Flutter and the Google News Initiative help publications create mobile apps

Flutter and the Google News Initiative help publications create mobile apps

The Flutter team has partnered with the Google News Initiative to develop a “toolbox” to help news organizations quickly and easily create their own dedicated 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 the media, while also providing general guidelines for structuring publications according to uniform standards.

At the Flutter Forward event, the latest Flutter News Toolkit project, created in collaboration with the Google News Initiative, was presented. With phones often being people’s primary source of news, it’s imperative that publications provide a great mobile experience, whether through an app or a responsive website.

Importantly, a dedicated mobile app helps keep readers interested in a particular news source, while also creating new revenue opportunities. However, creating a dedicated mobile app, especially one that works consistently across Android and iOS, is no small task for a small to medium-sized media company.

This is where Flutter comes in, a powerful cross-platform application development framework. In addition to the simple convenience of simultaneously developing for Android and iOS, the new toolbox includes templates, pre-built solutions, and other guidelines to help you fast-track news app creation.

  • User engagement: you can repeatedly engage your audience with push notification permissions; obtain ad tracking permissions
  • Account creation/login: authentication through the platform and user social networks (such as Google login); create accounts without passwords
  • Content feeds and content pages: displays news, videos, images, ads and newsletter subscription alerts
  • Monetization: Easily add subscriptions and different ad formats
  • Search: allows users to search for articles by keyword or click on popular searches
  • Settings: Enable user settings for notifications, login, and ad tracking

Note that these tools are not exclusive to news media applications, and nothing prevents developers from taking advantage of the Flutter News Toolkit for other styles of applications. To that end, Google notes that one company has already used these tools to create a better newsletter experience, and recommends that a social media app 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.

If you want to start using the Flutter News Toolkit, it is now publicly available for all developers to use as they see fit.

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