As the digital market is leaning towards a robust UX-driven process, apps development has become a more complex and target industry, especially for Mobile platforms.
For every business, building a great product that resonates with their customer needs comes with its unique set of challenges.
From the technical aspects for businesses, one such challenge is to select the right platform for your digital product & on top of that, the right technology framework/stack behind it to ensure that the application touches your expectations & serves your customers as per their needs & preferences.
At the same time,
- It is also important to create designs that focus on simplicity & relevance to the target market.
- Moving forward, you are also tied to a budget that you can’t stretch.
Similarly, there are many more challenges that you need to cope with while building your dream product.
What if we say that Flutter is the answer to most of your questions?
Well, We understand you need some truly compelling reasons to justify our suggestion so here we are today to help you understand the ways in which Flutter helps you launch beautiful & faster applications with better performance, within an optimal budget; & why Flutter has become the most popular framework for developers.
What is Flutter? : A Quick Introduction
According to the official Flutter development team (Google):
“Flutter is Google’s UI toolkit for building beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase.”
Let’s decode this quote:
Google’s UI toolkit
Google advertised Flutter as an intelligent tool capable of building complex UIs with relative ease and speed.
Though, now, Flutter’s SDK and plug-ins support almost any functionality you want in your app, from networking, storage, Bluetooth to GPS.
Flutter has a vast compilation of UI components (Widgets) for every possible need of UI modeling.
These widgets are capable of mimicking the same Material design UI and Cupertino UI for both platforms Android and iOS respectively.
Smooth transitions and animations are comparatively easy to code in Flutter than their native counterparts. And, a plus point from the UX point of view, you can mix and match the UX or even create the same UX and feel of your Android and iOS apps.
Natively Compiled Applications
When you listen to the word ‘cross-platform’, our mind compels us to think that there must be a ‘catch’.
Either there will be a performance decline in the apps or any limitations to how complex your app can be.
This is not entirely false.
But Flutter stood out of the cross platforms’ popularity race. Your code in Flutter is compiled into the native code to provide you native-like feel and performance.
You can even code in the native platforms languages and make it work with your Flutter code as well.
Mobile, Web, and Desktop from a single codebase
Flutter supports development for mobile and desktop applications extensively.
While it supports Web too, but to date, Flutter Web is in beta and soon will be stable to use for Web development.
Quick Information About Flutter-
- It’s a Freebie: Open Source
- Flutter offers Cross-Platform app development
- It’s an SDK; not a Language
- Flutter uses Dart as its programming language, which was created by Google in 2011.
- Flutter includes two important parts:
- SDK – A kit of tools that allows you to develop applications. It includes the tool to compile your code in native device code (iOS or Android)
- Framework – A collection of UI components that you can customize
- Flutter supports integration with Android (Java or Kotlin) & iOS (Swift or Objective C)
The Growth of Flutter
- Flutter was created by Google & released in May 2017.
- Soon after the release, Flutter became the faster-growing mobile app platform offering all the developers a sophisticated app development process. Below is the stats on Cross-Platform Mobile Frameworks used by Software Developers Worldwide in 2019 and 2020
- According to the GitHub stats, we can see that Flutter has more “Stars” than React Native.
- React Native – 91.2K Stars (November 2020)
- Flutter – 106K Stars (November 2020)
Why engage with Flutter?
Flutter offers Cross-Platform Opportunities: Reducing Your Development Costs
You’re now up with a product idea & want to target as many users as possible, but also tied with a budget.
Requirements are three different apps (Android, iOS & Web) & hence three separate costs? No!
This is where cross-platform app development comes into play. It helps you launch your application into different platforms while writing the core code once.
Since Flutter offers cross-platform app development, you can use Flutter to develop apps for Android, IOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, Google Fuchsia(by google), and the web.
Flutter Web is still in beta, but it will soon be stable to use.
Through this, Flutter can offer uniformity, dynamic apps, debugging, and user interfaces effortlessly to experiment.
Hence, Flutter helps you launch your application for Mobile, Web & Desktop OS by investing in a single codebase; While native apps require specific coding for each OS separately.
Which means just one single code & the right technology partner.
It’s a Freebie: An Open-Source Tool Backed by Google
Flutter being an open-source, offers a diverse interaction for whoever wants to use this platform.
It’s more like a collaboration when you use it. The source code is hosted in GitHub and getting support from the community with more than 100 pull requests to date.
Have a suggestion or an alarming issue affecting your team’s speed? Leave an open issue or a question to their repository page.
You have a chance that the framework developers themselves may assist whenever you encounter any trouble in your application development process.
The “Hot Reload” Feature: Faster Time-To-Market Speed
Since Flutter offers cross-platform development & you don’t need to code your apps separately for different platforms, therefore, the developer needs to only invest time in writing a single codebase.
One more way in which Flutter offers a faster development process is the “Hot Reload” feature. Hot reload is a real life-saver.
No need to rebuild your app for every change. This “Hot Reload” feature allows a developer to make changes to the application without rebuilding/clicking the build button every time.
Hot reload compares the new changes with the previous changes and rebuilds only where the change has happened.
As a result, you can check out new UI flows, stay signed in or within the same screen while testing new UI for the screen, reiterate over the look and feel of a button faster than ever.
Have a look:
And with the power of compounding applied to the time saved during development, you have comparatively small sprints and milestones achieved faster.
This way, Flutter improves the overall productivity of the app development process & allows you to launch your product in a shorter duration of time.
High-Performing, Faster & Beautiful Apps: Near-Native Experience
Unlike other Cross-Platform frameworks, Flutter actually compiles down the applications into native binaries that rely on Graphics & Rendering engine. As a result, it produces faster & high-performing applications.
At the same time, Flutter offers Flexible UI capabilities.
Using Flutter, you can build beautiful applications offering an experience similar to that of native apps.
The layered architecture of Flutter lets you control every pixel on the screen & make it easier to customize apps. It also has built-in UI components that can be easily customized.
Flutter uses the Skia Graphics Library – The user interface is built & rendered on a Skia canvas.
Instead of using Native UI components, Flutter renders directly to the screen using the Skia rendering engine – so there is nothing in the middle to slow things down.
This way, Flutter updates the UI at 60fps & most of the work done is on GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
Better Team Management – Single Codebase, Single Team
In this era of ever-changing market needs, speed is everything. And the speed in software is always compromised with the need of supporting multiple platforms.
Secondly, businesses are restricted with a famous rule that proved like a scientific law of nature, that there is always a tradeoff between quality and speed.
Flutter solves both concerns for you:
A single framework and a single language – Dart automatically reduces the team diversification, brings everyone on the same page, and apparently, more hands on the deck when it comes to production-level bugs and updates on both platforms’ official App stores.
The dream of a single codebase is not limited to devices with large screens. The Flutter team is experimenting with providing support for embedded devices and wearables too.
Read Also: Want to Ace Project Management? Go Agile!!
Design: not limited to UI
To build a feature-ready app with scalability, maintainability and testability, App Architecture and sound state management are a must.
Google knew that and engineered a design pattern specifically made to suit Flutter-style coding, BLoC, known as Business Logic Component.
Flutter supports various state-management patterns like ChangeNotifier, Provider, MobX, etc. Solutions like CodeMagic enables Continuous Integration and Deployment for your Flutter Apps.
Even sophisticated apps have some disadvantages which they need to fix. Similarly, Flutter also has its own cons.
Constraints that might disappoint
Dart may not be that native to your team
Dart is an object-oriented programming language that is used in Flutter. It may be easy to learn Dart, but it is still not as familiar as its peers C#, Java, Swift, etc.
For this reason, you need to pick resources or hire a development team who are efficient with Dart selectively because not all are familiar with Dart.
Although Google is a successful company in developing android apps that are enjoyable and fast, it is still facing some challenges when it comes to the iOS operating system. Flutter can fix bugs and make updates in the Android app in seconds. But when it comes down to iOS devices, it lacks that thunderbolt speed. While iOS 11 is running in the market, Flutter is still trying to update for iOS 10.
Old is gold! Even though flutter has the best UI packages, it lacks a few classic packages that could have been included by third parties. But it doesn’t allow you to have access to third-party libraries and widgets. So you may miss them. But the Flutter also offers pretty good packages that might suffice your needs.
We all know how annoying the full storage notification is. Flutter inevitably is an excellent app that produces the best UX providing apps as end products. But everything comes with a price, and to get the best apps that flutter offers, you may need to have Bigger storage.
But denying these odds, many product companies have chosen Flutter, starting but not limited to, Google itself.
Road-map to some of the Best apps developed using Flutter
Google Pay (payment)
Formerly known as Tez, Google Pay created an app for the Indian subcontinent to provide better alternatives when it comes to quick and safe payments, filled with rewards on payment behavior.
As posted in their blog, the choice to continue with flutter had roots in the need for clean UI across platforms, faster development, scaling quicker than ever because of the increasing popularity of the App/
Google Ads (business)
Google ads help its users to run marketing campaigns smoothly and increase their customer base without any hassle. Along with the stunning design, they are also provided with real-time alerts, campaign statistics, Budget everything at one-tap reach.
Reflectly (Journal & Lifestyle)
Reflectly is a journal and mindfulness app allowing you to create stories in a personal journal after asking a series of questions to reflect the day. This AI-based app is for relieving the mental stress of a person and is beautifully designed using flutter.
Alibaba Xianyu (shopping)
Alibaba’s second-largest retail Xianyu is an online shopping portal that has 10 million online subscribers to date. This was created using Flutter. That sounds like a considerable achievement.
Space X go (Education)
For Tesla’s space division, flutter introduced an application that provides you with all the updates regarding the launches that will be taking place. Flutter offers easy navigation in this app.
With everything said and done! You can see for yourself how Flutter has diversified in various aspects offering, mobile application development solutions.
It provides cutting-edge solutions for all your app development problems.
Being the best cross-platform services source powered by Google, the Flutter forum has been the evolving business. From large organizations to small companies, it extends application development to a whole new level.
It brings the vision you had in your mind to an app that goes live on the market. Saving your budget and time is a great option for your application development journey!!
Each business is different, & so each application is different. That is why it is very important to go after the technology stack that ensures to support your goals in the long rung.
In case you are not sure which technology stack to choose for your dream application or wish to understand if Flutter is actually the right choice for you or not – give us a shout.