Discover Flutter for mobile, web, and desktop development

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Flutter is an open-source toolkit developed by Google. It allows you to create native apps compiled for iOS and Android, as well as websites and desktop apps. Flutter makes it possible to develop an application more quickly using Dart as a programming language; a language that is also developed by Google. Google was inspired by React to create the Flutter framework, the first version of which they released in late 2018.

The advantages of application development

Flutter allows you to develop your application from a single code base which can then be deployed on iOS, Android, the web, and the desktop (Mac, Windows). This avoids having to re-develop all the code for your application for each different platform with different languages.

The framework is easy to learn because most of the widgets already exist. They are reusable components throughout your project, which aim to make the job faster. There are widgets that allow you to create a list or a navigation bar, there are some that are there to help you place elements on the page or even create a form in just a few lines. After a little practice, the Dart language becomes quite intuitive and allows you to fully exploit the potential of widgets.

With Flutter, it is very easy to see in real-time the modifications that you make in your code because it is equipped with a powerful hot reload. When you save your code, the changes made are displayed after a few seconds on the device and there is no need to restart the application entirely.

Another positive point, there are a lot of packages that are usable and are there to facilitate the work. They are coded and made available by other developers. Just import them and they are ready to use. An example of a package often used is Google authentication, which allows you to connect to an application with your google login without having to create a new account.

The limits of this technology

As this is a fairly recent technology, everything is not yet optimal.

Flutter is not very suitable for large projects. The files take up a lot of space which has a consequence on the final application because it becomes slower at startup.

In terms of documentation, there is a lack of certain aspects, even if solutions are often found on the internet for most cases.

Then, pre-existing packages are missing when you want to get into more complicated concepts like graphics or calendars. There are a few, but they aren’t complete or do exactly what you want them to do. It is therefore necessary to modify them to have the correct result.

In summary

Flutter is a great way to make an application for iOS and Android quickly once you have learned the Dart language. Widgets are easy to use and help speed up the development process. For someone who has never used Dart, it will obviously take time to learn and understand the language, which is a slight setback for the first applications.

So should you choose Flutter for your next mobile app project? As often with technological choices, it all depends on the needs and functionalities of your project in order to determine what will be the most optimal as a development technology.

Written by

Christina Cheeseman is a Technology Strategist at Elitech Systems. She enjoys writing about Technology, marketing & industry trends.

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