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Flutter and 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 create their own dedicated mobile apps.

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

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

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 not an easy task for a small or medium media company to create a dedicated mobile app, especially one that works consistently on Android and iOS.

That’s where Flutter comes in, being a massively cross-platform application development framework. Beyond the simple convenience of simultaneously developing for Android and iOS, the new toolset includes a set of templates, pre-built solutions, and other guidelines to help speed up the creation of a news app.

  • User Onboarding: Re-engage your audience with push notification permissions; acquire ad tracking permissions
  • Account creation/login: authenticate through your platform and user social networks (such as Google login); create accounts without password
  • Content sources and content pages: Display news articles, videos, images, ads, and newsletter subscription notices.
  • Monetization – easily add subscriptions and different ad formats
  • Search – Allows the user to search for articles by keyword or click on popular searches
  • Settings: allow user preferences for notifications, login and ad tracking

In particular, these tools aren’t just useful for news media apps, and there’s nothing to stop a developer from leveraging the Flutter News Toolkit for a different style of app. To that end, Google notes that one company has already used these tools to create a better newsletter experience, and suggests that a social media app could use these templates as well.

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

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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