Today, I would like to talk about one of the most cutting-edge mobile app development frameworks in the market—Flutter. With the help of Flutter, developers can create cross-platform mobile apps (Android and iOS) at a rapid pace and with minimal effort, thereby allowing startups and small businesses to save time and money that they might otherwise have spent on developing separate Android and iOS applications.
Flutter has already been adopted by several organizations worldwide. And today, we’ll be discussing some of the top pros and cons of using Flutter for mobile app development
What is Flutter?
Founded by Google, Flutter is an open source mobile app development platform that allows you to create mobile apps using its easy-to-learn and flexible programming language.
While the standard programming languages allow you to create either iOS or Android applications, Flutter’s popularity stems from its capability to develop high-quality apps with only one codebase.
Pros of using Flutter:
1. Fast development time
While Android Studio, Xcode, and Visual Studio can all get a developer up and running, they aren’t ideal for someone who isn’t familiar with coding. For newbies, it takes time to become familiar with development tools and syntax.
With Flutter, however, new developers can jump right in. While an experienced coder may still need some time to learn app development with Flutter (especially if they plan on using Dart), you don’t have to be a seasoned developer to write code that works.
2. One codebase
One codebase may seem like a small benefit, but it’s an amazing advantage that makes developing applications much easier. With Flutter, everything is written in Dart. If you learn how to use one framework, you know how to use them all—and that cuts down on development time.
When there’s no confusion about which language a particular feature was implemented in, there are fewer bugs and more consistency throughout your app’s codebase. Plus, if you have team members with different levels of expertise, everyone can be contributing from day one because they all share a common programming language.
3. Great User Interface
It’s fair to say that UI is one of those topics where you either love it or hate it. All too often, though, people think that UI is all about graphics and style. That’s not exactly correct; what really matters is how a user interacts with an app.
That’s why we think you’ll love how Flutter gives a great user interface. By eliminating much of what can go wrong with mobile development, flutter has made it easier to create apps that look amazing, function smoothly, and achieve high-performance goals more easily than ever before possible.
4. Seamless integration
One reason developers love using Flutter is because it offers seamless integration with your iOS and Android code, so that you can easily share code across both platforms. Say you want to build a chat app where users on different devices can see each other’s messages in real time.
With traditional mobile development, you’d be building a separate version of your app just for that capability alone, but with Flutter it doesn’t matter if one user is running iOS and another is on Android: They’ll still be able to seamlessly interact with each other in real time thanks to their shared background code.
5. Standalone apps
Since flutter apps are standalone, you have much more control over how users interact with your mobile app. That also means that installing any updates to your app is significantly easier; all you need to do is make sure users install your updated app from an approved repository.
And since standalone apps aren’t tied to a specific OS, like Google Play or Apple’s App Store, you can reach a wider audience and get more downloads. Users don’t have to seek out your app in a marketplace; instead, they can download it directly on their phone or tablet. Also see Standalone Apps On Flutter
6. Streamlined production process (no more back and forth with design/dev cycles)
The streamlined production process is also an incredibly attractive feature to many businesses, especially startups. With Flutter, you won’t have to worry about back and forth with design/dev cycles; everything will be handled under one roof. As a result, your development time will be shorter and less expensive overall.
Say goodbye to spending a few months developing an app (and then another month redesigning it). As business owners ourselves, we completely understand how tedious and costly these cycles can be. That’s why at AppsDevPro we value efficiency—and that starts with a Streamlined production process (no more back and forth with design/dev cycles).
7. Hot reload (instant code changes without loss of state or data)
Yes, you have read that right! When using code in flutter, you do not lose state or data! When writing code in flutter, everything changes and reloads in real time without a loss of state or data. That is extremely useful when trying to build quick prototypes.
With more traditional frameworks like android sdk and ionic, if one does not make sure to remove old views/controllers before new ones are added, weird behaviors start occurring as if one actually did lose state (like going from ListView to Spinner or RecyclerView) after reloading code. However, with hot reloading of Flutter applications, one does not face such issues at all.
8. Goodbye Java & Kotlin
Java and Kotlin have been around since 1995 and 2012 respectively. The mobile app industry, however, is a completely different ballgame. Today it has nearly 2 million apps and millions more are being added each month.
To keep up with consumer demand while also maintaining iOS & Android compatibility, developers have sought alternatives to Java and Kotlin (which are both less efficient than their mobile equivalents) that still deliver high-quality results.
Enter Google’s Flutter—an open source app development framework that compiles to native code instead of interpreting source code at runtime like Java does or compiling into machine code like Kotlin does.
Cons of Flutter for Mobile App Development
Flutter is one of the newest and most exciting ways to develop mobile apps. But, just like every new thing in this world, it comes with both advantages and disadvantages. In this section of the blog, we’ll go over some of the cons of flutter that you’ll want to keep in mind before deciding whether or not to use it for your next app project.
1. Lack of Documentation
The biggest con of flutter is its lack of documentation. The community is a bit small and not active in terms of supporting new developers to contribute to their projects. At first, it might take some time to learn how things work with flutter.
Most of them are self-explanatory, so one can quickly get used to them and develop apps faster than expected. They’re almost all open source, so it’s easy enough to read over all their code and see how things work under-the-hood if there is something you don’t understand immediately or in general.
2. Learning Curve
However, with something so unfamiliar, there is an inevitably steep learning curve before developers feel fully comfortable using it. Because of that heavy initial investment in time learning Flutter as a whole, developers often find themselves putting off or postponing projects until they feel comfortable enough with flutter or forced into projects based on other toolsets.
3. Young Technology
With a large number of professionals working in different fields, new technology is introduced and accepted with ease. But not all times, it is adopted by all industries at an equal pace. There are several limitations in its adoption due to varied factors.
In the case of Flutter technology, it is a young solution that has come into existence recently and yet many think of flutter as a fad; similar claims were made for Java but Android came up as successful where Java failed to impress consumers by any means.
4. Dart is immature
The team behind Flutter acknowledges its immaturity in certain areas (like high-performance graphics) and that’s why they released an early alpha version of their software development kit (SDK). But it’s still concerning to see so many bug reports and feature requests since you want to be sure your app works well before users try it out.
5. Compromised UX
Many designers have a love-hate relationship with Flutter. While it allows developers to create beautiful, high-quality UIs, there are some compromises that designers must make when working with the framework. (Get it? Compromises?) The biggest issue is that developers using Flutter sacrifice UX in favor of aesthetics and user experience.
You see, unlike React Native, which can draw on mobile device-specific APIs—it’s technically not possible to do that in an elegant way in Flutter. In turn, certain interactions or experiences may look or feel slightly different from platform to platform.
6. Apps are large and “heavy”
Flutter is a great tool for making apps in hot sectors, such as gaming and consumer electronics. But it’s not so well-suited to other applications.
Apps are large and heavy by nature, and that makes performance crucial to success—no one wants to wait five seconds to tap a button. Because of their size, any issues with performance immediately become clear when they are experienced live by real users.
And while Flutter’s hot reload functionality can help developers identify potential bottlenecks, reducing their effects (and others), there is no guarantee that an app will be universally performant enough on flutter.
Flutter offers a robust and impressive toolkit to create cross-platform mobile apps. It will save developers time, money, and resources. For those with an iOS background, there is an option to learn Swift. With all these resources available, there’s no reason not to at least give it a try.
If you’re curious about using Flutter for your next project, hire Flutter app developers in India from us! Our experts are ready to answer any questions you may have about taking your idea from concept to reality with Flutter.
We can help you build an app that targets multiple platforms simultaneously or take what you already have in development and integrate it with Flutter so that it can be deployed on multiple platforms at once. Contact us today.