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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Build and release an iOS app
2.1.
Pre-requisites
2.2.
Procedure
2.2.1.
Register your app on App Store Connect 
2.2.2.
Register a Bundle ID
2.2.3.
Create an application record on App Store Connect
2.2.4.
Review Xcode project settings
2.2.5.
Add an app icon
2.2.6.
Create an app bundle
2.2.7.
Release your app on TestFlight                                            
2.2.8.
Release your app to the App Store
3.
Build and release an Android app
3.1.
Procedure
3.1.1.
Signing the app
3.1.2.
Reviewing the app manifest
3.1.3.
Reviewing the Gradle build configuration
3.1.4.
Building the app for release
3.1.5.
Build an app bundle
3.1.6.
Build an APK and install it on a device                            
3.1.7.
Publishing to the Google Play Store
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
What is flutter?
4.2.
What is meant by the deployment of an application?
4.3.
Is Flutter frontend or backend?
4.4.
App bundles versus Android Application packages(APKs), which is more suitable while deploying an android app?
5.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Flutter Deployment

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Introduction

Flutter is an open-source set of tooling that allows us to create applications that can run on iOS, Android, the Web, and desktop. It was launched by Google on 4th December 2018 to solve the dilemma of needing separate development teams for iOS and Android for developing the same software. Since its introduction, flutter has been widely successful in attracting thousands of developers in organizations worldwide for production apps. 

In the following article, we will go through the various steps involved in flutter deployment on both iOS and Android platforms.

Build and release an iOS app

Let us learn how to build and release an iOS app.

AppStore Icon

Pre-requisites

The pre-requisites are as follows:-

  1. macOS must be used for this releasing the iOS app on the AppStore.
  2. Make sure that all the guidelines provided by Apple for an application are met by the app you wish to release. You can visit App Review Guidelines for further information.
  3. You must be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program for releasing any app on the AppStore.

Procedure

The procedure is as follows:-

Register your app on App Store Connect 

Registering an app in iOS follows two steps:

  • The creation and registering of a unique Bundle ID.
  • Creating an application record on App Store Connect. 
Registering on AppStore Connect

Register a Bundle ID

A Bundle ID is a unique identifier that is registered with Apple. Every app has a unique Bundle ID. 

The following steps tell you how to register a Bundle ID for your app.

  • In your developer account, go to the App IDs page.
  • Click + to create a new Bundle ID.
  • Enter the required details that are required.
  • Click Continue after all the details have been filled.
  • Click on register after confirming all the details.
Registerning an App ID

Create an application record on App Store Connect

The following steps show how you can register your app on App Store Connect.

  • In your browser, open up the App Store Connect.
  • Click on My Apps.
  • On the top-left corner of the page click on the + icon, then select New App.
  • In the form that appears, fill all the details regarding your app. Check the iOS in the Platform section and click on Create.
  • From the sidebar, select App Information.
  • Select the Bundle ID you registered in the previous step in the General Information section.
+ icon on top left corner

Review Xcode project settings

Navigate to your target’s settings in Xcode:

  • Open Runner .xcworkspace in Xcode in the app’s ios folder.
  • For viewing your app’s settings, Click on the Runner project followed by the Runner target in the main view sidebar.
  • Select the General tab.

Check and confirm all the important settings.

Xcode Settings

Add an app icon

When a new Flutter app is created, a placeholder icon set is created. The following steps cover the replacing of the placeholder icons with your desired app icon.

  • In the Xcode project navigator, select Assets .xcassets in the Runner folder. Update the placeholder icons with your own app icons.
  • Use flutter run to check whether the icon has been replaced.

 

Create an app bundle

Run the command flutter build ipa. This creates an App store app bundle (.ipa file) in build/ios/ipa.

Release your app on TestFlight                                            

TestFlight Icon

TestFlight helps the developers to test their app by distributing it to their friends and to the people they want. 

The following steps inform you on how to release your build on TestFlight.

  • On the App Store Connect, go to the TestFlight tab.
  • Select Internal Testing present in the sidebar.
  • Select the build and click on Save.
  • Add the desired email addresses of the internal testers.

Release your app to the App Store

These are the steps for submitting your app for review and then releasing it to the App Store.

  • From the sidebar of the app’s application details page, select the Pricing and Availability and complete the required information.
  • Click on the status present in the sidebar and complete all the required fields.
  • Click Submit for Review.

 

Apple will notify you when your app has been reviewed, and your app will get released. 

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Build and release an Android app

Let us learn how to build and release an android app.                                            

PlayStore Icon

Procedure

The procedure to build and release an android app are as follows:-  

Signing the app

For publishing an app on Play Store, it must have a digital signature. You can use the following instructions to give one to your app.

On Android, there are two signing keys: deployment and upload. The end-users download the .apk signed with the ‘deployment key’. An ‘upload key’ is used to authenticate the .aab / .apk uploaded by developers onto the Play Store and is re-signed with the deployment key once in the Play Store.

Reviewing the app manifest

Thoroughly review the App Manifest file (AndroidManifest.xml), and confirm that all the values are correct. 

Reviewing the Gradle build configuration

Thoroughly review the default Gradle build file (build.gradle) located in [project]/android/app and check whether all the values are correct.

The following are the values that need to be verified under the defaultConfig Block:

  • applicationId
  • minSdkVersion
  • targetSdkVersion
  • versionCode
  • versionName
  • buildToolsVersion

 

Under the androidBlock, verify the compileSDK version.

Building the app for release

There are two prescribed methods by which we can publish an app on PlayStore, they are:

  • App Bundle
  • APK

Build an app bundle

Using the command line, run the following commands:

  • Enter cd [project]
  • Run flutter build appbundle
    The release bundle for your app has been created at  [project]/build/app/outputs/bundle/release/app.aab.    

Build an APK and install it on a device                            

An APK Icon

Enter the following commands to build an APK for your App.

  • Enter cd [project]
  • Run flutter build apk

 

 Run these commands to install an APK on a connected Android device.

  • Enter cd [project].
  • Run flutter install.

Publishing to the Google Play Store

Push your application to the Play Store by using standard procedures. 

App details page

This was all about flutter deployment. Let us now have a look at the frequently asked questions on flutter deployment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is flutter?

Flutter is an open-source set of tooling that allows us to create applications that can run on iOS, Android, the Web, and desktop.

What is meant by the deployment of an application?

Deployment is a procedure through which a developer is able to deliver applications, updates, patches, and modules to the users.

Is Flutter frontend or backend?

Flutter is a popular frontend application used by thousands of developers and has a huge supporting community from google as well as all around the world.

App bundles versus Android Application packages(APKs), which is more suitable while deploying an android app?

App bundles a more efficient delivery of the application to the users and hence must be favored over APKs.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed the steps for flutter deployment on both Play Store and App Store. We began with a brief introduction to flutter followed by the steps for flutter deployment on both iOS app and an Android app. 

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