What is Flutter?
What is Flutter?
Paint your app to life in milliseconds with Stateful Hot Reload. Use a rich set of fully-customizable widgets to build native interfaces in minutes.
Quickly ship features with a focus on native end-user experiences. Layered architecture allows for full customization, which results in incredibly fast rendering and expressive and flexible designs.
Flutter’s widgets incorporate all critical platform differences such as scrolling, navigation, icons and fonts, and your Flutter code is compiled to native ARM machine code using Dart’s native compilers.
Pros & Cons of Native Applications
When it comes to native versus cross-platform and making a choice, it is paramount to learn about the pros and cons of each of these frameworks. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of native applications first.
Pros of Native App Development
Native built apps offer extremely high performance in terms of speed, responsiveness and operational efficiency. This is possible as these platform specific apps are programmed using core programming languages and APIs. Moreover, they are able to leverage the device’s processing speed to its full potential, hence ensuring lower load time.
As highlighted earlier, the biggest advantage of native over cross platform is the former’s ability to access all the features of the platform it is made for. This ultimately results in faster execution & better user experience. Additionally, native apps can function without internet connectivity making it the best solution for complex mobile applications.
To create apps with robust and intuitive user experience and consistent look and feel, native technology is your best bet. Developed using native software development kits (SDKs) and destined for a particular operating system, native mobile apps deliver a more natural flow to its users.
Moreover, sticking to specific guidelines allows familiar actions & gestures for users and maintaining aspect ratio ensures better visuals and better control over the user interface.
Higher Security and Reliability
Native apps are better poised to provide protection against security violations over cross-platform apps. How? Native apps are programmed using the core language of the platform, which makes them more secure and reliable.
Also, features such as proactive security upgrades, multi-factor authentication and remote management controls ensure the strictest data security and privacy.
It is easier to launch native apps in the app store as they comply with iOS and Android guidelines by default. Native is considered to be preferred both by Google & Apple as they mostly feature native apps on their store. And ofcourse, getting featured on an app store reinforces your brand and gives your downloads a quantum jump.
Cons of Native App Development
The biggest drawback of Native development is its cost. There are two primary reasons for this high cost – first, native app development is complex due to which professional development and support consumes a lion’s share of the project budget. Note that, native mobile developers are more expensive compared to cross-platform ones. Second, in order to cater to two different sets of audiences i.e., Android and iOS, it requires two distinct native apps, leading to setting up two development teams, and ultimately soaring the total cost.
Difficulties with Updates and Maintenance
Maintaining separate builds for separate platforms that require regular maintenance & support is challenging. You may face difficulty in collaborating several teams or in rolling out feature updates or new features.
Slow Development Speed
The speed of development is yet another downside of mobile native vs. cross-platform app. It consumes significantly more time to develop a native app than its cross-platform counterpart does. There’s also no chance to repurpose the native code of one operating system for another, resulting in slower development.
What is Cross-platform app development?
Cross-platform app development provides you the flexibility of building mobile applications using a universal language, making this single app compatible with more than one mobile platforms. The key advantage of cross-platform is code reusability, thereby simplifying the entire development process.
From my experience, building a usual mid-size Android app takes at least 40 seconds to get shipped onto the test device. And sometimes, it can take forever just to adjust a small visual aspect in the layout. Some of you might say, ‘Wait, but Android Studio has a layout preview for that.’ And it does. Yet, of course, there is a but: the feature is limited and doesn’t always work as expected, especially with custom views.
Flutter’s “hot reload” feature, in turn, allows seeing the applied changes almost instantly, without even losing the current application state. And this is exactly what makes Flutter app development several times faster due to the increased development speed.
Besides, the Flutter team has put lots of effort into providing a wide variety of ready-to-use widgets. Most of them are incredibly customizable, saving your time like no other framework before. In addition to numerous core layout widgets, Flutter provides a large set of Material and Cupertino widgets that perfectly mimic the behavior of each design language. Here’s how they work:
Aside from that, Flutter provides a declarative API for building UI, which, in my experience, noticeably boosts the performance. This is most obvious when it comes to visual adjustments. Read also: Choosing a Map API for Your Next App
Let’s briefly go through the most outstanding advantages of the framework:
Basically, Flutter is the quickest way to deliver a well-performing cross-platform mobile application. I can obviously tell that it’s just the matter of time when Flutter will officially become the ultimate cross-platform UI framework.