Flutter is an open software development kit (SDK) that enables cross-platform mobile app development. You can build high-quality apps for both iOS and Android simultaneously with a single codebase.
A year ago, Tim Sneath, product manager of Flutter SDK, announced an increasing use of Flutter since its release in 2018, with more than two million developers using the toolkit. The update in spring also revealed an uptick in consumer and enterprise app development.
In this article, we will introduce this developer-friendly app development framework. We’ll explain to you what Flutter is and the pros and cons of using it.
Flutter is an open-sourced, portable UI toolkit for building native-like apps for mobile, web, and desktop, based on a single code introduced into the development world by Google. It operates the programming language Dart and incorporates Material Design and Cupertino widgets. Using Flutter, developers can create stunning UI that looks and feels native. It works smoothly on any platform, even though you use one codebase.
Flutter is one of the most satisfactory solutions for developing cross-platform mobile applications. Google supports Flutter and allows everyone to build natively compiled mobile, web, and desktop applications from a single codebase. Moreover, Flutter allows faster development, and the internal graphics engine makes the app look identical on all iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS platforms. It doesn’t rely on intermediate code representations, making it easier to deliver creative designs with better UI and UX.
Flutter is about widgets, meaning you can integrate any object-oriented programming language into any element. Flutter has gathered popularity with developers worldwide since its first release due to easily customizable UI widgets that help create excellent design interfaces. Flutter communities are constantly growing, which indicates that this framework will be popular even beyond the next decade.
Every programming tool has pros and cons, and Flutter is no exception. However, the apparent advantages of using Flutter outweigh the list of disadvantages. Let’s look at them in more detail.
1. Single Codebase
Flutter allows you to create a single code for Android, iOS, and Windows platforms, significantly reducing development time and cost. It helps launch projects much faster compared with native app development. Moreover, reusable code allows developers to edit and add new features whenever they want.
2. Hot Reloading and Quick Testing
Fast hot reloading in Flutter reduces developing time since there is no need to reload the app to see every change you make while coding. You can easily make changes to your app in real time, so you have more time and opportunities to experiment with the code and fix bugs on the go.
3. Rich Libraries and Widgets
Flutter uses the Skia Graphics Library, a speedy and mature open-source graphics library which redraws the UI every time a view changes. As a result, a quick-loading and smooth app experience attract customer attention.
4. Future-Proof Your Apps
By enabling support across different platforms and ecosystems, you can prepare your business for the direction of the future. With Flutter, you can port your code to new mobile platforms and desktop environments or deploy it to the web to reach new users.
Developed by Google, Flutter also supports the company’s new Fuchsia operating system, which is still in the early stages of adoption. Flutter allows you to proactively address the ever-changing aspects of application development.
Below, you can learn about limitations that our Ptolemay team met while working with Flutter.
1. Heavy Flutter App Files
Heavy files of an app may occupy a lot of space and take longer to download or update while using many animated elements. However, Flutter is flexible, and there is always a way to make an app more lightweight without sacrificing the user experience.
2. System Specific Feature Sets
Operating systems tend to implement changes over time, and there’s a required delay before they can reach the Flutter SDK. While few apps support groundbreaking new features from the first day, it’s essential to consider the extra time they will take to get Flutter before users can see updates in your apps.
The popularity of cross-platform applications is constantly growing. Since it is fast and low-cost, many small and big companies use Flutter to develop applications. Currently, Flutter is used to create apps for Google, Alibaba, BMW, eBay, Uber, and other leading companies. You can view other cases here.
Mobile applications are developed in teams depending upon the complexity of the project. Ptolemay provides full-cycle IT development, so around nine people work on a project in the client’s time zone. The team usually has two Flutter developers, two backend developers, an admin (Vue.js) developer, a designer, two quality assurance specialists, and a project manager to keep up with deadlines and successfully deliver the product.
Ptolemay has developed many apps on Flutter and currently works in 10 countries as a full-cycle IT development company. We have successfully delivered social media apps, ERP systems, marketplaces, and more cases you can view here. You can book a free call and get expert feedback on your idea with the help of the Ptolemay team.