In one of our recent blogs, we discussed native and cross-platform mobile app development. As we said, it’s not that one approach is inherently better than the other, it just depends on what you are trying to accomplish. The same can be said about different development platforms. Taking a closer look at development frameworks, we wanted to start with the increasingly popular Flutter.
What is Flutter?
If you’re involved in the development world, chances are you have heard of Flutter.
Flutter is an open-source mobile application development framework for building natively compiled application on multiple platforms.
As a framework that is optimized for cross-platform mobile development, it allows you to write a single codebase that can be run on multiple platforms. This means that you do not have to create separate dev teams for iOS or Android, since everything can be handled in Flutter. Since it is from the same codebase, this can also provide better visual consistency across platforms. These features are common aspects of many cross-platform development frameworks, so let’s take a closer look at some things that make Flutter a good choice.
The Advantages of Flutter
Recently, Flutter had their annual conference, Flutter Forward. There, they emphasized what we already knew: Flutter is very popular among developers. According to their statistics, there are over 5 million Flutter developers who have created over 700,000 mobile apps, making it one of the top 3 open-source projects by contributors on GitHub (Octoverse 2022).
This is advantageous since that means there is a lot of reference material on GitHub. If you face a roadblock during development, you can easily reach out to a network of thousands of other developers who may have advice, or even code for exactly what you need.
Ease of Entry
Flutter’s large community is partly due to its relative ease of entry. Of course, everyone is different and learns at their own pace, but Flutter is considered one of the easier frameworks to get to know. It utilizes Dart, a popular coding language with simple syntax and strong typing, to provide a simple and flexible development framework. If you already know Dart or are used to learning new languages and frameworks, it will not take long at all to get used to Flutter. But even if it does take some extra time, it may be worth the investment once you start making cross-platform mobile apps.
Flutter has been popular in the software development space for over three years, making it one of the more mature cross-development frameworks out there. This is not just reflected in its age but also in its user base and management.
With a large community of users who have been developing with Flutter for a number of years, there have been many opportunities for the Flutter team to receive feedback and optimize the framework. Not to mention this team is backed by Google, which can provide significant resources and draw upon piles of data for continued development and improvement.
When to Choose Flutter
Flutter can be a safe choice for many development projects thanks to its versatility and reliability. It can create production-quality applications across platforms with beautiful interfaces and graphics – even if nothing still quite beats a native app for pure aesthetics. If you are only looking to develop for one platform, you may as well use a native framework, but if you are considering cross-platform development – even if it’s only in the future – Flutter should be a strong contender.
Flutter is well-suited for Agile development and can be effectively utilized by teams that want to receive rapid feedback on their code. It uses a fast development cycle with hot reload which supports Agile developers in deploying, testing, tweaking, and redesigning their code.
Mobile application developers have a variety of frameworks to choose from. Flutter is a strong contender for those who wish to develop a cross-platform app with ease and agility without sacrificing much by way of functionality. Flutter is also growing rapidly and has big plans for the future, so getting used to it may well be advantageous down the line, even if you don’t explicitly need its capabilities today.
Flutter is just one of many suitable frameworks that mobile application developers can choose from. If you have a development project you could use support on, we can help you choose a strong framework, generate requirements, build a delivery pipeline, or just do the whole thing, soup-to-nuts. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, just email us at email@example.com.