Flutter is a new open source framework created by Google that assists in developing native Android as well as iOS apps with one codebase. It is more than just a framework as it is a full software development kit that has everything you require for building cross-platform apps. This Flutter review will look into the advantages and disadvantages of the tool.
1. High Performance
Numerous factors impact the performance of an app, including CPU usage, frame number per second, average response time, request number per second, and more. Flutter offers a consistent 60fps, which is the rate at which contemporary screens display a smooth and clear picture.
Developers attempt to keep motion at this level since any lag in this frame rate can be identified by the human eye. When compared to React Native and Xamarin, this framework was ahead with 220-millisecond launch time and 58fps.
2. Accessibility and Internationalization
As a result of advocating for inclusivity and diversity, Google offers integrated opportunities to make apps that can be accessed by a broad spectrum of users. Normally, when you need your app to operate in different regions and languages, you want to get your code ready for localized content, which is usually created later. This process is referred to as internationalization.
Flutter for mobile development natively offers widgets that are based on the Dart intl package, which makes this process more straightforward. It now supports 24 languages, but also units of measure, layout options, currencies, and dates.
3. Immediate Updates
Flutter’s architecture has been engraved with hot reload function to allow for instant updates without the need for plugins. With hot reloading, you can view updates in real time. If you experience an error as you run the code, the framework allows you to fix it immediately and to carry on without having to restart it.
Returning to normal programming where it takes many minutes for deployment can be a problem. Hot reload improves your productivity, allows for experimentation without lengthy delays, and assists with fast iterations.
4. Mild Learning Curve
If learning Dart is simple, then familiarizing yourself with this tool will be easier. Many people with little coding knowledge can develop prototypes and apps with the framework. Also, you don’t need any mobile development experience to use it.
Moreover, Google is popular for developing well-structured and detailed documentation, which is something that React Native has an issue doing. You can go through these documents as well as video lessons and Codelabs’ practical lessons. Courses are available on Udacity and Udemy, and you can even join Facebook communities.
5. Custom and Ready-made Widgets for Quick UI Coding
This tool uses ready-designed widgets. With these building blocks, the tool assists you in creating a user interface. While many approaches utilize different objects like controllers, views, and layout, this framework features a unified and consistent object model. Every object in this tool is a widget, including fonts, buttons, and paddings. You can combine widgets to form layouts, and you can decide to utilize widgets on any customization level.
Widgets in this framework are arranged in trees, which assists in rendering. But they can lead to excessive sophistication of the complete structure. Big applications can need as many as ten layers of code to form a basic object. Hence adequate planning of the structure is needed in advance.
1. Problems with iOS
Since Flutter for mobile development has been created by Google, developers are right to worry about its iOS implementation. Because Google has a direct interest in the quick fixing of bugs, creating Android apps on the framework is enjoyable and fast. The latest update to the tool includes a pixel-perfect iOS appearance.
IPhone settings were created on the framework to allow for possibilities of Cupertino widgets. But these and other design features were updated later and were based on iOS 10 features even though iOS 11 had already been released for a while. Hence it is not clear if the updates will continue to be released as quickly as those of the Android’s version after the tool leaves the beta phase.
2. Massive File Size
Developers go through massive lengths to reduce an app’s size. Users have restricted phone storage, and it is better to release an app that will prevent them from deleting it in favor of their favorite images and songs. To minimize the size of the code, programmers normally avoid animations, compress images, and reduce the number of packages and libraries.
The framework has massively disappointed developers after the Hello world app got to 6.7MB. Even when it was dropped to 4.7MB, it remained significantly bigger than Kotlin that is 550KB and native Java that is 539KB.
Not many novice developers will come across Dart on their learning journey, and it can be challenging to get new developers for your team. This is an essential factor to keep in mind when going for a cross-platform approach.
4. No third-Party Libraries
Third-party packages and libraries have a significant role in automating software development for developers and relieving the requirement to program everything from the start. These libraries are normally open source, pre-tested, and easily available. For most popular and older technologies, getting the required package is easy.
However, since Flutter for mobile development is new, it is not easy to find such free packages and libraries. Its official resource of free packages is still improving, and its tool list is still experiencing growth. You will hence need to wait before deciding to use it for long-term development.
If you are looking for a mobile app development tool that has a mild learning curve, high performance, accessibility and internationalization, ready widgets, and immediate updates, Flutter is for you. However, take note of its drawbacks so that you can know where you stand.