February 8, 2023
What benefits can your business reap by using Flutter on your next project, and why is it worth trying? We aim to give you an understanding of Flutter, why it is considered as an effective cross-platform framework, and how it compares to other available options. We will also explain how these benefits can be helpful for both development and business processes. Ultimately, we show you how Flutter can be an effective solution to common issues faced in business.
In our experience as software developers, we have often encountered the challenge of selecting the appropriate tool for creating mobile apps that can run on multiple platforms. These projects varied, but they all shared the same goal of ensuring that the final app could function on a wide range of devices, which presented a significant challenge.
In this article, we highlight our thoughts on what advantages of Flutter will make it dominate cross-platform application development in the upcoming years. And we want to share the joy of using Flutter with you so that you benefit most from the innovation.
Coming from a native Android and iOS development and having some e-commerce expertise, we can say that Flutter is a cross-platform app development instrument we have been looking for throughout our work. Flutter seamlessly combines the simplicity of development with the performance of native apps while ensuring visual consistency across different platforms. It is simply the best option available.
It may seem that all cross-platform frameworks have similar capabilities and features, but Flutter stands out in certain key areas. It is crucial to consider how Flutter's features and capabilities surpass those of other frameworks in mobile app development.
We know that any cross-platform framework provides a way to share the codebase between the target platforms. But no such application frameworks allow sharing both the UI code and the UI itself besides Flutter.
Here's an example illustration of how UI rendering looks in most cross-platform frameworks:
The rendering process, as mentioned earlier, makes it easy to create an app that appears native on every platform, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Utilizing platform-specific components for rendering necessitates a layer for mapping properties of the platform widgets and synchronizing framework widget data. This results in a more complex process that requires mapping each animation to a platform-specific widget call. In contrast, Flutter eliminates the need for platform-specific UI components to render its UI by using a canvas to draw onto, making the process simpler and more efficient.
Flutter's rendering method sets it apart from other frameworks, as it eliminates concerns of UI consistency across different platforms. Additionally, the ability to share UI and business logic in Flutter saves developers time and effort and improves their overall well-being without compromising the final product's performance.
Most of the above points wouldn't be possible without a high-performance cross-platform rendering engine. Flutter allows you to make so many changes to your apps that other platforms can't allow. It requires the framework to be powerful.
Flutter utilizes Skia to render itself onto a canvas provided by the platform. Because of this engine, UI created in Flutter can be launched on virtually any platform. This means that there is no longer a need to adjust the UI for different platforms, simplifying the development process.
Furthermore, the Flutter team has made considerable efforts to offer a broad range of pre-built widgets that are highly customizable, saving developers a significant amount of time. In addition to a vast selection of core layout widgets, Flutter offers an extensive collection of Material and Cupertino widgets that accurately replicate the behavior of each design language. This is how they function:
Overall, when using Flutter, you literally skip several crazily time-consuming steps in app development, making the overall process faster, more straightforward, and less problematic.
The flutter development framework is faster than other options. In many cases, it takes at least two times fewer person-hours to develop a Flutter app than the same app separately for Android and iOS. The reason for this is simple: with Flutter, there is no need to write any platform-specific code to achieve the desired visuals in the application. Any 2D-based UI can be implemented in Flutter without the need for interaction with native application counterparts.
Besides, Flutter has a declarative API for building UI, which improves performance, particularly when making visual adjustments.
Based on our experience, it typically takes a minimum of 40 seconds to deploy a standard, medium-sized Android app to a test device. In some cases, making small adjustments to the layout can take an excessive amount of time. Some may argue that Android Studio has a layout preview feature, but it is limited and does not always function as desired, mainly when working with custom views.
Flutter's "hot reload" feature is exceptional; it makes it possible to view the changes made almost immediately without losing the current state of the application. This feature significantly increases development speed and makes creating apps with Flutter multiple times faster.
Application performance is essential for a positive user experience. While it can be challenging to provide specific figures, it is safe to say that the performance of a Flutter app is often comparable to that of a native app and may even be superior in scenarios involving complex UI animations. This is because, unlike other cross-platform frameworks, Flutter does not rely on intermediate code representations or interpretation. Instead, the Flutter application is directly compiled into machine code, eliminating any performance issues from the interpretation process.
As a result, the final release application is fully compiled in advance with Flutter.
A significant insight of Flutter is the ability to customize any aspect you see on the screen, regardless of its complexity. While it is possible to create a highly customized UI on native platforms, the effort required is significantly less with Flutter. For instance, here is an example of a simple but customized UI:
Flutter makes it easy to perform tasks such as shared element transitions, manipulation of shapes, colors, shadows, clipping, and transformations. Additionally, it allows for greater flexibility and versatility in the process without increasing the workload.
Certain things are of great value to a business, such as the stability and performance of a platform, a large talent pool, and the ability to ensure successful future tech/product development and improvement. These are crucial because issues and flaws in a platform or technology in any of these areas can lead to risks and financial losses for the company. From this perspective, Flutter reduces risks for your business:
More about Flutter comparisons you can read here.
Let's briefly go through the most outstanding advantages of the framework:
Flutter is the quickest way to deliver a well-performing cross-platform mobile application. It's a matter of time before Flutter officially becomes the ultimate cross-platform UI framework. When the functional requirements of a project surpass the limitations of no-code/low-code platforms, Flutter offers the quickest development path.
For clarification on the suitability of Flutter for a specific project, reach out to the Ptolemay team to receive technical expertise and guidance on your project idea