Flutter is a versatile foundation for cross-platform apps. This open-source kit based on the Dart programming language is being used by giants like Alibaba and BMW.
Companies can build captivating apps with impressive speed, high flexibility and reduced cost, making it the go-to technology for startups and established brands. Discover the biggest Flutter advantages and disadvantages in 2023.
What Is Flutter?
Flutter is a fully-fledged SDK (software development kit) released by Google in 2018. It offers a complete arsenal for the Android and iOS environments, as well as Mac, Windows, Linux, and web apps! Flutter developers build from a single code base using widgets, API interfaces, a proprietary visualization system, and other elements. Here is the Flutter architecture visualized:
Dart is relatively easy to learn, as its object-oriented syntax is simple and well-structured. Flutter compiles into native code and relies on its own user interface elements, so developers can work without third-party components. Using the Material and Cupertino widgets, they create high-fidelity designs for Android and iOS with impressive customization. Flutter combines rich visual capabilities with impressive efficiency and performance.
Google’s UI Toolkit lets experts create engaging apps that look and function like native products, but require less time and investment. Direct connection to device features like Bluetooth or camera results in superior performance and high-quality UX. These are some of the reasons why using the Flutter framework is trendy.
Flutter Usage Statistics
Flutter has seen spectacular growth due to its performance, agility, and uniqueness. It has finally overtaken React Native. According to Statista, around 42% of software developers worldwide rely on Flutter, making it the most popular framework for cross-platform mobile app development:
Flutter has earned 132K stars on GitHub that indicates its high demand in the professional community. As you can see from the Google Trends chart below, Flutter has outpaced React Native, Xamarin, Ionic and Cordova in terms of search interest.
Popular Apps Developed On Flutter
Flutter platforms are used all over the world, with companies such as eBay, the New York Times, and Alibaba reaping the benefits of Flutter mobile app development. This kit can simplify and streamline app creation in any industry, from e-commerce to dating. Here are six examples of successful implementation (check the full open list here).
1. Google Ads
This mobile version of the desktop platform lets users track promotional campaigns on the go. They can monitor statistics at a glance and update budgets or bids in real-time. The app provides instant alerts, allows keyword editing, and supports communication with the Google team.
Xianyu is Alibaba’s e-commerce platform for second-hand goods. Flutter allowed the corporation to develop an optimized architecture with innovative features. It boosts R&D efficiency on both iOS and Android, while the Flutter + serverless solution streamlines team collaboration. Over 50 million consumers use this app!
3. My BMW app
Drivers in 47 countries use the same interface for a seamless experience between their vehicles and mobile devices. The app supports direct communication with BMW dealers and the manufacturer. It is built on user-friendliness, reliability, and safety.
This personal journaling app powered by AI helps users take care of their mental health. They access meditation techniques and advice from experts in positive psychology and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Reflectly also delivers insights into how their days are going.
Social media promotion requires high-quality images, and Postmuse allows users to create unique typography designs and enhance their stories with visually attractive templates. It suggests the best colors and offers a wide collection of fonts, emojis and stock images.
Flutter frameworks have found use in dating apps, and Pairing p focuses on meaningful relationships by matching candidates via their real-world communities. Any user can become a matchmaker for their friends, translating into safer dates and lowering the probability of spam and harassment.
Advantages of Flutter App Development
For businesses, the biggest advantages of Flutter app development services may relate to performance, speed and agility. The framework lets them shorten time to market and get an early bird advantage with products that look and function just like native apps. Flutter makes winning new customers easier thanks to:
1. Reduced Costs
A Flutter development team can build apps for multiple OS. The SDK is also free and open-source, which makes it ideal for MVP (Minimum Viable Product). This “bare essentials” version of an app can be released and tested at a low cost before investing in a fully-featured app.
2. Speed and Scale
Businesses need apps that grow with them, and scalability is one of the biggest Flutter advantages. Using Dart, programmers build apps for mobile, desktop and web applications. The use of the same source code results in higher productivity, significant time savings and efficient maintenance. Embedding of new code is accelerated as developers can add features or fix bugs in milliseconds.
3. Custom UI
Due to the sheer number of apps, brands need a memorable UI. Flutter lets them impress customers with less time, effort and investment required. The Skia rendering engine is complemented by a wide range of tools for vivid graphics, personalized design and shared element transitions.
4. High Performance
The performance of Flutter-based products is often indistinguishable from native apps. In sophisticated animation scenarios, it is even better. Flutter outshines React Native, as apps connect with native components without a bridge. Discover even more pros in the coding and testing dimensions:
Flutter Benefits For Developers
Dart is intuitively understandable for programmers with a background in C-like languages. Here is why Flutter speeds up and streamlines their work in many ways:
1. Faster Code Writing and Sharing
Developers build multiple apps from the same code base, while Hot Reload lets them view changes immediately. The Flutter team does not need to compile the code and load it to the device (or use a stimulator) first. It is reusable, and the rich widget collection reduces the workload.
2. Flexible Widgets
Flutter’s highly customizable widgets provide full access to device capabilities. They mimic the behavior of native app design languages. As a result, developers can build apps of any complexity for any screen. Every UI element is accessible across platforms and devices, and widgets may also be wrapped in one another.
3. Simplicity of Use
4. Wide Range of Tools and Resources
The ever-growing set of widgets, plugins and packages is available on pub.dev. This ready-to-use library includes both basic and advanced features like GPS, sensor data collection, Bluetooth, credentials, etc. Developers can also create their own widgets.
5. Powerful Support
Flutter has a massive and rapidly growing tech community, so teams can always reach out to experts and get assistance. Google fosters information sharing to help developers and businesses working with its SDK.
6. Less Testing
Thanks to unified coding, developers test cross-platform apps faster. Flutter lets them assess a complex process on one platform and only confirm it on the rest. It is a great time-saver, as there is no need for separate platform-specific tests.
Disadvantages of Flutter
Despite its stability, Flutter is still a relatively new SDK, which explains some technical cons. Unlike React Native, it does not give direct access to Skype, Discord, Instagram, or Facebook yet. The main Flutter disadvantages concern:
1. Large File Size
Flutter makes apps relatively weighty. On the upside, their size supports high performance and a powerful runtime environment. Programmers can make apps lighter by reducing images or limiting the use of animations and packages.
2. Limited Resource Base
The free library is still being finalized and developers cannot always access all the functions they need as some tools are currently in alpha or beta testing. Flutter has not been around long enough to develop a massive research base, but it is growing quickly.
3. Emphasis on Android
As Flutter was developed by Google, implementation of features for iOS is not always quick or smooth. Google fixes Android bugs as soon as possible, but it took a while to add features for iOS 10 and iOS 11.
Based on these Flutter pros and cons, it is easy to see that the benefits outweigh the limitations. This flexible SDK lets developers create cross platform apps that look and feel like native products. Companies save money without sacrificing quality and impress customers with a captivating UI. The same team can launch powerful apps across mobile, desktop and web platforms. Despite its young track record, Flutter is an excellent choice for mobile applications in 2023.
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