What’s Revolutionary about Flutter?
The Benefits and Limitations of Using Flutter for Your Next Mobile Project
Dec 10,2020

This month, Cloud Interactive interviewed our IT Director Sean Lin for our Industry Insights feature. Mobile apps are among today’s most powerful business tools. Here, Sean shares his thoughts on the state of mobile app development and explains why he thinks Flutter has the power to revolutionize this part of the industry. We hope you’ll enjoy getting a glimpse into Sean’s passion for and dedication to software development.

What makes Flutter the future of mobile app development?

Developing multiple mobile apps for multiple platforms requires more time and more specialists — and therefore costs more. With native app development, an app development company like Cloud Interactive might need double the developers to build apps for both iOS and Android.

That’s where hybrid development comes in handy. In some circumstances, we choose a hybrid app development framework with both native and web-specific elements to help clients quickly design apps.

However, hybrid app development can result in slower performance and transitions between pages, and user experience often takes a hit since we can’t customize app pages based on the platform. Also, each platform has unique capacities that developers may wish to exploit. In these cases, we may combine specific plugins and platform code during hybrid app development. This further complicates the development process, increasing the project cost.

While native mobile application development can be too expensive for many companies, and hybrid app development introduces complications, Flutter offers a straightforward and cost-effective solution.

What is Flutter?

Several platforms try to solve functional problems in hybrid and native app development, including Xamarin, React Native, and Titanium. Google’s Flutter is among these and is the most commonly used.

Flutter is Google’s free and open-source mobile UI toolkit. It’s designed to build mobile apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linus, and Google Fuchsia. With Flutter, you can customize the user interface and then add interactions and navigation to your app.

In addition to mobile apps, Flutter also supports the generation of web content rendered using standards-based web technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

“One of the most interesting features of Flutter is the language it uses: Dart.”

Using a compiled programming language as the JavaScript bridge can cause performance issues. To avoid these, Flutter uses Dart. Developed by Google, Dart is an open-source, general-purpose programming language for apps on multiple platforms. It’s a descendant of the ALGOL language family, alongside Java, C#, and JavaScript. If you already know C++, C#, or Java, you can be productive with Dart in just a few days.

“The central idea behind Flutter is the use of widgets.”

The Flutter team has put effort into providing a wide variety of ready-to-use widgets. In Flutter, almost everything is a widget — even layout models are widgets. Flutter’s widget library makes it a highly flexible and easy-to-use framework for app developers.

With plentiful widgets for developing fast, high-performance apps, Flutter continues to be at the forefront of app development in 2020.

What’s great about Flutter?

Compared to other cross-platform app development tools that use HTML tags, Flutter has some obvious advantages. It excels at designing and developing cross-platform applications. Here’s are a few of its standout benefits:

1. Allows Development of Fast, High Performing Apps

Flutter’s strategy of working on a reactive development architecture allows for automatic adjustment of UI contents whenever the developer modifies the variables. This makes Flutter super fast, responsive, and high-performing, especially when performing slide animations.

2. Easy Integration of Complex Animation

Flutter provides generous animation support for cross-platform apps. You can easily add simple and complex animations to apps by using ready-made widgets along with a Tween to interpolate between the range of data as used by the object being animated.

3. Stability

Since Flutter has its own rendering engine, it’s possible to make changes to the code without recompiling it. Flutter apps won’t be affected by any OS update or system customization, and interfaces will still look the same across browsers after an iOS or Android system update.

4. Dart Programming Language

Flutter’s Dart is a statically typed programming language designed for better optimization of the user interface. It’s proven to be much faster when benchmarked against JavaScript. Moreover, since Dart is a compiled language, most programming errors can be found during compilation.

What are some of Flutter’s limitations?

Flutter can be a good choice if you want to reduce development cost and time and release the app on all available platforms simultaneously. However, it definitely has its limitations.

Flutter can interact with native platform APIs, but not directly. In some scenarios, you’ll have to write native code to interact with native APIs. Also, Dart in Flutter can handle most of the functionalities for apps, but in some cases — such as accessing Camera, Photo, Bluetooth, and Webview — it falls short. These trouble spots vary between iOS and Android. So, if you don’t have previous experience with the native platform, you might not find Flutter as easy-to-use.

Before starting to create an app in Flutter, it’s important to consider your project size and goals. Remember, Flutter is not necessarily the best tool for cross-platform mobile development — but it’s certainly an impressive tool in the right situation

Interested in having a development team assist you in integrating the latest technology? Contact us to find out how we can take your company to the next level!


About Cloud Interactive

Cloud Interactive is an AI, Software Engineering, and Design consulting company founded in 2010.

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