Flutter is a free and open-source UI framework by Google that lets you make awesome native mobile apps. It came out in 2017 and is it’s a game-changer because you can build apps for multiple platforms, both iOS and Android using just one codebase and programming language. That means less hassle and faster app creation!
So, here’s the deal: Flutter framework is a cross-platform software development kit (SDK) that Google made. The Dart programming language powers it and works its magic to help you create apps that look and feel totally native on Android and iOS devices.
The best part is that Flutter is a powerhouse! It’s reliable, it’s flexible, and it gives you endless possibilities to create stunning apps in no time. Whether you want to whip up a quick prototype, build an MVP, or dive into complex apps and games, Flutter can deliver what you need.
Brief History of Flutter
Flutter has an interesting backstory that dates back to the mission of Eric Seidel and his team to make the web faster. Initially, the Flutter project aimed to improve the rendering speed of Chrome pages. However, as they delved deeper into the project, Flutter began to take shape.
Since the development team hailed from Google, it’s no surprise that Flutter heavily utilized Google’s codebase. Initially known as “Sky,” Flutter operated exclusively on the Android OS. In 2015, Google announced “Sky” at the Dart developer summit. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that Flutter 1.0 was officially released. Over those four years, “Sky” underwent significant changes and transformed into the widely recognized Flutter SDK we know today.
Subsequently, we saw the release of Flutter 1.12 in 2019, followed by Flutter 1.17.0 in 2020. Then, in March 2021, Flutter 2 made its grand entrance. One of the standout features of the 2.0 version was the introduction of support for web-based apps, a significant enhancement that wasn’t available in earlier iterations.
Fast forward to the present, and Flutter has become an immensely popular cross-platform development tool. And as of February 2023, Flutter reached 150,000 stars on GitHub.
5 Remarkable Features of Flutter Framework
Flutter boasts several standout features that make it a popular choice among developers.
Here are some of its top features:
1. Hot Reload
Flutter’s most celebrated feature is its Hot Reload functionality. It allows developers to instantly see the changes they make to the code reflected in the app’s UI, significantly speeding up the development and debugging process.
2. Widget-based UI
Flutter employs a widget-based UI framework, where everything is a widget. Widgets are reusable and composable building blocks that allow for easy and flexible UI design. Flutter provides extensive customizable widgets, empowering developers to create stunning user interfaces.
3. Dart Programming Language
Flutter uses the Dart programming language, which Google also developed. Dart is an object-oriented language that comes with features like garbage collection and AOT (ahead-of-time) compilation. It’s easy to learn, expressive, and has great tooling support, making it ideal for developing mobile apps.
4. Cross-platform Development
With a single codebase, Flutter enables the creation of apps for both Android and iOS devices. This feature helps app developers save time and resources, allowing them to focus on building the best user experience possible.
Flutter is an open-source framework, which means that it’s free and accessible to everyone. This feature encourages community engagement, allowing developers to contribute to the platform and share their knowledge and ideas with others.
Widgets to Use for Your Flutter App
Flutter widgets come in two types: stateless widgets and stateful widgets. To elaborate, here are their differences:
- Stateless Widget: This widget represents a part of the user interface that remains static and doesn’t change over time. Once created, a StatelessWidget cannot change its properties once it’s built. These widgets are ideal for presenting static content, such as text, images, or simple UI components.
- Stateful Widget: Unlike Stateless Widgets, this widget represents a part of the user interface that can change dynamically over time. Stateful widgets are used when you need to manage and update the state of a component, such as handling user interactions or dynamic data. This widget can build interactive and dynamic components, such as forms, animations, or real-time data displays.
If you’re planning to use Flutter for your app development project, here are some of the Flutter users’ top built-in widgets you can check out:
Flutter provides iOS-specific widgets mimicking the native iOS design language, such as CupertinoButton, CupertinoTextField, and CupertinoNavigationBar.
RaisedButton and FlatButton
Widgets for creating interactive buttons with different styles and effects.
A circular button is typically used for important app actions, often positioned above other content.
The MaterialButton widget is a pre-built button widget that adheres to the Material Design guidelines. It supports features such as elevation, ripple effect, and text labels.
A Material Design specific widget that provides a structure for pages by implementing the Drawer, AppBar, and FloatingActionButton.
The Pros of Flutter App Development
Whether you’re working on a full-fledged enterprise application or simply building a prototype, Flutter offers many advantages and perks.
Fast development time
Companies want to create amazing apps in a flash. That’s where Flutter comes in with its blazing-fast app development features: hot reload and hot restart. These incredible tools allow you to see your changes instantly, letting you iterate your design on the fly.
Packed Flutter widget library
In the world of Flutter apps, widgets are the stars of the show. They’re like the building blocks that bring your app to life. With this vast selection, you have all the tools you need to create stunning and totally custom user interfaces that will leave your users in awe.
Create cross-platform applications
With Flutter, you don’t have to juggle between different platforms while building mobile applications. Instead, you can use the same codebase to develop applications for both iOS and Android devices. But Flutter isn’t just for mobile app development. It’s also your go-to tool for web development, allowing you to create awesome web applications. Flutter is all about maximizing efficiency and minimizing headaches.
Free and open-source
Flutter is an open-source, free framework that empowers developers with its collaborative community. With its open nature, anyone can contribute to its development and benefit from the wealth of resources available online. Moreover, the absence of licensing fees makes Flutter appealing to startups and developers looking to create top-notch apps without breaking the bank.
Smooth debugging and testing
Flutter provides a seamless debugging experience with the help of Dart’s robust debugging tools, including the Dart Analyzer and DevTools suite. These tools simplify bug identification and resolution in Flutter web apps. Additionally, Flutter offers excellent support for automated testing, complemented by Dart’s testing capabilities. This allows developers to effortlessly create unit, widget, and integration tests, enabling continuous optimization and enhancement of app quality.
The Cons of Flutter App Development
Before you create web applications with Flutter, it’s important to consider some drawbacks associated with this framework. While Flutter has numerous advantages, it’s not perfect, and there are a few things to keep in mind:
Limited third-party library support
As a relatively new framework, Flutter lacks available third-party plugins compared to more established app development platforms. However, this is steadily improving, and many plugins are already available.
Size of app
Because Flutter relies on a self-contained UI rendering engine, Flutter apps tend to be larger than native apps written in Kotlin or Swift. While this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, it is something to keep in mind, especially if you’re working on apps that require quick installation or low storage requirements.
Smaller developer pool
Compared to other app development platforms, Flutter may have a smaller developer pool since it’s a newer framework. This means that finding experienced Flutter developers may be more challenging, though this is also changing as the popularity of Flutter grows.
Due to its status as a newer framework, there may be limited documentation and support resources compared to more established alternatives. Additionally, being in its early stages, Flutter might have a higher likelihood of encountering bugs and glitches compared to more mature frameworks.
5 Considerations When Choosing Flutter for Your Web and Mobile Apps
Several developers and organizations are attracted to Flutter for mobile development, but it may not be the best choice for some. If you want to use Flutter for your app development project, consider the following factors:
1. Learning curve
If you and your team are new to the Flutter framework, a learning curve may be involved in understanding the framework and its development patterns. Consider the time and resources required to upskill or hire Flutter developers or whether your existing team can adapt to the new technology.
2. Project requirements
Building mobile apps is different from web apps, but both are possible with Flutter. Defining your project’s requirements and goals is crucial in deciding whether Flutter is the right fit. Here are some of the things you should consider:
- App’s complexity
- Target audience
- Features and custom widgets
- Multiple or cross-platform app development
The fast development process is the key benefit of using Flutter, but it’s important to consider the timeframe for your project. Flutter may be a great choice for rapid development, but it may not be as suitable for long-term projects or those with a lot of customization requirements. When choosing the Flutter framework for your project, you factor in the time it takes to develop and launch your app.
The cost of Flutter development depends on various factors such as project scope, team size, and timelines. And while Flutter may be a budget-friendly option, it’s important to account for the costs associated with hiring developers and
5. Community and ecosystem
Flutter has a growing community of developers, which is beneficial for finding resources, getting help, and accessing third-party packages. Evaluate the size and vibrancy of the Flutter community and the availability of relevant libraries and plugins for your specific app needs.
3 Tips for Finding the Right Flutter Team
If you’re looking to create web or mobile applications with the Flutter engine, you’ll need to find a team of experienced developers who can bring your vision to life. Here are some tips to help you find the right Flutter team:
1. Search your network
Start by tapping your network for recommendations and referrals. Ask colleagues, industry contacts, and friends if they know any Flutter developers or companies with expertise in the framework. You can also try posting on social media or relevant forums, asking for recommendations.
2. Attend conferences
Attending conferences is a great way to connect with Flutter devs and companies. You can learn about best practices, network with others, and discuss your project requirements with potential partners. Some popular Flutter conferences to check out include FlutterCon and Futter Global Summit.
3. Consider offshore software development companies
Several offshore software development companies specialize in developing Flutter applications. These companies can provide you with a team of skilled developers with Flutter expertise. When you’re looking for an offshore software development company, you should consider their experience in the programming language, their portfolio of previous projects, and their approach to project management and communication.
Let’s Create Your Flutter Apps
Competing with high-quality native apps today requires harnessing the power of cutting-edge technologies. Flutter, the cross-platform framework from Google, stands out as a game-changer in the world of mobile app development.
To create your own high-quality iOS or Android apps now, you can trust the experienced developers of StarTechUP!
We have dedicated developers that have expertise in Flutter to build your next app. We also emphasize collaboration and communication throughout the development process, keeping you involved and informed at every step. This ensures that you get the results you want and that the final product exceeds your expectations.
With StarTechUP, you can rest assured that your Flutter application project is in good hands. We have successfully completed numerous projects, delivering top-notch Flutter apps that have delighted users.
Don’t miss the opportunity to collaborate with us and take your Flutter app to the next level. Contact us today to get started on your Flutter journey with StarTechUP!