The importance of selecting the right software development framework for building a successful digital product can hardly be overestimated. The simpler to use and the more performant the chosen framework or tool the easier it is for software developers to turn their projects into reality. When it comes to choosing the best cross-platform mobile app development framework, many programmers opt for Flutter.
Flutter is considered to be one of the top cross-platform frameworks. Statista states that in 2021 it was ranked among the 10 most used frameworks worldwide. Meanwhile, its popularity is continuing to grow year after year – in 2019, 30% of software developers used Flutter for cross-platform development, whereas in 2021 this figure reached 39%.
But, what makes Flutter incredibly popular and why do software developers keep choosing it when building their cross-platform mobile apps? Let’s find out what helps Flutter to excel and what are the benefits of Flutter apps for businesses.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a free open-source mobile development framework released by Google in 2017. It works great for building multi-platform apps from a single codebase that look flawlessly on screens of any size and run smoothly on any device. This harmony is achieved with the help of two framework components – its SDK (Software Development Kit) and an extensive library of reusable UI (User Interface) components.
The main IDEs software developers implement for building mobile apps are Android Studio and Visual Studio Code (VSCode). These full-function IDEs offer a wide range of extensions and plugins, turning app development into an enjoyable journey. Though the range of frameworks for Flutter isn’t limited to only two options, some other software developers can use IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, Atom, and others.
Flutter offers a rich blend of software development features that can be individually found in other frameworks. Being combined together into one Flutter package, currently, they represent the best software-development suite that allows the creation of robust, native-like, and performant cross-platform solutions. Let’s have a closer look at these features and how they help Flutter keep the leading position in the mobile app development market.
Faster Code Development
For fast code development, Flutter provides software developers with an outstanding feature – Hot reload. With Flutter’s Hot reload software developers don’t have to constantly restart the source code to see the changes they’ve implemented. This way, they can track the changes practically instantly without modifying their current app state.
Custom UI of Any Complexity
Flutter allows creating outstanding UI designs for Android and iOS devices, using a single code base and a rich set of components, including API access, navigation, stateful management, a variety of libraries, and much more. Therefore, it saves developers much time on designer and development work.
Moreover, it incorporates an extensive range of its own custom widgets. For example, it follows the principles of Material Design when developing Android apps and Cupertino for iOS. Using Flutter widget sets means that software developers don’t have to deal with native system components of a particular platform. Instead, they can quickly choose ready-for-use widgets and create native-like UIs on their apps.
Own Rendering Engine
A robust set of features in Flutter requires strong support. For this, the framework has its own rendering engine – Skia. The engine is written in C/C++ which makes Skia particularly fast and performant. For example, Flutter apps empowered by Skia can show 60 frames per second on most devices and 120 frames per second on the devices that support Flutter.
Skia renders UIs onto a platform-provided canvas and can run practically on any platform. As a result, software developers don’t have to create any additional bridges and platform-specific components to render its UI as in the case with React Native. This saves the time spent on adjustment of app UIs, ensures consistent app performance and layout on diverse gadgets as well as makes the development process much simpler and easier to do.
Read more about Flutter vs. React Native comparison and when to choose each for cross-platform development.
Strong Community Support
Flutter has a strong established community that’s been steadily growing since 2017. For example, according to dev.to, there are over 63.8k followers on Reddit, 78,544 questions were asked about the framework on StackOverflow, 144k stars, and 16.3k forks on GitHub.
Meanwhile, Flutter creators constantly hold community events, including Flutter Engage France, Spain, Turkey, North America, and many others.
Clear Documentation and Great Resources
Is Flutter a Good Choice From the Business Perspective?
When choosing a framework for creating their business app, companies have to consider many aspects – platform stability, its performance, how easy it’ll be to hire software development specialists for the chosen solution, and much more.
Here are the main reasons why many businesses opt for Flutter.
Fast MVP Development and Quick Time to Market
Being a cross-platform framework, Flutter allows software developers to start app development for several platforms practically simultaneously. Moreover, it’s much faster to create new features for the requested app in Flutter compared to other cross-platform frameworks.
With Flutter it’s just a matter of weeks for a small team to deliver an MVP product version and release it to the market. After the MVP release, the framework will remain a simple-to-use and robust framework even despite the growing complexity of the developed solution.
Rich and Attractive UI
Flutter creators from Google made everything possible and even more to enrich their framework with the most attractive and diverse widgets. This way, the developed solution will always look professional and have an attractive look of a native app.
Businesses don’t have to pay twice for the developed app when it comes to releasing it on several platforms. Software developers have to write the codebase just once and run it on the targeted platforms.
Easy to Find High-Quality Developers
Flutter is a rapidly growing in popularity cross-platform framework that significantly facilitates software development activities. Many software developers switch to Flutter to avoid diverse app development hurdles. Moreover, this framework already has a well-settled community and Flutter creators do everything to popularize it further among programmers.
Although Flutter only recently emerged on the cross-platform development market, it is already successfully competing with such big names as React Native, Xamarin, and others due to its extensive set of UI elements and high efficiency.
Many businesses turn to Flutter app development services as this framework ensures app consistency, development simplicity, and cost-effectiveness. Apart from that, the framework offers robust components and features that make business apps look classy and attractive as well as deliver outstanding performance.