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Code push for Flutter is finally here

An introduction and guide on using the new Flutter code push capabilities.

Posted on:June 23, 2023
3 minutes

I’d like to share the greatest hidden tool in the Flutter ecosystem, Code push for Flutter.

This means that we, as Flutter developers, can now instantly update apps in production without having to push a new build to the store.

It’s what I called a hidden super power for every Flutter developer.

LinkedIn post about shorebird

No more 2 day waiting for builds to be approved. It’s now instant.

In this post I’d like to:


Shorebird is a code push for Flutter. It’s a cloud service that allows developers to push app updates directly to users’ devices.

It’s easy to integrate, works with any dart code and supports Android (iOS coming in July).


If you think this is some side project, think again, the team is absolutely stacked! It’s built by the founder of Flutter, Eric Seidel who is working with Felix Angelov, the creator of the bloc library and mason, and last but not least Bryan Oltman, former architecture-lead at google in Flutter’s enterprise team. This product is a game changer for production teams, agencies and freelancers.

A quick showcase

Install shorebird cli

Everything is done through the CLI, there’s no web interface yet. To install it we’ll use curl.

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | bash

When it completes run


You should see the output for all the commands and a helpful set of information.

Create shorebird account

Next thing to do is to create an account.

shorebird account create

This will open a google sign in form in your default browser and when you complete it’ll save your credentials to the path you provided.

Initialize shorebird in your project

Shorebird has no free plan (yet 😉) so if you want to try this out you’ll have to upgrade to a paid account of $20 / month. It’s absolutely worth it. Saving multiple days of waiting for $20 is absolutely worth it. To upgrade run the following.

shorebird account subscribe

Then you can initialize your project

shorebird init

You have to provide your apps package name (how Shorebird will refer to the app). When completed it will add a new file shorebird.yaml and add an entry to include that in your pubspec.yaml

Quick Shorebird config overview

Your yaml will look something like this

# This file is used to configure the Shorebird updater used by your application.
# Learn more at
# This file should be checked into version control.

# This is the unique identifier assigned to your app.
# It is used by your app to request the correct patches from Shorebird servers.
app_id: 8c846e87-1461-4b09-8708-170d78331aca

Another other cool thing, if you have flavors it’ll create different profiles for your Shorebird app automatically which you can push instantly as well. Say goodbye to CI/CD minutes simply to get releases to your QA team 👏

Run the app

Shorebird has a forked version of the Flutter engine that adds code push functionality. It’s not a replacement for Flutter, but rather a replacement for the Flutter engine. Because of this, instead of doing the normal

flutter run --release

We will instead do

shorebird run

Create a shorebird release and push

The last step is to create the release with the updated code. This can only be done if you ran the app with shorebird and not pure flutter.

shorebird release android

This will then ask you for your version number and once entered will push your release.

Shorebird successful upload image

This is one of the most exciting updates to Flutter that I’ve experienced since starting as a Flutter developer.

I will be following the progress of this tool closely and will be sharing more detailed newsletters in the future as new functionality gets added.

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