Why Use Flutter for Web Development in 2022

    Google has recently released Flutter 3.0, a new version of the framework chosen by thousands of developers all over the world and successful businesses. It inspired us with numerous features, so we decided to describe 9 reasons to use Flutter for web development in 2022. 

    At Surf, we have been working with Flutter since 2019 and have implemented more than 15 Flutter-powered projects. Our developers know everything about the framework: they hold conferences and podcasts, create new tools, and test existing ones. In this article we share proven expertise—so read it until the very end, and you’ll find the most up-to-date information on the matter.

    First Flutter-powered banking app in Europe developed by Surf

    Flutter for web: powerful technical solutions for developers

    High performance

    The first thing that makes Flutter good to use in web development is great performance on a par with native apps. It stays high even if you need to build a web app with complicated visual effects. Flutter has its own graphics engine with optimization comparable to native. Images change at a speed of up to 60 FPS, which is more than enough for most services. Moreover, in Flutter 3.0 you can build user experiences for 120 Hz ProMotion displays. And faster animations, such as scrolling, feel smoother.

    Flutter shows perfect results in apps that have typical processes and logic, without any extra requirements. Requests to the server, working with files, and the APIs — all these things are implemented asynchronously and do not degrade performance.

    Flutter uses Dart, a programming language developed by Google in 2011. And there is a virtual machine created specially for this language, DartVM. Thanks to it, Dart is possible to compile with AOT (Ahead-of-time) or JIT (Just-in-time) compilation. Interpretation or compilation into other languages is common for Dart as well. 

    As a result, developers get the Hot Reload, a feature that helps load the code into the application in debug mode instantly and without loss of state. The development process incredibly speeds up, and IT specialists avoid application rebuilding to review every change. In the release, the program gets high performance thanks to AOT compilation.

    One more feature boosting Flutter performance has been developed by Google in Flutter 3.0. It’s an experimental Impeller tool highly improving animations and rendering in Flutter apps. Now it is available for iOS only, but the tests implemented by the Surf team show really great results in app performance growth.

    Eugene Saturov, Head of Flutter team at Surf

    Easy code maintenance

    Dart is an easy language, especially for developers writing in Java, C#, or JavaScript. Skilled developers need about 2 weeks to master Dart and start to use Flutter for web development, while new specialists need about 3-4 weeks for it. Besides, several days is usually enough to learn Dart’s syntax. The programming language was thought to make the development process and onboarding fast and comfortable. 

    The easier the language is, the easier code maintenance is. Developers can be onboarded to the working process in a short period of time, and after that they write the code, correct it, and make tests without any extra help from teammates. 

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    Great architecture solutions

    Flutter has simple, modern architecture providing businesses with an opportunity to release MVP as fast as possible. It’s a great choice if you need to present your web app to investors, and not only.

    Here are some reasons that make Flutter the unrivaled framework for web apps:

    • It’s possible to embed Flutter in an existing application or embed native controls in a Flutter app. 
    • There are two web renders, the HTML renderer and CanvasKit, and it’s an important advantage for web development. 
    • Dart is transpiled to JavaScript. It’s convenient because all browsers can interpret JS.
    • Flutter has a very active GitHub community. 

    At Surf, we readily contribute to framework development. For example, our ex Tech Lead created Elementary — a new approach to architecture in Flutter apps. It helps provide clean architecture and testable code. The Elementary is especially useful in e-commerce and fintech projects with animations, drop-down lists, and specific changes in the UI under certain conditions. Thanks to the library, we need less time on development, maintenance, and upgrades in the long run.

    If you want to know more about how Flutter works, what differences from other frameworks it has, and how much it costs to create a Flutter web or mobile app, read our another article.

    Flutter 3.0 and its toolset for web development 

    The toolset offered by Flutter is useful and effective. Choosing Flutter for web development, you will be surprised how convenient the process is, and what new features there are in 3.0 version. 

    One of the important features updated recently is image decoding. Flutter web began to automatically detect and use the ImageDecoder API in browsers that support it. Now, most Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Edge, Opera, Samsung Browser, etc.) have added this API.

    The new API decodes images from the main stream asynchronously using the browser’s built-in image codecs, so the image decoding is 2 times faster and does not block the main thread. It helps to avoid lags when loading images.

    The second important feature is web application Lifecycle API. With the new Flutter web app Lifecycle API, you’ll have more control over an initial load of a web app from a server-side HTML page. In addition, the feature makes it easier to analyze the performance of your app in Lighthouse. 

    We have been writing mobile applications in Flutter for 3.5 years. And we also have an internal project where we try everything that our customers will be ready for only “tomorrow”. Yes, it is a Flutter web project.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, I declare: the Lifecycle API is one of changes that help us improve the quality of the product itself, improve the UX for users, and at the same time clean up the developer’s karma. No more “blind loading” and crutches with HTML loaders. Hooray!

    Eugene Saturov, Head of Flutter team at Surf

    Welcoming and active community 

    According to the JetBrains 2021 State of Developer Ecosystem survey and Statista, Flutter is the most popular cross-platform framework. Flutter enthusiasts from all over the world join the community to develop the framework, create tools that make it easier to use, and attend meetups with 60k specialists involved

    Surf isn’t an exception. We have a strong Flutter team participating in world-famous projects: our developers use Flutter to build web and mobile apps for various niches including fintech, foodtech, and entertainment industry.
    Moreover, we developed Surf Gear, a set of libraries and tools to optimize Flutter development, and are glad to share it with the community. Our solutions have been gaining popularity among developers from various countries. And we continue to use Surf Gear in all our Flutter projects, supporting and upgrading its tools.

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    Flutter web apps: promising perspectives for business

    Time and cost efficiency 

    Flutter web apps development helps businesses save much time and money. As the framework is cross-platform, you need less specialists and less time to launch MVP and develop it further. The same code is written for various platforms, and testing is faster because your team tests one app instead of several apps. As a result, depending on the project specific, you can save about 40% on development and 70% on QA, taking into account the use of automated tests.

    At Surf, we had the experience of building a single app for 3 brands of a pharmacy chain—and it took us less than 4 months and allowed us to save 40% of the budget that would otherwise be spent on native apps development . This case illustrates how Flutter helps save time and money on development. Our developer team used the same code base for 3 apps with similar functionality and different design instead of building 6 native apps for iOS and Android. Read the full story to find out more about the results. 

    Proven quality supported by Google

    Flutter and Dart were developed by Google, and they are actively used by the tech giant. For example, Dart is chosen for Google Ads and Fuchsia, and Flutter—for Google Pay. Many other companies, such as BMW, Alibaba Group, Nubank, Supernova, and Toyota trust Flutter and develop web and mobile apps with its help. 

    Thanks to its popularity among businesses and developers, there are numerous case studies showing reasons to use Flutter for web development and results that companies have already got with the framework. 

    At Surf, we know everything about technologies that are worth trust in implementing large-scale projects. KFC DSR, our custom ERP system, is successfully used in 600 restaurants worldwide. Automated work schedules, face recognition system, KPI monitoring tools for managers, and many other features helped our Client digitalize important processes. Read the full story to find out what IT solutions we chose for the ERP system, and what results we got.

    Enthusiastic Flutter app developers to hire 

    As Flutter and Dart are easy to master, there is no problem with inviting developers to your project. At the same time, choosing a skilled developer team, having several Flutter projects under belt, you win in quality. Such teams of enthusiasts grow together with the technology and know all the possible details and fine points, so they know how to implement each feature you wish to see in your Flutter-powered web app, and do it fast and with high quality.  

    If you’re going to hire Flutter web developers, but aren’t not sure about the questions to ask them before the project starts, read the Surf’s article. We offer 25 questions to ask, explain why it’s not enough to hear the right answers from a candidate, and what else is important to know about the hiring process. 

    Regular Flutter updates

    Having developed Flutter, Google actively uses the framework for their own projects, and it’s a kind of a long-term guarantee for businesses choosing the technology. As it became widespread among developers and entrepreneurs all over the world, Google has one more reason to update Flutter regularly. It means, having chosen Flutter, you won’t have to change it for another framework because of lacking support or need for up-to-date tooling

    In addition, Dart is an open source technology. Except the Google team, a lot of third-party developers commit to the Dart repository. The open code gives them an opportunity to communicate directly with the Dart team and get new information about the features that are planned to release.

    At Surf, we have already been convinced that regular updates in Flutter help businesses use top solutions and launch projects that are loved by millions of people. That’s why, working on a custom video streaming platform, one of our most challenging projects, we chose Flutter: it helped us provide smooth UI and animations and save about 40% of the budget over native development. 

    In addition, our developers contributed to video_player, one of the most popular video packages on Flutter. They fixed several bugs that had to do with handling HLS videos, suggested ways to improve playback in background and PiP modes, wrote detailed descriptions of errors, and improved interactions with the OS and its lifecycle.

    Our team’s experience and approach met the Client’s strict requirements and expectations. Read the full story to learn more about solutions we implemented.

    Is Flutter development framework the best match for your web app development? 

    There are at least 9 reasons to use Flutter for web apps development: from its performance, architecture solutions, and toolset to proven quality and time & cost efficiency. This framework deserves the trust of thousands of developers, it is used in famous companies, so it is worth your attention.

    With Flutter 3.0 you win because:

    • 80–95% of the code base is unified. Platform features and UX will have to be adopted, but it takes much less time than rewriting the application from scratch.
    • The code is stable. It is tested once for all platforms, and bugs are fixed simultaneously for each of them.
    • Support becomes easier. Several developers are enough—they help each other with platform-specific tasks, sharing the unified tasks equally. Specialists don’t have to transfer edits across all platforms. 
    • The project enters the market 30–40% faster, and the costs are as much lower.

    At the same time, many things depend on your project needs. Whatever technical stack you choose, you’d better focus on your project goals and specific nature to achieve  great results. 

    At Surf we have successful experience in building Flutter-powered projects: banks, pharma chains, fintech startups, and streaming platforms are among our clients. Become one of them, and we will help you find an appropriate solution for your business.

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