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Flutter as a cross-platform option

Native apps, which are built specifically for one platform, namely using Swift or Objective-C for iOS apps and Java or Kotlin for Android apps, have been mainstream for mobile development for many years. Developers have been testing different frameworks and tools to replace native development with cross-platform development. Cross-platform apps tend to be compatible across multiple platforms, which is considered to be more time and cost-effective.

Flutter, as one of the cross-platform options, has gained a lot of attention in the app development world because of its cross-platform nature, and the possibility to use one codebase to generate cross-platform apps with a native look and feel in a relatively short time. It is one of the most popular and adopted technologies at the moment.

Flutter is a free, open-source UI SDK (software development kit) for making appealing, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop. It was developed by Google based on the Dart language and has been used by developers and organizations around the world. In this article, we focus on discussing the potential of using Flutter for front-end development in mobile apps.

Perfect for MVPs

Faster speed to market and cost-efficient:

It takes, on average, between three and nine months to develop an app, depending on the complexity of the functionalities and structure of the project. For start-ups or entrepreneurs who want to make their ideas into reality, that is a long time to wait, and building apps can require a lot of resources. Using Flutter, only one app needs to be built, instead of two, which saves time and money. This is a win-win situation.

Many built-in UI widgets ready to use

Flutter has a focus on widgets. Flutter has already taken care of many elements that may take a while to build and integrate into other framework. For example, SafeArea is a built-in widget that is crucial for building a dynamic and adaptive UI. It can be helpful for adapting to different screen sizes, status bars, and notches on a variety of devices. This widget can reduce a lot of the stress of implementing interactive design. The widgets in Flutter are also very easy to customize, which makes creating a nice-looking app and maintaining consistency between platforms easier. An example of this is that it checks the platform and uses the loading indicator accordingly with just two lines of code. If the platform is Android, it shows the Android-style loading indicator and vice versa.

Good documentation and community support

Even though Flutter is a relatively new technology, it has gained a lot of popularity and good feedback worldwide. According to StackOverflow, 68.8% of developers who are developing with Flutter have expressed interest in continuing to develop with it. Flutter also has a large amount of Github contributors and scores high on Google trends. If developers have any questions, there is great support as well as tutorials available in the Flutter community. Flutter also has very good documentation with various code examples, which is helpful for new developers. And of course, regular updates and new features coming from Google helps to support this toolkit in the long run.

Good performance​​ and easy deployment

Flutter is an SDK based on the Dart language. Dart compiles into native code directly, without the bridge, which can help apps run more smoothly, faster and improve performance compared to other cross-platform solutions. Flutter also has hot reloading, which works by injecting updated source code files into the running Dart VM. This makes it easier for developers to see changes and test without waiting around. Deployment is also well-explained and there are Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment options available for Flutter.

To conclude, Flutter can be a very good choice for app development, and it has great characteristics such as: being time-efficiency, cost-saving, and having built-in and ready-to-use UI widgets. Flutter is also well documented and has great community support, relatively good performance, and easy deployments. In Gture, we believe it is indeed a good choice for creating your next MVP app, and we are currently running 3 Flutter projects going into 2022!

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