What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source SDK developed by Google that enables developers to create high-quality, cross-platform applications with a single codebase. Unlike traditional libraries or frameworks, Flutter is a complete UI software development kit, providing everything you need to build stunning apps for:
Flutter’s secret sauce lies in its ability to support non-standard web apps with complex UI/UX, while offering a vast library of UI components (Widgets) that help save on development costs and achieve a fast development cycle, all thanks to the Flutter framework.
The versatility of Flutter is showcased in its ability to run on multiple operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and web applications, providing a consistent user interface across platforms. The Flutter team continuously works to improve its features and performance, as seen in the recent release of Flutter 3, which now supports macOS and Linux desktop apps, Firebase integration, native development support for Apple Silicon, and many productivity and performance enhancements.
Notably, Flutter’s hot reload feature impresses many, as it enables developers to:
Visualize changes in real-time without restarting the app
Speed up the development process
Make it easier to experiment with different layouts and designs.
How does Flutter work?
At its core, Flutter uses the Dart programming language, its own rendering engine, and a vast collection of customizable widgets. This powerful combination allows for rapid development, smooth animations, and a consistent look and feel across all platforms.
Flutter widgets are the building blocks of the user interface and are inspired by React. They offer a huge selection of pre-made, customizable UI components, including stateful widgets, which can be combined to create unique and visually appealing layouts. The Dart programming language plays a crucial role in Flutter, as it supports both strong and weak typing styles, making it accessible to newcomers. Additionally, Dart handles both layout and code in one place, as everything in Flutter is a widget, eliminating the need for mediators and making Flutter faster and more efficient than its competitors like React Native.
Some of the cool native device features Flutter offers include access to the camera and geolocation, as well as support for over 30 packages for state management. Furthermore, the hot reload feature enables instantaneous visualization of code changes in an emulator, eliminating the need for app recompilation and relaunch. This makes Flutter an attractive option for developers looking to create high-performance apps with real-time updates and notifications.
Why should you consider Flutter for app development?
Multiple factors make Flutter a compelling choice for app development, including its support for cross platform development. One of the most significant advantages is the ability to use a single codebase for multiple platforms. This means you can create Android, iOS, desktop, and web versions of your app using the same code, saving time and resources. Additionally, Flutter’s native-level performance ensures that your app runs smoothly and efficiently on all platforms, providing a seamless user experience.
Additionally, Flutter’s ability to facilitate faster development cycles is another attractive feature. With its vast library of ready-made widgets and the hot reload feature, developers can quickly prototype, test, and iterate on their app designs, speeding up the development process and reducing costs. Furthermore, the growing ecosystem of libraries and tools available for Flutter makes it easier for developers to enhance their app’s features and boost productivity.
From an enterprise app development perspective, Flutter offers the following benefits:
Scalability and robustness, attributed to its hot reload feature and compatibility with large codebases
Handy code and UI debugging tools that work on both platforms, ensuring a smooth development process
High-quality final product
How do Flutter widgets help in mobile app development
Flutter widgets significantly contribute to mobile app development, offering an extensive assortment of customizable UI components for creating unique and visually captivating layouts. This streamlines the Flutter app development process and ensures a consistent user experience across platforms, making Flutter app development services highly sought after.
Some of the popular widget categories in Flutter include Material Design widgets and Cupertino widgets, which help create a consistent user interface across platforms. These widgets, along with the hot reload feature, contribute to a fast development cycle, allowing developers to quickly prototype, test, and iterate on their app designs.
Nevertheless, employing Flutter widgets for UI coding can pose challenges, especially for large applications that may necessitate up to 10 code layers to create a basic object. As a result, developers need to plan their app structure carefully and consider how to best utilize Flutter widgets when building apps to create visually appealing and efficient layouts.
Easy to learn
Thanks to Google's support and developers contributing to the open source project, Flutter is growing rapidly. This means that there is an increasing number of Flutter developers, making it more accessible to businesses.
Flutter has clear and well-written documentation, and there are valuable tutorials available online, plus it has a growing community of developers around the world who are happy to provide support. This means that there are more and more young developers using Flutter, making it more accessible to businesses.
Hot reload for faster design
Flutter features hot reload, a valuable function that boosts the productivity of developers. Hot reload lets developers see their changes in real time, allowing them to code faster and with greater accuracy.