Why do IT companies love Flutter so much? There are many reasons you should know about. In the realities of modern mobile development, new opportunities have appeared and they compete with the usual native development. Flutter is the open-source hybrid mobile app SDK released by Google in 2018. After the release, we immediately began to study it and already wrote several large projects on it. We want to share with you experience on how this alternative works and how it will be useful to you.
WHAT IS CROSS-PLATFORM
There are 2 directions in mobile development – native and cross-platform. Native applications are developed uniquely for each operating system: iOS and Android. Mostly, the popular Swift and Kotlin are used for this. Globally, this is a classic of mobile development, and many developers still prefer it. However, startups, businesses, and, developers themselves realize the inefficiency of this approach for all cases of a project or idea. Because native development requires much more:
- development time
- need to have separate teams for both apps
It has become relevant to reduce the cost of development resources and accelerate market entry because the competition is only growing.
Cross-platform is a set of tools with which you can develop an app that works both on iOS and Android. The main differences between these two types of development, we described in more detail in our recent article.
There are many frameworks for hybrid development today. Among them: Flutter, React Native, Ionic, Xamarin, Titanium, PhoneGap. We’ll talk specifically about Flutter, because it is growing steadily in popularity among developers and is their favorite cross-platform framework, according to a study by Stack Overflow.
WHAT IS UNIQUE IN FLUTTER
The correct cross-platform must meet 2 requirements:
- save money and time
- provide a quality user experience
The task of cross-platform is not only to create one app instead of two. It is necessary to minimize the problems with adaptation for each platform, as well as reduce the time for testing, updating, and supporting the mobile app.
The more functions are planed, the more difficult the app is, the harder it is to make changes to the product. It has been a problem for this type of apps for a long time. In this regard, Flutter works better than any other tool – adaptation is faster and easier.
But this is about efficiency, which other frameworks do pretty well too. What about user experience? When you create such a mobile app, it is important that users perceive it as native – as if it was written only for this particular platform. The design should be specific to this operating system, taking into account the unique interface elements and gestures in usability. In this matter, not a single framework could get closer to the ideal. And Flutter is able and appreciated for it.
Some hybrid apps look like a more leveled mobile version of the site. Animations slow down or unusual interface elements for this OS are introduced. This makes the user experience poor. As a result, the app cannot become popular. Flutter doesn`t have such a problem, it uses familiar and user-friendly native elements.
Flutter is good for its convenient tools, the ease of creating animations and UI components that look no worse than natives.
This technology allows you to build quality micro-interactions that give the user confidence and comfort. And this is about thoughtful UX, which is common for native mobile apps. Thanks to Flutter and similar frameworks, the cross-platform is now also adapted to the user experience.
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT FLUTTER GIVES
A hybrid app on Flutter will have all the advantages of native development and will make it possible to reuse most of the code between different platforms. You shouldn`t create business logic, interface, and layout separately, taking into account the characteristics of each OS. Flutter is compiled into native code and doesn’t run in a browser, like most cross-platforms.
In the app development, this SDK provides:
- flexibility and customization
- high performance
- the ability to support and develop the app easily
- development acceleration by 20-50%
- quick launch of the finished product
With Flutter, it’s possible not only to save developers time on the fact that the code is written for one platform but to take and use ready-made solutions and features in the framework. Requests to the server are made asynchronously, as well as working with files and the operating system API. This means that this tool doesn`t reduce the performance of the mobile app due to the support of two systems. Moreover, development on Flutter is cheaper than native. All thanks to significant time savings and fewer developers on the project.
WHAT YOU CAN BUILD ON FLUTTER
In fact, you can write any app you need. Good tools in the hands of a talented developer – and a cross-platform app for your business is ready. There are nuances when you need to do integrations with sensors or other devices. But we had a case of an app for tracking health conditions, and we tested for ourselves how the “bridges” work – tools for integrating native code. In practice, there were no difficulties with it.
Flutter is often used by small and medium-sized businesses because it is cheaper and faster. But developers of large companies are becoming more and more interested in it, finding in it the key to optimizing their work.
For these markets and app types, Flutter will be especially effective:
- retail (online stores and catalogs)
- independent m-commerce direction
- banks and fintech
- medicine and healthcare
- HoReCa and tourism
- internal applications for medium and large companies
- any applications that display data received from the server
It is up to you to decide which team and tool for developing your business app will be. However, it is important to consider that Flutter is keeping positions and, since 2018, has simplified development work and has made life easier for customers, helping to develop truly high-quality and popular apps. Among the well-known companies that have chosen the cross-platform: Uber, Airbnb, Instagram, KFC.
Not everyone has yet understood the awesomeness of Flutter, you may be among those who have succeeded and one of the first to release a convenient hybrid app in their niche. Just don`t forget how important it is to write the right specifications for the project to get the expected result. On this subject, we wrote the guide-article. If you have questions or want to discuss the mobile app project, please contact us by the button below.