Unlock the Hidden Superpower of Flutter: Introducing Code Push with Shorebird

Abhishek Thakur
3 min readJun 30, 2023

Introduction:

As Flutter developers, we are always looking for ways to enhance our productivity and streamline the app development process. Today, I want to introduce you to a game-changing tool that will revolutionize how you update your Flutter apps in production — Code push with Shorebird. With this hidden superpower, you can instantly push updates to your users’ devices without the need for a new app store build.

Team:

Before we dive into the details, let’s take a moment to appreciate the remarkable team behind Shorebird. Led by Eric Seidel, the founder of Flutter, and supported by Felix Angelov, the creator of the bloc library and Mason, as well as Bryan Oltman, former architecture lead at Google in Flutter’s enterprise team, Shorebird is backed by an incredible group of experts. This stellar team ensures that Shorebird meets the highest standards and addresses the needs of production teams, agencies, and freelancers.

How it Works:

Shorebird is a cloud service that simplifies the process of pushing app updates directly to users’ devices. It seamlessly integrates with any Dart codebase and currently supports Android, with iOS support coming in July. This means you can say goodbye to the agonizing wait for app store approvals and enjoy instant updates for your users.

Getting Started:

To start harnessing the power of Shorebird, follow these steps:

  1. Install Shorebird CLI: To install the Shorebird Command Line Interface (CLI), use the following curl command in your terminal:
curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 https://raw.githubusercontent.com/shorebirdtech/install/main/install.sh -sSf | bash

After the installation completes, run shorebird in the terminal to ensure everything is set up correctly.

  1. Create a Shorebird Account: To create a Shorebird account, run the following command:
shorebird account create

This will open a Google sign-in form in your default browser. After completing the authentication process, your credentials will be saved.

  1. Initialize Shorebird in Your Project: Shorebird currently offers a paid subscription plan ($20/month) to access its features. To upgrade your account, run:
shorebird account subscribe

Once upgraded, initialize your project by running:

shorebird init

Provide your app’s package name, and Shorebird will create the necessary configuration files for you.

  1. Run Your App: Instead of using the regular flutter run --release command, use Shorebird's forked version of the Flutter engine by running:
shorebird run

This will ensure that your app is compatible with Shorebird’s code push functionality.

  1. Create a Shorebird Release and Push: Finally, it’s time to create a release with the updated code. Make sure you have run the app using shorebird run before proceeding. To create a release for Android, run:
shorebird release android

You will be prompted to enter the version number for your release, and Shorebird will handle the rest, pushing the update to your users.

Conclusion: Code push with Shorebird is an exciting and game-changing update for Flutter developers. It eliminates the need for lengthy app store approval processes and allows for instant updates to be delivered to your users’ devices. With the combined expertise of the Shorebird team, led by Flutter’s founder and supported by renowned Flutter developers, Shorebird is a tool that empowers production teams, agencies, and freelancers to optimize their workflow and deliver exceptional user experiences.

Get started with Shorebird today and unlock the hidden superpower of Flutter!

Note: The information in this post is based on the available details at the time of writing and may be subject to updates and changes.

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Abhishek Thakur

Software Designer & Developer | Flutter Developer | Tech Stack Explorer