Table of Contents
Is Flutter a Good Option for 2022 Mobile App Development?
Flutter has been around for almost four years, and we frequently recommend it to clients at Syndell. This is due to a variety of advantages, including rapid app development and simultaneous app upgrades on iOS and Android. Flutter has received numerous updates over the years, and we thought it was a good time to see if it is still a strong programming language for mobile app development in 2022.
A lot depends on what you want to achieve and the business goals of your project. Flutter is an excellent framework for some tasks. We’ll go over the main benefits and drawbacks of Flutter, as well as our honest thoughts on what types of mobile products it’s best suited to.
What Types of Mobile Apps are Best Suited to Flutter?
Simply put, Flutter can be used for almost any app. Listed below are a few examples:
- Banks and fintech; ecommerce and retail (including online stores and loyalty programmes)
- Large companies/enterprises (contact centers, organization of internal processes, logistics and many others).
- Uber, AirBnB, and Alibaba are well-known companies that have used flutter programming language to create mobile apps.
Some Words About Native App Development
While cross platform app development (such as React Native, Ionic, and Xamarin) has taken the mobile world by storm in recent years, native app development is not dead. There are still numerous advantages to writing code intended to run directly on Android and iOS apps. As a developer, you can also use UI components to give your app a native feel and interact with it to give it native functionality. Native apps are high-speed and responsive because they are built specifically for that platform and compiled using its core programming language and APIs. As a result, they have the potential to be far more efficient than cross platform app development.
Advantages of Mobile App Development Flutter
1. Quick App Development
Flutter is a cross-platform solution, so one codebase can run on Android and iOS. This shortens the app development process. Of course, it will not be cut in half, but it is safe to bet that writing one codebase for both platforms will take at least 50% less time than creating it separately for both platforms. I and other of our developers also think writing a flutter app is easier than writing native applications – we wrote a blog post about it some time ago.
2. App Updates on Android and iOS at The Same Time
Because both platforms use the same codebase, you can release app updates simultaneously. This isn’t easy to achieve when both platforms have separate projects. Synchronizing is difficult due to varying developer availability or more comprehensive implementation on one platform. The issue becomes more complicated when an application update necessitates changes to the backend infrastructure.
Because we simultaneously create applications for both platforms, Flutter and other cross-platform tools eliminate this issue. Of course, it is essential to remember that both iOS and Android applications must go through pre-release reviews.
3. Easier Feature Development and Maintenance
You can concentrate on growing your user base when your apps are finished and published. This frequently entails switching the app into maintenance mode, where fixing bugs takes precedence over adding new features.
During this stage, many startups consider forming their team. It may be easier with the flutter app because you only need to hire one mobile app developer for iOS and one for Android.
4. Fuchsia Support is Available Right Away
Google has finally released Fuchsia, its new operating system. Fuchsia is an open-source project to develop a production-grade operating system focusing on security, upgradability, and performance. Fuchsia is a platform for mobile app developers to build long-lasting products and experiences that work across various devices. Although it is still in its early stages, there is speculation that Fuchsia may eventually replace Android. Flutter is a Fuchsia-specific framework. If you write a mobile app in Flutter, you’ll be ready to release it on Fuchsia from the start. This can help your app gain, early adopters.
5. A Winner in Advanced User Interface
Flutter renders the entire interface with an internal graphics engine called Skia, which is also used by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Sublime Text 3. Flutter’s fast and well-optimized software allows it to behave differently than most other mobile development frameworks.
Using Flutter is more akin to writing a game than it is to develop a mobile app. The operating system provides a blank canvas, and the application draws all UI elements. The flutter app team worked hard to recreate Material UI components and Apple Design System elements internally. It is very simple to create attractive custom UI elements that will work on both Android and iOS. Of course, you can also create your own components, and the flutter programming language is fantastic. As a result, Flutter is an excellent choice for mobile apps with advanced, custom UI designs.
6. Simple Adjustment to Different Screen Dimensions
The flutter app layout system and framework’s declarative nature make writing and fitting views to different screen dimensions easier than in the iOS SDK. Furthermore, animation creation is smoother than in native iOS and Android. flutter programming language now supports desktop and web applications as well.
Last year, Apple introduced SwiftUI, a new declarative framework for writing user interfaces. This framework simplifies the creation of user interfaces for iOS mobile applications. SwiftUI code will also be portable to macOS and iPadOS, as announced at this year’s WWDC. The flutter app development services, on the other hand, have worked hard to bring Flutter desktop and web support, which can now be used for internal or non-end-user tools.
7. A Single User Interface Design
If you want your mobile app to look native on both iOS and Android, a flutter programming language is probably not the best choice. This will be explained further in the disadvantages section, but for now, let’s return to the pros.
You will only need one UI design prepared by designers if you use a single codebase for both platforms. The cross platform app development usually adheres to Material Design principles, with only minor adjustments for different platforms (which Flutter usually handles automatically) or makes the entire UI look custom, with elements based on the best solutions from iOS and Android.
8. Technology That Has Been Tried and Tested
Flutter is a relatively new mobile app technology (the first stable version was released on December 4th, 2018). Still, it has already been tested in the field by companies such as Google (Ads and Greentea apps, an interface of NEST Hub device), Alibaba (Xianyu app), BMW, EBay, Toyota, and others. Google maintains flutter, so this may not be authoritative, but Alibaba has over 50 million users and has been mentioned in Apple’s “New Apps We Love” category so that you can trust the flutter app as a technology for your following product.
9.Gaining Access to Device Features
One of the main reasons why some developers are hesitant to use cross platform app development is a lack of access to native features. They may have difficulty accessing smartphone features such as the microphone, camera, and geolocation in ways that a native app would. But keep in mind that you can use features in flutter app as well, though it’s a little more complicated.
You must write iOS or Android code (in Objective-C/Swift or Java/Kotlin) and send data to the Dart programming language (the primary language in Flutter) via a unique mechanism known as platform channels. The flutter app development services team and community have prepared tracks for the majority of your phone’s native functions, so you don’t have to write them yourself. These platform channels can be helpful if you want to use something less popular (such as a native library).
If you are a mobile SaaS provider, you should now offer your SDK for Flutter or risk losing many potential customers. Remember that there are numerous libraries available for third-party providers. I only had to write native code once because of a bug in a QR Code Scanning library, which I fixed and committed to that library.
10. Stable Performance of Compiled Code
Flutter was built with animation support in mind. Custom interactions and rich animation are much easier to create than in native iOS or Android. Of course, adding liveliness to the application takes time. I don’t want to give the impression that you can build an animated app in flutter app in the same amount of time it takes to make an unanimated native app. Nonetheless, I can assure you that if animations are essential in your application, you should consider Flutter.
Disadvantages of Mobile App Development Flutter
1. Platform-specific Appearance and Feel
As mentioned in the advantages section, if you want your app to follow Apple Design System on iPhones and Material Design on Android devices, you should create two separate applications.
Of course, you can check which platform the app runs on and render different components on the screen in Flutter. This is used when we want to display Dialogs/Alerts that look like they are native to the system. However, writing an entire application in this manner will take longer than writing two separate applications. Flutter, after all, is a cross-platform framework.
2. Platform Restrictions
The nature of Flutter’s UI rendering adds some constraints. For example, if some features are integrated into the UI on native platforms, the Flutter team must recreate them. One example is the video player; there are Flutter implementations of video players, but they differ from the system one (especially on iOS).
Solving this and other similar problems is possible, but it takes time.
3. Operation of New System Features
All new iOS and Android features are introduced later in Flutter than in their native SDKs. While foldable screens and dark system mode are now available in Flutter, they were introduced after their SDK counterparts. However, because we must maintain system compatibility, we cannot usually add new system features from release day in native development.
4. Native SDK Understanding
Every Flutter project will require native development expertise, from simple tasks such as creating an Android version to more complex tasks such as flavours and building on iOS to writing native views for both platforms. We are in a good position at Syndell because we can always ask native developers for assistance. However, if you are thinking about starting your own team, keep in mind that flutter app developers must be open to both platforms.
5. Increased Project Size
We’re adding a third-party library to our project with Flutter. As a result of this, our application will be larger in terms of file size. But don’t be concerned. A difference of 10-20MB on the iOS application is not a big deal in today’s world, where everyone has a broadband internet connection. Furthermore, a flutter programming language for Android supports this app bundle, which reduces the size of application updates. However, you should consider this point when developing demand for countries with limited internet access (in most cases, cross-platform solutions and iOS applications are unnecessary).
Is Flutter a Viable Option For Mobile App Development in 2022?
If you want to build cross-platform apps, Flutter has a lot of advantages. It provides faster deployment, simultaneous app upgrades, a single codebase for both iOS and Android, and increased efficiency, to name a few benefits. Perhaps this is why it is becoming increasingly popular among cross-platform frameworks. And many large Flutter apps are already available, developed by major brands. However, there are some situations where Flutter should not be your first choice. Flutter is not the best choice for developing apps that connect to a hardware device via Bluetooth or for creating instant apps that must be small in size.