Flutter: InkWell vs GestureDetector: what is the difference?

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Flutter Problem Overview

I'm completely new to Flutter and found out about InkWell and GestureDetector. It seemed to me that they are almost the same. The official documentation doesn't provide any in-depth comparison between them.

  1. What are the differences between InkWell and GestureDetector?

  2. When to use which?

Flutter Solutions

Solution 1 - Flutter


  1. They both provide many common features like onTap, onLongPress etc. The main difference is GestureDetector provides more controls like dragging etc. on the other hand it doesn't include ripple effect tap, which InkWell does.

  2. You can use either of them according to your needs, you want ripple effects go with InkWell, need more controls go with GestureDetector or even combine both of them.

Ripple effect (using InkWell):

  onTap: () {},
  child: Ink(
    width: 200,
    height: 200,
    color: Colors.blue,

enter image description here

Solution 2 - Flutter

I will try to mention the functionality difference they have.

GestureDetector class is very broad. you can detect every type of interaction the user has with the screen or widget using it. it includes pinch, swipe, touch, plus custom gestures.

InkWell has a limited number of gestures to detect but it gives you ways to decorate the widget. you can decorate

colors: splashColor, focusColor, hoverColor...

border: borderRadius,customBorder, ...

hope this is helpful!

Solution 3 - Flutter

Visual Difference
https://i.stack.imgur.com/XfEpx.gif" width="400">

Other answers are absolutely right. This is the visual representation.

Solution 4 - Flutter

For me the important difference between them is: InkWell must have a Material widget as an ancestor, while GestureDetector does not need a Material widget as ancestor.

Solution 5 - Flutter

The InkWell makes the whole area of the child as hotspot and receives user interaction easily. However, the GestureDetector does not make the whole area of the child as hotspot, like the padding areas aren't hotspots. Thus, using GestureDetector often leads to failed user interaction.


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