I was inspired by the work/volunteering that I had been doing for Illumination Repairs C.I.C. to attempt to create a contact app and I decided to create it in Flutter so that eventually it would work on both Android and iOS without having to write the whole thing twice – there are pros and cons to this approach which I hope to cover in another post.
I opened up Android Studio on my Development Laptop and set to work….
I first of all I discovered how to create three tabs within the AppBar which would enable me to switch between three pages easily. They were “Home”, “Email” and “Website”. I used the artwork from the Illumination Repairs Instagram posts – cheeky I know but I was hoping that the company would benefit from my efforts so it was justified. The colour scheme that they had chosen was black and white so I felt that I had to keep it as it is part of their “brand” – I would have much rather used a more colourful palate.
Here you can clearly see the tabs (set on Home). The artwork is the first page of a video presentation which they created to “tell their story”. The next images are some of the “slides” in the video presentation.
It took me a while to work out how to have a mpg4 run in the app but I succeeded. I will leave a link to my GitHub Repo for this app at the end so you can see how I did it rather than explain here.
Next is the “Email” tab which leads to an email based enquiry form which sends an email to a designated address.
Finally, there is the “Website” tab which has a link to email (blank) but again to a designated email address. I later considered this surplus to requirements because the form on the email tab form was sufficient.
It also has a link to Illumination Repairs Facebook page and the Illumination Repairs website.
The biggest flaw with this app is that for all of the people who approach us for a repair it is a one-off contact – who would download an app just to get one or two things repaired, so it will never go into production in it’s current form. All is not lost – I know a little more about how to embed a video into a Flutter app, I have more of an idea about how to create an email enquiry form in Flutter, I can put links into buttons to webpages and email (the second email code works a bit different to the first) and the links to the webpages including Facebook/Meta can be done several ways – I tried the most common way (according to Stack Overflow) and it didn’t work as it was trying to parse ipv6 addresses and I think that that particular method was best suited to ipv4 addresses and so I found another method much better. I will use what I have learned in other apps and it has opened my horizons to the possibility of other apps.
That link to my GitHub Repository containing the code for this app:-https://github.com/CullenDevelopment/illumination_repairs