Being one of the early Flutter adopters in the industry, we have helped hundreds of clients with Flutter app development. We have helped them make cross-platform app development choices and often acknowledged the importance of flutter app development.
However, we sense that there is still ambiguity when it comes to Flutter state management. Hence, we felt the need to write a blog that explains to the audience, “what is state management”, “how does Flutter deal with state management”? And many more. Well, even after reading the blog, you still feel the need to connect and ask questions, do not hesitate to call us. We are open to any discussion about flutter app development.
Flutter is more than just a cross-platform framework. Flutter is all about widgets; also, it is declarative, flexible, and expressive. Flutter is well-known for its native-like performance and is a modern solution much in trend than ever before.
Moving forward with the main topic, Flutter state management.
What is state management?
In simple words, the state is the information you need to rebuild the UI at any moment. It is important to manage state during the entire lifecycle of application development.
Let us explain a state to you with a simple example of a shopping app:
A user logs into the application using their personal information.
This information should remain existential in all the screen when the user is onboard.
A user browses through various pages and keeps on adding products into the cart. The cart should remain with the saved products until the final checkout has been completed.
This persistence of information throughout the process is called the state of the application. Another example is that a welcome greeting should be visible only when the user opens the application for the first time. But, during the navigation to consecutive pages, it should not be visible. This is also a part of state management.
State management is applicable to any of the UI controls, be it text fields, radio buttons, navigation, checkboxes, or anything. And as you can see from the above examples, it is important for you to know what exactly to show on the screen and when.
You can address the following queries if you smartly manage the states.
01. What to reflect when the user refreshes the page.
02. How to handle data when the server runs an update.
03. How to address the request made to the server to fetch an update.
You can manage the state on both sides: frontend and backend.
So yeah, this is about the basics of State management. Moving forward with flutter state management.
State management with Flutter is handled differently. Instead of reflecting on the changes in the UI, Flutter rebuilds the UI from scratch. This means, whenever the application state changes, Flutter rebuilds the UI.
State management can be described in two different categories:
02. App state
The ephemeral state doesn’t last long. It represents the local state of a widget, animation, or a single page product.
Flutter handles this local state quite effectively because it is not complex and easy to understand. Flutter provides StatefulWidget and setState() methods to introduce ephemeral state.
App State :
App state exists along with the entire application right from the time when the user logs into the app, their information, preferences, social networking information, etc. All of these scenarios are a part of the app state. App state can be used globally, and it is also referred to as application state or shared state.
Depending on the application’s complexity and type, it is upon you to decide the Flutter state management technique. You can manage states by using State and setState().
We will be describing the list of various state management approaches in the next section.
The Provider is an amalgamation of Dependency Injection and State Management. It revolves around InheritedWidgets but offers a lot on the plate. Provider makes InheritedWidget reusable and easy to use.
Provider makes very minimal use of code and was developed by Remi Rousselet. Provider is the most frequently used often called the Least Common Denominator in all the Flutter apps.
InheritedWidget and InheritedModel :
InheritedWidget also known as the Flutter Monad is the base class of Flutter state management. InheritedWidget is used to pass data from upstream to downstream. A Widget falling in the same scenario (tree) can access the properties of InheritedWidget.
The diagram is easy to understand; however, it gets complex for large-size applications. It assists users in defining a particular data that they want and rebuilds the ones that follow.
Redux was an early entrant in the list of Flutter state management. It helps in differentiating business logic and presentation logic by following a unidirectional data flow architecture.
Developers can swiftly introduce changes in the UI and easily detect bugs. Redux is preferred for large apps and synchronized solutions. Redux state management makes a state stable making it quite effortless for developers to find bugs.
setState is very easy to understand and effective local state management. It accurately handles the ephemeral state; however, it becomes tedious to maintain the setState that is scattered all over the place.
Fish-Redux was first introduced by Alibaba Tech and is suitable for medium to large-sized applications. Fish-Redux operates on a different layer than Redux does, and thereby, it streamlines the state management.
MobX is a state management library consisting of Observables, Actions, and Reactions. The flow of these components is unidirectional and looks very effortless.
It works on the below principle:
Anything that can be derived from the application state should be. Automatically.
All the changes that are required to be induced in the UI are checked by this Flutter state management. The Actions are processed by the View layer and change to Observables. Any changes made in this layer are detected, and the Reaction is sent to rebuild the UI. The circle gets completed, and the UI properties are changed if required.
Riverpod acts exactly the same as Provider, however, it can solve the common problems that a provider has. Riverpod ensures higher performance, readability, testability along with the unidirectional data flow. Riverpod state management doesn’t require you to depend on BuildContext, you can independently manage the state.
GetIt is optional state management for InheritedWidget or Provider. It is used to access objects, but it is not exactly a state management technique. GetIt allows you to differentiate the interface from the main implementation and concrete implementation.
So, yeah, this is all about the list of state management approaches. You can resort to a trustable, reliable, and experienced Flutter app development company in India for any further knowledge. You can also hire our Flutter app developers to commence with your next project. The evolving Flutter will have a lot to offer in the coming years. All the best!
Principal Mobile App Developer