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What Are the Best Practices for Flutter App Development?

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August 9, 2023


August 9, 2023

The mobile app development industry is expanding steadily, and many developers rely on the best platform to create cross-platform apps. Flutter is an excellent cross-platform mobile framework.

Although the Flutter framework is simple to understand, mastering it can be challenging. Despite the platform's extensive documentation, not all developers can fully use it. But by knowing the best practices on Flutter app development, you can overcome the challenges of this framework.

This article shows a list of suggested Flutter best practices to help you enhance and optimize your Flutter app.

Why is Flutter popular among developers?

Flutter has gained popularity among developers for many reasons, including:

Fast rendering engine: Flutter's quick rendering engine is high-performance optimized, enabling Flutter apps to function smoothly and effectively on various devices.

Hot reload: With Flutter's hot reload capability, Flutter developers may change their code and see the results in real time without manually stopping and restarting the application. This function expedites code testing and debugging while also hastening the creation process.

Strong support for accessibility: Building accessible, usable by a worldwide audience, and simple to localize apps for various languages and countries is well supported by Flutter.

Customizable;e widgets: With the help of Flutter's extensive collection of customizable widgets, developers can quickly create user interfaces that are both elegant and understandable.

Flutter best practices for app development

As technology advances and software development becomes more sophisticated, following best practices in programming becomes increasingly crucial.

Flutter developers can enhance their code's quality, readability, maintainability, and robustness by adhering to Flutter best practices.

Following Flutter best practices can help improve developer collaboration and workflow.

Use state management

Since Flutter doesn't require any state management by default, it's easy to end up with a messy combination that relies on parameter passing or maintaining everything in persistent storage.

While it is generally advised to use a straightforward state management solution, we should also consider the app's scalability and maintainability when making that decision.

Stateful widgets are the most straightforward method of managing a state. Still, they are not scalable when the state needs to be maintained over numerous views, such as the user authentication status.

Here, state management is quite helpful. It enables us to have a central repository of items that we can use to store anything. When something in that repository changes, all the widgets that depend on it are automatically updated.

Flutter developers are ultimately free to select the method they prefer for handling states; a couple of popular solutions are the BLoC pattern and the Provider package with Flutter.

Use pure build function

See the code below:

Here, every time the rebuild occurs, getText() is performed, which could result in a janky UI and require additional resources.

Accordingly, the goal behind having a pure build function is to exclude any action from the build method that could impair the performance of a rebuild.  

Have a well-defined architecture

The Flutter app development framework is fantastic. Compared to other iOS and Android frameworks, it is simpler to learn and comprehend. It is an excellent coding and design platform. 

Things will muddle very soon if you don't maintain a clear architecture. Different layers, including the presentation layer, business logic, and data layer, are managed by proper architecture. The BLoC library provides a fantastic range of possibilities for sound architecture.

Use of dart_code_metrics

Use the dart_code_metrics to raise the caliber of your Flutter mobile app. This static code analysis tool helps Flutter developers enhance and maintain their code quality.

Developers must perform specific steps to use the dart_code_metrics tool efficiently. For example, they should try isolating callbacks and utilizing a single widget for each file. 

Developers can achieve this by making their code more modular and straightforward to read, comprehend, and maintain.

Additionally, developers should refrain from using the Border for all constructors because it may occasionally cause performance problems. Finally, it's best to avoid returning widgets because doing so can make the code more challenging to test and maintain.

Write tests for essential functionality

Even while manual testing is always an option, having a set of automated tests can help you save a lot of time and work. Flutter targets several platforms; therefore, testing each feature after each change would take much time and work.

The ideal situation is to have 100% code coverage for testing, but depending on resources like time and money, this may only sometimes be attainable. Even so, it's essential to have tests that at least cover the app's important features.

Integration tests enabling tests on real devices or emulators are also essential.    

Use LayoutBuilder/MediaQuery only when needed

Developers often use LayoutBuilder/MediaQuery in the mistaken belief that it renders everything responsive. But frequently, they misuse it.

See the following code

Here, we predict that it will only occupy 70% of the physical width, which is accurate. However, as physical width varies from device to device, the remaining 30% might appear differently on other devices. Additionally, devices with lesser physical width will overflow when a Container child's width exceeds 70%.

For this reason, we should avoid utilizing LayoutBuilder/MediaQuery whenever at all possible. In conclusion, when we want to have a varied layout depending on various breakpoints of the physical size of the device, LayoutBuilder/MediaQuery should be utilized.

Use streams only when necessary

Although Streams are robust, using them requires much responsibility to be truly effective. Inefficient stream implementation can increase memory and CPU utilization. Furthermore, failing to shut off the streams can result in memory leaks.

Also, using Stream for just one event seems excessive. Using Future rather than Stream is a good idea when there is only one event. Only when we need to manage several asynchronous events, should we use Streams.

Therefore, we can utilize something lighter than Streams for reactive UI in these situations, like ChangeNotifier. For more sophisticated features, we can use a library like BLoC, which focuses on resource management and gives us a straightforward interface to create reactive user interfaces.

Use of constraints

Flutter developers need to be aware of the thumb rule that states how "constraints" decrease as "sizes" increase and how "parent" specifies the position of the child components.

Let's first see What are constraints?

From their parent, widgets receive a set of parameters that specify the minimum and maximum height and width. This list is then examined, and a command is sent to each child widget inquiring about its limits.

Each child may have specific requirements, after which they will ask for their preferred size. When they sort in order, with all sizes falling inside the parameters given by the original constraints, the parent will be notified.

On the other hand, a child widget can be placed inside a parent widget, and the size must be specified. In this case, the widget is unable to select a size on its own. The dimensions of the widget must not exceed those imposed by its parent.

Use the const keyword whenever possible

Using a const constructor for widgets can help trash collectors make less effort. Initially, this may be a minor performance boost, but it adds up and makes a difference when the app is large enough or a view is frequently rebuilt.

Const declarations are also more suitable for hot-reloading. We should also avoid using the extra const keyword.

See the code below.

We don't need to use const for the Text widget because it is already applied to the parent widget.

Create your Flutter app with DhiWise

Developers must adhere to best practices if they want their Flutter apps to run more efficiently. Implementing the best practices discussed in this article will dramatically improve how users interact with your program. Nevertheless, utilizing these best practices may change based on the project's demands. However, they help to improve the readability of your Flutter code.

So, if you're developing a Flutter app and looking for a highly efficient programming platform, try DhiWise Flutter Builder. The app builder offers a simple interface for creating interactive Flutter apps. 

Sign up now to learn more about DhiWise's features.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

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