What is Flutter?
Flutter is an innovative technology for creating applications on mobile, desktop, and web platforms. It’s a free, open-source UI framework from Google which has hit the market in 2017. What’s most important about it is that with Flutter, developers can create mobile apps both for iOS and Android with a single codebase.
This makes it an extremely time-saving solution. To create an app they use a language called Dart, also developed by Google. It’s a collection of tools, libraries, documentation, APIs and sometimes frameworks. It provides everything needed to build a cross-platform app. Since its release in 2017, it has gained popularity pretty quickly, but creators don’t stop innovating and improving Flutter.
Cross-platform solution perfect for MVPs and complex products
It is well known that app development using Flutter is fast. That's why it's ideal for companies that have decided to do a quick MVP release to test an idea and product.
Startups usually choose to create them as their aim is to launch the product as soon as possible and check if it’s a market fit. That’s why Flutter is a way to go for them. The app is built faster and owners can check its viability to decide whether they should continue or not.
It’s also very cost-effective as only one developer is enough to build a functional MVP with Flutter.
Advantages of Flutter
Google's technology is nowadays the most popular choice around the world for many reasons. Looking at statistics, in 2019, around 30% of developers used this solution to create software. Compared to React Native, which achieved a score of 42%, we can’t say it was the most popular one. Remaining <30% developers used different frameworks.
The situation has changed over the years. In 2021, Flutter is used by 42% of developers and React Native has 38% of them. The rest (less than 20%) uses different technologies including Cordova, Ionic and Xamarin.
Pros for business
Building apps in iOS and Android at the same time
As already mentioned, thanks to Flutter you can build apps for iOS and Android with one codebase. It can save a lot of time and effort. So you get an app for all of the users at the same time. No need to choose between Android and iOS.
Saving time and money
Flutter is designed to help you write code faster. It offers ready-to-use widgets and its syntax requires less code to write. Its hot reload speed improves search and error correction. And let’s not forget that developers create code for both platforms at the same time. This means developers spend less time programming. With the Time and Material pricing model, which is usually used for software development projects, as a client you pay for the time spent on each task. So this of course leads to cost-cutting.
We’ve created the Onoco app using Flutter. It’s a parenting mobile app serving parents and child care attendants to make it easier for them to track the baby’s activities and overall progress.
In cooperation with Onoco, we were able to deliver the project 10% earlier than estimated, also thanks to Flutter.
Flutter’s widgets incorporate all critical platform differences such as scrolling, navigation, icons and fonts, and your Flutter code is compiled to native ARM machine code using Dart's native compilers.
Pros for developers
Growing community from around the world
The number of developers using Flutter is constantly growing. In 2021, the Internet is already full of tutorials and articles on how to build particular features in Flutter. Following these hints, it’s much easier to build an app instead of inventing everything by yourself.
What’s particularly special about this community is that the available resources that can help answer your questions are very high quality.
There’s even a code of conduct — a set of rules for developers to follow. Some of these are:
- Respect people, their identities, their culture, and their work.
- Be kind. Be courteous. Be welcoming.
- Listen. Consider and acknowledge people's points before responding.
All to make the whole community helpful for each other and create a safe space for all developers who already use Flutter and those who want to start.
Thanks to many available resources, coding with Flutter is really easy to learn. Creating screens is quite intuitive, there’s help and support from the community on every step. - Maciek, Flutter Developer at FiveDotTwelve
Creating beautiful app designs conveniently
With this technology you can achieve native end-user experiences. “Layered architecture allows for full customization, which results in incredibly fast rendering and expressive and flexible designs.” (source) You can simply build beautiful apps with Flutter which offers a wide range of widgets you can adapt for your audience.
Hot-Reload gives the possibility to see the result of changes in the code in real time on the screen. There’s no need to reload manually and wait to check the performance. It automatically updates UI content which saves developers a lot of time to be spent on the project.
You can develop apps on any platform with Dart. Its purpose is to become the most productive programming language. It includes a repository of software packages useful to extend the capabilities of apps. Dart offers libraries (available for free) in which you can find a wide range of widgets ready to serve your users.
Our journey with Flutter
We started using Flutter right at its start. After our very first Flutter app turned out to be a success, we continued carrying out more and more projects with this technology. Now, many of our projects are made with Flutter as our Partners already know how efficient this development can be. We also advise Clients to use this SDK, because from our experience we know that apps built in Flutter are highly appreciated by users.
To find out even more about Flutter and discover why it's a great solution for cross-platform app development, you can read our article about it here.