New Blog Direction – Flutter Mobile Development

It has been ~10 months since my last post… In that time I have started a new job, bought a house, learned great amount of new skills at my new job (one of which is mobile development), I’ve created and released my own Xamarin app called Prog and finally… Contributed (currently an open pull request) to my first open source project ever – Flutter Camera Plugin.

It’s safe to say that this last year (2018) has been quite the roller-coaster, and has led me away from Raspberry Pi development. I believe my interest in this technology had peaked when I saw my code interacting with live machinery via the Pi in my previous employment. Since then, I have not had any project worth investing time into with regards to the Raspberry Pi. Therefore, this blog is taking a new direction – Mobile Development.

Flutter

My first entry into mobile development was using Xamarin Forms 3.0. While I did battle through and eventually release my own app, I don’t think I will be using it again. The eco system on Windows was broken. As an example: making a small change would result in a 5 minute wait for a compile and deployment to take place. If the compile didn’t fail and you didn’t have to restart Visual Studio, clean and rebuild you would just find out that the small change you made didn’t work and you had to repeat the process until it finally ‘worked’.

Flutter is a game changer I mean really… It has hot reload out of the box and works on all major platforms! It can even hot restart when you make logic changes. On my machine, a hot reload will take 800ms, and a hot restart will take 1.2s.

The layout and widget system makes perfect sense and the documentation is great. Animations – something developers usually shy away from – is so simple I can’t wait to post about it. Native Functionality integration is super easy also (until you get to the objective-C / Swift code – but that isn’t Flutter’s issue). And finally, it comes with amazing integration with Visual Studio Code.

Anyhow – I just wanted to make a post to say that there will likely never be anymore Raspberry Pi stuff here. I’m likely going to post solutions to problems I encounter and solve during my time developing mobiles apps with Flutter.