Flutter Cross-Platform Development: Pros and Cons
Over the past several years, Flutter has become one of the most popular solutions for mobile app development. Now it competes notably with native solutions and successfully surpasses its competitors among cross-platform frameworks.
Surf has >12 years of experience developing both native and cross-platform apps for various industries. Flutter has become one of our and our clients’ favorite solutions.
Still, no matter how well regarded it is in the eyes of others, you should investigate its strengths and drawbacks. And, of course, compare it with other options before choosing it for your next mobile app. This article is aimed at helping you with that.
Flutter cross-platform development: today and tomorrow
Flutter is an open-source cross-platform SDK (software development kit). It’s powered by Google’s Dart programming language. This framework is based around widgets — building blocks that apps are built of. They are highly flexible and can be tweaked according to project requirements. The framework also supports integration with many third-party solutions.
Among applications built with it are multiple Google projects, including Google Ads and Staida, popular journaling app Reflectly, Nubank neobank app and others.
This is a highly powerful tool for app building, and it has bright prospects of becoming a flagship solution. Let’s examine the features that distinguish this cross-platform framework from the competitors and why so many businesses and developers have opted for it.
Flutter power for business
- High app quality at a lower cost
It typically takes about 8-9 developers to build a native app. Flutter team, in its turn, usually consists of 6 people. On average, you’ll save about 40% of your budget with such apps as opposed to native ones.
- Easier team management
You’ll be working with only one team which greatly simplifies communication. The project manager will not need to synchronize two teams which reduces the chance of losing information on the way to them. Besides, you as the main supervisor will communicate easier with the manager and will have to keep less information in your head.
- High performance = better user experience
Such apps don’t load the system as much as some native ones do, and show a shorter response time. Furthermore, they currently support up to 120 FPS which eliminates slowdowns and dropped frames. This is all possible because Google is attentive to feedback and seeks to continuously improve its framework.
Why do developers love the framework?
- Easy to master
- Reusable codebase
In a nutshell, once the code is created, it can be used for multiple platforms: both for mobile — iOS and Android — and desktop web applications depending on the task. This incredibly simplifies and speeds up development and provides room for future upscale.
- Hot Reload
It allows developers to instantly see interface updates as soon as they make any code changes. No extra actions, no code recompilation, no wasting time waiting for the app to reload. Saving a couple of minutes on a single restart may seem like an insignificant advantage. But in practice, when developing a full-fledged project, it can lead to several months of saved time.
Various frameworks to compare
Cordova vs Flutter
Flutter’s different: each screen of an application is a canvas used for drawing individual elements with the help of widgets.
Cordova has now been almost completely replaced by other frameworks that show greater performance and it’s currently used mainly for simple applications.
React Native vs Flutter
Ionic vs Flutter
However, Flutter clearly wins in terms of speed and convenience of development, performance, because it has Hot Reload, convenient architecture and better mechanisms for rendering graphics (Skia and Impeller). So Flutter is a better choice for apps that require heavy rendering or very short response time.
NativeScript vs Flutter
Final word about cross-platform development
Compared to native technologies, cross-platform solutions make it possible to create apps for both iOS and Android platforms faster, with fewer team members and a smaller budget. Flutter is considered the best cross-platform framework. It has all the necessary tools for fast-paced work and provides nearly native performance on different devices.