Flutter in mobile applications. What you need to know when choosing this technology?
It happens that the company needs a mobile application, but neither the budget nor time is in excess. Nothing lost-for the help of Flutter, with which we will build a cross-platform application. Why not react native? Flutter loads the views faster and is now experiencing a period of dynamic development. That is why it is worth getting acquainted with him.
What is flutter?
This is a set of SDK tools that allows you to build mobile, web and desktop applications. He was created by Google and made available as part of the Open Source project. Flutter is often used to create cross-platform applications, operating both on the iOS and on Android.
We create mobile applications in Holdapp since 2012 and our experience shows that it is growing The popularity of flutter is also associated with high performance of this technology. Thanks to it, we were able to build applications for two platforms at a similar time in which we would build a native application for only one platform. Moreover Flutter is suitable for both prototyping and the final implementation of the project.
From a business point of view, it is important that it is cheaper alternative to native solutions – Instead of two applications, just build one. It takes less time, involves only one team of specialists, and at the same time is less burdensome for the budget. This does not mean, however, that this technology has no defects. What else is worth knowing about her?
Access to native solutions
Flutter enables Connecting cross-platform and native technology. Thanks to this, applications can have access to system components. As a result, the user freely uses e.g. from the camera, music player, Bluetooth connections or GPS transmitter.
It should be remembered that The operation of these functions will not be as smooth as in the case of native applications. In addition, adapting the application to each platform will extend the project implementation time and increase its final cost. And the more such functions appear, the more profitable the construction of the native application will be. In such cases, we usually recommend customers to choose the latter option.
When native solutions can be better?
Compared to native technologies, Flutter gives access to fewer libraries and ready solutions, which in the case of some projects means a longer implementation process.
In addition, code architecture in flutter is simplified in relation to developed architectures used in native programming. Maybe this hinder the maintenance of more complex projects. Especially since sometimes small problems in native code turn out to be serious obstacles in cross-platform solutions. And this entails costs.
Popular technology, less popular language
On the other hand Dart is a fairly intuitive language with transparent syntax. It resembles Java, which is why people who can use her quickly gain practice in using a dart. And it’s worth it because Flutter works faster than react native, which positively affects the feelings of users.
The sooner the better
Applications built with the help of flutter need less time to charge views than those based on the React Native platform. What it comes from? In the case of flutter The code in the donation is immediately compiled to the native code, Therefore, the user sees the changes in the application faster. In turn, React Native must first connect to native elements through bridges, which takes more time.
Speed is one of the most important reasons why we recommend Fluttera to our clients in Holdapp, if they want to solve a cross-platform. In business, this can give a significant advantage.
An easy way to build a user interface
To better understand how flutter works, you need to know that it allows Use ready -made widgets to build the user interface. The widgets correspond to specific UI elements – they are like puzzles that need to be selected so that the whole is intuitive and functional.
Their The appearance can be adapted to your own needs and immediately see how the application looks. This function enables this Hot reload, which further facilitates and accelerates testing. This allows you to shorten the project implementation time and save on later corrections. However, it should be remembered that non -standard UI solutions may be impossible to be implemented or very expensive.
UI with native elements
Although the application created in Flutter is not native, it may look like this. And this is due to wide selection of ready -made components, Also these characteristic of iOS and Android. Of course, if new UI components appear for one of these platforms, you have to wait a bit until their counterparts are created for flutter.
It is also worth remembering that if we decide to adapt individual elements to each platform separately, It will take more time, than if we focused on the same appearance of the application on both platforms.
Material Design library
Noteworthy alternative to native UI elements is Ready Set of Material Design components. The same one that is widely used in many applications, and thus, is also well known to users. Material Design is functional and maintained in minimalist aesthetics. The use of the application in which this style was used should therefore be intuitive for everyone.
The lack of native UI elements also means that The application looks identical on iOS and Android devices. Then 100% code can be used on both platforms, and the time needed to build the application is shorter.
Application size – a serious obstacle or detail?
Flutter’s opponents indicate that its disadvantage is large application size. Larger than in the case of React Native technology. Although this is true, it is not worth giving up flutter right away. The differences are slightly and often take a few megabytes. And if we really care about the small size of the application, the best will be native solutions.
Flutter in a broader perspective
Bearing in mind the pros and cons, we must remember that There are no universal solutions, Therefore, when making decisions about the selection of technology, it is best to take into account a number of factors. What is the most important? At Holdapp, we focus primarily on:
– A problem that the application is to solve,
– under the time of the project,
We consider each project individually to find the best solutions.
One thing is for sure – What Flutter offers is just the beginning. This technology is constantly developing. Already in the last quarter of 2020, Flutter has 105,000 stars on the GitHub platform. For comparison, the older react native has 91,000. Given the great interest in this solution, we can expect that soon it will be even better adapted to the needs of developers and application users.
Artur Ozierański – For over 10 years associated with the Mobile industry. Founder of Holdapp, an agency specializing in creating mobile applications.