Flutter is Google's mobile SDK for crafting high-quality native interfaces on iOS and Android in record time. Flutter works with existing code, is used by developers and organizations around the world, and is free and open source.

In this codelab, you'll create a simple Flutter app. If you are familiar with object-oriented code and basic programming concepts such as variables, loops, and conditionals, you can complete this codelab. You don't need previous experience with Dart or mobile programming.

What you'll learn in part 1

In part 2 of this codelab, you'll add interactivity, modify the app's theme, and add the ability to navigate to a new page (called a route in Flutter).

What you'll build in part 1

You'll implement a simple mobile app that generates proposed names for a startup company. The user can select and unselect names, saving the best ones. The code lazily generates ten names at a time. As the user scrolls, new batches of names are generated. The user can scroll forever, with new names being continually generated.

The animated GIF shows how the app works at the completion of part 1:

What is your level of experience with building mobile apps?

Never built mobile apps Built apps for the mobile web only Built apps for Android only Built apps for iOS only Built apps for Android and iOS Built apps for mobile web, Android, and iOS

You need two pieces of software to complete this lab: the Flutter SDK, and an editor. This codelab assumes Android Studio, but you can use your preferred editor.

You can run this codelab using any of the following devices:

Create a simple templated Flutter app, using the instructions in Getting Started with your first Flutter app. Name the project startup_namer (instead of myapp). You'll be modifying this starter app to create the finished app.

In these codelabs, you'll mostly be editing lib/main.dart, where the Dart code lives.

Replace the contents of lib/main.dart.
Delete all of the code from lib/main.dart. Replace with the following code, which displays "Hello World" in the center of the screen.

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() => runApp(MyApp());

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Welcome to Flutter',
      home: Scaffold(
        appBar: AppBar(
          title: const Text('Welcome to Flutter'),
        ),
        body: const Center(
          child: const Text('Hello World'),
        ),
      ),
    );
  }
}

Run the app. You should see either Android or iOS output, depending on your device.

Android

iOS

Observations

In this step, you'll start using an open-source package named english_words, which contains a few thousand of the most used English words plus some utility functions.

You can find the english_words package, as well as many other open source packages, on the Pub site.

The pubspec file manages the assets for a Flutter app. In pubspec.yaml, append english_words: ^3.1.0 (english_words 3.1.0 or higher) to the dependencies list:

dependencies:
  flutter:
    sdk: flutter

  cupertino_icons: ^0.1.2
  english_words: ^3.1.0   # add this line

While viewing the pubspec in Android Studio's editor view, click Packages get. This pulls the package into your project. You should see the following in the console:

flutter packages get
Running "flutter packages get" in startup_namer...
Process finished with exit code 0

In lib/main.dart, import the new package:

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'package:english_words/english_words.dart';  // Add this line.

As you type, Android Studio gives you suggestions for libraries to import. It then renders the import string in gray, letting you know that the imported library is unused (so far).

Next, you'll use the english_words package to generate the text instead of using the string "Hello World".

Make the changes shown below:

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'package:english_words/english_words.dart';

void main() => runApp(MyApp());

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    final wordPair = WordPair.random(); // Add this line.
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Welcome to Flutter',
      home: Scaffold(
        appBar: AppBar(
          title: Text('Welcome to Flutter'),
        ),
        body: Center(
          //child: Text('Hello World'),   // Replace this text...
          child: Text(wordPair.asPascalCase),  // With this text.
        ),
      ),
    );
  }
}

If the app is running, use the hot reload button () to update the running app. Each time you click hot reload or save the project, you should see a different word pair, chosen at random, in the running app. This is because the word pairing is generated inside the build method, which is run each time the MaterialApp requires rendering, or when toggling the Platform in Flutter Inspector.

Android

iOS

Problems?

If your app is not running correctly, look for typos. If needed, use the code at the following links to get back on track.

Stateless widgets are immutable, meaning that their properties can't change—all values are final.

Stateful widgets maintain state that might change during the lifetime of the widget. Implementing a stateful widget requires at least two classes: 1) a StatefulWidget class that creates an instance of 2) a State class. The StatefulWidget class is, itself, immutable, but the State class persists over the lifetime of the widget.

In this step, you'll add a stateful widget, RandomWords, which creates its State class, RandomWordsState. You'll then use RandomWords as a child inside the existing MyApp stateless widget.

Create a minimal state class. It can go anywhere in the file outside of MyApp, but the solution places it at the bottom of the file. Add the following text:

class RandomWordsState extends State<RandomWords> {
  // TODO Add build method
}

Notice the declaration State<RandomWords>. This indicates that we're using the generic State class specialized for use with RandomWords. Most of the app's logic and state resides here—it maintains the state for the RandomWords widget. This class saves the generated word pairs, which grows infinitely as the user scrolls, and favorite word pairs (in part 2), as the user adds or removes them from the list by toggling the heart icon.

RandomWordsState depends on the RandomWords class. You'll add that next.

Add the stateful RandomWords widget to main.dart. The RandomWords widget does little else besides creating its State class:

class RandomWords extends StatefulWidget {
  @override
  RandomWordsState createState() => RandomWordsState();
}

After adding the state class, the IDE complains that the class is missing a build method. Next, you'll add a basic build method that generates the word pairs by moving the word generation code from MyApp to RandomWordsState.

Add the build method to RandomWordsState, as shown below:

class RandomWordsState extends State<RandomWords> {
  @override                                  // Add from this line ... 
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    final WordPair wordPair = WordPair.random();
    return Text(wordPair.asPascalCase);
  }                                          // ... to this line.
}

Remove the word generation code from MyApp by making the changes below:

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    final WordPair wordPair = WordPair.random();  // Delete this line.

    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Welcome to Flutter',
      home: Scaffold(
        appBar: AppBar(
          title: Text('Welcome to Flutter'),
        ),
        body: Center(
          //child: Text(wordPair.asPascalCase), // Change this line to... 
          child: RandomWords(),                 // ... this line.
        ),
      ),
    );
  }
}

Hot reload the app. The app should behave as before, displaying a word pairing each time you hot reload or save the app.

Problems?

If your app is not running correctly, you can use the code at the following link to get back on track.

In this step, you'll expand RandomWordsState to generate and display a list of word pairings. As the user scrolls, the list (displayed in a ListView widget) grows infinitely. ListView's builder factory constructor allows you to build a list view lazily, on demand.

Add a _suggestions list to the RandomWordsState class for saving suggested word pairings. Also, add a _biggerFont variable for making the font size larger.

class RandomWordsState extends State<RandomWords> {
  // Add the next two lines.
  final List<WordPair> _suggestions = <WordPair>[];
  final TextStyle _biggerFont = const TextStyle(fontSize: 18); 
  ...
}

Next, you'll add a _buildSuggestions() function to the RandomWordsState class. This method will build the ListView that displays the suggested word pairing.

The ListView class provides a builder property, itemBuilder, that's a factory builder and callback function specified as an anonymous function. Two parameters are passed to the function—the BuildContext, and the row iterator, i. The iterator begins at 0 and increments each time the function is called—once for every suggested word pairing. This model allows the suggestion list to grow infinitely as the user scrolls.

Add the entire _buildSuggestions function, shown below, to the RandomWordsState class (delete the comments, if you prefer):

  Widget _buildSuggestions() {
    return ListView.builder(
      padding: const EdgeInsets.all(16),
      // The itemBuilder callback is called once per suggested 
      // word pairing, and places each suggestion into a ListTile
      // row. For even rows, the function adds a ListTile row for
      // the word pairing. For odd rows, the function adds a 
      // Divider widget to visually separate the entries. Note that
      // the divider may be difficult to see on smaller devices.
      itemBuilder: (BuildContext _context, int i) {
        // Add a one-pixel-high divider widget before each row 
        // in the ListView.
        if (i.isOdd) {
          return Divider();
        }

        // The syntax "i ~/ 2" divides i by 2 and returns an 
        // integer result.
        // For example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 becomes 0, 1, 1, 2, 2.
        // This calculates the actual number of word pairings 
        // in the ListView,minus the divider widgets.
        final int index = i ~/ 2;
        // If you've reached the end of the available word
        // pairings...
        if (index >= _suggestions.length) {
          // ...then generate 10 more and add them to the 
          // suggestions list.
          _suggestions.addAll(generateWordPairs().take(10));
        }
        return _buildRow(_suggestions[index]);
      }
    );
  }

The _buildSuggestions function calls _buildRow once per word pair. This function displays each new pair in a ListTile, which will allow you to make the rows more attractive in part 2.

Add a _buildRow function to RandomWordsState:

  Widget _buildRow(WordPair pair) {
    return ListTile(
      title: Text(
        pair.asPascalCase,
        style: _biggerFont,
      ),
    );
  }

Update the build method for RandomWordsState to use _buildSuggestions(), rather than directly calling the word generation library. (Scaffold implements the basic Material Design visual layout.)

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    //final wordPair = WordPair.random(); // Delete these... 
    //return Text(wordPair.asPascalCase); // ... two lines.

    return Scaffold (                   // Add from here... 
      appBar: AppBar(
        title: Text('Startup Name Generator'),
      ),
      body: _buildSuggestions(),
    );                                      // ... to here.
  }

Update the build method for MyApp, changing the title, and changing the home to be a RandomWords widget.

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      title: 'Startup Name Generator',
      home: RandomWords(),
    );
  }

Restart the app. You should see a list of word pairings, no matter how far you scroll.

Android

iOS

Problems?

If your app is not running correctly, you can use the code at the following link to get back on track.

Congratulations!

You have completed part 1 of this codelab! If you'd like to extend this app, proceed to part 2, where you will modify the app as follows:

When part 2 is completed, the app will look like this:

Other next steps

Learn more about the Flutter SDK:

Learn more

Other resources include:

Please reach out to us at our mailing list. We'd love to hear from you!