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In the process of deciding what software development technology to choose for your next mobile application, it might be tempting to fall for everything new and trendy. Who needs native development or old frameworks like React Native (released in 2015) when you can have Flutter?

In the process of deciding what software development technology to choose for your next mobile application, it might be tempting to fall for everything new and trendy. Who needs native development or old frameworks like React Native (released in 2015) when you can have Flutter?

But experienced developers know that sometimes it is better to check twice and choose stability over novelty. In this article, we will discuss the factors that will help you decide whether to choose Flutter or stick with something better known:

  • What is Flutter?
  • What are the benefits of Flutter?
  • What can Flutter do?
  • What problems does Flutter have?
  • What is Flutter unable to do?

Contact us for a consultation if you’re not sure whether to choose Flutter for your next mobile app project or not. If you want to investigate this yourself, read on. 

What is Flutter?

Flutter is an open-source mobile UI framework released in 2017. It was built by Google with the help of the company’s own software development language, Dart.

What is Flutter? The components.

What is Flutter? The components.

Dart can be compared to JavaScript, so the majority of developers have few problems learning Dart.

Flutter can be divided into two parts:

  • Flutter SDK. A software development kit, a set of tools that help developers build mobile apps. These include tools that help compile Flutter code into native iOS or Android code. 
  • Flutter UI framework. This is a collection of reusable UI elements that developers can customize for their own needs. 

Developers choose Flutter for several benefits that we will review below.

What’s great about Flutter?

Businesses love to develop cross-platform applications because they are cheaper to build and maintain. With Flutter, developers can quickly create mobile apps with appealing UI that look good on iOS, Android, and web platforms.  

Flutter is lightweight, open-source, and relatively easy to learn.

Flutter allows developers to build mobile apps with only one codebase. It means that developers use one programming language and one code to build two mobile apps at the same time, for iOS and Android.

What Flutter can do

Flutter provides enough benefits for developers to become their number one choice:

  • Saves time and budget. As a cross-platform development tool, Flutter allows software designers to use one code base for two apps, for Android and iOS. This approach drastically saves resources throughout the development process.
  • Provides good performance, even similar to native apps. With Flutter app development, there are few bugs or freezes in performance. The app is indistinguishable from the native application.

What Flutter can do, its benefits.

What Flutter can do, its benefits.

  • Provides compatibility. Using Flutter, developers use its own customizable widgets. This not only results in seamless compatibility but also saves time on testing and ensures that the app will work well after OS updates. Google uses Flutter as an internal tool, and developers are eager to update Flutter’s widgets as soon as OS updates arrive. 
  • Ensures developers have widgets at hand. Flutter has its own widgets for accelerated development and proper compatibility. Later, we will discuss whether this is sufficient for developers.

While Flutter is definitely a good framework that boasts significant benefits, there are times when it doesn’t suit particular project requirements. Let’s find out what Flutter can’t do.

What problems does Flutter have?

Flutter is a relatively new framework. Sometimes it’s even considered to be the future of mobile development, but there are some drawbacks. 

Let’s take a look at some of the major limitations that need to be considered before picking Flutter for your next app development project.

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What Flutter can’t do

  • Lacks third-party widgets and libraries. Flutter does have its own widgets and provides developers with extensive libraries, but they are not enough for full-fledged development. It lacks third-party libraries, which limits the abilities of developers. Comparing Flutter to React Native, you’ll note that React Native has lots of third-party libraries available, which are easy to find and use. At the same time, some of the Flutter widgets are even platform-specific, which means they suit only iOS or Android and do not fit cross-platform development.

What Flutter can't do, the drawbacks.

What Flutter can’t do, the drawbacks.

  • Does not allow for code pushing. Bugs are normal and happen everywhere. Developers prefer working with technologies and frameworks that provide a handy way to deal with bugs, and unfortunately Flutter doesn’t provide one. It lacks code push — a feature that allows developers to push patches to the app without going through the whole application release process. The patch fixes bugs and the application continues to work smoothly. 
  • Does not provide relevant tools for application development for TVs and watches. Mobile applications are not limited to smartphones; there are plenty of gadgets to develop apps for. If you want to develop apps for smart watches, TVs, or Android Auto, it is better to choose another framework. Flutter provides limited support for Wear OS and has to add Bitcode to support tvOS and watchOS. With such limitations, Flutter development for devices other than smartphones can be a headache. 

Now that you know some of the disadvantages of Flutter, you might think twice before choosing it as your main technology for mobile app development.

Will Flutter take over?

Let’s recap:

  • Flutter is a relatively new framework designed by Google. It is open-source and supported by Google engineers.
  • Flutter is lightweight, easy to master, and saves time and budget on development.
  • It provides native-like performance on Android and iOS platforms, along with a good interface look.
  • Flutter has its own widgets for accelerated development and advanced compatibility. Yet there are few third-party components and not so many built-in widgets. 
  • Developers have to republish Flutter apps to eliminate bugs instead of simple code pushing. 
  • Flutter is not the most convenient technology to build mobile applications for devices other than smartphones. 

To sum up: will Flutter take over?

To sum up: will Flutter take over?

Having all that information at hand, you can easily decide whether to choose Flutter for mobile application development on your next project. This SDK is definitely a good choice for cross-platform development of simple and fast mobile apps. But when it comes to complex projects, be sure to compare Flutter with more mature frameworks.

If you are not sure what mobile software development technology to choose, contact us for a personal consultation. We will help you make the right choice and provide development services for your project.

jegor alexeichuk

Mobile Development Team Lead at HQSoftware

A highly skilled mobile developer with 12 years of experience and a passion to iOS apps. Has a deep understanding of user interface design best practices, possesses expertise in cross-platform mobile development.

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Read also

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