The “mobile first” approach continues to dominate the field of Internet technologies. Currently, Flutter is one of the most popular instruments for mobile software development. Let’s find out what it is, examine the benefits of Flutter, and learn why developers love this young technology.
Flutter is a software development kit devised by Google to provide developers with a convenient instrument for building user interfaces and cross-platform applications. The innovative nature and multiple advantages of Flutter immediately attracted many enthusiasts and turned them into a community of loyal supporters. In 2019, Flutter was the second most popular instrument for cross-platform development according to a survey by Statista.
Flutter is based on the platform of Dart programming language and runs in a virtual machine when executed on desktop operating systems. For the most part, its engine is written in another programming language, namely C++. Flutter’s basic set of functions and classes is provided via a so-called “Foundation library” that is also written in Dart.
The last but not the least component of Flutter is presented as two separate sets of widgets. Each set is dedicated to a particular mobile platform: Android or iOS. The widgets are used to implement the rules of respective UI design to an application built with Flutter. So, with the help of this SDK, software developers can easily integrate Material Design or Human interface into mobile applications.
One crucial factor of Flutter’s popularity is the company that created it. Google has established itself as a source of digital innovations long ago. For many people, its name is like a proof of high quality on its products. So, Flutter enjoyed massive promotion and a favorable attitude from the developer community since its public release.
Google actively uses its creation for several software projects. Most notably, Flutter is used in the Google Assistant ecosystem that includes several applications. Google Ads and Stadia applications are also built using Flutter. Many famous companies noticed this new technology and decided to have their branded apps or modules built on Flutter. Examples of such companies include eBay, Alibaba Group, Philips, Groupon. Baidu, Tencent, BMW, and many others.
According to the Stack Overflow survey, Flutter was the third most loved technology of cross-platform software developers in 2020. This affection is well-justified: this technology offers many advantages that make coding a breeze. Here are some of the most prominent benefits of Flutter.
More convenient development process.
Flutter has a feature called “hot reload” that allows developers to quickly modify the code of their apps in a debug mode and see the results immediately without losing the app’s state. This accelerates many processes and whole steps of software development, most notably – creating user interfaces, adding features to an application, and fixing coding errors.
Faster market entrance.
Since it takes less time to build applications with Flutter, they turn into marketable products faster. In comparison with other development instruments, the initial concept of a software product gets an embodiment and starts generating profits sooner. This feature also makes Flutter an excellent choice for building MVPs so that startups could find investments for final products as soon as possible.
Optimized efficiency of cross-platform programming.
Flutter allows developers to develop applications that run natively on both Android and iOS using one common codebase. Moreover, instead of two native applications, you only need to build one. This means you need one team of Flutter developers or even a single developer in some cases instead of two teams programming on Java and Swift. Such an efficient approach results in significant budget savings without losing in quality.
Improved usability of apps
Flutter provides two sets of widgets that greatly help in creating convenient and aesthetic user interfaces. Moreover, these interfaces correspond to all the design norms of their respective mobile platforms. This allows Flutter apps to blend seamlessly into the interfaces of iOS or Android and use all functionality provided by operating systems and hardware, just like native applications. This results in improved user experience, better ratings, and higher popularity of applications leading to more profits.
More documentation for developers
Multiple benefits offered by Flutter attracted a large community that actively participates in its further development and promotion. Thanks to the dedication of enthusiasts, there are numerous manuals and forums where novice programmers can look for advice. The popularity of Flutter also ensured the appearance of educational courses dedicated to this technology on most e-learning platforms. Even though Flutter is relatively easy to learn and use, the abundance of reference materials makes it even easier.
To sum up, there are many reasons why Flutter is so loved by software developers and startups. This framework allows building an application in no time and giving it a “native” feel and behavior on both Android and iOS devices. Building an application requires a small team that can be reduced to one developer, which is significantly more cost-effective than a conventional approach that involves native mobile development. The high speed of development is especially beneficial for startups and makes Flutter the best choice for building MVPs.