Flutter for App development: Why is it so popular in 2021

flutter for app development

Table of Contents

If you are an App developer, you must have heard of Flutter. Launched by Google in 2017, this software has disrupted the App development field to its very core.

Many big tech companies like Square, Alibaba, Groupon, eBay and Google (obviously) are using Flutter for App development to roll out their mobile applications.

What is Flutter, and why do experts predict that it will be the future of cross-platform development? Let’s take a look at its features and how it benefits the developers.

Key Takeaways

  • Flutter is a cross-platform software for App development that allows developers to create two different Apps (for iOS and Android) simultaneously.
  • Flutter is growing at a massive pace and many tech giants such as Google, Square, Alibaba use it for their App development.
  • Flutter is an open source software, hence it is free to use and provides a variety of features such as Hot Reload and customizable designs.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a free and open-source mobile UI framework created by Google and released in May 2017. In a few words, it allows you to create a native mobile application with only one codebase. 

Flutter being a cross-platform development app allows developers to use one programming language and one codebase to create two different apps (for iOS and Android).

Also read: IOS Vs Android Vs Windows – Which is the best operating system

Features of Flutter

Flutter has become very popular recently. It offers so many features to the developers that lead to efficient work and more productivity. Here are some major features of Flutter:

Shows Real-time changes 

Hot reload feature of Flutter
Hot Reload Feature helps developers see real-time changes. (Source)

The hot reload feature of Flutter helps developers look at the applied changes in real-time. This gives the developer a chance to do more experiments. This leads to efficiency in work and helps in getting things done faster. This is one of the best features of Flutter that separates it from other software

Minimal code required

Another great feature of Flutter is that it allows developers to use Dart, which is compiled straight into the ARM code of mobile devices and helps applications not only run faster but also launch faster.

Flutter’s third-party integrations and native codebase make life easier for developers. Flutter allows developers to use native functionality.

Widgets

The widgets of Flutter
Widgets of Flutter (Source)

Flutter’s ability to employ pre-made widgets is one of its most appealing features. As a result, Flutter provides a consistent development and design model. 

Widgets are Google-based, which means they have higher code quality and outperform other open-source frameworks.

They save developers’ time like no other framework because most of them are incredibly adaptable. Flutter widgets, in addition to the core layout widgets, follow both the Material and Cupertino styles, which is a great benefit.

Great custom design 

Flutter enables users to create Apps with customizable designs that look great on both iOS and Android devices. 

Unlike its competitors, Flutter applications do not face the danger of UI problems when the program is updated.

Is Flutter really popular?

Recently, the popularity of Flutter has increased significantly. To know how much, let’s talk numbers. Following are some useful stats to understand the popularity of Flutter.

  1. According to a survey, 42 per cent of software developers used Flutter. Flutter has become the most popular cross-platform mobile framework used by global developers, according to a 2021 developer survey.
  1. As per a survey by StackOverflow, 68.8% of developers enjoy Flutter and are interested in learning more about the technology. According to their statistics, Flutter is one of the least damaging and most desired applications.
  1. According to Google Trends, the interest in Flutter has been increasing over the last 12 months worldwide.
  1. On Github, In comparison to other technologies, Flutter has over 129k stars. It’s also one of GitHub’s top 50 most popular repositories.
Growth of Flutter vs React Native
Flutter vs React Native (Source)

According to Flutter, Over 100,000 apps have been launched since the technology was introduced. Many popular Apps like Square, Google Assistant, Tencent, and The New York Times app use Flutter.

List of companies that use Flutter for app development
Companies that use Flutter (Source)

All the above data shows that Flutter has gained a substantial amount of attention from the developer’s community and can turn out to be the future of cross-platform development app for mobile applications.

Now, let’s talk about the reasons why Flutter is loved by developers.

Why is it so Popular?

Flutter increases the productivity of the business and reduces the risk that occurs during the course of business. Other than that, the following are the reasons why developers choose Flutter over other applications.

Excellent Performance

Flutter is exceptional in terms of performance for two reasons. To start with, it employs Dart, a programming language that compiles native code. 

Further, Flutter comes with its own widgets, there’s no need to use OEM ones. As a result, communication between the App and the platform is reduced. 

Flutter’s two characteristics ensure quick App setup times and fewer performance concerns overall.

It saves you time and money

Flutter is a cross-platform programming language. As a result, software developers can create iOS and Android apps using the same code base. 

Also, features of Flutter like Hot Reload and its Widgets are keys contributing factors that help developers save their time.

Cross-platform development is the most efficient way to save time and money in the development process.

App creation at lower cost

Flutter allows for more efficient development, resulting in fewer man-hours required to complete an App. At the same time, the pay rate is reasonable (and sometimes even lower).

As a result, the cost of developing an App with Flutter is lower than developing with alternative cross-platform languages or native code.

Flutter’s drawback 

All that glitters is not gold. Flutter offers a variety of benefits to the developers but they also find some challenges as well. Following are some of them:

Lack of the third-party libraries

Flutter is a relatively new technology. As a result, the number of third-party libraries available for Flutter is currently limited.

Third-party libraries drastically reduce development time, hence this is a huge disadvantage of creating Apps in Flutter.

New skills required

While Flutter is simple to use and can be learned by non-programmers, it does necessitate that developers first understand Dart.

This adds an additional learning phase, which can raise the time and cost of any project. That being said, Dart is a pretty easy language to learn if you already have some programming experience.

4 Major Flutter Updates 

Flutter recently announces 4 major changes in its software. All these new features of Flutter are going to help developers to get their work done faster and efficiently. Here is the list of the 4 major updates of Flutter:

Adobe XD support Flutter

Early access to the Adobe XD to Flutter plugin is currently available for public testing. Exporting designs to Flutter cuts the time between creative ideas and product development even further, since an XD prototype can now be turned into usable Flutter code in minutes.

Adobe XD is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X, and comes with a free beginning package to get you started.

Autofill

Support for autofill in forms is another new feature added this year. Autofill was one of the few platform-specific APIs that could not be used in Flutter apps until recently.

We can now allow platform services to save and populate credentials and other data entered by users with just a few lines of code.

Windows and Linux alpha support

The addition of alpha support for two more desktop platforms — Linux and Windows — was another significant improvement to the Flutter framework in 2020.

 Flutter currently supports all major desktop platforms, thanks to supporting those platforms and the addition of macOS compatibility in late 2019.

 It’s crucial to remember that the Flutter desktop won’t be merged into the stable branch for a while, but it already works well and may be regarded for production use.

Null Safety

Null safety reduces the time it takes to build a product. Furthermore, code maintenance is simplified because programmers can spend fewer hours hunting for mistakes caused by null that previously appeared during runtime. 

The entire technical team becomes more productive, allowing them to concentrate on more critical tasks. Developers should attempt to eliminate any nulls from their code as a best practice.

Conclusion

Flutter is now one of the most revolutionary mobile technologies on the market. Because of the benefits, it provides to development teams, it is a promising candidate for the mobile technology of choice in the near future. It is changing the future of cross-platform development for mobile apps.

Flutter is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it is a very promising framework given its breadth of coverage and speed of implementation. Flutter will bring a big change in the future of mobile app development and in the future of cross-platform development.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the future of Flutter app development?

Enhanced ergonomics will be used in Flutter to improve its performances in both Android and iOS platforms. Developers can expect production-quality support for Linux, Windows, and max-OS. You can also expect the performance of the entire Flutter framework in terms of memory usage, storage, run time performance, etc.

Is Flutter growing in popularity?

The community of Flutter developers is growing. Together with the popularity of the platform, the course has been set for growth. Although Dart is not as popular as JavaScript, it has a huge and committed community with local and digital meetups. Flutter is coming up as future of cross-platform development.

Which is better: Flutter or react?

Flutter, the last one is better in terms of performance, compatibility & app features, engineering cost, and further market trends. However, React Native is distinctively better when it comes to finding software developers.

Is Flutter faster than Kotlin?

In its turn, compared to Kotlin, Flutter development is 20-50% faster (mostly thanks to ‘hot reload’ built into the framework). The speed depends on the complexity of the interface and the required functions. Thanks to Flutter, you can modify your code and see the results in real-time.

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