Mobile app frameworks reflect the same explosive growth as the mobile application industry. Today, the newest, most powerful app development frameworks also offer cross-platform development. This has been well-received by top developers, especially onsite development companies.  Fewer developers get the job done. Flutter is one such framework.

Flutter is an open-source mobile app development framework by Google. It provides features such as attractive visuals, faster development, and cross-platform development.  It’s even said that many Java android developers are turning to Flutter. And Flutter might even replace Java for android app development.

Also Read: Top Java Developers Share Their Best Coding Practices

Why Shift to Flutter?

Why shift to Flutter? This is one of the most hotly-debated questions in the android developer community. Top software developers have strong opinions either way:

High Performing Apps

Developers measure many factors when measuring an app’s performance. One of which is the launch time and fps (frames per second). The Flutter team promises a constant 60 fps. This is the rate at which modern screens display smooth, clear images. To confirm this top talented conducted research comparing various frameworks. When they compared the performance of:

  • Flutter
  • Xamarin and
  • React Native

Flutter came in first with 58 FPS and 220-millisecond launch time.

Flutter also follows designing patterns or styles (such as ‘reactive programming’ or ‘composition programming’). These prove to be very beneficial for a scalable application. Such options are not offered with other native app development frameworks, including Java.

Portability

Flutter is more than a framework. It’s a complete SDK, like Java. Third-party ports are also available now to build Flutter apps for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. Some developers even tried to build TV applications using Flutter.

Consider these possibilities. And now pair them with Google’s keen interest in IoT devices. It’s more than likely that Google will provide other features to build apps for smart devices. Including Smart TVs.

Productivity

Compared to a group of Java developers, a single Flutter developer takes almost half the time. To develop the same application.

Flutter developers don’t come with superpowers.  Flutter is designed such that it needs less code written to perform a task. Compared to Java, Flutter’s code is one-third the volume of Java code written for an android application.

It Is Not Like JavaScript

The idea of cross-platform apps does not appeal to many developers. In fact, top software developers still prefer native frameworks. In part due to performance and related issues.

The creators considered problems in JavaScript. And found a way to avoid performance issues caused by the need for a JavaScript bridge in JS. In Flutter, communicating with a particular platform does not need a JavaScript bridge. As a result, it does not affect the performance of the application.

Problems With Flutter

Despite its many advantages, there is a reason every Java developer hasn’t shifted to Flutter. Flutter needs to evolve more to compete with native app development frameworks. Swift and Java are both mature frameworks. Developers’ resistance to shifting to Flutter makes sense in light of the following:

Lack Of Third-Party Libraries

Third-party libraries and packages play a big role in automating development for programmers. And removing the need to code everything from scratch every time. Java, being an older and more popular technology has tons of libraries for its developers.

Flutter, like any new technology, doesn’t share these numbers. Flutter’s official resources for free packages are increasing every day. And they have taken care of the UI package needs with handy widgets. But they still need to cover ground before they’re suitable for big, scalable projects.

Large File Size

Size is a major problem in the tech industry. And elite software engineers are working on reducing the size of data. The file size of a simple “Hello World App” in Flutter is around 4.7MB. Much larger than its competitors, Native Java (539KB) and Kotlin (550KB) apps.

Issues With iOS

Since Flutter is by Google, developers are concerned about its implementation for iOS. There’s no doubt that building android apps on Flutter is fast and enjoyable. (Since Google is directly involved). But what about Apple devices?

In Flutter’s last release preview, design features weren’t up-to-date. They followed iOS 10 features. This is while iOS 11 had already been live for months. It is not clear yet whether updates will keep coming as fast as android’s version for iOS or not?

Flutter or Java: Conclusion

Lots of features and a promising approach for cross-platform. Flutter has what it takes to go head-to-head with native app development frameworks.

IT recruitment sites also reflect a new interest in Flutter, with many new positions. Flutter developers are in demand.  Top software engineers are also giving a thumbs-up to the framework.  Given all this, it seems worth a try. In spite of:

  • Limited support for iOS apps
  • Native-like performance, and such issues

Flutter will see growth.

Author

Shaharyar Lalani is a developer with a strong interest in business analysis, project management, and UX design. He writes and teaches extensively on themes current in the world of web and app development, especially in Java technology.

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