On July 14th, 2022, we announced Zapp! An online IDE for building the Flutter app in the browser! The announcement came with a closed Early Access Preview (EAP) release where we invited Flutter developers to give it a go. Over 1,000 developers joined the EAP, and we have been overwhelmed with the number of requests and feedback we have received.
Zapp! public beta
Sandbox for Flutter
Today, we are proud to announce that Zapp! is now in public beta. We’ve been hard at work over the past few weeks working on highly requested features, fixing bugs, and improving the performance of certain features.
What’s new in the beta?
The public beta brings the following new and improved features:
- Import packages from Git
You can now reference git packages in your pubspec dependencies and import them into your project. This is great for directly testing out preview/unpublished versions of packages.
- Assets Support (experimental)
Zapp! Beta now includes experimental support for project assets and assets provided by packages, including custom fonts.
- Live Previews
One of the most highly requested features was previewing a project outside the editor. We’re happy to announce that all projects that are created on Zapp! can instantly be previewed via a unique URL! For example, check out https://flutter.zapp.page
Alongside this, the editor now comes with an address bar, allowing you to integrate with deep linking or your favorite routing package.
You can now embed a Zapp! project directly inside any 3rd party website, such as documentation or tutorials. The embedded version of Zapp! is designed for smaller screen space, with minimal features – perfect for showing off snippets of your latest app or pub.dev package.
- Updated save & build flow
Some great feedback from the community highlighted confusion around saving and building a project. Previously, you first had to build a project to view changes and afterward save. This caused users to update code, build the app and share the project without saving it. In the new workflow, triggering a build also saves the project, making the process more straightforwards.
- Analyzer startup performance
In the latest version of Zapp!, we have greatly improved the performance of the Analyzer startup time. We’ve managed to reduce start times from (in some cases) 30 seconds down to 1-2 seconds. Ensuring the Analyzer starts as fast as possible is a critical part of Zapp! since it powers core features such as IntelliSense.
During the EAP, we also previously announced features including the ability to use any Pub package, IntelliSense, Sharing, Command Palette, Analyzer Output, Integrated Logs, Themes, Logs, Debugging, Test Runners, Shortcuts, Download Zip file, and more. If you want to learn more from our previous announcement, click here to view a summary of the previous features.
Watch the live stream
Join the Twitter space
We are planning to run a Twitter space to answer your questions live and invite a few guests to tell us about their experience with Zapp.
Zapp! Vikings Competition
FlutterVikings is around the corner and Invertase has proudly sponsored the event. We’ve provided an exciting activity for the FlutterVikings team to spice up the event.
How to participate in the competition:
- The campaign starts on 25th August and ends on 5th September.
- We have two categories for competition: General & Game
- You can create Zapp! projects for both categories and submit as many as you want
- The judgments on entries will be based on:
- Overall quality of the project.
- The time that you have spent on the Zapp! project. We want you to build it in Zapp!
- The overall code quality.
- The uniqueness of your project, we won’t give any rating to projects that have just been copied from Github or belong to someone else.
- Bonus: You can use Flutter Vikings assets.
- Bonus: We‘d love to hear your feedback and feature requests, we will keep an eye on them.
No campaign or competition is fun without worthy prizes. We have decided to have different prizes based on the category of submissions. Here’s the 2 categories:
Build a game in Zapp! (10 prizes):
- First place will receive a VR headset Anker MetaQuest 2
- Second place will receive Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset
- Third place will receive a NOS C650 Pro Gaming keyboard
- The fourth to 10th places will receive an Invertase swag box including Flutter socks, face mask, stickers, and more…
General apps in Zapp! (15 prizes):
- The first, second, third, and fourth places will receive a Google Nest Hub 2.
- Fifth place will receive a Google Nest Audio.
- The sixth place will receive a Google Nest Mini.
- The 7th to 15th places will receive an Invertase swag box which includes Flutter socks, face mask, stickers, and more.
How can I submit my entries?
Use our Zapp! Vikings Competition Form to submit your entries. You can submit as many as you want, but considering the number of submissions does not matter; the quality and overall time you spend to polish your Zapp! project is more important.
We are Hiring
We are looking for an experienced software engineer to join our team as a Zapp Technical Lead. Zapp is a multi-layered product, using technologies such as Vite and SolidJS to power the frontend of the product whilst using Dart to power all the magic behind the frontend.
Check out the Zapp Technical Lead job posting for more information on our website. Apply if you want to work with us to build a product that many developers can enjoy!
Zapp is built with the Flutter community in mind. Therefore, transparency is critical for us. We have opened our Public Board, where you can see the backlog tasks and even help us prioritize them by giving your vote on issues.
If you have found a bug or have a feature request in mind that we should develop, please open an issue on the GitHub Zapp repository and let us know what you are looking for. We appreciate any feedback, and we will add it to the public board where everyone else can vote and see what we will deliver.
We at Invertase hope to create a product that Flutters developers can enjoy and rapidly prototype what they need. It gives room to learn and teach faster anywhere you have a browser and the internet.
Stay tuned for more updates and exciting news that we will share in the future. Follow us on Invertase Twitter, Linkedin, and Youtube, and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date. You may also join our Discord to have an instant conversation with us.