Flutter is currently one of the leading mobile cross-platform technologies. In many cases, it is also the best solution for the business. Whether or not Flutter technology will be a good fit for your next project depends on a number of factors, but for a reason, it has been chosen time and again by the creators of the most popular mobile apps.
Read this article if you are thinking about building a mobile application. There are great chances that Flutter app development services will meet your business needs. However, Flutter technology will not always be the best choice. From the content below, you will get an idea of what Flutter is, how it works and which are the most popular applications based on this cross-platform framework. You’ll learn more about the business benefits Flutter provides and alternative mobile technologies.
What is flutter?
Flutter is an open-source mobile application development framework created by Google. This technology has grown in popularity over the years and is now popularly known as React Native to Facebook.
Flutter uses the Dart programming language, which is compiled into native code, allowing developers to build high-performance apps that feel natural on the platform they’re running on.
One of Flutter’s key features is hot reload, which allows developers to make changes to code and see the results in real time without having to manually close and restart the app. This makes it easier to iterate and debug during development.
Flutter also features a highly expressive and customizable design system, which allows developers to create visually stunning apps with minimal code. It provides access to native code through a set of platform-specific APIs, making it possible to integrate with the underlying platform and reuse existing native code.
Furthermore, Flutter has a growing community of developers and a rich ecosystem of plugins and packages that can be leveraged to add functionality to the app.
Overall, Flutter is a powerful and efficient framework for building cross-platform apps, with a wide range of features that make it easy for developers to build high-quality apps with a minimal amount of code.
how did it start?
Google first announced Flutter, an open-source mobile application development framework, in 2017 at a Flutter live event. The first stable version, Flutter 1.0, was released in December 2018. Since then, Flutter has continued to grow and improve, with regular updates and new features added. Flutter 2.0 was released in March 2021 and includes a number of significant improvements, including support for building web and desktop apps, improved performance, and new design-specific widgets. The latest stable version, Flutter 3.3.10, was released in December 2022 and makes the framework even more efficient and popular among mobile developers worldwide.
Cross-Platform Vs. native apps
In recent years, the IT world has become convinced that cross-platform technologies are not able to compete with native ones primarily in terms of performance, but also functionality and UI design. Today, these views are beginning to change as Flutter, as a cross-platform technology, has made great strides. Working on Flutter’s single source code, you can create a mobile application that will work not only on iOS and Android but also on web browsers, smart watches or smart TVs. However, it is still difficult to say unequivocally that one of these techniques is better. It mainly depends on the type and complexity of the application, the functionalities required and the industry for which the application is dedicated. To help you decide, let’s look at the merits and demerits of each technology.
Cross-platform development pros and cons
As already said, cross-platform technologies like Flutter or React Native provide everything to build a great mobile application. However, their biggest advantage is that the same source code allows you to build an application that works on multiple platforms.
This can result in a significant simplification of the software development process, reduction in the size and unification of software development team structure, and cost savings during development and maintenance. This may be the case, but it depends on the complexity of the project. The more platforms you plan on for your app, the more development and maintenance work and testing will be required. The conclusion is that Flutter can be a great solution, but not necessarily for the largest of projects.
By going cross-platform, you can reach a wider audience and drive more traffic to your app. This will result in higher income and visibility in the market, and is the reason why cross-platform development is so interesting to many businesses. Thanks to the flutter hot reload feature; You can act fast and build scalable, secure, and high-performance solutions almost in the blink of an eye. Development is easy with a wide range of customizable widgets and a user interface natively compiled for multiple platforms.
Not to make it too simple, Flutter also has disadvantages compared to native technologies. Read on to find out more.
Native Development Pros and Cons
Despite all the advantages of cross-platform apps, native iOS and Android apps remain more popular and have the status of being proven and reliable. Their advantage lies in the technologies used to create them, as Swift and Kotlin allow you to create dedicated solutions for devices with iOS and Android systems. The latest features available in later versions of these systems are first available in native technologies, and cross-platform ones usually adopt them after some time or, in some cases, not at all.
Furthermore, working on iOS and Android applications typically requires the involvement of two developers with different skills and writing and maintaining two separate source codes. These are often very high initial costs for small projects like startups, but for complex projects, it is a guarantee of performance, security, and stability.
On the other hand, native apps are usually better optimized, and the overall file size is smaller. This ensures excellent application performance.
Flutter also has a smaller ecosystem of third-party libraries than native apps.
Top Apps Built with Flutter
I could write about the advantages of flutter for a long time. However, it is better to refer to examples of its use in business. Thousands of mobile applications have already been built using Flutter, and many of them are used by millions of users around the world. Maybe you too. See the most famous examples.
alibaba flutter app
Alibaba is a major player in the e-commerce industry in China and internationally. The company has been in existence since 1999, and today, in addition to an online marketplace, it has several brands such as online stores (Taobao & Tmall), a payment platform (AliPay), and a cloud computing company (Alibaba Cloud). In 2020, Alibaba’s revenue exceeded $73.5 trillion, and the company was valued at over $700 trillion.
Alibaba published an extensive article about how Flutter helped them grow their businesses technologically and presented the many benefits that come from using this technology.
Google has used Flutter in one of its major tools, which is Google Pay. Mobile payments are used by most users of Android devices. According to the source, the use of flutter allowed to reduce the engineering effort by 70% and reduce the code length by 35%.
Another great example of how Flutter meets the needs of the largest businesses is the BMW mobile application. The brand initially focused only on the iOS app, which had to adapt to regulations from 48 different countries. Maintaining such a project was a challenge. What’s more, the Android market has grown so much that focusing only on iOS would be a mistake.
Then the BMW team decided to focus on Flutter cross-platform development. Today, they operate on the same source code and have the ability to update and make changes regularly, across every location and device on iOS and Android.
Are you ready to make a decision?
As you can see, Flutter can be a serious candidate for your mobile application creation. Like any technology, it has advantages and disadvantages, but whether it will benefit you or not depends on your needs. Think about what your goals are and whether Flutter Development will help you achieve them.