Leveraging Apple's System APIs and Frameworks

When you come from iOS development, you might need to find Flutter plugins that offer the same abilities as Apple’s system libraries. This might include accessing device hardware or interacting with specific frameworks like HealthKit or MapKit.

Introducing Flutter plugins

Dart calls libraries that contain platform-specific code plugins. When developing an app with Flutter, you use plugins to interact with system libraries.

In your Dart code, you use the plugin’s Dart API to call the native code from the system library being used. This means that you can write the code to call the Dart API. The API then makes it work for all platforms that the plugin supports.

To learn more about plugins, see Using packages. Though this page links to some popular plugins, you can find thousands more, along with examples, on pub.dev. The following table does not endorse any particular plugin. If you can’t find a package that meets your need, you can create your own or use platform channels directly in your project. To learn more, see Writing platform-specific code.

Adding a plugin to your project

To use an Apple framework within your native project, import it into your Swift or Objective-C file.

To add a Flutter plugin, run flutter pub add package_name from the root of your project. This adds the dependency to your pubspec.yaml file. After you add the dependency, add an import statement for the package in your Dart file.

You might need to change app settings or initialization logic. If that’s needed, the package’s “Readme” page on pub.dev should provide details.

Flutter Plugins and Apple Frameworks

Use Case Apple Framework or Class Flutter Plugin

Access the photo library

  • PhotoKit
    using the Photos and PhotosUI frameworks
  • UIImagePickerController

image_picker

Access the camera

UIImagePickerController
using the .camera sourceType

image_picker

Use advanced camera features

AVFoundation

camera

Offer In-app purchases

StoreKit

in_app_purchase1

Process payments

PassKit

pay2

Send push notifications

UserNotifications

firebase_messaging3

Access GPS coordinates

CoreLocation

geolocator

Access sensor data4

CoreMotion

sensors_plus

Embed maps

MapKit

google_maps_flutter

Make network requests

URLSession

http

Store key-values

  • @AppStorage property wrapper
  • NSUserDefaults

shared_preferences

Persist to a database

CoreData or SQLite

sqflite

Access health data

HealthKit

health

Use machine learning

CoreML

google_ml_kit5

Recognize text

VisionKit

google_ml_kit5

Recognize speech

Speech

speech_to_text

Use augmented reality

ARKit

ar_flutter_plugin

Access weather data

WeatherKit

weather6

Access and manage contacts

Contacts

contacts_service

Expose quick actions on the home screen

UIApplicationShortcutItem

quick_actions

  1. Supports both Google Play Store on Android and Apple App Store on iOS. 

  2. Adds Google Pay payments on Android and Apple Pay payments on iOS. 

  3. Uses Firebase Cloud Messaging and integrates with APNs. 

  4. Includes sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope, etc. 

  5. Uses Google’s ML Kit and supports various features like text recognition, face detection, image labeling, landmark recognition, and barcode scanning. You can also create a custom model with Firebase. To learn more, see Use a custom TensorFlow Lite model with Flutter 2

  6. Uses the OpenWeatherMap API. Other packages exist that can pull from different weather APIs.