Flutter – Pros & Cons for App Owners
Flutter is Google’s mobile UI framework for crafting high-quality native interfaces on iOS and Android in record time. Flutter is used by developers and organizations around the world and is free and open source. Flutter gives developers an easy way to build and deploy visually attractive, fast mobile apps on both Android and iOS platforms.
Flutter is a very new platform that has attracted the attention of companies from all over the world in a short time span. It has become famous because of its simplicity in developing mobile applications as compared to developing web applications, and also because of its speed as compared with native applications.
Flutter enables a smooth and easy cross-platform mobile app development. You don’t need to develop an iOS and Android app separately. All you need is single codebase for both platforms.
Flutter has achieved its productivity and high performance by using several techniques:
Flutter doesn’t use native UI components. Moreover, there is no communication layer between the view and your code which allows it to achieve top speeds in mobile games with the best graphics on smartphones. So buttons, text, media elements, background are all drawn by Flutter’s graphics engine.
Inspired by the React web framework, Flutter uses a declarative approach to build its UI based on widgets. In flutter, widgets are rendered only when necessary, usually when their state has been changed.
The framework has integrated Hot-reload. The hot-reload feature allows the Flutter framework to automatically rebuild the widget tree. Flutter’s hot reload feature helps you quickly and easily experiment, build UIs, add features, and fix bugs. Hot reload works by injecting updated source code files into the running Dart Virtual Machine (VM).
Pros of Flutter
Flutter comes with many pros that helps in faster development of mobile apps, minimizing the cost of app production, and ultimately helps you to build a beautiful app UI with smooth animations. Let’s take a look at it more deeply.
- Single Codebase
Developers write just one codebase for creating two apps that can run on both Android and iOS platforms. Single codebase also helps in reducing the cost of production and maintenance of an app developed using flutter. Flutter doesn’t depend on the platform, because it has its own widgets and designs. This means that you have the same app on two platforms.
- Speed up the development process
For developers, Flutter speeds up the app development process & produce a more dynamic mobile app. We can make changes in the code and see them straight away in the app. This is the Hot reload, which normally takes seconds and helps add features, fix bugs and experiment faster.
Hot reload is also very comfortable in developer-designer cooperation. With Flutter, your designer or tester can work together with a developer on the UI, making changes right away. Hot reload elevates programmers’ productivity, helps with quick iterations, and allows you to experiment without long delays.
- Reduce testing efforts
Obviously having the same app for multiple platforms will result in reducing testing efforts. The Quality Assurance process can be faster. The developers have to write automatic tests only once as it uses a single codebase. If your apps are built different for both platforms, then, of course, they need to be tested on both platforms.
- Attractive Designs
Flutter makes it easy to design your own attractive widgets or customize the existing widgets. You can even browse and choose from the catalog of Flutter’s widgets. For the Android platform, it has Material Design widgets and for iOS platform, it has Cupertino widgets.
- Faster apps
Flutter apps work in a smooth and fast way, without hanging and cutting while scrolling. This helps in providing a better user experience.
Flutter natively provides widgets based on the Dart intl package that simplifies the process. It supports 24 languages, but also currencies, units of measure, dates, layout options and more.
While all is automated, developers should also test their designs for different settings. For instance, they can use the largest font setting to see how it fits in a small mobile screen.
It can run on virtually any device with a screen because Flutter is not just a framework but a complete SDK. Third-party ports have been created to build Flutter apps for more platforms like Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. Some people even tried to build TV applications using Flutter. It’s only fair to expect that this functionality will become important in the future.
Cons of Flutter
Continuous Integration Support
Flutter is not widely supported by CI platforms like Travis or Jenkins. So, to achieve automatic building and testing, your development team needs to use and maintain custom scripts.
Lack of third party Libraries
Flutter is still very new and you can not find every other functionality that you need in these libraries. This means that your developers would need to build them by themselves, which can be very time-consuming.
Third-party libraries and packages play a big part in automating software development for programmers and relieving the need to code everything from scratch.