Tutorial

How To Set Up Firebase with Flutter for iOS and Android Apps

Flutter

Firebase is a great backend solution for anyone that wants to use authentication, databases, cloud functions, ads, and countless other features within an app.

In this article, you will create a Firebase project for iOS and Android platforms using Flutter.

Prerequisites

To complete this tutorial, you will need:

  • A Google account to use Firebase.
  • Developing for iOS will require XCode.
  • To download and install Flutter.
  • To download and install Android Studio and Visual Studio Code.
  • It is recommended to install plugins for your code editor:
    • Flutter and Dart plugins installed for Android Studio.
    • Flutter extension installed for Visual Studio Code.

This tutorial was verified with Flutter v2.0.6, Android SDK v31.0.2, and Android Studio v4.1.

Creating a New Flutter Project

This tutorial will require the creation of an example Flutter app.

Once you have your environment set up for Flutter, you can run the following to create a new application:

  • flutter create flutterfirebaseexample

Navigate to the new project directory:

  • cd flutterfirebaseexample

Using flutter create will produce a demo application that will display the number of times a button is clicked.

Now that we’ve got a Flutter project up and running, we can add Firebase.

Creating a New Firebase Project

First, log in with your Google account to manage your Firebase projects. From within the Firebase dashboard, select the Create new project button and give it a name:

Screenshot of the Firebase page for Step 1 of creating a new project - providing a project name.

Next, we’re given the option to enable Google Analytics. This tutorial will not require Google Analytics, but you can also choose to add it to your project.

Screenshot of the Firebase page for Step 2 of creating a new project - adding Google Analytics.

If you choose to use Google Analytics, you will need to review and accept the terms and conditions prior to project creation.

After pressing Continue, your project will be created and resources will be provisioned. You will then be directed to the dashboard for the new project.

Adding Android support

Registering the App

In order to add Android support to our Flutter application, select the Android logo from the dashboard. This brings us to the following screen:

Screenshot of the page for adding Firebase to your Android app. Fields for Android package name and app nickname are filled out.

The most important thing here is to match up the Android package name that you choose here with the one inside of our application.

The structure consists of at least two segments. A common pattern is to use a domain name, a company name, and the application name:

com.example.flutterfirebaseexample

Once you’ve decided on a name, open android/app/build.gradle in your code editor and update the applicationId to match the Android package name:

android/app/build.gradle
...
defaultConfig {
    // TODO: Specify your own unique Application ID (https://developer.android.com/studio/build/application-id.html).
    applicationId 'com.example.flutterfirebaseexample'
    ...
}
...

You can skip the app nickname and debug signing keys at this stage. Select Register app to continue.

Downloading the Config File

The next step is to add the Firebase configuration file into our Flutter project. This is important as it contains the API keys and other critical information for Firebase to use.

Select Download google-services.json from this page:

Screenshot of the Firebase page with a Download config file button.

Next, move the google-services.json file to the android/app directory within the Flutter project.

Adding the Firebase SDK

We’ll now need to update our Gradle configuration to include the Google Services plugin.

Open android/build.gradle in your code editor and modify it to include the following:

android/buiild.gradle
buildscript {
  repositories {
    // Check that you have the following line (if not, add it):
    google()  // Google's Maven repository
  }
  dependencies {
    ...
    // Add this line
    classpath 'com.google.gms:google-services:4.3.6'
  }
}

allprojects {
  ...
  repositories {
    // Check that you have the following line (if not, add it):
    google()  // Google's Maven repository
    ...
  }
}

Finally, update the app level file at android/app/build.gradle to include the following:

android/app/build.gradle
apply plugin: 'com.android.application'
// Add this line
apply plugin: 'com.google.gms.google-services'

dependencies {
  // Import the Firebase BoM
  implementation platform('com.google.firebase:firebase-bom:28.0.0')

  // Add the dependencies for any other desired Firebase products
  // https://firebase.google.com/docs/android/setup#available-libraries
}

With this update, we’re essentially applying the Google Services plugin as well as looking at how other Flutter Firebase plugins can be activated such as Analytics.

From here, run your application on an Android device or simulator. If everything has worked correctly, you should get the following message in the dashboard:

Screenshot of the Firebase page with a congratulation message for successfully adding Firebase to your app.

Next up, let’s add iOS support!

Adding iOS Support

In order to add Firebase support for iOS, we have to follow a similar set of instructions.

Head back over to the dashboard and select Add app and then iOS icon to be navigated to the setup process.

Registering an App

Once again, we’ll need to add an “iOS Bundle ID”. It is possible to use the “Android package name” for consistency:

Screenshot of the Firebase page for registering the app and providing an iOS Bundle ID.

You’ll then need to make sure this matches up by opening the iOS project up in Xcode at ios/Runner/Runner.xcodeproj and changing the Bundle identifier under General:

Screenshot of the project in Xcode with the iOS bundle ID added to the Bundler Identifier field.

Click Register app to move to the next screen.

Downloading the Config File

In this step, we’ll need to download the configuration file and add this to our Xcode project.

Screenshot of the Firebase page with a Download config file button.

Download GoogleService-Info.plist and move this into the root of your Xcode project within Runner:

Screenshot of the project in Xcode with the GoogleService-Info.plist file in the Runner directory.

Be sure to move this file within Xcode to create the proper file references.

There are additional steps for installing the Firebase SDK and adding initialization code, but they are not necessary for this tutorial.

That’s it!

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to set up and ready our Flutter applications to be used with Firebase.

Flutter has official support for Firebase with the FlutterFire set of libraries.

In future articles, we’ll look at how to use Firebase features such as Cloud Firestore, Authentication, Analytics, and more with Flutter.

If you’d like to learn more about Flutter, check out our Flutter topic page for exercises and programming projects.

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