As of mid-2020, there are more than 50,000 Flutter apps on Google Play Store. Over half a million app developers use Flutter each month, and their love is visible in the forums of StackOverflow and GitHub. Apparently, Flutter is coming out as a winner in the cross-platform app development space & proving a valuable competitor to React Native.
The fame of Flutter has hiked massively despite it being such a young framework. Here’s a look at how the no. of questions about Flutter on StackOverflow has risen more than its competitors.
This article will discuss the reasons that Flutter is a super reliable cross-platform app development framework. Later, we’ll also discuss some drawbacks that it entails.
Advantages of Flutter
1. Write Once, Use Anywhere
If you need an iOS, Android, or web app, Flutter gets the task done with only a single codebase. That’s what all cross-platform frameworks are meant to do, but Flutter makes the process super easy, and the outcomes are stunning.
Flutter’s custom widgets create prototypes easier than ever. Flutter helps Google create Ambient Computing, the idea that apps developed with Flutter are available anywhere you need them to be, totally free of device limitations.
2. Hot Reload
Flutter’s hot reload is indeed a great development tool, investing hours of time and doing wonders for app developers’ sanity.
Mainly, hot reload is a feature that allows developers to make changes to the code & look at them take effect in real-time. Thus, when you modify the app or have a developer-designer collaboration session, making alterations and trying new stuff is simple. You don’t need to reset the whole app to see the changes you made. Make an icon a pixel bigger or color the button a shade lighter, everything you do is quicker and easier with a hot reload.
3. Quicker Development
In an extremely competitive environment of the existing digital landscape, getting to the market quicker could be the one thing that gets you above the competition.
When you choose Flutter, you get to build your app faster than the regular native app. You just don’t save time because you are writing a single codebase to run all the platforms; multiple other features in Flutter help save time across the development cycle.
Hot reload makes the development many weeks quicker as you invest less time performing reviews and changes. Since you have only a single codebase to test, testing & debugging takes less time.
4. App Maintenance Becomes Easier Due to Simultaneous Android & iOS Updates
As your Flutter app uses the same codebase across platforms, implementing updates is another feature that becomes more simple and smooth. You can launch updates for iOS and Android apps simultaneously, vastly reducing the changes in back-end infra and integration and implementation issues that often emerge when different developers work on other platforms.
Therefore, once your app is released, you can spend all your energy on expanding your user base and enhancing your core offering. App maintenance tasks like bug fixing can be managed easily with Flutter app development in 2021.
Hence, startups can also save money by parting ways with the development team and picking to tackle app maintenance in-house. Even if it means recruiting in-house developers, with Flutter, you would require only one developer, not two for iOS and Android.
5. Future Ready with Fuchsia Support
There are assumptions that Google is working on a new OS called Fuchsia that would ultimately replace Android. Whether or not, you should know that Flutter is ready with Fuchsia support, and you can launch your Fuchsia app the day it is released. This will tend to be a significant leg up when the change occurs and other apps are transitioning.
6. Flutter Apps Adjust To Different Screens Better
There is a major comeback of flip mobiles and foldable phones taking the markets by a storm. Making apps work seamlessly on screens that range from narrow, long rectangles to almost square-shaped interfaces is not simple as good developers make it look.
Flutter helps this, thanks to its declarative nature & layout system. Writing apps, so they fit different layouts is easier in Flutter than in Android or iOS.
7. Use Device Hardware
The most significant feature separating apps from web pages is their skill to apply device features for a more immersive experience. Flutter allows you to use all these device features to their full potential without any lag. Flutter community has prepared channels for most of the native functions of a standard smartphone, so you don’t have to do it initially. All these channels are available to the whole developer community.
Drawbacks of Flutter
1. Getting the Platform a Specific Look & Feel
While Flutter will allow you to run a high-performance app on iOS and Android with only a single codebase, having the perfect platform-specific look & feel could be a bit lacking for the perfectionist’s taste if you need your app to follow Material Design principles on Android devices & Apple Design System on iOS, you might want to prepare 2 separate apps.
2. Flutter Is a Modern Tech
As this is modern tech, there are high chances that it evolves in a way that does not always agree. Although it has strong support from Google, Flutter is likely to be used in their new OS and will continue to remain relevant.
3. New iOS & Android Features Might Get Introduced Later
Updates implemented by iOS and Android will get introduced in their native SDKs first & on later on Flutter. To maintain system compatibility, it is usually seen that developers can’t add new system features on day 1, even in native apps. So that one seems to even out relatively smoothly.
The Bottom Line
Despite some drawbacks of Flutter app development, the benefits do outweigh the cons; knowing them nonetheless is a good thing. Suppose you are always particular about your app’s look & feel and think that you may end up coding various features in native languages and sync them into Dart. In that case, you might want to consider complying with native development. But Flutter gives you unquestionable benefits like quicker development and cost savings. Quicker developments allow you to verify your MVP idea faster, start user testing earlier and save funds.