Benefits of Flutter – what are the advantages?
The vogue for Flutter seems to be persistent and even growing stronger. We already wrote about its phenomenon in our article: Flutter vs. React Native: Which is a better choice for app development, but today it’s time to focus only on Google’s framework. The cross-platform apps are reigning now, so it’s nothing unusual that Flutter is very popular. It is a representative of this technology and, besides, a very good one, offering one code base, fast product delivery, and good performance.
So it’s no surprise that many applications are based on Flutter. We’ve listed some of the most interesting ones in 10 Best Mobile Apps Built With Flutter. It is true that in this area it fares slightly worse than React Native, but forecasts say that more and more well-known brands will be interested in Flutter. Its many advantages certainly have a huge impact on it. Let’s start by remembering how this framework works, and then move on to the main topic, which is why Flutter is so much appreciated.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a UI software development toolkit based on an object-oriented language, Dart. The framework is a Google’s solution, it contains sets of its own, fully-customizable widgets which incorporate all critical platform differences. These two sets of widgets adapt to specific design languages: Material Design widgets implement Google’s design language of the same name, and Cupertino widgets implement Apple’s iOS Human interface guidelines. There’s no need to search for any additional libraries to build a good looking interface. Moreover, the Foundation library, which is written in Dart, provides basic classes and functions that are used to construct applications using Flutter. Its engine, created primarily in C++, provides low-level rendering support using Google’s Skia graphics library. Additionally, it connects with platform-specific SDKs.
Flutter was introduced to the world at the 2015 Dart developer summit when it was presented by the name of “Sky”, however, it was not until December 2018 that the first version deemed stable was released. Despite its relatively short presence, it is currently one of the most popular frameworks that allow developers to build apps quickly with a lot of ready-to-use components available.
Benefits of Flutter Development
Let’s move on to the clue of our discussion of Flutter. The advantages of this framework are very wide, which is why we divided them into technological and business. However, this is a fairly conventional division, because these advantages are very dependent on each other, and often overlap.
From the perspective of people working on software development directly, Flutter is a tool that makes it much easier for them to create, test or implement code. Let’s take a look at what Flutter has to offer from a technology standpoint:
Thanks to the Hot Reload function, as soon as any code modification is made, it’s then displayed in Flutter and developers can easily observe their improvements in the code. It also improves work of front-end developers and UI designers – they can make changes to the app’s appearance and see them immediately. Nevertheless, what distinguishes Flutter is the ability to quickly create visually attractive applications with the performance we know from the world of native ones. This is also influenced by the available ready-made components and widgets that accelerate the work of developers.
Access to native features
In cross-platform applications, achieving a native look and feel is key and has a huge impact on a good user experience. Flutter has a rich library of widgets that perfectly mimic native ones. Some of the app functions, ex. access to the camera, have to be implemented in native languages too. Flutter uses a flexible system that allows calling platform-specific APIs whether available in Kotlin or Java code on Android, or Swift or Objective-C code on iOS, so you don’t have to sacrifice certain features. Thanks to this, by choosing Flutter, we can still achieve the effects that the native development would give us, both visually and in the use of the application.
Read more about Swift and Kotlin in our related articles:
- React Native vs Swift – Which is better? Which to choose?
- Swift Design Patterns – Which are the Most Popular?
- What is Kotlin Used For?
Quick UI coding
This is one of the key features of Flutter. Due to the use of Google’s Skia graphics engine, that provides low-level rendering support and the package of its widgets included, UI can be highly customizable. For designers, it may also be good news that there is only one version of the UI design needed. Therefore, they do not have to spend time on separate projects for each platform. No matter the operating system, Flutter apps will always look good, modern and consistent.
Flutter is based on a high-performance language compiled to native, ARM and x86 libraries. It doesn’t need a bridge for its modules either. It has everything packed inside, including the already mentioned frameworks Cupertino and Material Design and uses a highly effective 2D rendering engine, Skia. Stability and predictability are the domain of the Flutter applications. Additionally, some of the deep performance tests show that Flutter is perfectly suited for highly CPU-intensive operations, from a CPU and memory perspective.
One code base for each platform makes the testing process easier and faster. Developers do not need to write automated tests for Android and iOS separately, and Quality Assurance specialists only have one version of the app to check. It also significantly speeds up the development of the application, and thus, stakeholders can save a large amount of money from the project budget.
The business side of the project is mainly represented by stakeholders. However, the good development team also takes care of value and delivers the best possible product. For example, with an agile approach, using Scrum, Project Manager or Scrum Master, they are responsible for ensuring quality and maintaining business values. The main advantages for your company that Flutter brings are:
You would definitely want the application to be released to consumers as soon as possible. If it is going to be an application for internal use in your company, the time of its presentation to co-workers is definitely the key to improving the workflow. Flutter greatly speeds up the development time, and thus the delivery of the finished product to the market. This allows not only to reduce the budget for the development itself but also to earn money faster on the application.
Only one development team for all platforms
One code base for each platform is also one development team dealing with the application. This affects not only the acceleration of the process and the introduction to the market of applications for each platform we choose but also coherence, better work culture and understanding of the vision. The committed and specialized team has a lot to highlight when building the app, but it will also be able to take care of the maintenance of each version of the application, regardless of the platform, faster and more efficiently. From a business point of view, this is of great importance for building product quality and value.
One of the most important features of Flutter is its ensuring consistency of the application interface across all platforms. This is because Flutter uses its rendering engine. It is very important from the perspective of the brand, a few different looking apps would not have a positive effect on the recognition and association of the system with a given company. Luckily, Flutter helps to avoid this problem.
Allows building an MVP quickly
Flutter will be a perfect choice here. Suppose you have investors who really want to see a more tangible product quickly before the app enters the market. You want to show the MVP, but you have very little time. Then definitely choose Flutter. You will create a representative MVP in a short time, and later development will not take ages.
Learn more about this topic from our related article:
Saves time and money
This point is a kind of summary of the above conclusions – Flutter allows you to reduce the budget and create an application that is as good as in other frameworks and would require more expenditure. This is directly related to a shorter, much faster and more efficient application development process.
When should you use Flutter?
With its fast-growing community of developers, well-described documentation and the ease of learning it, Flutter is a great solution for startups and small businesses. It’s perfect if you need a quick app development tool with an immediate preview of the changes made directly on the application, so go for it when you want to build an MVP in a short time. Flutter will ensure you with a universal, fast performing application even on older versions of iOS or Android.
Will Flutter completely dominate the cross-platform application market? It is hard to arbitrate. It has a strong competitor in the form of React Native, which does not mean, however, that it will be a significant technology for a very long time. Its advantages speak for themselves – it is a great framework that has a lot to offer both developers and businesses.