Adding A Custom Splash Screen To Your Flutter App
If you're new to Flutter and wondered how to add a custom splash screen to your app, this handy YouTube tutorial by Dave Faliskie can bring you up to speed in less than ten minutes.
(Hint: it does require separate work for iOS and Android, but it's also not as complicated as you might imagine.)
Tips & Tricks
In this quick video tutorial, Google Intern Albertus Angga introduces the Layout Explorer.
This tool seems especially helpful when you're trying to debug one of those Flex-based layout issues, and you just can't quite figure out how to get those yellow-and-black zebra stripes to go away. ;-)
Integrating a C Library with a Flutter App
Although the Dart Foreign Function Interface (FFI) is still in beta, it seems pretty cool as it allows a Dart developer to call C / C++ code without using Platform Channels, or making Java/Objective-C bindings, or using platform-specific code at all, outside of some initial setup. This article by Igor Kharakhordin gives all the details.
Widgets and Packages
VSCode Extension for Dart+Flutter Updated
v3.14.0 of the VS Code extensions for Dart+Flutter has been published, and contains some useful new features, including toggling between dark/light themes while debugging and test tree improvements.
If you use this extension, you'll probably want to update ASAP!
Server-Side Dart with Angel
I haven't personally tried using Dart on the server -- I get the impression that some of the functionality you'd want in a web server just aren't quite as mature as they are with other platforms and languages.
Having said that, keeping up to speed with the state-of-the-art in server-side Dart is probably a good thing. In that spirit, here is a good resource covering the Angel framework. You can go as shallow or as deep as you want here, with tutorials and YouTube videos covering all sorts of sup-topics.
Do You Write Automated Tests for Your Flutter Projects?
I'm not sure how to react to this informal poll, which shows an overwhelming majority "basically never" write automated tests for their Flutter code.
It sort of begs the question, are automated tests really that important? And if they are important, should the community be doing more to help evangelize their use? An equally interesting poll question might be to ask what are the roadblocks to implementing automated testing?
I'll just leave this here this week, but this sort of feels like a topic we could be exploring more deeply in the future!
Business and Marketing
Does Your App Use Encryption? Free Tool Helps File Your Annual Report
If you're "exporting" your app from the USA and it includes any encryption capabilities (including connecting to your backend services over HTTPS), you're required to file an annual report with the appropriate government agencies.
Although the 2020 report isn't due until February 1st, you may want to look over this handy report-generation tool in advance of the deadline.
// From Mark
Making a Career in Flutter
With my own personal business on hold right now due to Covid19 closures in the theme-park industry, I've started looking for new career opportunities. And naturally, I prefer to work in Flutter, given my positive experience with it so far.
As I've started looking for potential positions, either short- or long-term, it has sometimes felt like Flutter is still in its infancy with regard to job openings. (A job search for the term "Flutter" returns a fraction of the results that a search for "React Native" does, for example.)
Given my up-close view of Flutter as a "game-changer" in app development, I'm left to wonder WHY I'm not seeing more Flutter-specific positions available. My guess is that it's simply because Flutter is still relatively new, and major trends like this can take a while to change, but is there more going on than this?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you've recently gone through a job change yourself and are working in a Flutter-related position. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any insights. I just have a hard time believing Flutter won't eventually take over the cross-platform app development space, as it's so nice to work with.
And yes, I'll go ahead and ask it -- if you've heard of any Flutter positions, especially those which would allow for remote work, I'd appreciate the heads up!
You can reach me at mark [at] flutterdeveloperweekly.comMark Winters