Flutter & Google News Initiative help publications build mobile apps

The Flutter team has partnered with the Google News Initiative on a “toolkit” to help news outlets quickly and easily build their own engaging mobile apps.

Google has long sought to encourage the growth and diversification of journalism through the Google News Initiative. Through this program, Google works directly with media while also providing general guidelines to help publications build to a consistent standard.

At the Flutter Forward event, the Flutter News Toolkit was unveiled as the latest project created in collaboration with the Google News Initiative. Considering that phones are often people’s primary sources of news, it’s essential for publications to provide a great mobile experience, whether through an app or a responsive website.

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Importantly, a dedicated mobile app can help keep readers engaged with a particular news outlet, while also creating the potential for new revenue. However, it is no small task for a small or medium-sized media company to create a dedicated mobile app, especially one that works consistently across Android and iOS.

That’s where Flutter comes in clutch, a massive cross-platform app development framework. Going beyond the simple convenience of simultaneously developing for Android and iOS, the new toolkit includes a suite of templates, pre-made solutions, and other guidelines to help fast-track the creation of a news app.

  • User onboarding: re-engage your audience with push notification permissions; get ad tracking permissions
  • Account creation / login: authenticate through your platform and user social networks (such as Google login); Create passwordless accounts
  • Content feeds and content pages: display news articles, videos, images, ads and newsletter sign-up questions
  • Monetization: easily add subscriptions and different ad formats
  • Search: Allows users to search for articles by keyword or click on popular searches
  • Settings: Allow user preferences for notifications, login and ad tracking

Notably, these tools are not only useful for news media apps, and there is nothing to prevent a developer from leveraging the Flutter News Toolkit for a different style of app. To this end, Google notes that a company has already used these tools to create a better newsletter experience and suggests that a social media app can also use these templates.

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Google initially opened the Flutter News Toolkit to a handful of publications around the world for early testing. Three such news outlets shared their impressions of the Flutter News Toolkit during the Flutter Forward event.

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If you’re interested in getting started with the Flutter News Toolkit, it’s now publicly available for all developers to use as they see fit.

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