Bri Manning


December 6, 2018

On Tuesday, Flutter finally came out of beta with the announcement of Flutter 1.0. I attended a meetup where we watched the announcement party before some hands-on coding.

I’ve been playing around with Flutter for a few months now. I had heard of it and really got excited about it after seeing some demos at Google’s Agency day last year. I included a brief writeup of the Flutter presentation on Rocket’s blog. I even included making an app in Flutter in my 2018 resolutions.

The first thing I’ll say is that it’s easy to get pulled into the hype. Silver bullets are exciting, even if it usually ends up that they’re made from fool’s gold.

Playing around with Flutter, there’s the obvious need to learn a new UI framework and that inherently comes with a learning curve. It doesn’t matter the platform or technology, that will be there.

What’s interesting coming from Android development is that all of the layout code is in Dart in addition to any logic. There isn’t an xml view that is then populated with information. And while Dart is no Kotlin, I haven’t seen anything major to complain about yet. I’ve heard people groan when you mention Dart, but it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves.

My biggest question is around the best way to architect a larger application. Doing some preliminary research, it seems like BLoC is the preferred way to go. That seems like an easy enough transition coming from using Android Architecture Components. Simple apps like a to-do list is an easy way to demonstrate a new framework, but once things become more complicated with backend authentication and other functionality, the framework can sometimes seem not so promising after all. We’ll have to see what emerges with Flutter.

I’m excited by the prospect of Flutter and I’ve finished the first version of my a simple app. Now, I just have to try and see how easy it is to deploy to Google Play and the App Store.