With mobile apps becoming such an integral part of our lives, the number of apps launched on Android has exceeded the 100 thousand per month mark, in addition to 30,000+ iOS releases. Many businesses have an opportunity to create an application as development services have become accessible even to small companies, but an overwhelming number of apps still fail. Among other things, your choice of technology is an important success factor. Choosing a language or framework with poor performance might drastically reduce your chances for success.

flutter app development mobile app users

Our choice is Flutter app development, a cross-platform UI toolkit for mobile, web, and desktop applications. Flutter is a technology used by small companies and also large brands, such as Alibaba.com, Abbey Road Studios, and The New York Times. We prefer Flutter to its alternatives because it allows us to build aesthetically pleasing apps in record-breaking time. In this article, we will dive into the benefits and drawbacks of Flutter, as well as talk about the most relevant use cases. We will dive into what the Flutter app is and how app development using Flutter tools can help you build a successful product.

What is Flutter?

flutter app development

Before getting into details about the advantages and weaknesses of this cross-platform technology, let’s try to explore the definition of Flutter. What is Flutter and why are we talking about it today? Flutter is an open-source technology delivered by Google to develop mobile, web, and desktop applications with a single codebase that can be used for multiple platforms. The technology is a goldmine for cross-platform app development because it is not a library or framework that is used in addition to other technologies, but rather a UI software development kit (SDK).

A library refers to pieces of code that can be utilized in an app to perform a certain function, whereas a framework acts as a structure to the future app by providing you with tools to complete the architecture. An SDK is a set of various tools, including libraries, frameworks, documentation, APIs, etc., sufficient enough to build a fully functioning application.

Flutter is often compared with other languages and frameworks, such as React Native, Xamarin, and even Kotlin. You can read more about native app development with Kotlin vs. cross-platform app creation with Flutter here. Besides that, you can learn about React Native vs. Flutter for platform-independent app development here.

Why Flutter?

flutter app development advantages

What is Flutter app development and how will it help you achieve your business goals? In this section, we will take a closer look at the benefits of Flutter and try to establish the reasons why so many companies decide to use this technology for their cross-platform app development.

 

1. Cross-platform App Development

If you are new to app development, you might be overwhelmed with information about how to create an Android application or launch an iOS app. So why not develop for iOS and Android at the same time? With Flutter, you gain access to simple cross-platform mobile app development tools designed to save you time and reduce the headaches typically associated with developing two apps simultaneously. With one codebase for both platforms, your job is much easier.

 

2. It’s Fast, Fast, Fast

When it comes to mobile app development, speed is the name of the game. For developers, here’s how Flutter hits the mark: Any changes in the code are immediately visible in the app. Flutter calls this “hot reload” and defines it as follows: Flutter’s hot reload feature helps you quickly and easily experiment, build UIs, add features, and fix bugs.

Hot reload works by injecting updated source code files into the running Dart Virtual Machine (VM). After the VM updates classes with the new versions of fields and functions, the Flutter framework automatically rebuilds the widget tree, allowing you to quickly view the effects of your changes. Taking this one step further, consider how much it helps the developer-designer relationship. For example, your designer can prompt your Flutter engineer to make changes, such as “move five pixels to the left.” From there, the update is immediately available, thus allowing the designer to instantly determine if it’s the right look.

 

3. Support for Older Devices

It’s a major concern of all developers, especially as updated operating systems are regularly pushed out to users. With Flutter, your app will appear the same, even if it’s running on older versions of Android and iOS. This is a big deal for many reasons:

1.

It saves developers time (and headaches).

2.

It reduces costs.

3.

It ensures a top-notch user experience (which is the primary goal).

And with Flutter, there are no add-on costs for supporting older operating systems.

 

4. Top-notch user experience

Flutter app development is about using ready-made widgets to create applications. Compared to other common approaches like layouts, views, or controllers, Flutter’s widget technique allows for a consistent object model and easy to use developing process. From button to font, everything you touch is a widget in Flutter development, whereas widgets can be combined to constitute more complex layouts.

Flutter app developers gain access to a wide selection of widgets that can be reused and customized to create exquisite user interfaces. However, Flutter’s widgets are organized in trees, which is why it is imperative to plan ahead if you are building a large app.

 

5. Cost efficiency

Building one codebase instead of two is an obvious advantage. Money will be saved due to a shortened development cycle, fewer developers, as well as reduced complexity. As a result, you will be releasing two apps for Android and iOS faster and on a smaller budget.

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6. Google guaranteed

Apps made with Flutter are guaranteed years-long support from Google as the company uses the technology itself. You can be sure that Google will continue to fix bugs, release new versions, and contribute to the technology as much as they can. Flutter app development is involved in many Google projects such as Google Fuchsia,which is proof that Flutter will be around for a long time.

 

7. Flutter 2

Flutter 2 is the new version that encompasses the transformation from purely mobile app development technology to complete platform independence. Now Flutter can be used to run apps on Linux, Windows, and macOS, besides Android and iOS. Moreover, the Flutter team is working on expanding the technology to IoT and wearables, like smart home appliances.

 

8. Elevated performance

Even at the iOS Summit back in 2017, Flutter showed higher performance compared to Xamarin and React Native:

01

Flutter vs Xamarin:

Flutter showed 58fps and a 220 ms launch time whereas Xamarin came with 53fps and 345 ms.
02

Flutter vs React Native:

React Native performed with 57fps and 229 ms next to 58fps and 220ms that Flutter showed.

fps = frames per second (frame rate or frame frequency)
ms = millisecond (0,001 second)

 

These days, Flutter has enhanced the metrics and now it demonstrates the speed improvement to 61 ms.

 

9. Great MVP builder

MVPs have become the must-have for every startup as they can help you to validate your idea and get the initial funding for your project. MVPs are small, basic app versions with essential features that are easy to build and launch. They exist to test the concept and collect the first feedback to make a better app in the next iteration. Without an MVP, companies have a tough time finding investors and have to go into development blindly. Flutter app development is a great choice for an MVP, as the SDK is extensive, easy to understand and learn, and delivers excellent apps.

Are There Any Potential Drawbacks?

We use the word potential because any perceived drawback associated with Flutter can be overcome with the right approach. For example, here are a couple of issues we’ve faced at DOIT Software – and a quick Google search will show that it’s a concern among others.

01

Lack of support

Even though Flutter has improved in this area since its launch, there’s still a lot to be desired. If you’re seeking support, you’ll find some of what you’re looking for on the Flutter website, however, you’re probably best using social media and third-party forums for assistance.
Tip: check GitHub for answers to common questions and concerns.
02

Platform limitations

In general, there are some limitations, thus forcing developers to find “workarounds”. For example, you can easily implement a video player in Flutter, but it doesn’t appear the same upon deployment. On the plus side, there’s a solution for all these limitations; you simply need to find the appropriate one.
Tip: hire talented and inquisitive Flutter developers who will come up with creative solutions to limitations.

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When to Use/not to use Flutter

What is Flutter app development suited for? What types of applications can be built using Flutter programming language Dart and why? We already know that Flutter development delivers aesthetically appealing interactive apps that can run on multiple operating systems. Let’s explore the most fitting kinds of applications that you can build with Flutter.

 

Types of Applications

Gaming apps

As we have learned, Flutter performs faster than most frameworks with 58 fps. Especially for the gaming industry, high performance is vital for a successful app. Games have to run smoothly and quickly, otherwise users will get very frustrated and abandon your app. Flutter app development is a great choice for building a high-performance gaming app, as well as for applying innovative AR features.

 

On-demand apps

On-demand applications are one of the trendiest markets for app creation. Especially during quarantines, people were unable or restricted to go out and purchase food, medicine, clothes, etc. This is where on-demand applications found their potential. Flutter app development provides native-like performance, exceptional design, and a great user interface, which makes it the go-to technology for the market.

 

Photo editing apps

Flutter app development allows you to create applications for photo editing with intuitive interfaces and personalized suggestions. With more and more people having accounts on Instagram and other social media platforms, getting a simple tool to polish pictures is almost a must-have. And Flutter is exactly the tool to use to build an easy-to-use app with advanced features.

 

What else can Flutter do?

Machine learning (ML) is another trend in the mobile app world, as it enables personalization and accurate sales forecasts. The technology has been gaining more and more popularity in the last decade, and Flutter development allows for integrating ML into your app. Flutter offers a plugin, firebase_ml_vision 0.9.7, that gives access to Firebase’s ML features and kits. Using this kit, even inexperienced Flutter developers can add ML components to their applications, such as face or speech recognition.

Top Flutter apps

flutter app development top 5 flutter apps

 

Google Ads

Google Ads is a mobile version of the web application that allows you to continue working on your ad campaigns, even when you are away from your computer or laptop. Even though the mobile version is not as extensive as the web one, it still gives you access to statistics, bid and budget updates, helpful alerts, and keyword altering. Finally, you can contact a Google expert to ask questions about the program to stay on top of things. The application was developed using Flutter, and has an intuitive and beautiful interface.

Installs: 10,000,000+

 

Reflectly

Another solution on the list of apps built with Flutter is Reflectly, an AI-driven app based on cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation. The app is dedicated to helping users cope with day-to-day stress and stay positive, no matter what comes their way. Flutter app development allowed for a high-performance application with real-time updates and alerts, as well as valuable insights in dealing with mental health crises.

Installs: 1,000,000+

 

Xianyu

Xianyu is an app that was developed for the Alibaba corporation to increase sales. Flutter development delivered an app that handles hundreds of millions of monthly users and manages to provide excellent speed and performance. Flutter apps are fast, robust, and scalable, which is why the wise Alibaba team went with this technology and did not err.

Installs: 10,000,000+

 

Postmuse

With the unprecedented popularity of Instagram, a plethora of supporting tools and apps have been launched for it. Postmuse is one of the apps built with Flutter that provides templates and editing options for Instagram stories and photos. The app is also AI-powered and recommends the best picture to make your Instagram profile even better.

Installs: 10,000+

 

Pairing

Pairing is a Dart mobile app for dating purposes. Developed with Flutter, Pairing presents the utmost performance and native feel for both Android and iOS platforms. The app matches users based on their real-world connections and communities.

Installs: 100,000+

Conclusion

Flutter app development helps businesses create native-like apps on a smaller budget and launch them on both Android and iOS operating systems simultaneously. We at DOIT Software choose Flutter as our primary technology. Being a Flutter app development company, we are available to help you achieve your business goals and create the best app for your purposes.

flutter app development clutch

According to the Clutch Leaders Matrix, we’re among the market leaders in the Flutter app development space.

Market presence

Technical capabilities

Client reviews

Based on our market presence, technical capabilities, and client reviews, our extensive portfolio and in-depth understanding of the technology make us competent to help small and medium-sized companies build high-performance apps, with an excellent user interface. Using Flutter development tools, we create applications that attract users and appear on the market in a shorter amount of time.

If you would like to learn how to create an app from scratch and make it successful, receive a consultation, and learn more about our Flutter development services, contact us.

Freequently Asked Questions

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Is Flutter good for app development?

Flutter app development delivers high-performance apps with a native feel and great speed. If you are building your first iOS app or Android solution, Flutter is the best pick as you can launch apps on both platforms at the same time.

What is Flutter app development?

Flutter app development refers to creating apps with Flutter SDK, a full kit of development tools that allow you to build a single codebase from scratch and launch it on Android and iOS.

How much does it cost to develop a Flutter app?

Flutter app development cost depends on the type and complexity of the app, as well as the location of the development company. On average, costs may vary from $20,000+.

Is Flutter better than React Native?

Flutter performs better than React Native with 220 ms vs 229 ms launch time. React Native’s advantage is that it is based on JavaScript, the most used and known programming language. Besides that, both Flutter and React Native are great tools for cross-platform app development.

Is Flutter better than Xamarin?

In comparing Xamarin vs. Flutter, Flutter is faster: 220 ms vs. 345 ms launch time. Xamarin is an older technology and has been losing popularity over the past few years. According to Stack Overflow, Flutter is in the top three of the most loved frameworks, libraries, and tools, and Xamarin at 16th place.

Serhii Osadchuk
CTO @ DOIT Software
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