Flutter is the most recent framework to create a name for itself in the field of mobile app development.
Google announced Flutter, a free and open-source mobile UI framework, in May 2017. In a nutshell, it enables you to develop a native mobile application using only one codebase. This means that you can construct two distinct apps using a single programming language and codebase, both for iOS and Android.
What is Flutter?
What is flutter: Flutter is an open-source UI toolkit developed by Google, enabling developers to create natively compiled applications for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, web, and desktop, using a single codebase. It offers a rich set of pre-designed widgets and a reactive framework that allows for fast and dynamic app development. Flutter development has gained significant popularity as a powerful framework for developing cross-platform mobile applications. This article delves into what is Flutter, Flutter app development, support system, learning resources, and its potential for career growth. Also check the best Full Stack Development course by Hero vired.
What is Flutter ecosystem consist of? It includes, libraries, packages, and plugins that enhance development capabilities. The Flutter ecosystem offers solutions for navigation, state management, networking, database integration, and more. These resources help in Flutter app development such as expedite development, increase productivity, and deliver high-quality applications. Read about What is data and data management.
Further, Flutter is made up of two major components:
- A Software Development Kit or SDK is a collection of tools that will assist you in developing your apps. Tools for compiling your code into native machine code are included (code for iOS and Android).
- A framework or a widget-based UI library: A set of reusable UI components that you may get customized to meet your specific needs.
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Flutter does not even use OEM widgets and instead provides its own ready-made widgets that seem natural in either Android or iOS apps. It is also possible to make your own widgets.
How is Flutter supported?
Those working in Flutter app development enjoy robust support from Google and an active community of developers. Google provides frequent updates, bug fixes, and enhancements to the framework. Additionally, the Flutter development community actively contributes by creating tutorials, documentation, and sharing knowledge through forums, conferences, and online communities.
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Why is Flutter Used?
Now after understanding what is flutter, let’s look at it uses. Flutter is a technology that is built on widgets. This means that object-oriented programming may be applied to any element.
One advantage of adopting Flutter is the simplicity with which you can edit or customize widgets. It also includes UI widgets that suit important web application design standards.
Since its inception as an open-source framework, Flutter has garnered a large and active development community. This community is continually publishing useful code samples and assisting developers in creating fresh, inventive, and visually appealing cross-platform programs.
Flutter is one of the greatest ways to create apps for both Android and iOS without having to construct a separate codebase for each platform. The smartphone versions of these applications work as full native apps on Apple and Android devices and are built for each platform prior to publishing.
They do not require a browser or a runtime module. It is also feasible to construct web apps for browsers as well as native programs for Windows, Linux, and macOS using the same codebase.
Flutter is used by Google for numerous modules of Google Assistant as well as the user interface of the Google Home hub. Take up a full stack web development course to gain more insights into this field!
What makes Flutter a good framework for mobile app development?
Now after understanding what is flutter, let’s look at the features and benefits of it.
- Hot reloading
Hot reload allows you to see changes in the code immediately reflected on the UI. This expedites the process of working on the application's appearance. Also, it allows developers to repair faults, saving money and time.
- Development that is simplified and agile
The first thing to highlight in Flutter is the developer's agility. It is considerably easier to construct interactive features while creating software when a widget system is provided for development.
As a result, the final product may be more agile and have better quality on Android and iOS versions, as intended. Furthermore, the ‘hot reload’ feature makes it simple to see the changes made to the code, offering fast feedback to the developer and therefore, enhancing productivity.
- Developmental single language
Flutter relies only on the Dart programming language to create its applications. As a result, it significantly simplifies the job of developers, who simply need to know Dart to perform their responsibilities.
Google launched the language in 2011 and its code features are extremely comparable to C# and Java. In other words, for developers accustomed to the aforesaid languages, the transition to Dart is not difficult.
- Widget repository
In Flutter, everything is specified as a widget. A widget may be anything from a color to padding to a menu. Flutter can create sophisticated widgets that can be adjusted to meet the needs of the application.
There are also built-in widgets accessible for use. Cupertino pack and material design are two examples of widget sets that deliver a smooth user experience.
Flutter was introduced by Google as an open-source platform. Developers may experiment with several design possibilities while creating Flutter apps. Material design and Cupertino widgets may be used to develop user-friendly applications.
Flutter Form is a community of Flutter aficionados who get together to answer and debate Flutter-related queries. Flutter is completely free with extensive documentation and online forums.
Flutter Advantages: Why is it Better?
Now after understanding what is flutter, let’s look at the advantages of it.
- Flutter allows you to create an Android, iOS, or web app with a single codebase. Of fact, all cross-platform frameworks are meant to achieve this, but Flutter makes the process quite simple and the results incredibly attractive.
Creating prototypes is easier than ever using Flutter's custom widgets. Flutter adds to Google's Ambient Computing concept, which sees Flutter-created apps are available anywhere you need them to be, independent of hardware constraints.
- In today's highly competitive digital marketplace, coming to market sooner might be the one thing that separates you from the competition.
When you use Flutter, you can create your application faster than with a traditional native application. Not only does creating a single codebase that works on various platforms save time, but Flutter also includes a variety of other characteristics that help you save time all through the development cycle.
- Another factor for Flutter's quick adoption among developers (apart from its great productivity) was the availability of extensive documentation and a huge number of examples. This is especially critical for developers learning a new platform, set of tools, or language.
- Flutter can code on low-powered PCs and is simple to start up. Furthermore, it never requires powerful devices to function.
Flutter Disadvantages: It’s Limitations
Now after understanding what is flutter, let’s look at the disadvantages of it.
- The only drawback is that Flutter apps are larger in size. Flutter applications are often larger than 4MB.
- We already know Flutter is a Google product. Apps made using Flutter are entertaining on Android but have certain issues on iOS.
- Besides, Flutter does not support third-party libraries, which complicates the programming effort. However, if an app is well planned, Flutter has the potential to be the greatest.
- Flutter is a new cross-platform application development framework. Many Flutter functionalities are in alpha and beta testing phases and may not always perform correctly.
Moreover, some functions are not available in the present library because the platform is still being completed. It will take some time for Flutter to develop the required tools, improve functionality, and grow the community.
- Because Flutter is a Google product, the quality of support for iOS applications suffers. If the majority of the SDK functionalities on Android operate well, there are issues with iOS.
When using an Apple device for photography, for example, the program deletes all EXIF data. As a result, the photo is presented with improper orientation, no location, no date, and no accurate gamma. Special iOS features (VoiceOver, Guided Access, Captioning, and Audio Description) are essentially non-existent nowadays.
Flutter vs Other Mobile App Development Frameworks
Flutter vs PWA
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)-created apps are cross-browser interoperable. They function with limited internet access and offline. PWA automatically updates itself, keeping the apps up to date. However, because the applications are supplied through HTTPS, unauthorized users cannot access the content.
Installation is more difficult than with Flutter-based apps. Users must travel to the website to install and start the app, which limits the user experience.
PWA apps are compatible with iOS and Android, however, they lack the native experience that Flutter provides owing to a lack of native mobile libraries. If the goal is to create a better user experience, then Flutter is a preferable alternative for the discriminating mobile app developer.
|Mobile UI framework
|Cross-platform (iOS, Android, Web, Desktop)
|Provides native-like UI components
|Utilizes web UI components
|App Store (Google Play Store, Apple App Store)
|Accessed via a web browser
|High-performance with native compilation
|Performance depends on browser and network
|Requires additional libraries/plugins for offline support
|Built-in offline support using service workers
|Access to Device Features
|Full access to device features (camera, GPS, sensors)
|Limited access to device features (camera, location)
|Fast development with hot-reload feature
|Longer development time compared to Flutter
|App Store Policies
|Subject to platform-specific policies and approval processes
|Not subject to app store policies
|Dart programming language
|Updates and Maintenance
|Separate updates for each platform
|Centralized updates through web server
Flutter vs React Native
React Native is regarded as one of Flutter's main competitors. React Native, like Flutter, is an open-source, cross-platform app development platform.
Both are cost-effective and time-saving solutions since they include the hot reload functionality for on-the-fly innovation.
Flutter has a plethora of widgets that allow developers to create visually appealing apps. It has an active community and extensive documentation, allowing even inexperienced developers to get started.
Unlike Flutter's widgets, React Native employs bridge and native elements, necessitating distinct optimization for each platform. This has an effect on their time to market. This might be discouraging for developers in a fast-paced setting where breakthroughs come on a regular basis.
Programming Language used in Flutter app development:
For those wondering, what is Flutter app development language utilized, it is the Dart programming language. Dart is an object-oriented, class-based language with modern features such as just-in-time compilation, hot-reload, and a strong type system. Dart's simplicity and readability make it an ideal choice for Flutter app development. Also explore Everything About Queue Data Structure!
Why Choose Flutter?
Now you have understood what is flutter. While there are several reasons why you should choose flutter over its alternatives, one of the most important reasons is that it allows you to develop apps faster and cheaper than competing frameworks. Because it is all part of an SDK, developers may add features such as push notifications, ad networks, and deep linking.
So, why is Flutter better? Flutter employs a reactive programming style, which simplifies the development of apps that function smoothly and reliably across platforms. Also, because Flutter utilizes a single language for everything, it is simple to transition from an MVP to a full-featured production project without having to rebuild the codebase.
Use Cases of Flutter
Now after understanding what is flutter, let’s look at the use cases for it.
Reflectly is an example of an app that was first built in React Native. Using this technique, the team developed it for iOS.
When they decided to launch the Android app, an issue arose. Because of the app's huge success, they decided to completely redesign it in 2018. They selected Flutter because it was ideal for this purpose.
- Philips Hue
Philips Hue is a smart lighting solution for the home. Customers that desire intelligent lighting in their homes can get lamps, bulbs, accessories, and starting kits from them.
Hue Sync and Hue Bluetooth are two of their apps made with Flutter. Clients of Philips may use these mobile controllers to alter the color of their lights and coordinate them with their media kits.
Philips has been using Flutter since 2018. It chose this technology over other excellent options in the market. Philips just resonated with Flutter and felt it was the right fit for its project.
- New York Times
At the same time, New York Times made its KENKEN game accessible. It is no surprise that it was created utilizing Flutter.
Flutter is a promising framework that is suitable for both small- and medium-sized apps. With Flutter's help, NAPP BaaS has entirely transformed. The fundamental concept behind this software is that it has the ability to alleviate numerous problems that every property owner has with visitor procedure management.
When talking about Flutter, everything is a widget. This allows everyone to develop their own custom widgets or expand existing widgets and screen views via code, making it incredibly simple to adopt Flutter.
Learning languages like Java and C++ is essential. Before you can learn Flutter, you must master Dart programming. Notably, Dart is the general-purpose programming language used by Google.
Flutter's popularity is skyrocketing. It solves challenges encountered by companies, particularly when dealing with limited time and resources to bring a product to market. Flutter is ideal for developing a personalized application experience.
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Learning Flutter: Where to Start:
To begin learning Flutter app development, aspiring developers can explore official documentation and tutorials provided by Google. Online platforms and free resources such as Flutter's official website and YouTube channels offer comprehensive learning materials, video tutorials, and hands-on exercises to master Flutter app development.
Flutter for Career Growth:
What is Flutter development offering - exciting career prospects due to its rising demand in the app development market. With the ability to build cross-platform applications efficiently, Flutter developers can explore opportunities in startups, established tech companies, and freelance projects. The demand for Flutter app development is on the rise, opening doors to career growth and attractive remuneration.
Flutter's versatility, simplicity, and powerful capabilities make it a sought-after framework for app development. With its extensive ecosystem, strong support, and abundant learning resources, Flutter provides a solid foundation for developers to create stunning and efficient cross-platform applications. Embracing Flutter can lead to promising career prospects in the ever-evolving world of flutter development.