Making HTTP Networking Requests in Flutter

This page describes how to make HTTP networking requests in Flutter. For sockets, see dart:io.

Making HTTP requests

The core http support is in dart:io, so to create an HTTP Client we need to add an import:

import 'dart:io';

var httpClient = new HttpClient();

The client supports common HTTP operations, such as GET, POST, PUT, DELETE.

Dealing with asynchronousy

Note that the HTTP APIs use Dart Futures in the return values. We recommend using the API calls with the async/await syntax.

The networking calls generally follow a stepped approach:

  1. Create the client.
  2. Construct the Uri.
  3. Invoke the operation, and await the request object. Optionally, configure the headers and body of the request.
  4. Close the request, and await the response.
  5. Decode the response.

Several of these steps use Future based APIs. Sample APIs calls for each step above are:

get() async {
  var httpClient = new HttpClient();
  var uri = new Uri.http(
      '', '/path1/path2', {'param1': '42', 'param2': 'foo'});
  var request = await httpClient.getUrl(uri);
  var response = await request.close();
  var responseBody = await response.transform(UTF8.decoder).join();

See ‘Example’ below for a full code sample.

Decoding and encoding JSON

Simple decoding and encoding of JSON is possible using the dart:convert library. For additional JSON documentation, see JSON and serialization.

To decode a simple JSON string and parse the response into a Map:

Map data = JSON.decode(responseBody);
// Assume the response body is something like: ['foo', { 'bar': 499 }]
int barValue = data[1]['bar']; // barValue is set to 499

To encode simple JSON, pass a simple value (string, boolean, or number literal), or a Map, List, or List of Maps containing simple values, to the encode method:

String encodedString = JSON.encode([1, 2, { 'a': null }]);

Example: decoding JSON from HTTPS GET

The following example shows how to decode JSON from an HTTPS GET call in a Flutter app.

It calls the web service testing API, which then responds with your local IP address. Note that secure networking (HTTPS) is used.

  1. Create a new flutter app with flutter create.

  2. Replace the contents of lib/main.dart with the following:

import 'dart:convert';
import 'dart:io';

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() {
  runApp(new MyApp());

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return new MaterialApp(
      home: new MyHomePage(),

class MyHomePage extends StatefulWidget {
  MyHomePage({Key key}) : super(key: key);

  _MyHomePageState createState() => new _MyHomePageState();

class _MyHomePageState extends State<MyHomePage> {
  var _ipAddress = 'Unknown';

  _getIPAddress() async {
    var url = '';
    var httpClient = new HttpClient();

    String result;
    try {
      var request = await httpClient.getUrl(Uri.parse(url));
      var response = await request.close();
      if (response.statusCode == HttpStatus.OK) {
        var json = await response.transform(UTF8.decoder).join();
        var data = JSON.decode(json);
        result = data['origin'];
      } else {
        result =
            'Error getting IP address:\nHttp status ${response.statusCode}';
    } catch (exception) {
      result = 'Failed getting IP address';

    // If the widget was removed from the tree while the message was in flight,
    // we want to discard the reply rather than calling setState to update our
    // non-existent appearance.
    if (!mounted) return;

    setState(() {
      _ipAddress = result;

  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    var spacer = new SizedBox(height: 32.0);

    return new Scaffold(
      body: new Center(
        child: new Column(
          children: <Widget>[
            new Text('Your current IP address is:'),
            new Text('$_ipAddress.'),
            new RaisedButton(
              onPressed: _getIPAddress,
              child: new Text('Get IP address'),

API docs

For full API docs, see: