Everything You Need To Know About Flutter 

Mobile app development has grown to fit the market demands of both individuals and businesses.

Between the Apple App store and Google Play store, there are more than 4.7 million mobile apps worldwide.

The number doesn’t stop there because thousands of new apps are released to these app stores every day. 

Have you ever wondered how these apps are created? Do you have a perfect idea for a mobile app you want to create? Flutter is the way to go. 

This article explains Flutter, its use, and why your business may benefit from hiring a flutter developer.

Let’s begin… 

What Is Flutter? 

Flutter is an open-source software development framework built by Google to improve the mobile app development process. It uses the programming language DART to operate.

Flutter developers use Flutter to create quality native apps on both iOS and Android without needing to create two codes for both platforms.

With Flutter, app developers can use one codebase to create native apps for both Android and iOS. App developers also use Flutter to create desktop and web-based interactive apps. 

Flutter, coming out in 2017, rocked the UI and mobile app development communities for a good reason. Designing apps pre-flutter was expensive and time-consuming.

Then, mobile app developers used Java/Kotlin and Swift to design app frameworks. The only problem? They had to do the job twice. First for the Android platform and then for the iOS platform. 

Flutter solved this problem by building frameworks that support the creation of cross-platform apps in JavaScript and HTML5. 

The flutter framework consists of two components: 

Widget-Based UI Library 

The widget-based UI library contains multiple UI features like texts, buttons and sliders that app developers can customize to fit the app they’re building. 

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Software Development Kit (SDK)

The software development kit contains tools that help app developers compile their code into the singular native machine codebase that is used on both Google and iOS. 

Since its inception in 2017, the appreciation and adoption of Flutter have increased exponentially, making it one of the top four mobile app development frameworks in the world.

It is favored by both organizations and individuals. Based on the 2021 survey, 42% of software developers used Flutter. Big companies that adopt Flutter include Uber, eBay, Airbnb, Toyota, Google, etc. 

Features And Advantages Of Flutter 

What are the features and advantages of Flutter that make it a high-demand framework for building hybrid apps? Let’s find out. 

Short Learning Curve 

Flutter uses an object-oriented Programming language known as Dart. This programming language is easy to learn and use by most developers.

The learning curve for Flutter is even shorter if the developer has already worked with Swift and Java before. 

Saves Time And Cost

Before Flutter, building apps was expensive and time-consuming. Developers first had to write the code for the app in one programming language before repeating the process for another programming language.

This took a lot of time, and businesses had to pay more for the time it took developers to get it done. 

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With Flutter, you get two apps for the time and cost of one. Using a single code base eliminates the need for another building process.

Flutter’s ready-to-use and customizable widgets shave off some more time off the total code development time for building apps.

Lastly, the hot reload feature allows developers to make changes to their apps and see the effects immediately. 

Cross-Platform App Development 

Flutter gave developers a chance to build cross-platform apps. Cross-platform app development allows developers to create apps that work on multiple operating systems from a single codebase.

Unlike the old app development method, where the developer has to write different codes to fit the platform, Flutter only requires one codebase. 

Outside the UI code, other features are shareable, including the UI itself. Flutter doesn’t just allow for cross-platform app development, it does it at such a high quality that the apps have a native performance. 

Aesthetic Design And Widget Library

Widgets are the building blocks in Flutter. Everything falls under the widget library, including menus, sliders, padding, and colour.

There are widgets for Cupertino, Material Design, rich motion APIs, assist developers, and simple natural scrolling. 

Flutter’s rich widget library is both a feature and an advantage that attracts developers. 

Aside from having many widgets, Flutter is also preferred for its high aesthetic graphics, which makes it for designing pretty and functional apps. 

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Easy Debugging 

One common thing about codes is bugs, and the case isn’t different when building mobile apps. The only difference is that Flutter enables easy debugging.

The Dart programming language comes with Dart Analyzer and a DevTools suite that developers can use to find and fix the bugs in their code.

And with the hot reload feature, the developer can track the changes as they’re made. 

Open-Source 

Flutter by Google is open-source, which means that developers can use it without having to pay. It also means that developers can all contribute to the platform’s growth.

Interested developers can also join the Flutter communities, where members can ask questions and get answers and advice. 

Enables Customisation 

Having a rich and extensive widget library is impressive already, but being able to customize them to fit the app you’re working on is one of Flutter’s biggest selling points.

No matter how complex or straightforward the widget is, Flutter lets you customize it easily to fit your idea. 

Automated App Testing 

Flutter supports automated app testing with its inbuilt testing tools. Mobile app testing can be challenging because of the many features you have to test.

Automated testing helps a lot, but apps have to be tested on different operating systems and devices to see if they perform well. Flutter cuts down on this stress with its automated testing feature. 

There are three categories of automated testing on Flutter:

  • Integration Tests;
  • Unit Tests; 
  • Widget Tests. 

With these tests, developers can always modify and improve their apps quickly. 

Native Performance Of Apps 

The problem with building a version of an app for another operating system is execution performance and speed.

Most tools used before Flutter to build different app versions developed a slow execution speed, even if the app development itself was stellar. 

Flutter solves this problem by using its components and building applications directly with the machine code. The latter reduces the chances of bugs which contribute to slow execution speed.

App developers can even go one further in the performance stakes by customizing the UI of their app to fit the geographical location where the app will be used.

The UIs can be modified to fit language, layout, and text specific to a geographical area. 

Compatibility is another effect of the high performance of flutter apps. Everything from widgets to UI is similar across different platforms, regardless of the differences between the two platforms.

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Flutter’s pixel rendering feature uses all pixels on the screen to achieve uniformity across all platforms. 

Hot Reload 

No one gets their code right the first time. In fact, in app development, it’s a trial to see what works. This means developers make several changes before they are satisfied with their work.

Unfortunately, making changes was much more complicated and required re-running the app. Flutter’s hot reload feature changed the game for mobile app development software. 

The hot reload feature allows developers to effect changes and see them in seconds.

This not only saves them time but also allows for more creativity. The changes made via hot reload can be seen in isolation to highlight the impact of the change. 

Cons Of Flutter 

So far, we’ve made Flutter out to be the best thing since sliced bread. But no one is perfect, not even Flutter. There are a few drawbacks to using it for mobile app development. 

Not Enough Support For iOS 

Flutter is a product of Google, meaning there’s a wealth of support for Android-based apps. In comparison to the support available for Android, iOS pales in comparison.

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Some of the SDK functions don’t work quite as seamlessly on iOS as they do on Android. 

Large Files 

Apps built on Flutter tend to take up too much storage space. This is a result of the animations and rich widgets on Flutter. Developers have to reduce these to keep the app size down. 

Flutter Developers Are Few And Far Between 

Flutter might have been around for half a decade, but there is still a shortage of skilled developers.

Flutter developers are frontend software developers skilled in using the Flutter framework and proficient in Dart programming language. 

The talent pool for Flutter developers is still growing and adjusting, which poses a challenge to businesses looking to hire. 

Is Flutter Good For Your Business?

Yes, Flutter is an excellent choice for your business and here’s why: 

  • Flutter is free; 
  • Flutter makes beautiful apps with customisable widgets and UI; 
  • Flutter apps have fast development and shorter time-to-market; 
  • Flutter apps have native performance levels; 
  • Flutter apps are easily integrated with other existing apps; 
  • Changes can be made and implemented fast. 

Skills To Look For When Hiring Flutter Developers

When it comes to finding a proficient Flutter developer to join your team, you can consider working with developer marketplace platforms like Deazy, hiring agencies or freelancers platforms like Upwork and Guru.

You’ll need a developer that has the right balance between technical and soft skills. Here are a few skills to look out for. If they tick these boxes, you’re on the right track to finding the right Flutter developer.

  • Material Design; 
  • Expertise in Dart, Kotlin, Java, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS3;
  • Android and iOS Development; 
  • Knowledge of native programming languages;
  • VS Code, Android Studio, and other IDEs;
  • Git, Jenkins, and other code versioning tools; 
  • Third-party Libraries and RESTful APIs;
  • Team Spirit;
  • Communication Skills;
  • Innovation and Insight. 

Conclusion 

Flutter by Google has changed the game in the mobile app development industry. This software makes mobile app development faster and smoother and produces higher-quality apps. 

Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon