Why choose Flutter? Google’s latest innovation for apps
Why choose Flutter for your project? And how Google’s latest innovation for apps may change the future of mobile development?
In this article, you’ll find some essential information about Flutter, its pros, and cons, the main differences from other cross-platform solutions.
The demand for mobile applications has grown to such a degree when not having one may significantly affect the company’s competitiveness. According to Statista, the number of app downloads steadily increasing. The global mobile app revenue is estimated to reach $188.9 billion in 2020.
Consequently, developers are constantly exploring new technologies that will help them to develop high performing apps faster. Startups and app owners, in turn, are looking to optimize resources spent on software development.
As a result, we can observe the growing popularity of cross-platform technologies for building mobile apps. The recent and most promising one is Google’s Flutter. It’s caused a buzz in the developer’s community and attracted the attention of many business owners.
So will Flutter become a new game-changer in mobile development?
Let’s take a deeper look at the main characteristics and history behind this solution.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a software development kit for building apps from a single codebase.
It is claimed to stand out from competitors thanks to fast development, native performance, and beautiful UI.
However, the history of Flutter started not so long ago. It was introduced at the Dart Developer Summit in 2015. Flutter’s first version called “Sky” and ran on Android OS.
After Google released the alpha in 2017, the interest in this framework had rapidly grown. Even before the official launch in 2018, there were already plenty of apps made with it.
Among the most popular apps now are Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba, Google ads., and the official application for famous Broadway musicals – Hamilton.
Powered by Dart
As a programming language, Flutter uses Dart. This is probably, one of the reasons why developers love it. Dart is an object-oriented language also developed by Google. It is considered to be easy to learn, especially if you already have the experience in Java, C# or JS.
Dart compiles to binary code, so the speed of operations is comparable to Objective-C, Swift, Java, or Kotlin. In other words, Dart combines many good solutions that help to solve difficult tasks faster, making the best match for Flutter.
The pros and cons of Flutter
It is important to determine all the pros and cons before choosing a technology for your project. So let’s take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of Flutter.
What are the pros of Flutter?
• One codebase for IOS and Android
If you are already familiar with the software development process, then you understand that it may be quite complicated and time-consuming.
Especially if you are developing mobile applications for both Android and IOS. The technologies for these two platforms are different. For example, Android requires coding in Java or Kotlin and iOS uses Swift or Objective-C. So you may need two separate teams to work on your project.
Flutter uses the same codebase for both IOS and Android. It means not only a single development team, but also the possibility to launch apps on both platforms at the same time. Moreover, you can update your app and add new features or changes simultaneously.
• Faster coding
To help developers, for example, fix bugs and add features much faster, Flutter provides a tool called Hot Reload. It allows seeing changes made in code right away, without restarting the app. In the case of Native development, the app should be often rebuilt which may take a significant amount of time. Hot Reload accelerates the development process and gives a better developer experience.
• Great performance
We’ve already mentioned Flutter’s programming language – Dart. It directly compiles to native code, so there is no need for additional bridges between app and platform.
This speeds up the app startup time and improves performance.
Creators of Flutter promise a constant 60 fps (frames per second) which is the rate of the smooth and clear picture displayed on the modern screens.
• User Interface
Flutter provides a rich catalog of built-in UI components that can be easily customized. There are two sets of widgets – Material design widgets (Android) and Cupertino (IOS-style) widgets to make your app look and feel platform-specific.
Moreover, when Flutter runs on older versions of Android and IOS it works as good as on up-to-date operating systems.
Flutter is free and open-source. The Flutter community is growing rapidly, with over 74,700 stars on GitHub – one of the largest software developers collaboration platforms.
• Perfect choice for MVP
If you want to develop MVP, Flutter, probably, is the best bet. It gives you the advantages of a faster time to market, saves development costs and helps to attract investors thanks to beautiful designs and native-like performance.
Cons of Flutter
• Young technology
Flutter is a relatively young technology. Despite the active support from Google and its growing popularity, there’s still a lack of some libraries. So if you need advanced functionality, Native development works best.
Flutter vs React Native in 2019
Source: Google Trends
Over the past years, React Native has been the leader in cross-platform development. However, now Flutter is confidently catching up.
These two frameworks take slightly different approaches to app creation. Both, of course, have advantages and disadvantages. While Flutter allows developing appealing UI faster, React Native is a little bit more mature.
We’ve prepared a brief comparison of two cross-platform development tools.
SDK for building apps
from a single codebase
A framework for
apps using React
|Programming language||Dart||Java Script|
|UI||Proprietary widgets||Native elements|
|Sharing code||up to 90% reusable||up to 90% reusable|
|Top apps||Alibaba, Google |
|Development time||Faster||Slower than Flutter|
The difference between Flutter and React Native
To sum up
Beautiful, Fast, Productive, Open. That’s how Flutter is described by its creators.
Flutter provides all the advantages of cross-platform development but does not compromise on quality, which is mostly the case for such technologies.
With the strong support of Google and the enthusiastic development community, the future of this SDK looks very promising. Even now it can be the best choice for your project, saving a great deal of time and money.
Still, there is no single technology that will fit every project. So remember that it’s choice should be based on project specificity, business priorities, availability of resources and more.
Looking for Flutter developers? Contact us and let’s create something great together!