Caching API response in Flutter apps

Updated 11 August 2023


Caching is the process of temporarily storing frequently used data or information in a location where it can be accessed quickly and easily, instead of having to retrieve it from its original source every time it is needed.

Caching API responses can improve the performance of your Flutter app by reducing the number of requests made to the server.

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In Flutter, caching can be implemented using various packages. We will be discussing the famous and good ones such as shared_preferences, hive, sembast, sqflite, and others.

Caching Implementation

Shared Preferences package

Let’s start with the simple one i.e. shared_preferences package:

  • Add the shared_preferences package to your project by adding it to the dependencies in your pubspec.yaml file and running flutter pub get.
  • Import the package in your Dart code:
  • Use the SharedPreferences class to store the API response data in a cache. You can use the setString method to store the data and the getString method to retrieve it.
  • To ensure that the cache is up to date, you can set an expiry time for the cached data. You can store the expiry time in the storage as well and check it before retrieving the data. If the data has expired, you can make a new API request and update the cache.

Note: The shared_preferences package is not suitable for storing large amounts of data or complex data structures. For more advanced caching needs, you might consider using other packages like hive, sembast, or sqflite.

Hive package

Hive is a NoSQL based database that is optimized for fast read and write operations. Hive is ideal for storing small to medium-sized data sets that can fit in memory, and it is suitable for use cases that require fast read and write performance, such as caching, user preferences, and small data sets.

To integrate Hive with Flutter, you can follow these steps:

This way we can implement API caching with Hive in the Flutter app. We can adjust the _cacheTimeout value to set the expiration time of cached responses according to our app’s need.

If you are comfortable with sqflite package, you can use the same concept with it. Checkout our blog on using sqflite package.

That’s it from my side. Thanks for reading this article ❤

If I missed something 🙈, then please let me know in the comments. I would love to improve.

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