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Diving Deeper into Asynchronous Programming with Futures in Flutter

Diving Deeper into Asynchronous Programming with Futures in Flutter

Published: Mon May 15 2023

Welcome back! In Part 1, we ventured into the world of asynchronous programming in Flutter, why it matters, and showcased a real-life example of using Futures for managing asynchronous operations. Now, in Part 2, we’ll dig deeper, presenting more use cases of Futures, and we’ll get hands-on with the FutureBuilder widget to craft dynamic UIs. Let’s get to it!

Expanding Your Arsenal: More Ways to Use Futures in Flutter

Let’s learn more about Futures with a couple of practical examples:

Example 1: A Function That Returns a Future

Future<int> delayedCount() async {
  await Future.delayed(Duration(seconds: 2));
  return 5;

void main() async {
  final result = await delayedCount();
  print('Count: $result');

In this snippet, we’re defining a function delayedCount(), which is a tad special because it returns a Future. This function takes a two-second break using Future.delayed(), and then returns the value 5. Finally, we call this function using the await keyword. This keyword ensures that we patiently wait for the result before moving ahead, which is then printed to the console.

Example 2: Linking Futures Together

Future<int> addNumbers(int a, int b) async {
  await Future.delayed(Duration(seconds: 1));
  return a + b;

Future<int> multiplyNumbers(int a, int b) async {
  await Future.delayed(Duration(seconds: 1));
  return a * b;

void main() async {
  final sum = await addNumbers(2, 3);
  final product = await multiplyNumbers(sum, 4);
  print('Result: $product');

Here, we’re chaining two Futures together. It starts by calling the addNumbers() function, which pauses for a second and then returns the sum of two numbers. This result is then passed to the multiplyNumbers() function, which, after waiting for a second, returns the product of two numbers. The final result is printed to the console.

Crafting Dynamic UIs with FutureBuilder

The FutureBuilder widget is a fantastic tool in Flutter’s toolbox. It builds its UI based on the latest snapshot of a Future’s interaction, allowing for dynamic UIs. It’s important to note that the Future should be obtained earlier (e.g., during State.initState, State.didUpdateWidget, or State.didChangeDependencies), not during the build method. This ensures the asynchronous task doesn’t restart every time the FutureBuilder’s parent is rebuilt.

Let’s see FutureBuilder in action:

class MyWidget extends StatelessWidget {
  Future<String> fetchData() async {
    final response = await http.get(Uri.parse(''));
    return response.body;

  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return FutureBuilder<String>(
      future: fetchData(),
      builder: (BuildContext context, AsyncSnapshot<String> snapshot) {
        if (snapshot.connectionState == ConnectionState.done) {
          if (snapshot.hasData) {
            return Text(!);
          } else {
            return Text('Failed to load data');
        } else {
          return CircularProgressIndicator();

In this example, MyWidget fetches data using the http package. The result of this asynchronous operation is passed to the FutureBuilder widget using the `future

The builder is a function that takes two arguments: BuildContext and AsyncSnapshot. This function returns a widget that gets built based on the latest snapshot of interaction with a Future or a Stream.

Here is an example of how to use it:

  future: _calculation, // a Future<String> or null
  builder: (BuildContext context, AsyncSnapshot<String> snapshot) {
    switch (snapshot.connectionState) {
      case ConnectionState.none:
        return Text('Press button to start.');
      case ConnectionState.waiting:
        return Text('Awaiting result...');
      case ConnectionState.done:
        if (snapshot.hasError) {
          return Text('Error: ${snapshot.error}');
        return Text('Result: ${}');

In this example, _calculation is a Future that is set to the result of a function that returns a Future<String>. This Future is what the FutureBuilder is listening to. The builder function is the function that gets called every time the connection state changes, which can be one of four states: none, waiting, active, or done.

The AsyncSnapshot object passed to the builder function contains the current state of the asynchronous computation the FutureBuilder is connected to. It includes the current connectionState, any error that might have occurred, and the data (if any).

In the builder function, you can decide what to display based on the current state of the Future. In the example above, it displays a different message based on whether the Future is still waiting, completed, or has an error.

You can use the FutureBuilder to create a widget that will update itself based on the state of an asynchronous computation, such as a network request or a database query. This can be very useful for creating dynamic UIs that can handle asynchronous operations in a clean and concise way.

You can find more information about FutureBuilder on the official Flutter documentation page:

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