Of late, Flutter is creating a buzz in the mobile app developers' world. But you might be wondering how this open source mobile SDK which was just out of its beta version a few months back, has become popular now within such a short space of time.
Thanks to Google’s long-term commitment to Flutter and its teams near perfection work to bring out the first version of Flutter with an extremely stable release for building cross-platform mobile apps. The developers who already got the chance of working with Flutter has expressed that this framework is far better than other cross-platform frameworks.
Having said that, Google just didn’t initiate Flutter to compete for cross-platform app development but mainly as a competitor for native app development. As such, Flutter apps have impressive UI, native-like performance, and have been built faster at less cost compared to native app development.
So, what’s more, Flutter:
Is a free and open source mobile SDK,
Is based on Dart – a fast, object-oriented programming language which is in itself easy to learn,
Builds apps that have a great look and feel, thanks to its rich widgets
Flutter architecture is based on the very popular reactive programming of nowadays (the same that React has been made from)
Is becoming a serious competitor to React Native, but also to native app development
Now, let’s discuss how it outperforms native app development and scores better in the key areas of mobile app development.
Native app developers spend most of their time in building a highly attractive UI. To help developers involve in a fast development cycle, Flutter offers various widgets and allows them to create dynamic UIs quite easily and quickly. Flutter UI is basically a tree of stateless or stateful widgets and it contains loads of widgets that support both Material Components for Android and Cupertino for iOS.
Pixel-perfect replica of iOS and Android
Smooth animations and transitions
Custom UI controls based on vector-graphic animation
Supports vector graphics animations with Flare, thus, enabling fancy UI
Better than native for UI, and animations
Possible to instantly switch to Android UI on an iOS device
Every time a developer makes changes to a native app, the developer has to rebuild the app or third-party dependencies in some cases to see the changes in the simulator or the devices. As a native app developer, you might have the experience of this slow process.
Whereas in Flutter, a hot reload feature is available which saves a lot of time of developers. It allows to load builds within milliseconds, thus, enabling the developers to experiment, fix bugs and add features rapidly. So, when a developer makes any changes, it appears in the simulator or devices instantly.
Render pages faster
Seamless cross-platform development
Easy integration with native code
Instant bug fixing and experimentation using hot reload
Saves developers’ time
Supports functional and object-oriented paradigms
Flutter offers excellent native performance. It highly differentiates native app development in terms of technical architecture. Flutter’s architecture is designed and optimized for fast rendering and complex animations, making the UI coding even easier than it would be with native development code. Because of this, animations can be easily run inside Flutter, even achieving 120 frames per second.
Also, the fun fact is that developers can obtain native-performing apps using Flutter without any native UI components. Because Flutter already has its own in-built UI components for superior performance. Its ever-growing plug-ins and packages make sure that developers get the resources they need on time.
Excellent build architecture
True multithreading, compiled to native
Embedded graphics engine
Close to native for logic
Independent from platform UI
UI rendering inside a native application
As Google is the creator of Flutter, the reputation gains an initial advantage for the framework. But it is a full contribution of over 1000 developers that helps Flutter grow. The initiators at Google have worked on Flutter for a long time, which results as an epitome of perfection.
Google has assigned substantial resources to the Flutter ecosystem, making it a highly stable framework. In fact, the framework is considered more stable than React Native, in spite of the latter being an established product. This can be attributed to Google’s long-term commitment to Flutter, and its strategic importance to the Google OS roadmap.
Regular support and frequent updates by Google
Excellent documentation and constant promotion
Strong long-term commitment from Google
Used in Google’s next-generation OS, Fuschia
Any mobile application, big or small, needs to be perfectly functional. When apps are built with Flutter, the time taken for application testing and quality assurance is significantly reduced due to its single codebase. Neither the developers nor the QA team has to spend extra time and effort testing separate codes on different platforms like iOS or Android.
On top of this, Flutter apps can be built with minimal code because Dart uses JIT and AOT compilation. This feature helps to improve the overall startup time, functioning and accelerate the performance of the apps.
Application testing and quality assurance made simple
Single codebase reduces application testing time
Only minimal code required for a fully functional app
Exclusive package for running tests - Flutter Driver
One disadvantage of Flutter may be that it creates a slightly steeper learning curve, since the developer must now learn a new programming language. Otherwise, it stands out well and outpaces all the other cross-platform mobile app development SDKs.
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