Create Home Screen App Widgets in Flutter
When it comes to creating app widgets specifically for the home screen, there are numerous challenges developers come across. These are usually in the form of making the codes reusable to customize as per the widgets planned, the parameters to be defined, and many others. Since Flutter is one of the most used programming languages for the front end, it is important to hire Flutter developers from www.bosctechlabs.com with enough knowledge to develop different types of app widgets in the easiest way possible.
In the following article, we will discuss various home screen app widgets and the way to develop them.
What are home screen app widgets?
When a new change is done in the application, say a message just came into the inbox, you need to open the app and then view the message. This sounds like a normal operation, but only when a couple of apps are involved. There must be shorter communication channels if we talk about multiple applications and interactions between the apps and the users.
These are known as home screen app widgets, which greatly enhance the overall interaction between the app and the users. You can develop them through certain translucent symbols with maximum background transparency, buttons or app icons, and so on. It completely depends on the project requirements and how complex you need the code to be. After all, the more you focus on the widgets’ styling and design elements, the longer the codes will be.
What are the main challenges developers usually face while creating app widgets through Flutter?
The home screen app widget will be run on the operating system, and it needs to extend the native features. On the other hand, if we talk about the developed component, there needs to be a proper interaction channel between the Flutter engine where the program will run and the native OS platform. So, the two major challenges you need to focus on before you hire Flutter developers are:
- Sharing the data from the Flutter engine to the home screen app widget and vice versa.
- Handling events on the home screen app widgets while ensuring the Dart code is executed simultaneously in the background.
How to create a home screen app widget in Flutter?
It is much easier to create the home screen app widgets in Flutter, provided you plan for mitigating the two challenges in the above section. The following explanation will give you a much more in-depth idea of the overall process, which will further help you to work on the home screen app widget.
Creating a project and configuring the package
First and foremost, you need to create a project in Flutter. Now, you need to add dependencies to the project. To do so, add the home_widget package. It needs to be in the pubsec.yaml file format. With this package, you won’t face problems sending and retrieving datasets between the home screen app widgets and the Flutter engine.
Before moving to the next step, you must understand the three most important aspects of the app widgets. These are:
- AppWidgetProviderInfo: You need to use it to describe the widget’s metadata, like the layout, category, theme design, and many more.
- AppWidgetProvider: With this package, you will get the fundamentals of the working and other details of the concerned widget, especially on its interaction.
- View Layout: As the name suggests, this allows you to easily define the app widget’s initial layout easily.
Setting configuration and layout to native OS
First, you need to set the layout and configuration to the native OS, which we have decided to be Android in this case. But you can change the codes accordingly to set the attributes to native iOS. In this stage, follow these four steps to complete the configuration.
- Create a file named widget_info.xml and convert it into android/app/xml. ‘
- Now, you create a file named widget_layout.xml and convert the same into android/app/res/layout.
- Once the layout files are created, you need to work on the main directory that contains the MainActivity.kt class. Here, you need to create a new file named WidgetProvider.kt.
- The AndroidManifest.xml file should have a background service so that the Flutter code can be executed in the background and a receiver that will receive all the interactive datasets.
Receiving and updating data
All the datasets need to be updated in the background as the home screen app widget continues to run. It doesn’t matter whether you are navigating through the home screen or any other app because the interaction needs to be seamless. If the background datasets are not updated as per the events in the apps, it will create discrepancies and reduce the overall performance and efficiency.
So, you should add a couple of methods to the file named main.dart. Once done, you can update the widget data in the background. To do so, follow the below steps.
- The first method you must create is to execute the code in the background once it is initiated from the App Widget.
- Once done, initialize it using the main method in your Dart programming.
- You need to define a method inside the widget named as MyHomePageState. This will directly load the data from the HomeWidget widget built-in in Flutter.
- You need to write the code from the widget updateAppWidget, which will automatically update the notifications in the concerned home screen app widget.
Since now you know the major things concerning the development process of the home screen app widgets, you need to hire Flutter developers accordingly. Also, you have to ensure the developers know everything about developing various aspects of the home screen app widgets, including the layouts, methods, initialization, and many more. This way, you won’t have to worry further about the performance and functions of the home screen app widgets