By: Katie Johns
Flutter is a software development framework. It is open-source and comes from the house of Google. Though it was launched in 2017, this software development kit has grabbed a lot of attention in the global software developers’ community.
In fact, some of the popular apps like eBay, Alibaba, Tencent, etc. have used this development kit. Many startups have launched innovative digital solutions with Flutter.
So, from our predictions, Flutter is here to stay. In fact, we feel, Flutter has every potential to become the future of cross-platform mobile app development. In this article, we’ll take you through the basics to help you understand why Flutter is the future.
Let’s get started then.
What is Flutter? What are some of its notable features?
Let’s start with the fundamentals. So, what is Flutter exactly?
Google launched an open-source web development framework in May 2017 named Flutter. Flutter makes use of Dart programming language to ensure that cross-platform app development becomes more effortless. Add to that, Flutter is backed up by the world’s leading tech giant, Google. This framework is blessed with Google’s robust SDK.
Many developers have already shifted to Flutter due to its fast and easy mobile app development process. Below are some critical features of Flutter that we think you should know:
- Flutter comes with a feature called Hot Reload. This feature is particularly applicable for developers who are busy with bug fixing or trying out a new design. Whatever changes you make using Flutter are visible in real-time within a few seconds.
- Performance-wise too Flutter ranks way better than its native apps. Flutter uses Dart and helps the developers create a top-notch user experience.
- Flutter works well with Android and iOS platforms. In fact, there is this one-time coding feature that makes sure that you’re not maintaining two different files of the same app for iOS and Android versions. You can use the existing codes and create high-performance apps with minimal coding.
Why we think Flutter is the future of cross-platform app development
So, let’s get to the point now. Here’s why we think Flutter is the future of cross-platform app development:
1. Rapid Cross-platform App Development
Among the many reasons behind the increasing popularity of Flutter is that it offers possibly the fastest cross-platform app development experience. Developers can complete debugging and testing within a very short span of time with this robust framework. Meeting scheduled deadlines and cutting down the costs of app development is pretty easy with Flutter.
2. Seamless Firebase Integration and 2D Flare
For many of you who don’t know yet, Firebase is a well-known Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform for app development. Flutter is compatible with Firebase and that’s primarily the reason why Flutter and Firebase can be integrated seamlessly. Hence, for Flutter developers, services like analytics, crash reporting, databases become a lot easier.
If you’re looking for a platform that can help you create interactive animations, Flutter is the best choice for you. Flutter comes with a 2D Flare that is perfect for interactive, animated apps, cool UIs, and games. A developer with advanced knowledge of Flutter can easily create cool apps using Flutter.
3. Countless Open-source Packages
Flutter has numerous open-source packages and they’re available for free. As a result, app developers can use Flutter as per their convenience and without compromising any necessary functionality they want to include. Some of the best free open-source packages available on Flutter include Flutter ECommerce, Frideos_flutter, Loading Animations, etc. Also, Flutter has a dedicated global community to its name. This powerful community ensures that any queries on Flutter will be readily answered.
4. Single Code-base
We’ve already shed some light on this feature of Flutter. Let’s discuss a bit more. Flutter is a hassle-free app development kit. Mostly because it uses the same code-base for every platform whether it is web-apps, Android, or iOS. Developers and enterprises are always looking for app development frameworks that can complete the entire process with minimal effort, cost and time. And, Flutter does exactly that for app developers.
5. Personalized Widgets
Finally, you should also know that Flutter includes several widgets that are easily customizable. That eases out the jobs of the developers a bit. There are two main types of widgets on Flutter namely Cupertino and Material Design widgets. They make app development easier and make way for vibrant UIs.
6. Easy to Adapt
Flutter is way easier to adapt. Largely because this framework uses Google’s programming language, Dart. Dart may not be as popular as Java, C++, or Python; but the best thing about this programming language is its simplicity. Developers who are not familiar with Dart may need a week to learn this language. But after that, there’s no looking back. This efficiency and uncomplicated nature of Flutter makes it a top choice among developers. In fact, the Flutter documentation process is much simpler.
7. Best Choice for MVP
If you’re planning to develop Minimum Viable Products (MVP), Flutter is always the best choice. Largely because it is cost-effective, faster and a cross-platform app development framework. For medium-sized applications that need frequent updates and changes, Flutter is the greatest option. A single code base of Flutter works for both Android and iOS platforms.
3 Popular Apps that were developed with Flutter
Here we’ve added the examples of 3 famous apps that were developed using Flutter. Let’s have a look:
1. eBay Motors
eBay, the global retail giant is using Flutter as its app development framework. eBay Motors is an eCommerce platform that encourages users to buy and sell their cars online. You can bid and buy vehicles with utmost simplicity with this app.
Initially, eBay Motors had was facing the following problems:
- The limited-time before launching the app
- Need of a cool UI to attract all the existing users of eBay
The eBay engineering team started with Flutter which was just launched back then. They used the 1st version of Flutter and the results were satisfactory. Flutter helped eBay Motors with the following solutions:
- Hassle-free Development with a single code base
- Fast completion of programming
- Creation of awesome app UI with the built-in tools of Flutter
The next case study we’ll refer to is Reflectly. It is a journal app. Initially, this app was available in the iOS version only and was developed using React Native. However, soon they felt the need to introduce this app in the Android medium. Here are the problems that Reflectly faced:
- Before launching Reflectly for Android, this app decided to rewrite it completely in 2018.
- With Flutter, Reflectly completed on the rewriting within 2 months. They relaunched the app for both iOS and Android versions in mid-2019.
3. Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-retail giant has also used Flutter for one of their apps called Xianyu. Let’s discuss more on this:
- Alibaba already had an app made. But this brand wanted to add more functionalities to it. Hence, they selected Flutter.
- By deploying Flutter in a step-by-step manner, Alibaba group could add many interesting features to the Xianyu app.
- The creation and maintenance of Flutter became a lot easier for Alibaba due to its single code base feature.
- Later Xianyu app was downloaded 50 million times.
How Flutter is going to reshape the future of App Development in 2021 and ahead?
We believe that Flutter will continue to grow in 2021 and ahead. In fact, the face of app development will be changed for good, with Flutter. You can expect the following changes in this app in the upcoming days. Take a look:
- Dart, Google’s programming language, will introduce null safety features. This will mean null safety for the migration of any file systems and packages within Flutter.
- Enhanced ergonomics will be used in Flutter to improve its performances in both Android and iOS platforms.
- Developers can expect production-quality support for Linux, Windows, and max-OS.
- You can also expect the performance of the entire Flutter framework in terms of memory usage, storage, run time performance, etc.
We have included all the reasons that make Flutter a hit for app development. We have also explained that Flutter is going for several rounds of improvements in the upcoming days. So, if you’re not yet using Flutter, what is stopping you?
Let us know if you’ve any queries on Flutter app development. Also, we would like to know about your experiences with Flutter. Let us know in the comments section.