Back to blog

Transform App Development with Flutter: A Cross-Platform Revolution

Debra Bird


April 2, 2024

And Why You Should Try Flutter on Your Next Project

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.

Understanding Flutter: The Premier Cross-Platform Framework for App Development

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.

Exclusive Flutter Insights: Why It Stands Out in Cross-Platform Development

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.

1. The Power of Flutter's Unique Rendering Engine: A Game Changer for App UI Consistency

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:

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

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.

2. How Flutter Drastically Reduces Mobile App Development Time

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:

Flutter logic

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.

3. Achieving Native App Performance with Flutter: A Comparative Analysis

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.

4. Mastering Complex UIs with Ease: Flutter's Custom Animation Capabilities

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:

customized UI on Flutter

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.

Flutter from a Business Lens: Strategic Advantages for Future-Proofing Your Apps

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:

  • The development of Google's Fuchsia OS, which works seamlessly with Flutter, eliminates potential issues with product development.
  • There is a vast pool of Flutter developers available, as many Android developers in the community are already fans of the framework (as seen in feedback here and here)
  • Integration is easy, as a growing number of global companies, including Alibaba, Google Ads, AppTree, Reflect, and My Leaf, are using Flutter, proving its uncompromising quality. All these factors make Flutter an ideal solution for businesses by eliminating obstacles in finding specialists, adapting to new technologies, and integrating the tool into their systems. Compared to other cross-platform alternatives available, Flutter poses minimal risks to a business and is, therefore, the best choice for your business.

Considering Flutter: Understanding Its Limitations and Overcoming Challenges

  • Prior to opting for Flutter, it's important to take into account its limitations such as limited access to system functionality that can only be executed using native languages. Nevertheless, by integrating Dart code with native blocks in Swift/Kotlin, most of these limitations can be overcome in Flutter-based applications.
  • Flutter utilizes custom-built widgets instead of platform-specific widgets, leading to larger app sizes that can result in longer download times and increased storage usage on mobile devices. However, utilizing specialized libraries/packages, implementing asset compression techniques, and eliminating unused resources can help minimize the size of Flutter applications.

More about Flutter comparisons you can read here.

Embracing Flutter: Transformative Advantages for Your Next App Development Project

Let's briefly go through the most outstanding advantages of the framework:

  • the app UI and logic don't change depending on the platform
  • faster code development
  • close to native app performance
  • enormous UI customization potential
  • separate rendering engine
  • no reliance on platform-specific UI components
  • suitable for any target platform
  • minimizes the risks and losses for your business

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.

Flutter and Artificial Intelligence: Opening New Horizons in Mobile Applications

In the era of digital transformation, Flutter is extending its capabilities, including support for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications. With the ability to integrate with TensorFlow Lite and other ML libraries, Flutter enables developers to create applications that not only look consistent across platforms but also intelligently adapt to the user, offering a personalized experience.

Successful Flutter Applications Across Industries

  • E-commerce: Utilizing Flutter to develop cross-platform mobile applications allows brands to deliver a highly personalized shopping experience with improved performance and faster loading times.
  • Financial Services: Banks and fintech startups choose Flutter for their applications, valuing its high security level and the ability to implement complex financial operations in a user-friendly and accessible interface.
  • Healthcare: Health monitoring and telemedicine apps are developed using Flutter to ensure the reliability and confidentiality of user data, as well as the capability for instant information updates.

Flutter and the Future of Mobile Development

With Google's support and a growing developer community, Flutter is poised to become a key tool in the future technology arsenal. Its flexibility, efficiency, and scalability make Flutter an ideal choice for startups and large enterprises looking to stay at the forefront of digital innovation.

Choosing Flutter for your next project not only accelerates development and reduces costs but also opens doors to a future where applications become more intelligent, personalized, and interactive. Join the Flutter revolution and allow your business to reach a new level of digital evolution.