Considering Flutter for your next app? Read our comprehensive review of Flutter application development, exploring its pros and cons, and discover why this UI software development kit has become a go-to tool for cross-platform development.
Flutter Application Development: Pros and Cons
If you design your app for iOS, it won’t match Android requirements - you have to design your app from scratch to work on a different operating system.So, how to overcome this issue? Google came out with an open-source solution called Flutter.
Flutter is a user interface (UI) software development kit (SDK), which allows cross-platform development. What that means, is that you can design native apps for Android, iOS, Linux, and macOS with a single tool and a single codebase - your app doesn’t require any translations or bridges to fully function across devices. But, Flutter is a go-to tool for fast development, testing, prototyping, and MVPs for one more crucial reason - it has a large base of pre-written widgets, documentation & API, complete frameworks, and access to libraries, that make working on an app a lot easier, so If you would like to battle-test the idea with users or build a quick MVP, Flutter will deliver Next thing you know, your idea is ready to test.
Building your dream app withFlutter is easier and faster, but… is it all glitz and glamour? Let us review the pros and cons of this SDK and check its main features, which might help you to choose the best tool to bring your ideas to the market.
Dart as a programming language
Hot Reload shows changes on the go
To explain this the easiest way possible - imagine walking into a room and choosing the wallpaper colour with a click. Red? Pink? Orange? The surroundings change on the go. The same happens with hot reload - any changes applied to the code are implemented on the spot into your app’s interface. This way you can see the difference instantly, test out new solutions and try new ideas on the go. If you don’t like it, you can always come back to the previous application state. Time is money, and the Hot Reload feature saves many resources, reducing testing time, MVP delivery, and Time-to-Market speed. But there are other ways to save up some time with Flutter.
Saving time with Ready-to-Use Widgets
One of Flutter’s main advantages is that it’s based on widgets. Since its object-oriented architecture is organized in trees, you can apply widgets from the very basic level (a button or a font), up to higher layers, that determine the general functionalities of your app. There is a wide range of widgets to choose from, and you can really see the effort put into developing them - they perform great, they are easily customizable, and… they save time. Of course, you can build your own widgets from scratch, but there’s plenty to choose from already. You can use them as a starting point to scale up a certain feature or a codebase for a custom design.They don’t need any platform-specific components - Flutter provides widgets that work the same as Android’s Material Design ones and Apple’s Cupertino UI designs. If you are worried about notifications, icons, messages, or animations looking the same across all platforms, then widgets are here to reassure you about it.
A true cross-platform Rendering Engine
Working on Flutter’s framework requires a matching cross-platform rendering engine that can handle infallible& smoothly designed apps. That’s why Flutter uses Skia - a 2D graphics library, that places your application in a canvas provided by the native operating system. To put it simply - it’s the additional ingredient to a cooked dish… and the one that makes it taste the same, no matter the time or place.We’ve already established that Flutter is a great SDK for working on differentOS, but Skia is what literally makes the transfer and puts your app to work no matter the platform. It’s worth mentioning before we close our list of advantages with one more major asset.
It’s free to use - learn, code, and communicate
Flutter is a free-of-charge framework, even for commercial use. You might find a price tag on some extra tools required, but the basic SDK is free, to begin with. If you are new toFlutter, there is a free tutorial for beginners (on the freeCodeCamp channel)and a lot of unpaid training content, provided by Flutter’s owner itself -Google. Also, a large community of developers can help whether you need Dart support or have questions about custom UI features. There are dedicated forums and online groups that can provide any new beginner with the advice needed.
So, are there any flaws to Flutter at all?
The answer is - yes. As philosophically as it might sound, every technology has its drawbacks, or space for improvement to say the least. The Flutter team has worked hard to fix the major flaws. They have provided us with web app development, which makes Flutter go beyond mobile-onlySDK, they have also improved support for iOS features, following suggestions and complaints of Flutter’s users. But there seem to be two more areas that need to be mentioned when speaking of Flutter objectively.
Not all third-party libraries are welcome
Apps in XXL size
Applications designed on Flutter are heavier than the ones built natively. All the widgets, functions, and animations have to be compiled in a way readable for any OS given, and that can take up some space… how much, you may ask? Flutter-developed apps weigh in at least 4MB, whereas native ones can fit in 500KB scope. It’s not only a matter of size - but larger apps also take more time to download or update and… are more likely taken into consideration when there’s a need to remove something to make space for all the upcoming holiday photos.
Overall, Flutter is an impressive tool if you want to prototype your creations on the go. It speeds up the development process by providing customizable widgets, helps you to instantly see script changes thanks to hot reload, and provides the same smooth performance across platforms. If you are building an MVP or are about to pitch your app idea, Flutter will save you time and astonish you with its flexibility, which might be crucial in the early stages. If you’re thinking of an app for both iOS, WP, and Android, then this cross-platform STK has a truly translatable, native feel, and saves a lot of time, keeping the user experience unaltered. Flutter’s future is also rather painted in bright colours. It’s one of the fastest-growing skills among software developers on LinkedIn, it’s open source & free, but most importantly - it’s supported and frequently used by the Google giant. That sounds like a recipe for longevity, right? It just might be. Since Flutter is by far the fastest way to deliver a functioning app, you won’t waste much by risking a chance to try it.