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13 Reasons why Flutter is the Future of Mobile App Development

joebrain032 profile image Joe Brian ・4 min read

Ever since Google launched the stable version of Flutter, developers can’t contain the excitement of how this SDK will be the future of mobile app development. Flutter has made mobile development much easier for developers.

Flutter was developed by Google to assist ambient computing. It is now used by the top tech companies such as Reflectly, Grab, Groupon, Philips, eBay. Apart from these companies, there are many startups who are launching their business like Uber for x services, On-demand ventures, etc built with Flutter.

Many developers are confident in saying Flutter would be the future of mobile app development. In this article, we break down why we believe developers feel this way.

1. A Single codebase for any platform application

Flutter is a single codebase platform. Any application you develop with Flutter is supported in the Android and iOS platforms. This is a time-saver for the entrepreneurs in launching their business faster into the market. You just have to code once, and the app runs on any platform.

2. Debugging Apps with Hot reload

Hot reload is the cornerstone feature of the Flutter. The changes you make in the source code will be reflected back immediately in the running application without compiling the source code again or restarting. This significantly improves the development time for the developers.

3. Complete Customizable widgets

Flutter contains a comprehensive list of widgets for designing UI interface. The widgets are customizable and are reusable, making it useful for further development. Flutter also contains two sets of widgets: Material Design and Cupertino.

The Material Design implements Google’s design and Cupertino implements Apple’s iOS Human interface guidelines. This gives a lot of creative options for developers to build sleek looking apps.

4. Suitable for Cross-platform Application Development

A cross-platform application is a type of software application that is implementable in multiple platforms and devices without encountering any difficulty.

Ever since the stable release of Flutter, it has been a popular tool for cross-platform application development. Once the code gets developed into a fully workable app, it is implementable on any platform such as iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.

5. Testing is much easier

As mobile applications developed from the single codebase of Flutter technology, the QA team would find it effortless in testing the application.

They can test the app based on functionality, user-interface, usability, and logical formation in a single platform of the application, without wasting time testing multiples platforms.

6. Faster app development

As we mentioned earlier, the core advantage of Flutter is the single codebase, and hot reload feature which allows developers to build a working app in a short time.

Entrepreneurs who are trying to build a minimum viable product for their business idea can use Flutter technology to create a working prototype to reach the market or show to their investors.

7. Less cost of development

In the present mobile app development market, the cost of developing a native mobile app takes around $30,000 USD. To build an app for multiple platforms would be pricey.

Besides, you have to deal with other costs such as marketing, team building, server cost, etc. Flutter reduces the cost of development as you pay for one source code. And that source code is compatible with other platforms as well.

8. Best for MVP

The minimum viable product (MVP) is the product requiring minimum functionality and features to understand the needs of the target audience while also getting enough validation for further iteration of the product. The MVP prototype expresses the core of the business idea and is designed to carry out the main business goal.

MVP is preferred when you want to get your business faster into the market or to show your investors your working prototype. Flutter is perfect to use when building a minimum viable product for your business as it speeds up the development process and adds an attractive UI design layout.

9. Integration with Firebase

Firebase is a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) app development platform. It benefits developers in using services like analytics, databases, messaging, and crash reporting for focusing users. Firebase is simple and easy to integrate into the Flutter platform.

10. Wide range of open source packages

Flutter comes with free open source packages that support developing the app faster. Notable packages are Loading Animations, Youtube_player, Frideos_flutter, Flutter Ecommerce, etc. As Flutter is an open-source platform, developers are adding their part of work to the library.

11. 2Dimensions Flare

Animations are a piece of cake with the 2Dimensions Flare, which comes along with Flutter. Flare is a vector-based animation tool used for UI design and gaming apps. You can create interactive animations and designs inside the app.

12. Flutter supported in multiple IDE environments

Currently, Flutter is supported by many IDEs. You can develop your Flutter app in Android Studio, VS Code, and IntelliJ.
VS Code is lightweight and performs faster.

13. Support from the Flutter community

Day by day, the Flutter community is increasing, and more developers are collaborating and sharing their ideas on the forum. You can find developers’ contributions to the Flutter library. If you have any doubts or queries, you can share your questions on social media, or submit them in forums.

It’s time to Flutter

There are numerous reasons for why developers feel strongly that Flutter will definitely mobile apps. The many advantages of the platform represent the exciting time we’re living in and we’re excited to see how Flutter develops over the coming years as it is adopted by more and more developers. I hope this blog is informative and useful to you, thanks for reading!

Originally published on codeburst.io by Saadhika Devi of Wooberly.

Discussion

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I have to admit that I was not totally convinced by Flutter at the start. I just did not see that many real world job opportunities available for it at the moment. But now I understand that it is still new and emerging. I have been learning it these past few days and it is pretty impressive. The Flutter plugin has of right now 6.6 million downloads in Android Studio! That's a lot of developers and shows how popular it is. I am still learning it however I have already made some simple cross platform apps that run on iOS, Android and macOS.

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Cihat Gündüz

Many of the points in this list are actually arguments against Flutter in my opinion, not in favor of it – or at least it's on the same level.

Like "a single code base" – it's actually not a single code base with Cupertino and Material flavors. Related to that stating that "Testing is much easier" while QAs still have to test for both platforms as the environment is different and the same code might not work on both platforms. "Suitable for Cross-platform Application Development" is just as true as it is for Kotlin or Swift, you can use them both on several platforms already and while there's ongoing work on Flutter, there's also ongoing work on Kotlin & Swift for other platforms. I also highly doubt that writing an app with Flutter is going to lead to "Faster app development" now with the likes of SwiftUI and Jetpack Compose on the way. "Less cost of development" may be true short time, but including the vastly better debugging tools into account native still wins long term. "Integration with Firebase" is a big privacy issue, at least from a European perspective, and if you really need it, there's great SDKs for native coders as well. When I read "Wide range of open source packages" I had to laugh because I thought this post was supposed to be about where Flutter shines in comparison to native. Of course, for native development, there's many more open source packages available and still many more new being written everyday than for Flutter. Same goes for "Support from the Flutter community", which might be true, but even more so it is for the Kotlin & Swift community.

Having all this said, please don't get me wrong, I'm not thinking that Flutter is a bad technology and no one should use it. Some of the points above actually are good reasons to use Flutter and there are good use cases for it, like that Hot Reload is an amazing time saver and that Flutter is good for MVPs, especially for bigger companies who can afford to rewrite the entire code in native later once the MVP helped improve the design. But as long as a technology isn't oficially supported by the big platform owners (mosty Apple & Microsoft), it will always be hard for cross-platform technologies to truely be "the better alternative" as it's praised here. The only thing what Flutter does better than React Native so far in its core is that it isn't targeting Web developers by using Web technology (JavaScript), instead it actually targets Mobile devs. I mean, it's from Google, authors of Android, not from Facebook, who try to tackle everything from the Web perspective.

But if someone asks me what they should learn now if they want to become app developers for Mobile, I recommend modern languages with functional features & strong typing (like Kotlin & Swift) as well as official declarative UI frameworks (namely SwiftUI & Jetpack Compose). It might take more time to learn both, but at least they can be sure that it will still exist, have much improved tooling and will offer the best possible experience for users on the platforms for years to come.

Yes, in a dream world I wish there was this magic cross-platform framework everyone could use to have one singular code base for everything. But inventing a new one that isn't native in any of the platforms isn't going to work in my opinion, it will just create another platform. It's much more probable that one of the native platforms will grow into the other platform over time and that either Apple or Google will at some point oficially support the other – simply because it's half the work (one platform already works perfectly!). Currently, it looks like the chances are higher for Swift to be supported by Android officially (at least Google/Android engineers seam quite interested in Swift) rather than Apple opening up for JetBrains' Kotlin anytime soon.

This is how I view this topic, at least and I'm very interested in the cross-platform topic, actually as I'm developing both apps for Android & iOS. If Flutter actually was just as that better as it's presented in this post, then I could just focus on that and save lots of my time. But I can't.

Here's a recent article that summarizes the risks & hopes for Flutter quite well:
medium.com/@adrianzyga/mobile-deve...

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joebrain032 profile image
Joe Brian Author

Thanks for sharing your thoughts

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Fadi Chamieh

I have used Xamarin, Cordova and native stuff to develop Android and iOS apps before, experimented a bit in react native, but it seems Flutter is the new kid on the block with high-kicks and fancy elbow strikes. Gonna dive into it and see where I land!

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Gabe Kangas

I've been around the block with all the "write once, run anywhere" mobile frameworks and let me tell you: there's no silver bullet. Every project I've had to build with one of these frameworks ends up being a nightmare. Trust me, I'd love if I could build a single codebase for multiple platforms while being easier at the same time. But the truth is nothing is magic, and you always pay for not doing things the right way the first time.

Use the right tools for the job instead of the tools you wish were for the job and you'll always be happier.

I wrote a bit about my experiences with non-native mobile development in the past if anybody is curious: gabekangas.com/blog/2018/02/why-yo...

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Takunda Madechangu

This is very true. I wanted to hang around React Native these past few months but flutter is that cool new kid on the block

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Daniel Ivanov

Awesome article!

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Joe Brian Author

Thanks Man

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sourceKing

Nice article, flutter really is the feature once you overcome its initial overwhelming complexity you realize that it is not complex at all :) at least for the most part anyways, hehehe

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