What are Flutter’s pros & cons in mobile app development? Is Flutter a good idea for every app? In this article, you will find essential information about Flutter for App Owners, Product Owners and everyone who wants to develop a mobile app.
Google I/O 2019 dedicated a lot of attention to Flutter and announced an almost overwhelming amount of news about this technology. Just to name a few of them:
- Google released a preview version of Flutter for the web. It’s not called Hummingbird anymore, now it’s called Flutter web (An example of Flutter Web is New York Times puzzle game)
- Google released Flutter 1.7 with many improvements
- The latest Flutter release adds support for building Chrome OS applications
- Google released Dart 2.3 with new support for UI-as-code features
Tim Sneath, Product Manager of Flutter made an aggregation of all the big news announced for Flutter in I/O 19: A roundup of Flutter news at Google I/O.
At the same time, the rate at which Flutter apps are published on Google Play continues to increase. Flutter is becoming a hot topic and, whether you decide to use it or not, if you want to develop or improve your mobile app, you should be aware of what Flutter is, as well as what pros & risks it carries. Let’s start with the basics.
5 top advantages for mobile App Owners
1. Faster code writing
For developers, Flutter means faster & more dynamic mobile app development. We can make changes in the code and see them straight away in the app! This is the so-called Hot reload, which usually only takes (milli)seconds and helps teams add features, fix bugs and experiment faster.
2. One code for 2 platforms
Developers write just one codebase for your 2 apps – covering both Android and iOS platforms. Flutter doesn’t depend on the platform, because it has its own widgets and designs. This means that you have the same app on two platforms. Yet what’s important is that, if you want to differentiate your apps – it’s possible.
3. Less testing
If you have the same app for 2 platforms, it means less testing! The Quality Assurance process can be faster. Because of one codebase, the developers write automatic tests only once. What’s more, Quality Assurance specialists have less work to do, because they have only one app to check. Of course, if your apps have some differences, they need to be tested on both platforms.
4. Faster apps
Flutter apps work in a smooth and fast way, without hanging and cutting while scrolling. If you want to understand why and how it works from the technical point of view
5. The same app UI on older devices
Your new app will look the same, even on old versions of Android and iOS systems. There are no additional costs for supporting older devices. Flutter runs on Android Jelly Bean or newer, as well as iOS 8 or newer.
2 risks for mobile App Owners
1. Libraries & support – impressive, but still not so rich as for the native development
Google support for Flutter is impressive, and there are many helpful libraries with functionalities ready to be implemented. But Flutter is still new and not every functionality which you need can be found in these libraries. This means that your developers would need to build them by themselves, which can be very time-consuming.
2. Continuous Integration support
Flutter is not widely supported by CI platforms like Travis or Jenkins. So, to achieve automatic building, testing, and deployment, your development team needs to use and maintain custom scripts like this one.