A Complete Guide to Flutter App Development in 2021

In this continuously evolving app development market, Cross-Platform development has become popular not only because it takes less time but also eases efforts while developing an application. After cross-platform development comes into the limelight, several tools have been introduced to make development easier. In 2021, cross-platform development is the hottest topic among the top cross-platform mobile app development companies all over the world. The capability to develop native applications for Android and iOS platforms from a single codebase is gaining in demand, as it allows the flutter app developers to create the mobile apps in record time. 

Are you into app development or wondering how to build a mobile application for your business? If yes, then you must have come across one handy technology named Flutter. The tech world is growing rapidly with the rise and fall of technologies. Therefore, to build high-performing applications and improve time consumption on development, Google introduced Flutter to the app development world. Google announced in Flutter Spring 2020 Update, that over half a million developers use Flutter language every month. The spring update also reveals that Flutter app development is seeing an uptick in not just consumer apps but also enterprise development solutions.

Nowadays, numerous development companies have been using Flutter web development to create interactive, effective, and graphics-rich web applications. React Native development has become somewhat of a standard for developing cross-platform apps but Flutter’s treading right behind, to become the next need-to-know mobile development technology in 2021. Since it is a cross-platform framework and the topmost competitor of React Native, Flutter Vs React Native is certainly a hot topic among the developers. 

Let’s move ahead and understand everything about the Flutter app development and find out what is Flutter exactly.

What is Flutter Framework?

Know what is flutter cross platform development framework
What is Flutter Framework?

If you are wondering what Flutter is exactly, what all benefits it consists of, how it is different from other cross-platform frameworks, here are all the answers to your questions. Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit released by Google which is used to build natively compiled applications across all devices like mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Instead of writing individually different code for both IOS and Android platforms, thanks to flutter, you have to write a code for once and your application will appear perfect and will replicate the native experience exclusive to the platform. 

As a Flutter app developer, you can save plenty of time on writing code for mobile application, and as a business owner, you save time, effort, and money. It works on the Dart programming language and integrates Material Design and Cupertino widgets to build a stunning and effective UI which not only feels native but could act naturally on every platform, although you are using the single codebase.

It doesn’t matter, if you want to run your application on any devices like TVs, mobile, tablet etc., flutter always has your back. Unlike other popular solutions, Flutter is not only a framework; it is a complete software development kit, which contains everything you will need to develop cross-platform applications. This includes a rendering engine, testing and integration APIs, ready-made widgets, and command-line tools.

Pros and Cons of Flutter App Development

Let’s take one step ahead and do a slightly more in-depth analysis of all the pros and cons of Flutter app development, as we have already talked about how it all began and how Google’s Flutter became an immensely valued app development framework. We’ll now discuss all the features that make Flutter developers happy and their jobs stress-free. We’ll also look into possible bottlenecks that fall under the ‘cons’ category but we hope this could soon be resolved.

Pros of Flutter Development

Benefits of Cross-platform Flutter App Development
Pros of Flutter App Development

#1 Hot Reload

The wonderful hot reload feature makes developing apps with Google’s Flutter a breeze. It’s the feature that has gathered the most excitement and compliments from Flutter developers all over. Remember the times when you had to reload the entire application to view the slightest of changes you made to the codebase? Well, you don’t have to do it anymore.

With Flutter, every change or modification you make to the code is reflected in the app in real-time. Hence, you can make changes on the go and test as many variations as you wish, seeing exactly how they affect the app right on your screen. So go on, with Flutter’s hot reload feature try all your new and innovative ideas, add new features, experiment with the code, and fix bugs on the go.

#2 Code Reusability

Writing code for an iOS app and then writing another individual codebase all over again from scratch for the Android version of the same app is by far the major time-eater in native app development. It is as much work as building two apps, but in the end, you only get one.

Flutter’s code reusability allows the flutter developers to write just one codebase and use it on not only Android and iOS platforms but even on the web and desktop. This cuts the development time and lets you launch your app much faster.

#3 Higher Quality

With the help of the hot reload feature of Flutter development, code irregularities, and bugs can be spotted in real-time, which allows the Flutter developers to fix them right there. This leads to spending less time testing the app and accelerating the time-to-launch. Also, fixing bugs in real-time leads to a much higher quality app that loads fast and performs better across multiple devices.

#4 Faster Apps and Better Design

Apps that load slowly are uninstalled fast by the users. If your app has been loading slowly and taking long to respond, you may already be losing customers and trailing way behind your competitors. Apps developed with Flutter are faster to load, which means your user will immerse in the experience quickly instead of waiting for it to load and wondering if they should just abandon it already.

Google’s Flutter uses the Skia Graphics Library which is a fast and advanced open-source library with a solid backend. It every time draws the UI again as a view changes, resulting in fast loading of apps as it delivers up to 60 frames per second. This results in a fast and smooth app experience that users love. Flutter’s custom widgets are a complete pleasure when it comes to rendering UI. This not only helps you create great visuals for your app but also manages to do this with incomparable ease and promptness.

#5 Ready-made widgets for fast UI coding

Widgets are one of the revolutionary things that help you to create a user interface utilizing these building blocks. Any object in Flutter is a widget, from a button to padding or even fonts. Widgets can be united to build layouts, and you can pick to use widgets on any level of customization, from present building blocks to the lowest level when you create your widgets with the same tools. Widgets available in Flutter are well organized in trees, which is handy for rendering, but may result in too much complication of the whole structure. The UI development and customization that usually takes a long time to finish in cross-platform development takes a minimum amount of time with Flutter app development tools.

#6 Mild Learning Curve

Another important reason why Google’s Flutter is gaining popularity among developers is the availability of detailed documentation and a large number of examples. And this is very essential for developers who want to learn a new platform or a set of tools. Flutter’s Dart programming language is the easiest thing to learn. Many developers with slight coding knowledge can build prototypes and apps with the flutter framework. The mobile app development experience will not weigh into flutter programming. 

And it is particularly important for experienced developers too, who already have an eye on flutter app development, as they can easily find errors in the language design or in the toolkit itself. Flutter app development is loved for its clear documentation and friendly community of developers, bringing together experts and novices who are ready to help and share the experience of their design models and development templates. A friendly atmosphere reigns here, facilitating the easy development of technologies by an extensive range of users.

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Cons of Flutter App Development

Cons of choosing Cross-platform Flutter App Development
Cons of Flutter App Development

Yes, there are some cons we can put on this list, as Flutter language is not matured at the moment. However, cons in flutter app development aren’t exactly deal-breakers, they’re more like a list of possible enhancements we can expect in future updates as there is a lot of rooms to grow, expand, and get better.

#1 Large App Size

Flutter apps are inclined to be a little heavier in size so if you are considering developing a light app, Flutter app development could show a little hurdle in that path. Now for some cases, file sizes could be a significant issue and cause a developer to pick an alternative tool for the development. As we can see and find enough memory storage space on the phone and that does not occur everywhere in the world with most of the users. However, this file size offers you enhanced runtime and performance so it’s not easy to comprehend the audience you are appealing to.

#2 Lack of Third-Party Libraries

Third-party libraries and packages have an important impact on software development as it allows some significant features for developers. These third-party libraries are usually free, open-source, pre-tested, and easily accessible. However, since Flutter’s Dart programming language is new for mobile app development, it’s not easy to find such free packages and libraries as the tool is still in the growing phase and refining. It will take some time to create the necessary flutter app development tools, expand functionality and develop the community.

#3 iOS Issues

Since Flutter is developed by Google, developers are technically concerned about its implementation for iOS. There’s no doubt that building Android apps on Flutter is fast and pleasant as Google is directly intent on fixing bugs in the shortest amount of time. But what about iOS devices? For example, when you click pictures from Apple devices, the application erases all EXIF ​​data. As a result, the photo is displayed with the incorrect orientation, with no location, no date, and without the correct gamma. One of the biggest updates in the Flutter app development is a pixel-perfect iOS appearance. iPhone settings were created on the flutter framework to allow the Cupertino widgets. However, It’s still uncertain if updates will keep coming as fast as Android’s version when the product will finally leave the beta phase.

Read More About Cost and Time of Development

What apps are built with flutter? Here are some of the best flutter apps examples.

There are presently over fifty thousand Flutter apps on Google Play as it is rapidly adopted by the developer community. Google’s Flutter development is constantly gaining traction and several flutter app development companies came into existence. Google leads by example, with Google Assistant or Google Ads utilizing the SDK.

best flutter apps examples
Top Mobile Apps Built On Flutter

1. Alibaba (eCommerce)

The world’s biggest e-commerce company is among the big market players that trusted Flutter app development. Alibaba’s Xianyu has about 200 million registered users, with 50+ million downloads developed with a flutter app and is the finest flutter apps example. The app developers praise the flutter app development tool’s impressive UI/UX capabilities and easy maintenance, but it was the speed of app development that got them sold on the Flutter framework. 

2. GroupOn

The leading discount market required to makeover its merchant-facing app, streamlining campaign management, extending payment data visualization roles, and refining the voucher redemption skills. Instead of rewriting the existing app from scratch to add these improvements, GroupOn integrated Flutter app development tools into the native code which makes this app one of the best flutter apps examples available in the market. 

3. Realtor.com

The dynamic real estate app uses the distinctive Flutter app development to help people find their dream homes. With listings updating in real-time, Realtor’s app had no time to waste, and Flutter development came in handy. The company has integrated Google’s flutter development into their existing Android app framework and iOS apps to provide seamless UX across screens and platforms with intuitive, high-quality photos, artistic graphical components, and rich visualization. 

4. Reflectly

Reflectly is an AI-driven personal diary and mindfulness lifestyle assistant. It is an inspiring flutter app example that was first created with React Native and then migrated to Flutter. The transition resulted in improved cross-platform portability and allowed for the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning and NLP.

5. Philips Hue

Philips Hue – The smart lighting solutions that can be operated from your smartphone and create vibrant automated solutions for your home. Flutter app development became their perfect solution as they needed an app with intuitive controls, one that would provide real-time sync for the smart lights to the media hub. 

6. Hamilton Music

Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical looked-for an app with a rich feature set that was graceful, worthy, and fast. Their first thought was to go the predictable way and create two native apps, one for Android and one for iOS. But that was going to take way too long and they were anxious that they would never have the rich feature set they wanted. Flutter language gave them just the resolution they looked-for, a rich app accessible to anyone on any device and that too available in record time.

7. Hookle

Hookle is a social media app for small businesses that enables viewing, composing, and rolling out SM posts to multiple platforms from one place. Initially, Hookle developers intended to deploy a native app to the Android app framework only, concerned about the speed and cost of delivery to multiple platforms, but they revisited the approach once they discovered the Flutter app development.

8. EntrenaPro

EntrenaPro is a mobile fitness app popular in Spain, uses a Flutter programming language to connect athletes with coaches and sports centers in the vicinity. According to the flutter app developers, it allowed them to meet very close-fitting deadlines for product delivery while providing critical components to accomplish the lightweight.

Read More About: Mobile Apps Made with Flutter

Is Flutter best for Web Development?

If you want a web application that works smoothly on any platform, written once, has a faster time-to-market, offers flawless UI at a lower cost, then flutter web development is ideal for your project. There are very few particular instances where you do not want to implement Flutter. 

On the contrary, if you need a 3D touch application, Flutter web development doesn’t entirely support that for now. You might find flutter just a bit monotonous if your application needs heavy contact with computer hardware like a camera or phone calls. Flutter web applications seem to be on the heavy side if you’d like a relatively smaller version of the app. Although developing an eCommerce store with flutter mobile and then porting it to the web could be impractical for anyone, there will still be areas where flutter could fit well, like:

  • You already have an application developed using flutter app development tools but want to offer a web app to users to do the same function.
  • You would like to create interactive and original pieces of content on the mobile app and do not want to waste time creating the same stuff on the web application again.

Conclusion

Ever since the launch of Google’s Flutter and its adoption by major companies, this framework is gaining popularity because of its unique features and flutter app developers don’t have to compromise between productivity and quality. If you want to develop apps on a budget, then investing and working with a renowned Flutter app development company, Explorate Global is the best choice without any doubt.

Flutter can enable your business to quickly rise in this competitive world and scale your product across multiple platforms. If you are passionate about technology and development you have far more reasons to get on-board with Flutter as it has been adopted by many flutter app development companies in the USA. Over a couple of years, Flutter’s unfailing popularity and expanded acceptance of business applications combined with consumers have proved that Flutter is one of the most advanced and growing mobile technologies out there. It has certain limitations, Still, its multiple benefits undoubtedly overshadow the few shortcomings, and Google’s backing makes it a strong contender to rule the cross-platform mobile app development

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