Often, startup founders and CTOs are faced with the dilemma of choosing between native or cross-platform mobile app development for their startups.
After researching whether to go the native or cross-platform route, you may conclude by choosing the cross-platform route.
This choice can be attributed to one of the following reasons: faster development which means faster time to market; flexibility; Adaptability; stability of your mobile app; better performing mobile apps.
No matter the reason why you decide to use the cross-platform app development route, you are likely to face another decision dilemma – the right framework to use for your mobile app development.
In today’s world of software development, particularly mobile app development where cross-platform development frameworks include Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, Sencha, Ionic, etc, making the right choice of framework is paramount to get the maximum benefit possible for developers and businesses alike.
In this article, you will get an overview of Flutter – an open-source framework developed and supported by Google.
You will also learn why Flutter is an excellent choice for cross-platform mobile application development and the benefits of choosing Flutter for startups.
Let’s dive right in 🚀
Overview of Flutter: Statistics and Features
Flutter is an open-source framework created by Google that allows developers to build mobile apps for cross-mobile platforms (iOS and Android).
The key advantage of Flutter is that instead of writing native code for each platform separately, you can reuse the same Dart code for both platforms.
“Flutter is Google’s UI toolkit for building beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase.” – Google, flutter.dev
The popularity and adoption of Flutter have grown since it was released to the open-source community by Google.
According to the Stack Overflow 2022 survey, we see that 12.64% of the respondents chose Flutter, surpassing the percentage for React Native.
This survey also shows that 68.03% of respondents said they loved Flutter, whereas 13.52% of respondents want to use Flutter for their next cross-platform app development.
A look into Flutter vs. React Native on Google Trends between January 2021 and October 2023 shows a great disparity in the interest in both frameworks, with more people searching about Flutter-related topics.
Aside from these statistics, noteworthy features of Flutter include:
- Flutter includes a full SDK with tools for compiling code into native machine code for iOS and Android.
- Flutter also provides a rich set of customizable UI elements and widgets for building mobile app user interfaces.
- Leveraging Flutter’s cross-platform capabilities and extensive widget library, developers can build high-quality native apps for both major mobile platforms efficiently using a single programming language.
Why You Should Choose Flutter as a Startup?
Mobile applications have become essential for businesses looking to expand, as the number of mobile phone users is expected to reach around 7.49 billion by 2025.
Having a mobile app is, therefore, crucial for the success of any business today.
Flutter offers numerous advantages, making it an excellent choice for startups building mobile apps. In this section, I will walk you through some of the reasons why you need to use Flutter for your startup mobile app development:
Flutter Reduces your Time-To-Market
Flutter makes building and iterating on MVPs very fast for startups. You can quickly build and test concepts before fully developing them.
One of the advantages of Flutter is its fast development cycle, which can help to reduce time to market. Flutter has a built-in set of tools, libraries, and widgets that make it easy to create professional-grade mobile apps with minimal time and effort.
This can help businesses to quickly release new products and services and get them to market faster.
Using Flutter’s cross-platform capabilities, you can significantly reduce development costs and time-to-market for your team and startup. The shared codebase streamlines maintenance and updates, further contributing to cost efficiency.
Cross-Platform App Development
As a startup founder, you want to build a cross-platform mobile app. Earlier in this article, we have already cut the deal on why Flutter is the right choice for cross-platform app development.
Using Flutter, your developers can write a single codebase that runs seamlessly on various platforms (iOS, Android, web browsers, desktop applications). Hence, businesses need not develop separate codebases for different platforms, saving time and effort.
With Flutter’s single codebase approach, businesses can significantly reduce development costs and time-to-market for their apps. This allows developers to focus on enhancing the user experience rather than managing platform-specific code.
High Performance and Speed
Flutter apps deliver high-performance thanks to compilation to native code and the Skia graphics engine.
This results in fast execution reduced overhead, and fluid UI animations.
Compared to alternatives like React Native, Flutter often benchmarks better in performance tests.
Google designed its architecture to combine rapid development with native-quality UI.
Flutter uses a single codebase for iOS and Android, avoiding the performance overhead of cross-platform bridges.
It leverages a Skia graphics engine known for speed.
In addition to all these features that enhance its performance and speed, Flutter adopts a reactive programming model to update views in response to data changes efficiently.
With strengths like these, Flutter delivers strong performance for mobile apps relative to other options.
Happy Developers use Flutter
Flutter provides an excellent developer experience through its extensive and comprehensive documentation, active community support, and a vast collection of libraries and packages.
Detailed documentation allows developers to learn Flutter and build high-quality apps efficiently and quickly.
The large community contributes resources like tutorials and plugins that extend Flutter’s capabilities.
Pre-built libraries and packages enable developers to integrate common functionalities like state management and networking easily.
Flutter has a Rich Ecosystem
Many open-source tools, applications, services, and libraries have been developed for Flutter by its vast ecosystem and community.
Flutter allows startups to easily integrate their apps with external services like analytics, payments, and social media.
This makes it simple to add key features and provide a full app experience. In summary, Flutter enables seamless third-party integration so startups can build comprehensive apps.
Smooth Integration with Firebase
Flutter integrates smoothly with Firebase, a robust platform for mobile and web development.
Firebase’s real-time database instantly syncs data across devices, enabling developers to create reactive, collaborative apps with real-time updates for users.
With Firebase Cloud Messaging, push notifications can be implemented to keep your users engaged about the key updates and happenings in your app.
Using Firebase’s services, developers can construct feature-rich, high-capability apps.
The seamless Flutter-Firebase integration allows for building responsive apps with real-time data syncing, push notifications, and other beneficial features.
Seamless Developing and Testing with “Hot Reload”
Flutter’s hot reload feature helps developers and testers to quickly and easily experiment, build UIs, add features, and fix bugs.
It accelerates the development phase and enhances the testing process.
Testers can instantly see the impact of code changes, making bug identification and resolution more efficient.
The nitty-gritty aspect of Flutter’s “Hot Reload” is that it works by injecting updated source code files into the running Dart Virtual Machine (VM).
After the VM updates classes with the new versions of fields and functions, the Flutter framework automatically rebuilds the widget tree, allowing developers and testers to view the effects of their changes quickly.
Cost of Developing a Flutter App
The cost of developing a Flutter app depends on many factors, including the complexity of the app, the number of screens and features, the design requirements, the back-end connectivity needed, the location and engagement model of the development team, licensing and testing costs, and ongoing maintenance and support.
To reduce costs, partnering with dedicated app development agency is recommended.
The exact cost will vary based on each app’s specific requirements and scope.
Key factors influencing cost include complexity, design needs, number of features, back-end integration, development team location and model, tooling and testing expenses, and ongoing upkeep and updates after launch.
In this article, we covered an overview of the Flutter framework and some exciting statistics and trends about Flutter.
We also examined why a startup should choose Flutter for their mobile app development.
I noted that Flutter is an optimal framework for startups looking to develop high-quality mobile apps quickly.
Its cross-platform support allows startups to simultaneously build iOS and Android apps, saving significant time and costs.
Flutter enables rapid iteration and hot reloads to view changes instantly. The customizable widgets make it easy to create beautiful, native-looking UIs.
Leveraging Flutter’s advantages, like faster development, cross-platform capabilities, and excellent performance, startups can get to market faster and gain an edge over competitors.
Partnering with experienced Flutter developers in the US can further accelerate app development for startups through expertise in best practices.
Overall, Flutter’s strengths make it the ideal choice for startups seeking rapid growth through mobile apps.