android, iOS, and other modern operating systems. This distinctive bug has earned the nickname "Flutter's shibboleth," often serving as the quickest way to spot a Flutter app.

Here's the scoop: when scrolling through a traditional Android or iOS app, the speed remains constant regardless of whether you use one finger or multiple fingers on the screen. However, Flutter-made apps didn't quite follow this norm. The bug caused the scrolling speed to be influenced by the number of touches or pointers on the screen. For instance, using two fingers would make the app scroll twice as fast, and each additional touch would accelerate the scrolling even more. It's been a quirky trait of Flutter apps, but Google is now rolling out a major update to finally put this bug to rest.

The Flutter team has had their eyes on a specific bug for quite some time, dating back to August 2017—long before the app framework hit its stable release milestone in December 2018. Despite early awareness, this issue lingered in the background for over six years until October when a proactive Flutter contributor proposed a comprehensive solution, bringing Flutter's scrolling in line with the norm on Android.

Good news: the proposed fix has been embraced and is set to become the default behavior for Flutter apps with the upcoming major update, version 3.18. Currently in beta testing, this update promises to address the quirky scrolling bug that has been a distinctive feature of Flutter apps. Looking forward, the Flutter team is not stopping there. The plan is to further refine the scrolling behavior to accurately mirror the iOS experience. In simple terms, Flutter will automatically adapt to the right scrolling style based on the platform it's running on. Stay tuned for a smoother, more consistent user experience across the board!

Now, for those developers who have grown fond of Flutter's unique (albeit accidental) quick-scrolling quirk, the Flutter team has got you covered. They've documented a straightforward method for those who wish to stick with the original scrolling style. So, if you're among those who appreciate the current Flutter scrolling gesture and want to keep things as they are, the Flutter team has made it easy for you to maintain that distinctive touch in your apps. It's all about flexibility, giving developers the choice to embrace the change or stick with the familiar.