Since it was launched in 2005, Flutter is taking over the app development market. As developers look for ways to develop apps with the least budget and least duration, flutter has turned out to be the solution to these problems. The native open-source framework is owned by google having bought it In 2005. For nearly a decade, Flutter was little known in the market, but today, it has taken the world by storm with companies like Alibaba, Hamilton musical, google Ads and Birch finance being the blue-chip pioneer companies to adopt Flutter.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a google UI tool that can be used to build natively compiled application, website and desktop website. Flutter can develop applications for Android, Windows, Mac, web, Fushia, and IOS. According to the author google, flutter can be described as a react native who has all the support of native features. Flutter has four major components;
- Dart platform
- Flutter engine
- Foundation library
- Design-specific widgets
Why developers love Flutter
Sing flutter, you can set up the app in seconds since all the features are in-build. With the fully-customizable widgets, it is easy and fast to build a native interface. Further, Flutter makes it easier for a not tech-savvy individual to build a customised app within seconds.
Since flutter is designed to meet the needs of the end-user hence making it possible to customise app development fully.
With the hot reload, a developer can see all the changes being made on the application instantly. Thus, if you don’t like something about the app, you can quickly rectify. These changes take a millisecond to see. Hence, you can add, improve or modify features within a second.
This is the biggest advantage of Flutter. With the cross-platform enabled, you can build one codebase and use it for two or more applications instead of wasting time and money building on two platforms. Also, flutter allows a developer to experiment with Fuchsia, another game changer expected to take over android shortly.
The presence of widgets improves an apps view and the interface. This way, an application can attain a natural fee and look regardless of the gadget being used. The flutter comes with rich widgets meant to enhance the views of an application. Further, the flutter has the internal capability to create widgets as part of the user interface.
The widgets in flutter incorporate all the major platform features which improve the performance of the app. Some of the features include scrolling, icons, fonts, navigation and other features. The performance features are available on android and iOS platforms.
How Flutter works
Flutter works best with Dart programming; thus, before using Flutter in app development, one must learn Dart programming.is an open-source language developed by Google. The logic behind using Dart is Flutter is that they speak a similar language, hence will understand each other better. According to Google, Dart has the following advantages over other programming languages;
- Dart is an AOT language. This implies it( ahead of time), hence is a fast, predictable language which can cope with future Flutter needs.
- Dart is a just in time (JIT) language with a fast development cycle combined with amazing workflow.
- Dart enables easy creation of animations and smooth transitions by avoiding pre-emptive scheduling.
- Since its features are similar for both the users and the language, it is easy to learn.
- Using Dart enables a programmer to avoid the need to separate declarative layout.
After learning Dart, SKIA is another open-source code that a developer should learn. SKIA works with Dart in developing engine works which create amazing IUD. Further, Widgets is another great component of Flutter. To design an IU framework, the widgets must be combined. After these tools, a developer can comfortably design an application using Flutter.
Comparison of Flutter and native Android app development
Both Flutter and native Android app is the leading platforms in app development owned and operated by Google. However, experts predict that Flutter will take over in the future. Here is a comparison between the two.
Though the two platforms are developed by Google, they have different architecture. Flutter uses Dart programming language while android use Java in development.
Flutter is designed using the concept of widgets which build complex UI. On the other hand, android uses an interface builder in developing applications.
The hot reload option in flutter improves flutter productivity. During the app development using Flutter, any changes made by a developer appear on the screen immediately. Also, the use of the pub package in Flutter improves the independence of Flutter needed in app development. The use of Java in Android development makes it ideal for newbies since the language has been existence for long.
The developments for testing android tools make tasting easy for android apps. The testing can be conducted in the android studio or using Grandle. For flutter, the testing framework is provided by developers to ensure testing can be done at the unit or UI level.
Key takeaways from Flutter
- Flutter is not a programming language but an SDK. The official programming language in Flutter is Dart.
- Flutter is in the preview phase. Though leading companies have adopted it, it is still in the release preview. Most companies use Flutter in some parts of their app development.
- Since Flutter is a new concept, and Dart programming language is a new language, there is a small community. Thus, users will strain to get support from online communities like Stack Overflow.
- The platform uses the widget in every aspect of app development. The button, layout, topography and colour of the platform is a widget, hence can be hard for a newbie t manoeuvre the platform.
- The official programming language of Flutter is Dart.
Cons of Flutter
Though Flutter is taking over the world of Android development for apps, it has some setbacks. These setbacks include:
- The framework is new, hence has little support.
- Flutter is mobile-specific, hence cannot support web browsers.
- It does not support android TV and apple store
- It is considered a new and unstable tool by many developers.
- Due to the widgets, most apps build using Flutter tend to be big.
Thus before using Flutter in app development, consider these facts. Though it is the best tool for app development in terms of budget and time-frame, it might be the ideal tool for your company.