Flutter — The Next Big Thing!

Flutter has managed to create quite a flutter!
Flutter has managed to create quite a flutter!
Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash
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Why Flutter now

It is more than just a framework. This is a superior next generation framework as a tool. The best choice for MVP i.e. Minimum Viable Product in 2020. If you want to building a sleek mobile app, having only a single codebase for your project, Facebook’s React Native and Google’s Flutter are the most formidable contenders today.

Flutter is based on Dart

Dart is relatively easy to pick up and is a good programming language though it does not have the popularity that JavaScript has. A developer trying out Flutter would need to learn Dart. Typically, developers from a C++ or Java background can relate to Dart more than a full-stack JavaScript developer.

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Advantages of Flutter

1. Use of Dart

Dart is an excellent language with no standardization issues. Dart has some similarity with TypeScript which most full stack developers know. That makes it very natural to adopt.

2. Design

Flutter was designed ground up on top of Dart and a fast high-performance rendering engine, Skia. Flutter is not directly compiled to iOS or Android apps. Apps are launched based on a combination of rendering engine (built on C++) and Flutter (built on Dart). All files generated this way attach to each app and SDK assemblies software for a specific platform.

3. Rising Popularity

Just released late 2018, it has already surpassed the popularity of React Native on both GitHub and Stack Overflow. Flutter’s very high performance compilation and different code efficiency factors are the primary contributors to its meteoric rise. These are the reasons why Flutter holds prominence and popularity in the field of mobile app development.

4. Massive Dev Adoption

This means that for your application, there is a greater pool of resources to learn from, more skilled developers available to work on your app, and faster iterations over the technology itself. This also meaning that it will grow and mature faster and stay relevant much longer.

5. Speed

Flutter applications can easily achieve a steady 60fps on most devices and an incredible 120fps on supported devices . It’s true that building truly native apps is hard to beat in terms of performance and smooth rendering but when it comes to cross-platform frameworks, Flutter has clear advantages over the competition. Instead of being a wrapper on top of native UI components like React Native and Xamarin, Flutter draws the UI from scratch.

6. Cross Platform

The Flutter SDK is a cross-platform tool. It allows us to develop for desktop, mobile, and the Web using a single codebase. It also allows you to create beautiful UIs with Flutter’s widgets, layers and interactive assets.

7. Easy learning curve

The Flutter documentation is very comprehensive with lots of good examples. A developers from a C++ or Java background can pick up Dart based Flutter as it is very similar. Also native developers will find it very natural and flowing.

8. Single codebase

Flutter supports both Android and iOS mobile platforms and lets you run everything off one codebase. Having various widgets, a complex UI is built that looks similar on different versions of operating systems.

9. Developer Friendly

Flutter is supported on many different IDEs like IntelliJ and VS Code. Also supported on Android Studio. The user can download Flutter and dart plug-ins to begin the integration.

10. Less development time

You can create high performance applications in record time. Any beautiful interfaces in no time.

  1. Cupertino, compatible with Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines for iOS.

State Management

Flutter may be a young development tool, there are many things that excites us. One thing which is beautifully handled is state management. Let us look at some of the simple approaches to this complex topic.

  1. setState : This is a very good feature to manage states. People familiar with ReactJS already know this concept. The very low-level approach to use for widget-specific and ephemeral state.
  2. InheritedWidget & InheritedModel
    The low-level approach used to communicate between ancestors and their children in the widget tree. This is what actually providers and many other approaches use under the hood.
  3. Redux : A state container approach familiar to many web developers. Redux implementation in Dart relies on the ScopedModel. The state is in one class that has the ability to change by action dispatch within the app. Changing the state further rebuilds the widget.
  4. BLoC / Rx : A family of stream and observable based patterns.
  5. MobX : A popular library based on observables and reactions. The concept consists of Observables, Actions, and Reactions. Observables are changing data.
  6. GetX : A very simplified reactive state management solution.

Drawbacks of Flutter

Nothing is perfect and there is always something that can improve. The road to becoming a legendary framework is beset with some hurdles.

  1. Flutter apps are quite bigger in size compared to native developed applications
  2. It cannot support apps for 32-bit iOS devices like those older than iPhone 5s. It you cannot run Flutter on your 32-bit Windows too.
  3. It has limitations in terms of UI rendering on native platforms like video on Apple TV and Android TV.
  4. Any features that are newly added on native iOS and Android systems will naturally be introduced in Flutter later. The native versions will always lead ahead.
  5. Flutter is a relatively new framework and has limited number of libraries. The developers community did not get had enough time to develop as many libs as native languages offer. Currently there are over 4000 libraries that can be used with Flutter apps.
  6. Although Flutter is easy to learn, you might need some experience with native app development to build a production ready cross-platform app.
  7. With Flutter, there is always a chance you are the first one facing a particular problem and there is little hope that someone will help you out.

Technology Backing

The brand Google is enough to signal a positive emotion. Also some very big companies have switched to Flutter, such as Google Ads, Alibaba, Reflectly, Hamilton music and many more.

  1. iOS
  2. React Native
  3. Xamarin.Forms
  4. Web

Better than ReactNative

Flutter uses Dart, an object-oriented programming language that supports static typing and exhibits a syntax that is quite different from JavaScript.

Conclusion

If Flutter sticks around, it could bring you some exciting mobile development experience and opportunities in the future. You are looking at one very potent future tool.

Software Architect / Writer

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