Mobile development is a fun and ceaselessly rising domain. With more and more businesses trying to be readily available at the fingertips of their target market, app developers in Dubai are busy exploring different application development platforms that support diversity, are multifaceted, efficient, and attractive. And because of the accelerating market, there is a need for a robust framework that meets the diverse needs of mobile app owners.
Lately, Flutter has come up as a winner in many contemporary comparisons and declared as the most popular cross-platform mobile framework used by global developers as per the 2021 developers survey. Its market share has increased from 30% in 2019 to 42% in 2021. Its development kit is faster than others and is often credited to redefine how professional development teams, individual developers, small businesses, startup entities build native applications across mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Hence, Google rightly proclaims that more than half a million developers use Flutter for mobile app development each month. And 3even though it is new in the market, it is extensively chosen by more and more companies like Xamarin, Cordova and React Native.
In this article, we break down the features of Flutter and its pros and cons and what makes it the best in the league of mobile application development frameworks and, thus, for mobile app owners.
What does the Flutter framework look like?
Flutter is Google’s brainchild and is an open-source UI & free framework for creating native mobile apps. It was launched in 2017, and it supports the development of apps for both Android and iOS with a single codebase. Therefore, building the apps for both the operating platforms becomes faster and simpler.
It consists of a software development kit (SDK) and its widgets based UI library. This library has various reusable UI elements, such as sliders, buttons, and text inputs.
Features of Flutter:-
(1) Hot reload
The changes done by the developer can be viewed instantly with this feature. This feature is convenient for developers because it makes the changes visible in the app itself. With the changes visible within seconds, the developers can fix the bugs then and there.
(2) Cross-platform development
In Flutter, you have to write the code once, maintain and use the same for two applications. Therefore now there is no need to develop a different code for a different platform. So, for example, with Flutter, one can try developing the Fuchsia platform, an operating platform (OS), at the trial process at Google.
(3) Minimal code
Flutter is developed using the Dart programming language, which uses JIT and AOT compilation to improve startup time and functioning and accelerate performance. JIT enriches the development system with the hot reload function. It refurbishes the UI without the need of making an altogether new one.
Here the widgets are given much importance. It is capable of building customisable and complex widgets. The best part is that Flutter has all the sets of widgets from Material Design and Cupertino packs. It provides a glitch-free experience in this case over and above all the platforms.
(5) Native appeal and features
It enables you to use your existing code Java, Obj-C and Swift, to gain the key to native features which are platform-specific. In addition, geolocation and Camera features are connected with native languages and give the comfort of working in the native language and provide access to the native features of both platforms i.e Android & iOS.
These features together provide some real immediate benefits to the mobile app owners like:-
- 2D mobile support
- Complete support for stock platform app development
- Splendid and creative designs
- Support for storage, camera, locations, networks and more
- Cross-platform framework
There are many other significant advantages that Flutter offers, thus making it the first choice among mobile app developers in Dubai.
Pros of Flutter:-
(a) Accelerated productivity
The same codebase can be used for iOS and Android, significantly saving which codebase significantly saves both time and resources. In addition, Flutter’s native widgets further minimise time spent on testing by negating any compatibility issues with different OS versions.
(b) Easy to learn
Developers can build native mobile applications using Flutter and without the need to access OEM widgets or large amounts of coding. Combined with Flutter’s appealing and attractive UI, the process of app creation becomes straightforward.
(c) Great performance
User testimonials have shown that they could not differentiate between a Flutter app and a native mobile app, which sufficiently proves its excellent performance.
When you build Android & iOS applications with a similar codebase, you are essentially developing a pair of apps for one price. Sounds good, right?
(e) Available on diverse IDEs
Developers have the freedom to choose between Android Studio and VS Code to edit their code on Flutter.
(f) Detailed documentation and supportive community
It has many great and rich resources to answer questions, owing to its adept documentation with easy to follow cases. In addition, Flutter has a thriving and collaborative community and hubs like Flutter Community and Flutter Awesome, which benefit developers, and mobile app owners with their queries. It is an excellent platform for exchanging ideas.
Observing all of the above, it is conclusive that Flutter makes the art of application development better, more accessible, efficient, successful, glitch-free, ceaseless and aesthetic. However, it does suffer from certain drawbacks.
Cons of Flutter:-
(i) Flutter is new
Flutter is the youngest in the brigade of application frameworks. And even though it provides many plugins and UI components, frameworks like Xamarin and React Native offer a much more extensive selection.
(ii) Dart is comparatively unpopular
Although Dart is an easy and fantastic programming language, developers are more inclined to choose other coding languages like Java and Kotlin.
(iii) Unavailability of components on all operating platforms
Some components are easily available for iOS or Android. Since Flutter is a Google product, these components often support Android. Therefore Android developers are more likely to go for Flutter than iOS developers.
Specific features of Flutter that win over its disadvantages:-
(1) Hot Reload
This feature allows developer-designers to comfortably cooperate to improve or experiment with an app’s look and check the effects on the spot. So, for example, if the designer asks the developer, “Put this picture 2 pixels to the right” or “make the animation faster”, they can see the difference within milliseconds, instead of several minutes taken by the native framework. Therefore it also helps in fixing bugs quickly.
(2) Excellent designing
With Flutter, one can create their widgets or even customise the existing ones, therefore delivering loved designs by users.
(3) Single codebase leads to two applications
By writing just one codebase, you can make two apps for Android and iOS platforms. Therefore you can make the same app for two different platforms. Furthermore, suppose you wish to differentiate your apps on the two platforms. In that case, Flutter allows you to do that too on a single codebase.
(4) Same App UI on older devices
A new app assembled will look the same, even on old versions of Android and iOS systems, since there is no additional cost for supporting older devices. Flutter runs flawlessly on Android Jelly bean and newer as well as iOS 8 or newer.
ProTip: While using Flutter snippets for flawless web application development, ensure that the information is correct. One can easily make commonly used custom widget methods and classes. Also, one can use the Dart Code package available in VSCode or Android Studio for the same.
Conclusion: Flutter is apt for building, creating and assembling a customised application experience. Rather than only focusing on delivering a beautiful custom experience and not pixel perfect native iOS/Android look, Flutter delivers on this perfectly well. From the eye of an app owner, Flutter is worth the choice since it meets their vital most expectations. Furthermore, flutter provides quality deliverance since the application is both get-free, efficient and aesthetic and the most viable choice when it comes to being cost-effective and time-effective among its contemporaries.