Free Access to Ray Wenderlich's Flutter Apprentice
This isn't exactly new news, but I still thought it worth reminding that the Flutter team has partnered with Ray Wenderlich to make the Flutter Apprentice book available for free through January 6th 2022.
Though I haven't yet had the chance to read this myself, I've been impressed enough with Ray Wenderlich's content in the past that this certainly seems worth checking out.
Creating Windows and Mac Installers for Flutter Desktop Apps
I've mostly chosen to focus this newsletter on mobile development with Flutter, but if you're branching out into desktop apps, you'll eventually want to provide an install package for your users.
This handy tutorial by Paras Jain of RetroPortal Studio describes how you can use the free Inno Setup tool to create an installer for Windows Flutter apps specifically.
If you're developing a desktop app for MacOS, Paras also has a similar tutorial for creating a .dmg installer for Flutter apps.
Tips & Tricks
A Super-Cool Collection of Flutter and Dart Tips and Tricks
Vandad Nahavandipoor has put together this really cool resource containing TONS of useful Flutter and Dart tips and tricks, covering everything from using Flutter to play YouTube videos to creating a complete CRUD app, and many others in between.
Something I really like about Vandad's resource here is that each tip is summarized by a sort of "recipe card" illustrating the overall concept it is teaching, along with specific details on implementing it.
Many of these tips also include a link to a short YouTube demo illustrating the use of the tip in action. Highly recommended!
Android - System Back Button Behavior
I love this Twitter thread by Mike Rydstrom, where he describes the various back button behaviors he's seen in Android apps with a bottom navigation bar or a top tab view.
I have to confess that this isn't something I've given a huge amount of thought to in my own Flutter apps. I've mostly just relied on the default behavior, which pops back to the previous page -- or exits the app if there isn't a previous page to return to in the current navigation stack.
As Mike points out (correctly I believe), this really isn't optimal behavior. Read his thread to find out why, and what you might try instead.
Flutter Developer Q3 2021 Survey Results
JaYoung Lee from Google published the results of their Q3 Flutter Developer survey yesterday.
If you're like me, these surveys are helpful because they help reassure that time invested in learning Flutter is time well spent.
There are several interesting bits to the survey, but one that stood out to me is the graph near the end of the article, which indicates the percentage of developers still investigating Flutter for use in production projects is shrinking, while at the same time the percentage using Flutter as part of their "main job" is increasing -- and this growth seems to have accelerated in Q3.
// From Mark
Flutter Isn't Everything
For those who have missed this newsletter the last few weeks, don't worry -- it wasn't you, it was me. :-)
Sometimes, personal business gets in the way of moving full steam ahead with a career, and in my case, taking time to deal with the loss of my mom last month set me back a bit, and it felt like the newsletter could take a back seat to other more pressing matters. (And in case you're wondering, my mom's passing wasn't completely unexpected, as she's been struggling with health challenges for a few years now, but it did come as a bit of a surprise when it finally happened.)
Losing someone close to me also reminded me that a career isn't everything. And if I look on the bright side, I found it rejuvenating to reconnect with my siblings and other family members around this event, and as I reflected to myself in this Twitter thread, what we leave behind can have a valuable impact on those who follow.
My wish for all of us is that we are able to find balance. Career (and Flutter!) are important, and I continue to pursue my interests in both of these. But taking time to enjoy our personal connections with loved ones is also important toward living a fulfilling life.Mark Winters