Web support for Flutter
While traditional web approaches remain a great choice, we envision the web support available in Flutter being valuable in many scenarios. For example:
A connected Progressive Web Application built with Flutter
Web support for Flutter enables existing mobile-based applications to be packaged as a PWA for reach to a broader variety of devices, or to provide a companion web experience to an existing app.
Embedded interactive content
Flutter provides a powerful environment for creating rich, data-centric components that can be easily hosted within an existing web page. Whether for data visualization, an online tool like a car configurator, or an embedded chart, Flutter can provide a productive development approach for embedded web content.
Embedding dynamic content in a Flutter mobile app
An established way to provide dynamic content updates within an existing mobile application is the use of a web view control, which can load and display information dynamically. The support Flutter now offers for a unified environment for web and mobile content enables you to deploy content online or embedded in an app without rewriting.
Not every HTML scenario is ideally suited for Flutter at this time. For example, text-rich flow-based content such as blog articles benefit from the document-centric model that the web is built around, rather than the app-centric services that a UI framework like Flutter can deliver. However, you can use Flutter to embed interactive experiences into these websites.
Building a web application with Flutter
To create a Flutter app with web support, you need the following software:
- Flutter SDK. See the Flutter SDK installation instructions.
- Chrome; debugging a web app requires the Chrome browser.
- Optional: An IDE that supports Flutter. You can install Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, or Visual Studio Code and install the Flutter and Dart plugins to enable language support and tools for refactoring, running, debugging, and reloading your web app within an editor. See setting up an editor for more details.
Create a new project with web support
You can use the following steps to create a new project with web support.
Run the following commands to use the latest version of the Flutter SDK from the beta channel and enable web support:
flutter channel beta flutter upgrade flutter config --enable-web
Note: The flutter upgrade command silently fails when origin points to a personal fork. To validate that origin points to https://github.com/flutter/flutter.git, run the following commands in the root directory of your local copy of the https://github.com/flutter/flutter repository:cd <inside local copy of the flutter/flutter repo> git remote get-url origin https://github.com/flutter/flutter.git
Once web is enabled, the flutter devices command outputs a Chrome device that opens the Chrome browser with your app running, and a Web Server that provides the URL serving the app.
After enabling web support, restart your IDE. You should now see Chrome (web) and Web Server (web) in the device pulldown.
Note: You only need to execute flutter config –enable-web once. You can always check the status of your configuration using the no-argument flutter config command.
Create and run
Creating a new project with web support is no different than creating a new Flutter project for other platforms.
Once you’ve configured your environment for web support, you can create and run a web app either in the IDE or from the command line.
After you’ve configured your environment to support the web, make sure you restart the IDE if it was already running.
Create a new app in your IDE and it automatically creates iOS, Android, and web versions of your app. (And macOS, too, if you’ve enabled desktop support.) From the device pulldown, select Chrome (web) and run your app to see it launch in Chrome.
To create a new app that includes web support (in addition to mobile support), run the following commands, substituting myapp with the name of your project:
flutter create myapp cd myapp
To serve your app from localhost in Chrome, enter the following from the top of the package:
flutter run -d chrome
Note: If there aren’t any other connected devices, the -d chrome is optional.
The flutter run command launches the application using the development compiler in a Chrome browser.
Run the following command to generate a release build:
flutter build web
For more information, see Build and release a web app.
Add web support to an existing app
To add web support to an existing project, run the following command in a terminal from the root project directory:
flutter create .
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