Flutter For Cross-Platform App Development

Flutter Cross-Platform App Development Framework

Using Flutter for cross-platform app development has become so popular that Google Flutter is now considered amongst the top and most powerful frameworks as compared to other cross-platform programming languages.

Flutter is Google’s UI toolkit for building native apps and engaging user interfaces for mobile, web and desktop from a single codebase and has become a common choice for startups, entrepreneurs and enterprises to create feature-rich applications at a lower cost than native app development.

The Flutter UI Framework, initially developed by Google, was introduced in February 2018 and is now being used by several top tech companies like eBay, Groupon, Tencent, etc

Flutter is growing rapidly, both in market presence and feature set, bringing it several steps ahead of some other top cross-platform frameworks in the mobile app development domain, due to the innovative speed at which the platform is being updated.

If you are looking for a cross-platform development framework for your app, you should certainly evaluate the option of using Flutter app development as Flutter can speed up the app development process and reduce development costs while providing aesthetic and smooth animation as part of a great user experience.

Cross-platform application development, unfortunately, still lacks the inherent quality that is delivered via native apps, from the native access to device in-built features like camera, microphone, map, etc to the ability to support highly concurrent applications.

However, entrepreneurs looking for a fast, low-cost solution for their ideas or for those looking for MVP development, Flutter provides a viable alternative to help get you from where you are, and take you towards where you want to be.

While the Flutter framework may take many years to become a viable replacement for native mobile apps, the speed at which Flutter is expanding, the future of cross-platform development will see the framework continuing to evolve in a positive direction.

Reasons To Consider The Flutter Framework

1. Single Codebase

The ‘write once’ feature makes Flutter stand out by writing common code for iOS, Android, desktop and web.  As a hybrid application development framework, Flutter reduces the development time while improving application quality, design, and speed.

2. Platform Specific Widgets

A unique Flutter feature is the support of platform centric widgets.  These enable Flutter mobile app developers to design platform specific UI and UX, which can deliver an experience which is closest to native.

3. Easy Development Language

The Flutter programming language, Dart, is based on the in-house language of Google.  Dart is a one-source, general-purpose language, which make Dart easy to learn for developers with any level of knowledge in other programming languages.

The Dart programming language can be used as a mobile app development framework and is also widely accessible for developing web, server and desktops apps.

4. Rapid Application Development

The Flutter framework delivers a capability to expedite the development and testing process.  The single codebase, along with the hot reload facility, makes it easy for developers to build an app while testing it in real-time, which can also play a crucial role in lowering development costs.

5. Open-Source Support

Flutter includes a collection of free open-source packages which support fast development, including YouTube Player and Flutter Ecommerce.  As Flutter is an end-to-end open-source platform, developers from across the world can add their work to the library, further extending the Flutter framework.

6. Comprehensive Documentation

The Flutter website offers extensive resources to developers coming from several platforms and who are new to its declarative UI style.  The wide range of documentation, when combined with the massive community that backs Flutter, often answers the question of “Why Flutter for app development?”.

7. Great Developer Experience

The Flutter framework comes with best-in-class IDE support through plugins for IntelliJ/Android Studio and Visual Studio Code.  The Flutter mobile application development process only requires knowledge of the Dart programming language and does not require additional knowledge of other programming languages like Swift or JavaScript.

Dart comes with two compilation modes – ahead-of-time and just-in-time – allowing for hot reload during the app development process. The Dart development language is statically typed, meaning it lets tools do all the heavy lifting for cross-platform development using Flutter.

How Does Flutter Compare To Other Cross-Platform Development Frameworks?

Consider a few of the ways Flutter compares with other top cross-platform development platforms:

Flutter vs React Native

React Native uses JavaScript to develop cross-platform applications and depends on third-party libraries to develop apps. Flutter developers create everything through a central location using the Dart programming language only.

React Native also consists of two parts in the architecture, Native components and the JS language and uses a bridge to interact with native components like camera, GPS, audio etc. Flutter does not need a bridge to connect with the native components, thus allowing Flutter apps to run faster compared to React Native.

Flutter vs Xamarin

Xamarin and Flutter are both open-source frameworks, however, Xamarin takes payment for commercial development, with Flutter being an end-to-end free solution.

From a performance perspective, Xamarin utilises forms, which decrease app performance due to the additional abstraction layer. Also, Xamarin may not handle heavy graphics as well as Flutter, which supports applications with complex visuals.

Flutter vs Ionic

Ionic and Flutter contain a few similarities and both platforms support the development of high-performance applications with native-like experiences.

Ionic makes heavy use of web technologies and is a great choice for desktop or web apps, however this may lower the speed and app performance. Flutter comes with app-centric libraries and widgets that are ideal for mobile-based applications.

When compared to other cross-platform development frameworks, Flutter certainly appears to either match, or exceed, their feature sets and performance benchmarks.

The speed at which Flutter is expanding, the future of cross-platform development will see the framework continue to evolve and become a viable choice as a development platform for startups, entrepreneurs and enterprises to create feature-rich applications at a lower cost.

Google Developers Video
Flutter Cross-Platform App Framework

Watch the video below to hear Martin Aguinis from the Flutter team discuss what goes on under the hood when you create apps with Flutter and how it’s different from other approaches to cross-platform app development:

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