Responsive App Design

Building Responsive UIs in Flutter: A Short Guide

Dario Digregorio

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I’ve released a detailed follow-up guide which goes into much more details: https://dario-digregorio.medium.com/mastering-responsive-uis-in-flutter-the-full-guide-7e21acda614e

Flutter has become a go-to framework for developing cross-platform apps, but the real challenge lies in making these apps responsive across a variety of devices. This article is all about navigating the world of Flutter to ensure your app looks and works great, whether on mobile, desktop, or web.

Side Note: This guide sticks to the basics of Flutter for responsiveness, avoiding additional packages.

The Tools I’m Using: For this, I’m working with Dart 3.1.3, Flutter 3.13.9 and optional Riverpod 2.4.5.

Setting Up and Key Insights

Testing your layouts on different devices and platforms is crucial. Choose a development environment that allows easy resizing. Each platform has its nuances, so let’s explore them:

Understanding Platform and Device Differences

  • Windows/MacOS/Web: These are the easiest for development. They offer flexible window resizing and support HotReload. However, Flutter Web doesn’t support HotReload. Also, MediaQuery.orientationOf() here is based on window size, not device orientation.
  • MacOS (Designed for iPad): Optimize your app for both iOS and MacOS with the ‘My Mac (Designed for iPad)’ target in Xcode. This special build allows you to create an iOS-optimized app that functions seamlessly on MacOS. It behaves like a native MacOS app while maintaining compatibility with libraries used in the iOS version. This approach offers a unified development process for both platforms, ensuring that your app delivers a consistent experience across Apple devices. There is still some work to set it up properly. See this issue.
  • iPad with Stage Manager: If your dependencies limit your platform choice, an iPad with Stage Manager is a good option. It allows resizing within predefined screen sizes.
Resizing app with iPad Stage Manager
  • Android: The Android Resizable…

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Dario Digregorio

Full-Time Senior Flutter and Web Developer 💙 | Part-Time Indie Dev | Enthusiast for Animations and UI/UX | [First App] Yawa: Weather & Radar