Mobile app development is the process during which an application is developed for mobile devices. Since 2007, when smartphones gained popularity, many programming tools have emerged for developers to use. In the early stages, mobile developers were struggling with having to work on different platforms in order to create an app for both Android and iOS. Later on, however, many platforms were introduced that made the lives of developers much easier. One such upgrade was the creation of a platform that allowed apps to be developed in one space for both iOS and Android. This is when Google took the floor and introduced Flutter in May 2017, changing the face of mobile app development.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a Google product created to develop apps for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Google Fuchsia, and the web from a single codebase. Flutter is an open-source mobile SDK (Software Development Kit) that allows developers to create native mobile apps using one codebase and programming language. The SDK is one of Flutter’s two parts, both of which are tools that help developers build apps. The UI library with widgets is the second part of Flutter, which includes customizable UI elements.

In order to develop applications on Flutter, developers must use the programming language called Dart. Dart is an object-oriented programming language primarily used to code on Flutter. Dart is much like C, so developers familiar with C or Java will not face too many challenges in getting used to Dart. Overall, Dart is considered not only a tool for mobile development but also a separate programming language.

How does Flutter work?

Flutter mostly focuses on its widgets, which enable developers to build an entire UI. It has already developed and stored widgets that fit with native Android and iOS apps, though developers can create some custom widgets as well. Since Flutter uses Dart, it avoids various performance problems that come from using a compiled programming language that also serves as a JavaScript bridge. This eliminates the need for a JavaScript bridge when using Flutter. Flutter is considered to be the only software development kit offering reactive views without the JavaScript bridge.

Flutter’s programming language Dart focuses mainly on front-end development. It also includes stored software packages that allow developers to extend the potential of their apps. Some packages offer access to Firebase in order to build serverless apps, while others help access a Redux data store, platform services, or even hardware, like the camera.

Flutter’s Competitors

Even though Flutter is not the only platform offering stunning capabilities for mobile app development, it does stand out from its competitors. There are many software development companies out there but the challenging part is choosing the right one. Some of Flutter’s competitors include Progress Kendo UI, Xamarin, DevExpress, and React Native. These are just a few, but despite the number of competitors, Flutter is still confidently chosen by plenty of mobile developers.

Flutter’s Brilliances

– Time-Saving

Flutter can be considered a quick development tool for two major reasons. Firstly, Flutter is a cross-platform tool. Because of this, it saves time – as developers can use the same codebase to build an app for both iOS and Android. Its cross-platform abilities play a crucial role in mobile app development. Secondly, software developers can bring an app to life in milliseconds with Stateful Hot Reload. Flutter also provides a rich variety of fully customizable widgets that allow you to create native interfaces in a very short time!

– Cost-Effective

Flutter is an easily learned and used platform that doesn’t require a big number of developers to build an app. The potential for quick development and small teams gives companies an amazing opportunity to develop a mobile app with whatever limited resources they may have as well as the ability to include more features for less money. These advantages of Flutter allow companies (and mainly startups) to kick-off and effectively develop an MVP.

– Ideal for Startups and MVP Developments

When launching a startup and beginning the development of an MVP, the main goal is to use the least number of resources and time and still get the best possible result. For fulfillment of this goal, Flutter cannot be more perfect. Startups looking to develop a mobile app and present it should be made aware of Flutter, as it will save them money and time without affecting the output quality at all. An MVP developed on Flutter could not be told apart from a native mobile application.

– Performance and Productivity

Many people believe that as Flutter is not native and may have issues with performance, but that is a false statement. Flutter is usually compared to Facebook’s open-source mobile development software, known as React Native, but Flutter surpasses it in performance by a large margin. All-important platform variations, such as scrolling, navigation, icons, and fonts, are integrated into Flutter widgets, whilst the Flutter code is adapted to the native ARM machine code that uses Dart’s native compilers. For scalable initiatives, Flutter mobile app development is the perfect solution. Considering that developers on Flutter can use unified code for different platforms is fascinating in terms of efficiency, maintenance, and, most importantly, savvy business.

– Concise and Flexible UI

Flutter’s concise and flexible UI allows developers to ship features easily when concentrating on native end-user experiences. In addition to that, because of the layered architecture, complete customization is possible, resulting in extremely quick rendering as well as expressive and dynamic designs. In addition, since Flutter has its own widgets, there will be reduced compatibility problems on different OS versions. Since Flutter doesn’t use native widgets, whenever new versions of iOS and/or Android come out, Google’s Flutter will have to update their widgets as well in order to keep up, while developers can be confident that their apps will also work on future versions.

Flutter’s Downsides

– App’s File Size

Flutter is a great software to develop mobile apps on, but the size of the apps in their final stage might be frustrating for some people. Sometimes this issue is paramount and forces mobile developers to choose a different platform. The big file size might not be a great deal of a problem for many users but it is important to consider that older devices are unable to store big apps and people might struggle to organize their phone’s storage.

– Dart

Even though Dart is a great and easily learned programming language for Flutter, some developers might criticize it for not being quite as good as other languages, such as JavaScript or Objective C. Developers will need some time to get familiar with Dart and companies should keep this in mind when planning to develop a cross-platform app.

Why Is Flutter the Best for Mobile Development?

While considering Flutter’s benefits and downsides, it is clear that the positive aspects outweigh the negative when it comes to mobile app development. Flutter is amazing software to build stunning, high-performance, and incredible cross-platform apps on. Flutter is really worth considering when looking to develop an app for both iOS and Android in a short period of time and with reduced costs. Its expressive and flexible UI alongside its native performance allows developers to build the ideal app that works on different platforms.

Written by Luka Botchorishvili

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