Flutter is a mobile app development platform created by Google. It allows developers to create web, desktop, and cross-platform apps that run on Android and iOS devices. Flutter uses a reactive programming language called Dart, making development faster and easier than traditional methods.
If you're interested in learning more about Flutter or are thinking of using it to develop your next app, read on to find out everything you need to know.
Introduction to Flutter
Flutter is a mobile app SDK (software development kit) for building high-performance, high-fidelity apps for iOS and Android.
With powerful graphics and animation libraries, the Flutter framework makes it easy to build user interfaces that react smoothly in response to touch.
Flutter is built on the Dart programming language and provides a fast development workflow with hot reloading, so you can quickly iterate on your code.
Some of the top features of Flutter include:
- Dart programming language: Flutter uses the Dart programming language, which is easy to learn and allows you to develop high-quality apps.
- Hot reload: Flutter's "hot reload" feature lets you quickly and easily make changes to your app without restarting it.
- Expressive and flexible UI: Flutter's UI elements are built using the same principles as Google's Material Design guidelines, giving you an expressive and flexible way to create beautiful apps.
- Native performance: Flutter apps are compiled to native code, giving you the best possible performance on both iOS and Android.
- Open source: Flutter is an open-source project, which means you can use it for free and contribute to the platform's development.
How does Flutter work?
Flutter is a mobile app SDK that allows you to create high-quality native apps on iOS and Android. It is also the primary way to develop cross-platform apps with Google's new Fuchsia operating system.
The Flutter framework makes it easy for you to build user interfaces that are beautiful, fast, and responsive. The framework is also extensible, so you can easily add new features and functionality.
When creating a Flutter app, you'll be working with what's called a "widget." Widgets are the basic building blocks of a Flutter app, and they're used to create both the visual components of an app (like buttons and text) and the functional elements (like Stateless Widgets).
There are two types of widgets: Stateless Widgets and Stateful Widgets. As the name suggests, Stateless Widgets are those with no internal state (or "state," for short). These are the most straightforward widgets and are often used for buttons or text.
On the other hand, Stateful Widgets have an internal state, and this state can be changed over time, and it will be reflected in how the widget looks and behaves. Stateful Widgets are often used for user input fields or animation controllers.
You can easily create both Stateless and Stateful Widgets using the Dart programming language. You can also use various other development tools to help with the development process, including the Dart Analyzer and the Flutter Inspector.
Advantages of Flutter
There are several key benefits of using Flutter for developing mobile apps. They include:
- Flutter creates cross-platform applications: The same code can be used to build apps for both iOS and Android devices from a single codebase rather than switching between different platforms. This can save a lot of time and effort when developing mobile apps. In addition, Flutter can be used for web development to create web applications.
- Flutter has a rich set of widgets: Widgets are the building blocks of Flutter apps, and a wide variety of them are available. This makes it easy to create beautiful and custom user interfaces.
- Flutter is open source: Anyone can contribute to the development of Flutter, and a growing community of developers is using it. In addition, many helpful docs/tutorials are available online, created by the Flutter community on sites like Github.
- Flutter is free: There are no licensing fees or charges for Flutter app development. This makes it an attractive option for startups and developers who want to create high-quality apps without spending much money.
- Google backs Flutter: As a Google product, it receives significant support from the tech giant, which constantly works to improve it. This means developers can be confident that Flutter will continue developing and supporting it.
- Getting inspired by big successful apps built with Flutter: Some well-known examples include Google Ads, Reflectly, Xianyu by Alibaba, and Postmuse. This is handy for developers who want to see what is possible with Flutter before committing to using it for their projects.
- Easy debugging: The Dart programming language has excellent tools for debugging, like the Dart Analyzer and the DevTools suite. This makes it easy to find and fix bugs in Flutter apps.
- Automated testing: The Dart programming language has good support for automated testing, and the Flutter framework also has its own set of tools for testing. This makes it easy to create a unit, widget, and integration tests for Flutter apps so developers can constantly optimize and improve the quality of their apps.
- Hardware and software utilization: Flutter apps can access the full range of hardware and software capabilities. This means they can take advantage of features such as the camera, GPS, and fingerprint scanner. They can also use platform-specific features, such as push notifications on Android apps or Face ID on Apple iOS.
- Different screen adaptability: Flutter applications can be designed to work on various screen sizes and aspect ratios. This makes it easy to create apps that look great on both phones and tablets.
Despite its many advantages, Flutter does have some disadvantages that should be considered before using it for developing mobile applications.
- Not as many third-party libraries: While Flutter does have a rich set of widgets, there is still a lack of third-party libraries. Libraries are essential for adding app features and functionality, so this must be considered when using Flutter.
- Tooling is not yet as good as other platforms: The tooling for Flutter (the tools developers use to create apps) is not yet as mature or robust as other platforms, such as Swift on Xcode.
- Dart is not a widely-used programming language: Dart is relatively new compared to mature languages like Java. This means there may be a limited number of developers who are familiar with it and able to work with it.
- Bigger app size: With built-in widgets, Flutter apps tend to be larger than those built with other frameworks. This can be an issue if you are developing for a platform with limited storage space.
Types of businesses that should use Flutter
While Flutter has many advantages, it may not be the best choice for every project. Here are some examples of businesses that would benefit from using Flutter:
- Startups: Flutter is a good choice for startups because it is free and easy to use. It also has good tooling and libraries, so you can create a high-quality app without spending much money.
- Businesses with limited resources: Flutter is a good option if you have limited resources, such as time or money. This is because it doesn't require as much time or money to develop an app.
- Businesses that need to create an MVP: An MVP (minimum viable product) is a product with the minimum number of features needed to succeed. Flutter is a good choice for creating an MVP because it is quick and easy to use.
Conversely, here are some businesses that might not be a good fit for Flutter:
- Businesses with large teams: Flutter might not be the best choice if you have a large team. This is because it can be challenging to find Dart developers, and the tooling is not yet as robust as other platforms.
- Businesses that need highly customized apps: If you need an app that is very custom or requires many features, Flutter might not be the best option. This is because there is a lack of third-party libraries.
If you need help with web, desktop, or mobile development, you may want to hire a Flutter developer. This can be not easy, as developers with experience building apps in this framework are still relatively rare.
Nevertheless, our professional expertise in the development area can be of great benefit for those looking forward to developing high-quality apps meeting the requirements and more.
Reach out to learn more about how we can help you develop your projects.