The mobile app development market is growing at a scorching pace.
The number of smartphone users in 2021 is more than 6 billion and mobile apps are expected to generate a whopping revenue of $935 billion by 2023.
To cater to this mammoth market developers are using a number of frameworks. Among these the cross platform frameworks are gaining in popularity as you can develop apps and widgets of both Android and iOS with single code.
While there are a number of cross platform frameworks available, Flutter promoted by Google has gained quite a reputation in terms of flexibility, features and ease of use.
In this article you will find the pros and cons of Flutter to understand how robust and reliable it is for your needs.
What is Flutter?
It is an open-source framework that allows you to create cross-platform solutions using a single code base.
This Google product uses a unique programming language called Dart. It allows you to create mobile apps and widgets for iOS and Android platforms quickly. Moreover, apps built using Flutter provide a native-like feel & appearance. Hence, leading companies choose Flutter for building apps.
Benefits of Flutter
Flutter offers several benefits that help in faster and cheaper mobile app development. Some of these benefits are mentioned below.
It Is Free and Open Source
As Flutter is an open-source framework, it is easily accessible and allows you a wider scope for design.
As it is free, the overall app development cost with this framework comes down radically.
Flutter has a hot reload feature that allows you to look at the effects of your edits in the code in real-time.This feature helps in considerably reducing the app development process.
Furthermore, you can use a single code base to create apps for both Android and iOS and the apps that you create with Flutter are not bound by any device limitations.
Easy Learning Curve
There is a large body of detailed documentation and examples available on the Internet regarding Flutter. This is an invaluable help for those who want to learn about this framework.
Even experienced developers who may hit a roadblock while writing a code may refer to the examples or articles available on the Internet to quickly resolve the issue and go ahead with the programming.
Offers Relatively Faster Development
As Flutter is a cross-platform framework, it allows you to use the same code base to create mobile applications for Android or iOS.
This helps in accelerating the app development process and also ensures that a single team can create apps for both Android and iOS.
Flutter has a huge archive of widgets that are properly cataloged which makes your job as a developer much easier in creating an app.
Some of the categories in which these widgets are categorized are as follows:
- Animation and Motion
- Interaction Model
- Material Component et cetera
It Adapts to Different Screen Sizes Better
There is a range of mobile phones available in the market with diverse aspect ratios and sizes.
Flutter has a beautiful layout system and a declarative nature. It makes your job as an app developer easier to create apps that can easily fit in different layouts either in iOS or Android.
Limitations of Flutter
While Flutter has several advantages and is usually popular amongst developers who are looking for a cross-platform framework, it has some limitations that you should be aware of.
It Lacks Third-Party Widgets and Libraries Support
One of the few disadvantages of this open-source framework is that it lacks third-party libraries.
Although the UI package of Flutter is pretty amazing, the lack of third-party libraries is a big issue with this framework.
Third-party libraries give extensive flexibility to a developer and its lack of support has forced many of them to move away to other frameworks.
Unable to Create Purely Android and iOS Looking App on a Single CodeBase
It is very hard to get the perfect platform-specific feel and look on a mobile app with a single code base.
If you want to create apps with material design principles on both iOS and Android devices, then you have to create two separate applications, which negates the advantages it provides in offering a single code base for creating apps for different platforms.
Huge File Size
The file size of Flutter is quite big which makes it unattractive to users as it occupies too much space on their smartphones.
The developers use different ways to minimize the code size by restricting the use of animations, using low-resolution images, and using minimum libraries and packages, which in turn can affect the overall functionality and the number of features the app provides.
It Is Still an Immature Framework
Flutter is pretty young and still has few nagging problems along with a lack of advanced features that would have allowed you to create apps that could optimally leverage the operating systems.
Some of the features are yet to be supported and as many of the libraries are still in the pre-alpha stage it shows its inherent limitations when you compare it with some of the native counterparts.
Flutter has grown in popularity over the years and the current trend shows that more and more developers are adopting this framework to create mobile apps and widgets.
While there are certain cons associated with Flutter, if you do a comprehensive analysis you will find that the pros significantly outweigh the cons.
Flutter gives you some great advantages like a faster development cycle and lower cost which can be a game-changer when you decide to launch your app in the market faster.