Geo-locations are invariably becoming more & more important in mobile application development. If you are a developer working with Flutter Geolocation in apps, you might face challenges or make mistakes that can impact the functionality and end-user experience.
In this post, we will explore the common mistakes that one might make when getting precise Flutter geolocation, and simple ways to avoid them.
Always request and verify location permissions before attempting to access the user’s location. Guide users through the permission-granting process and clearly communicate the need for location data. The latter is very important to signal to the users that you are not indiscriminately asking for data you don’t actually need. If you don’t do this, end users might not give you permission and might even decide to not use your app altogether!
That is why in our apps, we always ensure that we give clarity to the end users about which permissions we need in the application and for what purpose.
Correct package version
Selecting the right flutter geolocation package and its version is a critical aspect of ensuring the smooth integration of location-based features in your Flutter app. Before integrating a geo-location package, make sure to explore its features and data accuracy.
We faced an interesting issue with a package in one of our applications. We used the latest version of that package, assuming that the latest is always the greatest. However, after doing unit testing, we observed that the package was not giving accurate values of latitude and longitude; they weren’t changing as expected even when we moved around beyond the specified granularity of geo-location. We were using it for tracking various locations of planted trees and realized the issue when all the trees in an area got mapped to the same location! After detailed testing and analysis, we realized that the latest version of the package had an issue. When we switched to another package compatible with the latest version of Flutter, we received accurate geo-locations, and our problem was solved.
The takeaway here is to always go for the latest version of the package but make sure it fits your Flutter version and works as expected. Most importantly, keep updating to the latest releases & do appropriate level of testing before going to UAT.
Test in real-world scenarios
Testing your app’s geo-location only in ideal conditions and assuming that it will work fine in all conditions is not a good idea. If you don’t test in real-world scenarios, you can get nasty surprises which can result in negative publicity for the app if it is already in the hands of a lot of end users!
So, test your geo-location features in various conditions, e.g. indoors and outdoors, and possibly some remote areas. Also make sure to test it on different devices; oftentimes, different devices have their own quirks that may result in unexpected issues. Only when you test it on enough devices can you be reasonably sure that the app will work in most real-life scenarios.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can enhance the accuracy of geo-location functionality in flutter apps and ensure that it works in most real-life scenarios, on most devices. Implementing these best practices will contribute to a positive end user experience.
In the last five years, we at CoReCo Technologies have worked with 60+ businesses of myriad sizes and industries across the globe. We have designed & developed multiple systems with mobile applications being an important component in those systems.
Our close collaboration with our customers has helped them to transform their product ideas into reality. This includes native, as well as cross platform mobile/tablet applications for both Android and iOS.
Senior Software Engineer
CoReCo Technologies Private Limited