Flutter and Dart Studies.

I know, I have been away a little while but I have been learning new things. I have produced a few prototype apps since my graduation from the Udacity and Google Android Basics Nanodegree (that I have yet to tell you about) but one problem that I face is that they only work on one mobile platform – Android. I bumped into an old colleague of mine from my nursing days; she was a “Matron” and a lot of her work involved filling paper forms and then manually sending them in various directions, most of them digital. Together we came up with an idea for an app to help to automate the process which would save time and effort in her very busy day. I went away to start to design something suitable when I hit a major snag. I develop Android and the hospital trust where she worked issued Apple phones using iOS. It made me think and my solution for the future was that I would have to learn to develop apps for Apple devices too because I was going to hit this roadblock every time with any apps that I created. I wasn’t quite sure where to start. Too much time passed between my conversation with my ex-colleague and the opportunity passed for that project but there would be other times when I hit a similar problem so I was going to have to tackle it.

My initial course of action was to research how to create iOS apps and I found that I would have to look at Objective C, X Code and Swift with a nod towards OS X as well. The code should be similar to what I had become used to being C based languages like the Java that I have been developing my Android apps with. I figured that if I was to make my apps available to everyone I would have to cover Android and iOS (and possibly OS X). It was going to take some time to achieve.

I have had my (Photography) Instagram account for many years and initially I started to share my apps on that account but they were about as popular as a Rattle Snake in a lucky dip – very little response from my established followers who were really there to see my photographs. I opened a new Instagram account based on my Software Development exploits to discuss and share items related to that. One of the growing trends was Flutter – lots and lots of people were talking about it and saying that they were developing apps using it. I investigated and found that it could be very useful to me in overcoming my “problem”.

In case you are not familiar with it, Flutter – developed by Google, enables app developers to create apps once which can be suitable for both iOS and Android. It is not a perfect solution, some apps don’t do so well with it and I understand that it is a bit less swift on end user devices but I could put it to good use for most if not all of my simple offerings. Another piece of fortune; one of my new followers has a website that publishes vouchers for Udemy courses which are available for limited periods. I have taken advantage of this twice now; firstly for the Java course that I recently completed and then another which the trainers called “30 days of Flutter” which was 10 hours of video tuition about building Android and iOS apps using Flutter and Dart. The two work together but Flutter largely related to the User Experience/User Interface part and the Dart is the “doing” parts – where the number crunching goes on and it is written in .dart files.

I completed the course on the evening of the 17th of April 2021 and I am looking forward to adapting some of my Android apps and creating new ones using Flutter and Dart.

I still intend to learn how to code “Native” iOS apps but at least I can get some cross-platform apps out in the meantime.

That web-site where you can get vouchers for Udemy courses:- https://fastbooks.in/

I’ll be back to tell you more of my adventures soon – Stay Safe.

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