Why did SolveIt open Flutter department?Our decision to provide Flutter app development services wasn’t spontaneous. In recent years, we are witnessing the surging demand for cross-platform app development from our clients. For most of them, it is a perfect solution in terms of price-quality ratio, time-to-market and productivity. Previously, we worked a lot with React Native, a Flutter competitor, to supply our clients with cross-platform apps. However, our experience with it was far from placid: • Multiple bugs in React Native itself which are resolved slowly or left unresolved; • Apps have poor performance due to the React Native Bridge (one of ReactNative core parts); • React Native elements are far from native in terms of UX. It is costly to achieve a native look and feel.
Flutter or React Native in 2022?The Flutter release raised the bar for cross-platform frameworks in terms of performance. Looking at how active Google promotes Flutter and market reaction, we considered Flutter as a promising framework. All these encouraged us to get it off the ground and onboard flutter experts.
Flutter, briefly• UI framework by Google. • Open-source and free. • Officially presented in December 2018. • Programming language Dart. • UI elements are rendered with its own graphic engine. • Over 150,000 Flutter apps on the Play Store. • Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb, Ebay, Groupon, SpaceX Go, The New York Times. Why do people choose Flutter and what are the perspectives? Let’s dive into Flutter a bit deeper.
Why choose Flutter for mobile app development?The main and well-known reason why companies choose cross-platform development is cost-effectiveness and faster development time compared to the native development approach. However, cross-platform apps were losing significantly in terms of productivity and native appearance. So, for a long time clients had to choose between cost (cross-platform) and quality (native). With Flutter it became feasible to build apps which are close to the native ones in terms of performance.
Why is Flutter the best choice for cross-platform application development?• Includes all advantages of cross-platform app development like time and cost-effectiveness, single code base, unified UI/UX, etc. • Performance and productivity are closest to native apps. • The ability to compile applications for desktop and web platforms in the future. • Hot reload - Flutter function especially loved by developers. It allows you to instantly see the changes made to the code. It means time & cost-saving, as well more experimenting which leads to better UI and UX.
Flutter problemsFlutter disadvantages are mostly aligned with its youth. So, if Google keeps putting efforts into it, we think that within 5 years these flaws will be improved or eliminated at all. • Lack of third-party libraries. For example, payment services rarely have SDK for Flutter. → Use native frameworks and SDK's. • For a lot of interaction with the device hardware, we still need to write native code. • Since the framework is young, the update interval is very short, which is inconvenient and unstable. → Inhale. Exhale. 🙂 • The final size of the downloaded application is larger, which is crucial for complex solutions. → Don’t use Flutter for complex apps. • The interface is created using code, which makes the line between business logic and design thinner. If not using the right architecture approach, the project becomes expensive to support in the long run. → Implement architecture patterns when the elements are not tightly connected to each other. • Lack of qualified developers. → Hire a development agency.
Flutter app priceGenerally, Flutter application development costs less than native app development. However, it depends on the complexity of the solution, required integrations of 3rd party services and device features, as well as development team rates.
How do we make most of Flutter?Company-wide we determined the following steps to be able to create high performing apps on Flutter: 1. Involve native developers into Flutter projects; 2. Use native elements in Flutter apps; 3. Track latest updates of Flutter; 4. Grow expertise in native development of our Flutter developers.
When to choose Flutter?Considering Flutter’s pros and cons, Flutter is a good choice for almost any type of mobile app. It is good-to-go for startups and creating MVPs, as well as for medium and large businesses. However, there are some industries, where developing a highly productive app on Flutter would cost as much as or even more than native development.
Reasons to choose FlutterFlutter is the best option if you don’t need very complex interaction with native elements or device hardware and you want to minimize cost and development time. • Healthcare apps; • Ecommerce and retail apps; • Travel and booking apps; • On-demand apps.
Definitely nativeFlutter is still no go for complex apps that require lots of animations, interaction with rare native libraries and device features (camera, tracking, smart devices etc), AR/VR capabilities. In these cases, we build native apps. • Games; • Photo and video editing tools; • Fitness trackers and similar tools; • Apps for managing smart devices via Bluetooth; • Streaming apps.
Try hybridFrankly speaking, we are not big fans of the hybrid development approach. However, in some cases, it might be a better solution than investing in cross-platform or native app development. These rare cases include: • progressive web and instant apps where UI and UX are not a priority; • fast and cost-effective idea testing.
Our Flutter-related ambitionsWe begin everything keeping our clients in mind. So, the main Flutter-related goal is to help companies create high-quality applications where there is no need for native applications or the budget is limited. To make it happen, we are growing our Flutter and native app development expertise together. What’s more, we want to experiment with embedding Flutter modules into native applications in cases where there is a simple functionality that needs to be implemented on several platforms at once.
What is the future of Flutter?Speaking about the near future, Flutter demand in 2022 is highly likely to grow further. It is backed up with surging popularity of cross platform development approach and benefits Flutter gives to both developers and users.
“You can’t be sure that Flutter will never end up on Google Cemetery. However, the demand for cross-platform apps is strong and highly unlikely to decrease. Plus, we see Google’s actions related to Flutter: increasing awareness, growing community, reacting fast to comments and requirements. The market reacts: many companies develop and even switch from other platforms to Flutter. Moreover, Google is developing OS for Android which uses Flutter elements. So, I believe it won’t become a thing of the past, at least within 5 years.”
— Andrey Savich, CTO at SolveIt