Why is Flutter a Viable Cross-Platform Framework?

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Posted: May 23, 2018

Introduction 

Mobile app development concerns itself with two major factors, the time to market and the quality of the product. There are various cross-platform frameworks which give developers the freedom to kill two birds with one stone; Xamarin, Flutter, Cordova, Intel XDK, etc. We shall take a look and analyze to show the superiority of one: Flutter.

What is Flutter?

Flutter, developed by Google, is a cross-platform framework that is used to develop mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows OS. The Flutter framework is modern & reactive; two features needed in order to build powerful apps with an intuitive User Interface, shared code functionality, and easy accessibility on any mobile platform. 

Mobile app development, since the emergence of Flutter, has been made easier, with the increased possibility of rapid deployment. Companies are now tending towards hiring dedicated developers who use Flutter because of the reduced cost of native app development. This development is, perhaps, attributed to the fact that Flutter was built with C, C++, Dart, and Skia. As well, all of the release code is compiled in native code, eliminating the need for a interpreter. 

Why Dart & Skia?

Kotlin is good, in fact, for mobile app development. It is a better and more modern alternative to Java. However, Dart is great! There’s no boilerplate code, it is public by default, there are no primitives, and there’s a dedicated dartfmt which eliminates all your worries about formatting. The list goes on and on. Dart is used for building the Flutter components and Skia 2D engine gives the code life.

Dart houses the framework code, and the actual engine implementation is done in C++. This code is then compiled using the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) into the native code. For iOS, the code is compiled ahead of time (AOT) with Low-Level Virtual Machine (LLVM). Also, unlike conventional frameworks which use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Widgets, Flutter uses its widgets. 

Related Article: Top Trends 2018 of iOS App Development

Why is Flutter a Viable Cross-Platform Framework?

Flutter has Impeccable Documentation

Sometimes, software developers are saddled with the burden of learning a new language when they are introduced to a new framework. Flutter allows you to be multi-lingual without even trying. The documentation is great; extremely simple, yet thorough. This makes Flutter the ideal choice when you want to hire dedicated developers who do not have consummate knowledge of the language.

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Excellent Debugging Tools

Flutter, with tools like the Dart Analyzer, Dart Observatory, Debug Mode Assertions, is able to accelerate mobile app development. One of the prominent tools which allows you to see updates in real-time after a UI update is the hot reload. The IntelliJ plug-in is also supported by Flutter and this is able to provide autofill, debugging, and other similar functions.

The debug painting tool which gives developers the opportunity to see the widget’s appearance and the padding is another impressive feature. Lastly, the toggle platform tool, which gives developers the opportunity to see the difference between the UI of the iOS and Android OS is one to utilize. All these play their part in ensuring that Flutter is able to achieve uniformity and quality without sacrificing speed or fluidity.

Flutter Helps Developers to be Productive

Flutter helps you manage resources properly as you are able to use the same codebase for both iOS and Android. Essentially, mobile app development is accelerated and more functional apps can be built. Flutter, on their official website, declared that developers get to use the same language that was used to build a large part of Flutter. This explains the need for strict adherence to productivity.

Object-Orientation

The major problem with native app development that Flutter set out to solve is creating a visual user experience. Rather than using a non-object oriented language, Flutter relies on object-oriented development. In the process of hiring dedicated developers, you may realize that the majority of developers are proficient in object-oriented development and this makes it easy for them to learn Flutter.

Flutter Implements Widgets

You are able to create attractive applications with an array of visually stimulating and structurally functional widgets. This is one of the fundamentals of Flutter and, by doing this, Google is providing developers with a plethora of unconventional options, all culminating in a rapid deployment of mobile apps. 

Unlike conventional native app development which involves bridges and linking features, Flutter controls each and every pixel displayed. This provides many options for the customization of UI, creating truly bespoke mobile apps. The use of widgets also gives freedom to mimic native controls.

What is Fuchsia and Why is Flutter Relevant to It?

Google is on the verge of making history again. They are building a new operating system called Fuchsia and Fuchsia will be built using Dart. What’s more, Flutter will be the default SDK for developing Fuchsia apps. 

Flutter Beta 2

The second build of Flutter (v0.2.8) has been released and as usual, the emphasis is on the speed, ease of use, and improved developer tools. One significant improvement is seen in the optimization of the asset system. Now, apps built with Flutter launches faster as the unnecessary extractions of assets which used to cause slow launch has been addressed. Among other things, the Dart 2 programming language is now enabled by default. 

Flutter and the Future of Native App Development?

While we cannot, with all certainty, predict how the future will look, we can safely say that Flutter is equipped to take a sizeable share of the market. Mobile app development will definitely be better with the utilization of Flutter; mostly because of the simplicity. Also, it is very likely that Flutter will be used to implement business logic for applications, and used to write UI when using native Software Development Kits. Ultimately, Flutter is underpinned by Google and the tech giants will do all in their power to make sure Flutter emerges superior. 

Conclusion

Three things seem to be working in Flutter’s favor: support from an established organization, a swift framework which prioritizes speed, and an amazing learning curve which provides a pathway for programmers to learn quickly. With anticipated improvements in the nearest future, Flutter is equipped to become one of the superior cross-platform frameworks.

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