How to Learn Flutter in 2022? A Beginner’s Guide

By Usman Arshad | January 26, 2022

Beginner's guide to Flutter

This is 2022, and technologies are aiming to be faster and more advanced at the same time. Similarly, innovation and streamlining of different technological approaches are the major concerns of this emerging era. Owing to this, a broad field that is app development is also intended to adopt advanced terminologies to meet the demand of the modern consumer. People having a desire to learn flutter are seeking a guide to at least start their journey.

In the light of this innovational thirst, Google stepped out of the current technology and came up with a bang launching “Flutter”. It is an open-source framework to build natively compiled, multi-platform applications with a single codebase and it is faster than ever. Let’s give a push to a beginner’s guide to learn flutter.

How to learn Flutter in 2022?

Mobile app development has a dominant position in the business trends of 2022. The development frameworks are being advanced and more common. Owing to which developers are not missing any chance to learn newer frameworks that appear in the market. It is most convenient to view and perform actions on mobile phones as we can do so from anywhere and at any time. A fully customizable framework that lets you build highly expressive and flexible UI, Flutter is easy to learn and enables faster development. If you’re willing to learn Flutter in 2022, it could be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Here is the step-by-step guide for beginners to learn Flutter. 

What is Flutter?

Flutter is Google’s launched framework that uses a single codebase for developing mobile, web, desktop, and embedded apps. It employs a fast, productive, and flexible development process as it uses a single codebase system. Flutter supports operating systems like Linux, macOS, ChromeOS, and Windows. In terms of design, Flutter is known as one of the top design ideas of the decade. This is because of its ability to transform concepts into production code without the limitations imposed by typical frameworks.

Surprisingly, Flutter has gained much popularity in a very short time by providing the best features and analyzing the developer’s needs. Not only are the Android and iOS developers flourishing by the perks of Flutter, the desktop and web apps developers have also joined the party.

Flutter reduces the time, cost, and complexity of building the app across platforms by speeding up the app development process. Additionally, it is unique from most of the other development platforms available for building mobile apps. This is because it doesn’t rely on web browser technology or the set of widgets that ship with each device. Flutter uses its exclusive high-performance rendering engine to draw widgets.

Getting Started with Flutter Guide

Setting up flutter is not a difficult task when you have a basic knowledge of commonly used programming languages like C++, JavaScript, etc. The growing development community of Flutter has created a smooth environment for developers and you can easily solve any of your programming-related issues while using Flutter. Just roam around some of the concerned portals mostly available online – undoubtedly “Dart Community”.

You might have Flutter installed, but if not, there is a brief guide about installation on Flutter’s official website (flutter.dev) according to the operating systems (mac, windows, Linux, Chrome).

Learn Setting up an Editor in Flutter

You can build apps with Flutter using any of the text editors combined with Flutter’s command-line tools. However, Flutter guide recommends going with one of its editor plugins for a better experience. These plugins offer features like code completion, syntax highlighting, widget editing assists, and run & debug support.

After installation of Flutter, you also need to add an editor plugin for Android Studio, IntelliJ, VS Code, or Emacs. You can use any of the other editors if you want to.

Follow these simple steps to install the plugin for Android Studio.

For macOS

  1. Run Android Studio.
  2. Select Android Studio => Preferences from the menu bar.
  3. Click Plugins and then click Install plugin from disk.
  4. Head over to the folder where you downloaded the plugin and double-click it.
  5. Lastly, Restart Android Studio.

For Linux or Windows

Use the given instructions for Linux or Windows:

● Open plugin preferences (File > Settings > Plugins).

● Select > Marketplace, click the Flutter plugin, and click Install.

Visit flutter.dev to install plugins for Visual Studio & Emacs.

Hot Reload in Flutter

Flutter has the most interesting and cool features to offer a fast development cycle, of which one is the “Hot Reload” that is as useful as hot. It is the ability to reload the code of a currently running app without restarting or wasting the app state. Hot Reload helps you experiment, build UIs, add features, and fix bugs quickly and easily. Hot reload functions by introducing an updated source code file into a running Dart Virtual Machine (VM). During the operational time of VM, it also updates classes with the new versions of fields and functions. The Flutter framework automatically rebuilds the widget tree and allows you to quickly view the effects of your changes.

Performing a Hot Reload in Flutter 

To hot reload an app in Flutter:

  1. Execute the app from a compatible Flutter editor or a terminal window. Either a physical or virtual device can be the aim. Hot reload only executes flutter apps in debug mode.
  2. Change one of the Dart files present in your project. Hot reload performs several types of other code changes.
  3. If you’re working in an IDE/editor that supports Flutter’s IDE tools, select Save All (cmd-s/ctrl-s), or click the hot reload button on the toolbar.
  4. If you are running the app at the command line using flutter run, enter the letter “r” in the terminal window.

After a successful hot reload execution, you’ll see a message somewhat similar as:

Performing hot reload….

Reloaded 1 of 604 libraries in 382ms.

Before we dive into the ocean of Flutter’s basics, fundamentals, and frameworks, let’s get to know about the programming language that Flutter works on – Dart language.

Dart language in Flutter

Dart is a C-Style programming language used to develop fast apps for any platform. It is an object-oriented programming language having syntax similar to JavaScript and C++. Dart pairs with a flexible execution runtime platform for app frameworks to offer the most productive programming language for multi-platform development.

It will not be a wrong statement that Dart has given a gift to the developers by providing the “DartPad”. It is a simulation platform where you can easily test your programming skills and move towards being a pro at it. No matter if you are new to developing apps or already developing them, just go forward, gain some programming muscles working out on DartPad. Hopefully, you’ll need nothing more to understand this platform after that. 

Head over to Dart’s official website (dart.dev) to have a complete demonstration of Dart language.

The DartPad

The best possible practice to become a pro at Flutter even after knowing a few basics of it is playing with the DartPad. DartPad is an open-source tool that allows you to play with Dart language. Being familiar with Dart language should be your priority. Learning a new thing is never a vague effort when you put a little effort into it.

This is what DartPad looks like:

Image showing Dartpad Interface

You must be aware of all the features when it comes to learning Dart. Dart has a useful feature to talk about that is Sound Null Safety. It helps developers to streamline the development process by providing null safety. You might be wondering, what is sound null safety? Well, I got your back!

Sound Null Safety in Dart

Dart has introduced an interesting feature that is sound null safety, meaning that values can’t be null unless you declare they can be. With sound null safety, Dart can protect you from null casualties at runtime through static code analysis. Unlike many other null-safe languages, when Dart identifies that a variable is non-nullable, that variable is always non-nullable. You’ll see that non-nullability retains at runtime when you test your running code in the debugger.

In null safety, all of the following variables in the code are non-nullable:

Null safety in flutter

Widgets in Flutter

Firstly, you need to know that everything you see in Flutter is a widget embedded inside another widget. The basic idea is that you create your UI out of widgets. A widget could be anything; a button, a list, a table, or anything you see inside Flutter has a widget behind it.

Google created two widgets named “Cupertino” (iOS-style) and “Material” (Android-style). These widgets are responsible for the user interface and include every component that you may need for Android and iOS development. These widgets have no connection with the native API of iOS or Android like in React Native. However, they work as individual Flutter components with appropriate rendering speed and animation.

Common Widgets

Flutter has some powerful widgets that make the development process smooth and easy to use for the developers. Some of the basic widgets are:

Text

 The Text widget lets you create a run of styled text within your application.   

● Rows & Columns

These widgets allow you to create flexible layouts in both the horizontal (row) and vertical (column) directions. The design of these objects depends upon the web’s flexbox layout model.

● Stack

This widget lets you locate the widgets on top of each other in paint order. You can then use the Positioned widget on children of a Stack to place them relative to the top, right, bottom, or left edge of the stack. Stacks are based on the web’s entire positioning layout model.

● Container

The Container widget offers you the creation of a rectangular visual element. A container can be decorated with a BoxDecoration, like a background, a border, or a shadow. Additionally, a container can be transformed into 3D space using a matrix.

Understanding Layouts in Flutter

As we discussed earlier, almost everything in Flutter is a widget; it also drives the layout mechanism. The images, icons, texts, and even the layout itself is a widget. The layouts are built by composing widgets to create more complex widgets. You can’t see some things, like rows, columns, grids, and widgets.

Layouts are divided into two categories based upon their child classes.

These are:

Single Child Widget Layout

Single child Layout Widgets only accept one widget class as their child, for example, Container(), Center, Expanded, Align, SizedBox, etc. This widgets is used as a shield for other widgets to change their positions, width, height, adding space, margin, aligning content, etc.

Some of the most important single-child layout widgets provided by Flutter are Padding, Align, FittedBox, AspectRatio, Center, Container, etc.

Multiple Child Widgets Layout

While building a layout, one of the common patterns is to arrange the widgets vertically and horizontally. For that purpose, you have a row widget to arrange the widgets horizontally and a column widget to arrange the widgets vertically.

Some of the commonly used multiple child widgets are rows, columns, GridView, ListView, table, flow, stack, etc.

Conclusion

I think that’s pretty much it for a guide to Flutter for you to kick-start your journey to be a pro at it. 😃. I hope this guide to flutter is going to help you a lot. Lastly, do leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. Cheers!

Usman Arshad

Amazon FBA Private Label | PPC Expert | Launching & Ranking Expert | Lead Generation | Sales Funnels | Off-Amazon Traffic | Manychat Bots Integrations

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