Companies Using Flutter to Build Their Products in 2023
When Google introduced Flutter in 2017, many companies picked the framework to power their applications across platforms (e.g., Android, iOS, desktop, web). With its rising popularity, apps built with Flutter continue to grow in numbers. Let’s look at some of the mobile apps built with Flutter and how Flutter's robust functionalities have contributed to their success.
Here’s Flutter’s evolution with key improvements to the software development kit:
What’s in Flutter 3 and Beyond?
The release of Flutter 3 cemented the framework’s goal of pursuing a true cross-platform UI development experience. Currently, Flutter 3.13 can be used to develop applications for smartphones, desktop, and web and create a whole ecosystem with exchangeable components written in Dart programming language.
According to an official release, the next iterations of the framework will follow the below core principles that favor the developer experience.
Prioritize high-performance without compromising portability.
Scale platform for future needs, especially on mobile.
Rearchitect for WebAssembly on the web for faster load times.
Integrate seamlessly with existing apps and platforms, especially Android and iOS.
For web: reduce differences between Flutter and DOM-based content.
For desktop: improve embedding of content from other SDKs and enhance accessibility.
Support a wide range of architectures, including ARM and RISC-V.
Target WebAssembly and support for garbage collected languages like WasmGC.
Simplify the task of writing adaptable Flutter applications.
Surround Flutter with supportive tools from both Google and the wider industry.
Launch vertical toolkits, with a focus on the upcoming news toolkit.
Partner with prominent design tools and low-code tooling platforms.
Prioritize the robustness of the build system with code signing.
Work towards compliance with SLSA-4 standards.
Clarify and unify data collection practices across Flutter and Dart for transparency.
Prioritize comprehensive and unified documentation.
Address the growing issue backlog to retain customer interest.
Ensure continued customer responsiveness and address technical debt.
Flutter is currently the most-used mobile app development framework. Build your product with a reliable technology
Toyota, known for refining every driving aspect, wanted to optimize its dashboard's infotainment systems. Recognizing potential in Flutter, they explored its capabilities for enhancing user experience.
Though Toyota historically crafted in-house tech, aligning infotainment excellence with the overall driving standard remained a challenge. They required a platform that could blend a contemporary touch without sidelining Toyota's signature experience.
Identifying Flutter's budding proficiency with embedded devices, Toyota initiated collaboration. Flutter's rendering engine, coupled with features like AOT compilation, offered Toyota the means to craft a system reminiscent of modern smartphone apps. The platform’s capacity for swift app reloads on various devices was beneficial for iterative user testing.
Implementing Flutter's Embedder API, Toyota tailors their Linux-driven infotainment platforms. With the aid of Dart and Flutter's SDK, they've devised tools streamlining their developmental journey. Daniel Hall, Chief Engineer at Toyota, noted, “Flutter's open-source approach and its growing developer base have significantly contributed to our progress.” This collaboration steers Toyota towards introducing a refined infotainment system in upcoming models.
Kijiji is a Canadian online classified advertising website. With its vast user base, Kijiji faced challenges that hindered swift, uniform app performance. Its native apps, expanded over years, had become cumbersome, hindering efficiency in feature launches.
Kijiji's native applications had accumulated significant technical debt, evolving into a bulky codebase. This complexity made it challenging to maintain feature consistency across platforms and efficiently introduce new updates.
Exploring solutions, Kijiji's leadership proposed Flutter, leading to an insightful internal hackathon. The outcome was positive feedback from developers about Flutter's potential to address their concerns. Kijiji subsequently recruited a Flutter expert, transitioning from their native frameworks. Adopting Flutter, the team tackled previous issues of code duplicity and inconsistency.
By using self-contained widgets in Flutter, they minimized code redundancy, enhancing collaboration among developers. Mike Baxter, Kijiji's CTO, remarked, “Flutter offered our team a refreshing avenue to revamp our app, delivering a smoother user experience.” The shift to Flutter significantly expedited Kijiji's development pace. Core app features were redeveloped in 9 months compared to the years taken earlier. Moreover, the recruitment of skilled Flutter developers became more streamlined. The revamped Kijiji app, leaner and more efficient, was introduced to users, emphasizing Kijiji's commitment to continuous improvement.
ByteDance is a global incubator of platforms. ByteDance grappled with the need to produce numerous apps that functioned seamlessly across diverse platforms. Their then-current method was plagued with repetitive tasks, urging a leaner, more effective solution.
ByteDance's original strategy led to redundant efforts as they had to design separate apps for Android, iOS, and web. This not only consumed excessive time but also challenged consistency in performance across platforms.
Flutter caught ByteDance's attention as a toolkit that could significantly cut down on development duplication. Adopting Flutter meant crafting an app once and ensuring its smooth operation on Android, iOS, and the web. Benefiting from Flutter's inherent rendering engine, the team at ByteDance relished uniform performance. Their engagement with Flutter wasn't passive — the team tailored the open-source framework to meet their specific demands, even enhancing Flutter's core capabilities in the process.
One remarkable implementation was an educational tool aiding children in mastering Chinese character strokes. This Flutter-backed feature now efficiently supports over 9,000 Chinese characters across various platforms. Consequently, ByteDance's pivot to Flutter for their apps like Xingfuli and Xiaohe resulted in a commendable 33% surge in productivity. They now boast a robust team of Flutter developers, harnessing the toolkit's versatility for mobile, web, and even embedded platforms.
Initially, this app was restricted to iOS due to its Swift-based development. This limited the reach, preventing a wider audience from accessing STEM education. iRobot Education aimed to expand to Android and web platforms, necessitating a cross-platform tool that's both efficient and user-friendly, even with a lean team.
Opting for Flutter, the team leveraged its single codebase advantage, modern language, and advanced graphics capabilities. Familiarity with Google's Firebase made Flutter a more compelling choice. Surprisingly, within a short span, and despite many being new to Flutter, the team introduced the app across Android, iOS, and the web.
The shift to Flutter led to the iRobot Coding App's availability in 170 countries on multiple platforms, resulting in a 300% surge in active users. With easier maintenance, the focus has shifted to feature enhancement, such as the 3D simulator environment, backed by a growing Flutter-focused engineering team.
Xianyu by Alibaba
Xianyu by Alibaba is an ecommerce app for buying and selling second-hand goods. The app is built in Flutter and is available on both iOS and Android.
In 2017, the team at Xianyu conducted an in-depth comparison between available cross-platform development platforms. The analysis favored Flutter, which offered a better development experience and faster testing capabilities compared to, for example, React Native.
Easy implementation, minimal learning curve, and hot reload feature helped Xianyu launch new product pages quickly. After initial success, Flutter became a standard part of Xianyu’s tech stack, speeding up development and improving the cross-platform experience for end-users.
The Xianyu app now has more than 50 million downloads and 10 million active daily users.
Google Stadia used the available custom Bluetooth plugin logic, which reduced the quantity of code to be written. The team was able to deploy features quickly across iOS and Android versions. Flutter’s shared codebase and hot reload capabilities increased the speed of development. Also, automated testing using Flutter was fast and reliable.
eBay’s automobile portal eBay Motors, is one of the most popular apps built with Flutter. The app lets you buy and sell vehicles and accessories, discover new listings, and connect with car buyers and sellers.
Hot reload and automated testing allowed them to test functional prototypes quickly. The development experience was seamless, and apps delivered a consistent user experience.
Flutter’s code-sharing capabilities sped up the platform-specific integration deployment process. The team used available Flutter plugins to integrate device APIs quickly.
According to the team, Flutter’s capabilities (shared code, hot reload, and “write-once use forever” philosophy) let the team deliver new features in record time.
Google Ads is one of Google’s flagship products, and its mobile app is a great extension of the desktop version. Google Ads mobile lets ad managers track and control their campaigns on the go.
As the creator of Flutter, Google actively uses the framework to build its own products. Google Ads mobile has just the right ratio of desktop features to satisfy the needs of millions of users across the world. The app is fast and responsive, rendering graphics quickly for an optimal user experience.
Google also chose Flutter to tap into convenient scaling options and reduce the need to maintain two codebases for iOS and Android.
New York Times
The New York Times used Flutter to create a cross-platform app for their readers. Read by millions every day, NYT was looking for new ways to engage their readers and improve the user experience.
Flutter’s cross-platform capabilities helped NYT launch a platform-independent app — the popular KenKen puzzle.
Offering a seamless experience across platforms is always a challenge for developers. Flutter’s single codebase allowed the team to launch KenKen Puzzles for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and the web, simultaneously.
Flutter facilitated real-time iteration and saved time on building and running multiple betas. This let the NYT team launch a seamless version of KenKen puzzles across platforms quickly.
The Hamilton app is great for all fans of the musical. By giving users additional ways to interact with favorite characters, Hamilton keeps engagement at a high level, ensuring fans stay active long after shows.
The Hamilton team built the app in three months with Flutter. Flutter made it possible to release the app for iOS and Flutter with eye-pleasing designs and fast performance. The team considered other frameworks such as React Native or Xamarin but both lacked the tools available in Flutter.
My BMW App
MyBMW app lets BMW owners interact with the car — lock, unlock, locate, monitor, and navigate using their mobile device. The app serves as a single-point solution for managing car ownership with good user experience.
My BMW app was primarily built for iOS for different vehicle models and variants. Though it had an Android version, feature discrepancy was a major challenge for BMW. BMW ownership experience was inconsistent for iOS and Android users affecting the brand image.
The company had two fundamental goals to tackle the “platform disparity” problem:
Launch a seamless app with the same functionalities across platforms without increasing costs.
Build a development platform for consistently releasing features without reducing development speed.
Flutter helped them tackle both challenges. BMW had several car models and brands under its umbrella, each requiring a dedicated app.
With Flutter, the BMW team launched the new MyBMW app to deliver a cohesive and seamless ownership experience. An internal platform powered automated builds and testing of unique app versions for different platforms, markets, and sub-brands. This saved BMW thousands of hours every month.
Topline is a music production app for artists to save their music ideas. Artists can record tracks, add lyrics, compose creations, anywhere, anytime. The app saves everything on the cloud, so artists are never worried about losing their record-breaking beat.
The app was launched by Abbey Road Studios for iOS, originally. The ideas' novelty and utility made the app an instant hit. Though an Android version was not planned initially, persistent demand made the developers look for options.
Building a music production app on Android is trickier than iOS due to audio latency issues. Limited resources and a small team added to their problems.
According to the Topline dev team, Flutter helped them quickly build, launch, and deploy without much hassle. The team added a neat swipe menu and launched Android and iOS versions in just 10 weeks — a seemingly impossible ordeal if they’d developed natively. The app became immensely popular and was officially featured on Google I/O 2018 and Flutter Live 2018. In 2018, Topline also won the Top UK App Award.
Reflectly supports mental health by encouraging users to write daily entries as a vent to nagging feelings or thoughts. The app uses AI to give personalized insights and ask users specific questions to help them dig deeper into the entries. Reflectly is more than a journal app and mood tracker — overtime it creates graphs with feelings analysis and sends personalized quotes to inspire users.
Reflectly was built in 2017 using React Native. The team had big expectations, which React Native didn’t meet. The animations were sluggish and the cross-platform development experience was subpar. In 2018, the team decided to try Flutter. Initial experiments delighted the team and Reflectly migrated to Flutter.
Based in Santa Clara, California, Realtor.com is a popular real estate company and the second most visited real estate listings website in 2021. Until mid-2019, their organizational model had two separate Android and iOS development teams and codebases, which became an overhead later. After recognizing the benefits of having a single codebase, the company started implementing new features using Flutter’s Add to App feature.
Adding Flutter to the existing mobile apps brought many benefits. For example, it freed their web developers from having to learn two new languages and frameworks. Moreover, the ability to develop features for both iOS and Android at once increased their productivity. Feature release and code changes now require only half developers than earlier.
Sonos lets you listen to music from popular streaming services like Spotify, Gaana, or Apple Music on any speaker. People use the free Sonos app on their mobile, tablet, PC, or laptop to connect their home speakers to streaming services.
Flutter increased the development capabilities of the Sonos team. The framework saved hundreds of hours and helped launch a refreshed and intuitive cross-platform app quickly.
They solved all existing issues and developed additional features that improved the user experience. Sonos revamped the UI and offered assistive features for end-users across all platforms. Integration of sound, animations, transitions, and walkthroughs was easy with Flutter.
The new features and UX solved the problems and delighted the app’s existing and growing user base.
Flutter brought consistency to their product development efforts. It also improved their build time (from overall 70.45 minutes to just 9.9 minutes) and increased the team’s performance. Also, a single codebase made it easier to manage bugs, monitor the app, and correlate app metrics with other systems.
Beike supports people in finding their dream home and enjoying a great virtual house hunting experience in China. Beike lists 187 million properties in China and offers virtual property tours via a mobile app.
The company wanted a seamless app experience for its diverse user base. They aimed for a beautiful design with near-native performance on iOS and Android.
According to the Beike dev team, Flutter let them scale without hiring a large team. Relying on the Flutter community, the team saved a lot of time thanks to several plugins, widgets, and solutions that sped up the development.
Today, the company has more than a dozen apps operating under the Beike umbrella. Together, the apps have helped 300 million families find and visualize their dream home.
Betterment is an online investing company that provides investment and financial advice. The Betterment team needed a solution that would help them better manage their mobile codebase. With Flutter’s add-to-app feature, Betterment connected the new code to its native codebase without impacting the customer experience.
Today Betterment has over 500,000 user accounts and 26 billion assets under management.
Google Pay — Digital Payments
Google Pay is one of the world’s most popular digital payments apps with more than 100 million users across the globe. The app allows users to pay for goods and services and adopt digital payments in some of the remotest corners of the world.
Every region or country expansion required its own set of unique features. An increasing user base on iOS and Android led to a wastage of development resources due to the duplication of efforts for every feature. Also, finding and hiring more engineers was a constant challenge, too. Choosing Flutter for development made natural sense.
Flutter helped Google Pay consolidate engineering resources and save on building dedicated teams. With a team of 150 engineers, the team could rewrite and test the existing app with 300+ features. Google Pay, built on Flutter, was launched to 100 million monthly active users in the US and Indian markets.
Thanks to Flutter, Google launched a slick, beautiful, and efficient app, with a 35% smaller codebase. According to Google, they were able to save 60-70% on development time due to a single codebase.
Flutter: Good Choice for Cross-Platform App Development
The article features only a handful Flutter app examples. Check out Flutter’s official showcase for more. Flutter is a great choice for building visually attractive iOS and Android apps from a single codebase. And if you want your product to be available for other platforms, you can also use the same codebase for websites or Windows, Mac, and Linux apps.