Commonly, the first thing we do in the morning is to look at our mobile screens is to check a Whatsapp message, a Facebook notification, or an email. Mobile app development, thus, has come a long way with the increasing use and popularity of different smartphones and applications.
Mobile applications are often written specifically to take advantage of the unique features of a particular mobile device. For example, a health app is created to take benefit of a smartwatch's temperature sensor. Businesses today, have started to build their applications that address their customers' specific needs.
However, due to the emergence of a variety of technologies, entrepreneurs need to make critical choices on their selection of mobile technologies. They continuously test and evaluate different techs to build robust digital experiences, irrespective of the user's mobile device or operating system. One of the main reasons for organizations falling behind the competition is their failure of manufacturing easy-to-use products (mobile phones) and services for their customers.
Businesses, therefore, had to switch to develop cross-platform applications that can work on multiple platforms. However, still, they failed to provide the desired user experience. The rise of various mobile frameworks like React Native, Xamarin and AngularJS successfully enhanced these digital experiences.
The Rise of Flutter
Recently, a new player has entered the game, Google's Flutter. It has been creating headlines of late within the mobile app development sphere. The recent launch of Flutter 1.2.2 has proved its high quality and effectiveness. Moreover, big firms like Alibaba, Google Ads, Birch Finance, App Tree, Hamilton Musical and many others have already adopted it.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is probably the most prominent mobile framework based on Google's in-house programming language called Dart. As a result, it gets access to the Skia graphics library that is used by Chrome. Moreover, Flutter closely works with Google's Material Design specifications that are most popular for the Card Motifs, which is recently known by Android users.
Now, let us dig in the significant reasons for choosing Flutter for mobile app development.
1. Overcomes Issues of Cross-platform Approach
You can effectively take advantage of a Write Once approach with Flutter to create a high-performance native experience because a Flutter App is an Ahead Of Time compiled, machine binary executable. Thus, it overcomes various challenges of cross-platform approaches.
2. Frontend & Backend with a single code
Android coding has separate files for front-end, and they are referenced by the backend, Java. While flutter employs a single language, Dart, which uses a reactive framework.
Dart is developed using a lot of popular features of other languages without losing the familiarity of Java or similar languages. Moreover, it allows developers to complete their common tasks with ease.
3. Increases Developers' Productivity
Flutter has features called Hot Reload and Hot Restart that boost developers' productivity by allowing them to see changes they make to the state of an app in less than a second. Also, they allow them to make changes to the app structure in less than 10 seconds.
4. Offers Powerful Design Experience Out of the Box
Flutter team offers thoughtful implementation of the Material design specification which enables professionals to create powerful UI experiences right out of the box. It helps generate a smooth and crisp experience that you will particularly see only with native applications due to the fact that Flutter's build is a native app.
5. Offers extensive catalog of open source packages
You can create apps faster with the help of open source packages largely available. Currently, you will find several packages that make many complicated tasks quite easier. The package library is relatively young, growing by leaps and bounds every day because of the ever-growing population of developers who actively contribute to Flutter.
6. Supports Various IDEs
Flutter offers you to choose from a wide range of Integrated Development Environments. Flutter developers use Visual Code because of its features such as light-weight and faster functioning. Moreover, these features are also available in Android Studio and IntelliJ as well. Therefore, you can choose accordingly.
7. Straightforward integration with Firebase
Flutter and Firebase work together to help you create mobile apps in record time. Firebase provides you with access to backend services for mobile applications that include authentication, storage, database and hosting without having your own servers. As a result, your infrastructure becomes serverless, redundant and scalable. It means that you do not need to spend more time and resources in developing the backend.
Moreover, you can also combine it with a tool for automating your development and release process like Fastlane that promotes Continuous Delivery. As a result, you are not required to have dedicated DevOps support in your team.
8. Offers Different Themes for Android/iOS
Flutter offers you to choose from different themes for a user's platform to allow your UI to make run-time decisions in regard to which UI components to use.
Assigning the proper theme for a user’s platform is as easy as using a ternary if to check which platform the user is running on; allowing your UI to make run time decisions about which UI components to use.
9. Offers Better UI Capabilities
Flutter consists of widgets like the Appbar, Drawer, Snackbar, Scaffold, etc. You can easily wrap one Widget inside another to enable several functions to create user experiences on various platforms. For example, you can do things like center something by wrapping it in a Center Widget. As a result, you can ensure that your users have an experience regardless of the platform they use.
10. Offers Easy Error Handling
It is difficult for developers to identify and resolve errors in the application once it has stopped working. However, with Flutter, you can use multiple widgets and their combination for creating the app.
Whenever an error occurs in a particular widget, then only that specific widget and its sub-part are affected. It doesn't affect other components of the project. As a result, the developer needs to rectify that particular error in the specific widget without going through the whole app. It increases the speed of error solving and makes the entire process easier.
11. Continuous integration using Code Magic
Code magic is an open-source tool of Flutter Live, which was featured on December 4th, 2018. Developers can easily learn Code magic, and it is absolutely free. It is considered to be an advanced CI tool that is specifically optimized for Flutter. Code magic makes development processes seamless.
12. Continuous Support from Flutter Community
As it is initiated by Google, thousands of developers are happy to be part of the Flutter community and effectively contribute to the growth of the framework. Developers have access to almost 50 videos on how to build with Flutter. Therefore, they are continuously supported by the team while developing an app.
Thus, Flutter is one of the best cross-platform development technologies. Its increasing quality and popularity allow more and more developers to adopt it for mobile app development services. It is the best option if you consider cross-platform development for both iOS and Android. Being a cross-platform app development, it is highly cost-effective.
Author Name: Manish Shewaramani
Manish is principle consultant at Credencys Solutions Inc. a (keyword). He is both an innovator and inventor and is an expert in transforming ambiguous ideas into concise, executable strategies that mitigate risk, maximize ROI and obtain timely measurable business results. He has led several technical and non-technical projects and has experience of the complete project life cycle.