Flutter – The Most Popular Mobile SDK for Cross-Platform Development

Managing a development team for each mobile platform consumes resources from other projects. Flutter is the most popular mobile SDK for cross-platform Development. It is a way for a single team to build applications on multiple platforms at the same time.

Our mobile devices and applications have taken over our lives. There are about six billion smartphone subscriptions on the globe right now. Furthermore, nearly five million mobile applications are available for download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Despite the fact that the mobile application market is becoming increasingly competitive, this is where many startups and developers are concentrating their efforts.

As a result, it is natural that mobile app developers are constantly looking for easier, faster, and less expensive ways to get their products to market. Effective development tools are critical in this process. The tools that developers use, from programming languages to app frameworks to software development kits, determine how quickly they can get a product in front of customers.

Let’s take a look at Flutter’s rapid rise in popularity and the features that make it so appealing to developers.

What is Flutter? 

Flutter is Google’s open-source, free software development kit (SDK) for developing cross-platform mobile applications. It enables developers to create high-performance, scalable applications with attractive and functional user interfaces for Android or iOS by using a single platform codebase. Flutter is based on a library of pre-made widgets, which allows even people with little programming or development experience to quickly launch their own mobile applications.

Google created Flutter in 2015 and officially released it in 2018. It has quickly become the preferred toolkit for developers. According to Statista, Flutter has recently surpassed React Native as the top mobile app development framework.

How does Flutter work?

Flutter’s layer structure

Why are mobile app developers so fond of Flutter?

Flutter’s popularity has zoomed for good reason. Flutter app development provides many advantages that speed up the development process and result in more user-friendly mobile applications.

Flutter is platform-independent

Any developer who intends to release a mobile app understands the importance of having versions for both Android and iOS. With a 72 percent market share in September 2021, Android maintains a firm grip on the mobile market. However, iOS has a sizable user base and nearly a 27 percent market share.

Focusing on a single native application misses a significant portion of the market and limits the app’s potential future success. Separate native programs, on the other hand, might be time-consuming and expensive to develop.

Flutter makes cross-platform development easy. Rather than writing code for each platform separately, developers can use Flutter’s one codebase.

However, Flutter’s cross-platform development adaptability extends beyond code portability. Flutter-built user interfaces (UI) are also platform-agnostic, unlike other cross-platform frameworks like React Native and Xamarin, because Flutter’s Skia rendering engine does not require any platform-specific UI components.

Flutter simplifies and speeds application development

Flutter app development includes a number of capabilities that enable developing cross-platform mobile apps easier and faster. The ability to use a single codebase and UI engine for cross-platform development, for example, decreases the time and work required to create versions of an app for Android and iOS.

Flutter’s vast widget library also provides developers with ready-to-use functionality, which cuts down on overall coding effort. Reduced coding time also means lower development costs.

Flutter’s stateful hot reload functionality is one of the most crucial aspects for saving development time. The use of JIT compilation in hot reload speeds up the implementation of code modifications. Flutter app development uses hot reload to insert code changes into a running Dart VM while preserving conserved states. Because the app code is not completely recompiled, the consequences of code updates are displayed more immediately when using hot reload. Hot reloading allows developers to see the impact of changes in real-time without having to change the application’s current state. As a result, developers can test new features and versions more quickly, as well as repair errors. As a result, both original applications and updates require less time to reach the market.

Flutter app development is a fantastic solution for companies with low funds due to its efficiency. For example, a startup may have already spent at least $75 per hour on a web designer and may expect application developers to spend similarly or more. Flutter is a cost-effective development platform for organizations that want to reduce development time and get products to market faster.

Flutter app development is simple to learn

Whether you have extensive development experience or not, Flutter app development is easy to learn. Developers who frequently work with other languages such as Java, Python, C#, or other object-oriented languages will find it easy to add Flutter and Dart to their toolboxes because Dart is structurally and syntactically similar to those languages. Furthermore, for those with less development experience, Flutter’s extensive widget library makes it simple to build applications without writing extensive code; in fact, several platforms use Flutter to build apps without writing any code!

The documentation for Flutter is likewise very good. The Flutter support tools include multiple example applications, a “cookbook” instructing developers how to do typical tasks, and even a recommendation for a Flutter training camp.

However, Flutter’s widespread acceptance has resulted in a lively community that offers support and tools to new and seasoned Flutter developers. Developers can get advice and knowledge from a number of blogs, forums, and other online communities, including:

  • The Flutter wiki and question pages on Stack Overflow
  • Flutter Awesome is a one-stop shop for all things Flutter, with tutorials, libraries, UIs, apps, and more.
  • The flutter-dev Google Group is a great place for developers to get help with technical concerns.
  • The official Reddit Flutter community’s flutter-dev subreddit, where participants share resources and expertise.

These are just a few of the options. Many more can be found with a fast search.

Flutter scales well

Developers must be able to easily add functionality to an application or expand its user base without breaking it. On the backend, Flutter relies on Google’s Firebase application. Firebase provides real-time database changes, which ensures the sync between clients. Firebase additionally optimizes and reduces the number of changes required for syncing, so adding new users of functionality has no harmful influence on performance.

Flutter app development offer an excellent user experience

Mobile apps must have well-designed, beautiful, and functional user interfaces in order to be genuinely successful. Flutter, on the other hand, specializes in creating a fantastic user experience.

The built-in widget catalog in Flutter is dedicated to providing high-performance, visually appealing application pieces. Flutter makes creating UIs with numerous components, from the most basic to the most complex, almost trivial.

There are no intermediate code interpretation processes in Flutter apps because they are compiled directly into native code. Flutter eliminates additional processing steps that slow down the speed, making it substantially faster than competing cross-platform development apps like React Native, which require bridges between their code and native parts.

The downsides of using Flutter

Flutter, like any other cross-platform mobile SDK, isn’t flawless. While its advantages outweigh its drawbacks, aspiring Flutter developers should be aware of its restrictions.

Large apps

Many developers are concerned about the size of their applications. Despite the fact that most mobile devices have plenty of storage, a device can quickly fill up with images, movies, and graphics-intensive games. The problem gets worse as the equipment gets older.

Instead of relying on platform aspects, Flutter apps are self-contained and contain all of the necessary code to execute the app, resulting in bigger app sizes than traditional applications. The scale of Flutter applications may be an issue for developers wanting to appeal to a wide spectrum of potential customers, leading some to select a different language.

Lack of third-party libraries

Third-party libraries aid in the reduction of development time and expenses, and many developers rely significantly on them. The built-in widget library in Flutter is large, and the official Flutter package site has thousands more alternatives. However, because Flutter is still a young programming tool, third-party libraries have fewer resources than other development tools. However, as more people switch to Flutter app development, the third-party Flutter ecosystem is fast expanding, and you should expect this issue to decrease over time.

Limited platforms

The number of platforms on which Flutter applications can run is currently limited. Flutter, for example, cannot be used to create applications for watchOS, tvOS, or Apple CarPlay. This is a crucial constraint, as overall wristwatch sales are estimated to exceed a quarter of a billion units in the next five years. Flutter tries to solve this problem by giving workarounds like adding native Apple Watch extensions to Flutter apps. 

You have to learn Dart

You must be familiar with Google’s Dart programming language in order to use Flutter. While Dart is not difficult to learn for object-oriented programmers, it is less well-known and used than other object-oriented languages like C#, Java, and JavaScript. As a result, developers that want to go to market fast may choose to avoid Flutter app development due to the increased learning curve.

It may be more suitable for Android than for iOS.

It’s not unexpected that Flutter’s functionality on Android is superior to that of iOS. As Flutter fixes and updates hit the market, there are already cases of iOS functionality lagging Android. After all, Google, Android’s most vocal supporter, is the driving force behind Flutter, and Android accounts for the great majority of the mobile market. Flutter is used by more Android developers than iOS developers because it is a Google product. There are also rumors that new Android features make their way into Flutter faster than new iOS features. As a result, iOS developers should keep an eye on future Flutter releases.

What does the future hold for Flutter app development?

Flutter’s market share is beginning to rise after rapid growth in usage over the last three years. However, this should not be interpreted as an indication that Flutter will be phased out anytime soon. You can only presume that, given the tool’s present popularity, Google will attempt to remedy some of Flutter’s more serious flaws, such as application size. Developers are likely to continue to utilize Flutter because of its simplicity and power.

Will new and trendy tools emerge to try to replace Flutter app development? Without a doubt. Flutter’s prospects, on the other hand, remain promising for the foreseeable future.

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