Mobile Development

Flutter Development — Great Pick for Digital Products

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Flutter is a cost-effective choice for businesses that want to quickly validate their ideas but also need a long-term tech stack to scale in the future. You can use Flutter to reach a broader audience across devices, using a single codebase.

What Is Flutter?

Flutter is an SDK (software development kit) that developers use to write cross-platform apps. It means that a single codebase can work on multiple platforms — for example, mobile and web — without the need to build separate apps for each of these environments. 

Cross-platform development frameworks can be used to create high-quality digital products in a shorter time with smaller teams. Flutter has been a favorite among these tools, appreciated by many industry professionals. According to the 2023 Stack Overflow Survey, Flutter is the top most loved cross-platform technology.

other frameworks survey popularity results
Stack Overflow Survey 2023. Other frameworks. Source: Stack Overflow Survey 2023

Created by Google in 2017, Flutter quickly outraced its biggest competitors, React Native from Facebook and Xamarin from Microsoft. The main reasons why it’s the preferred environment by many developers are high performance, hot reloads, a big library of UI components and widgets, faster time-to-market, a helpful community, and a productive development process.

Is Flutter a programming language?

Flutter lets you create cross-platform apps using Dart, the programming language created by Google in 2011. Dart is object-oriented, has relatively easy syntax, and offers a set of handy tools that make the mobile app development process more productive. So, Flutter isn’t a programming language but an SDK that uses Dart to create cross-platform apps.

Dart is a relatively niche programming language compared to Java or JavaScript. However, it’s not difficult to learn and start working in Dart, especially for developers who already have a grasp on the syntax of other object-oriented and class-based languages.

Is Flutter frontend or backend?

Flutter is a framework that can be used for both frontend and backend development. However, most Flutter developers use it for the former. This is because Flutter makes it easy to create beautiful, interactive user interfaces. Since there are many great BaaS (backend-as-a-service) solutions that cooperate with Flutter, building the backend from scratch makes sense only in particular cases. For example, if the project has many custom features, a BaaS might not cover them all. But for most projects, the Firebase backend will be more than enough. Firebase is also a Google solution, so it complements Flutter well.

Which Companies Use Flutter?

Being a Google product, Flutter is the staple technology behind many of the company’s products: Google Pay, Stadia, and Ads. But the list of companies who trusted Flutter with mobile app development is much larger, encompassing brands such as Alibaba Group, eBay, Toyota, BMW, iRobot, and Tencent.

Want more examples? Here’s our list of 15 brands that trusted Flutter with their software needs.

logos of companies who use Flutter
Many companies trusted Flutter to build their apps. Source: Flutter.dev

The Pros and Cons of Flutter

Being aware of the technological advantages and drawbacks of Flutter means making an educated decision whether to choose it for your product’s tech stack.

a table with pros and cons of Flutter development
Pros and cons of Flutter.

Why Choose Flutter

Simultaneous feature release across platforms

Because its pros outweigh the cons. Most of the problems from the cons section above can be avoided in skilled teams or fixed during the development process. For example, even though new OS features for both iOS and Android are first covered in their respective native frameworks, Flutter allows developers to add native code to their work, which enables them to add these features quickly. There’s also hot reload that lets developers see the added changes instantly in the current state of the app run in the IDE.

One team for multiple product versions

The main reason you should pick Flutter as the technology for your next digital project is how it can help you save resources. Flutter projects require only one team of developers that builds a single codebase to work on various devices.

With one team, the communication is synchronized. One codebase also equals a seamless launch of features across platforms, which decreases the risk of feature unavailability in different versions of the same app.

Fast and cost-effective delivery

Cross-platform development with Flutter makes it easier to stay within the estimated budget and deadline. Of course, it’s not an ideal framework for every business, but it can meet the needs of many companies that wish to develop a robust web or mobile app.

a snapshot of Flutter documentation
Flutter documentation is extensive, helping developers get information that simplifies implementation. Source: Flutter.dev

Flutter App Development for Specific Use Cases: When Flutter Is the Right Choice

There are many projects where Flutter fits well. Consider Flutter when:

Your project has a short time-to-market

Projects that have to be released fast to validate a business idea quickly work well with Flutter because the SDK boosts productivity and cuts development time. For example, you can have a fully custom proof-of-concept ready for end-user testing in less than a month.

An experienced Flutter team will help you release products rapidly, letting you reach target audiences via multiple platforms without diminishing user experience.

You want to release your product (or features) on multiple platforms at once

Flutter helps companies release products and features simultaneously across platforms. This alleviates many communication problems that arise when certain features are available only on specific platforms and not others. When you release one feature on all platforms at the same time, it’s easier to maintain consistent customer experience with your product.

Using Flutter for cross-platform product development also helps maintain consistency in the user interface — the same product has the same branding and UX across platforms.

Your main goal is to deliver high-quality UI and fast performance

In skilled hands, Flutter is known to let developers build pixel-perfect mobile and web apps with beautiful UI and high performance.

a mockup of langenscheidt vokabeltrainer app built in Flutter
Langenscheidt Vokabeltrainer mobile app brings out the best of Flutter — picture-perfect graphics and high performance. Source: nomtek

Flutter vs. React Native — Which One to Choose?

One of the biggest dilemmas when it comes to multi-platform app development is the choice between Flutter and its biggest competitor, React Native. The framework established by Facebook in 2015 has been around for longer than Google’s.

While both React Native and Flutter are good picks for mobile and web development, Flutter can be a slightly better choice. The main reason why is issue solving on GitHub. The Flutter developer community tries to solve issues as fast as possible, while the problems raised on React Native’s GitHub can stay neglected for months.

Check out our article where we compare Flutter and React Native to learn more about their differences.

a google trends graph with Flutter popularity against Xamarin, React Native, and Ionic
Google Trends shows that Flutter (blue) holds a stable lead over React Native (red), Xamarin (yellow), and Ionic (green) in 2024. Source: Google Trends

Flutter App Development Services: Overview

How much Flutter development costs

The cost of developing a Flutter app with a seasoned Flutter app development company depends on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the product and the number of features. Because of that, it’s very difficult to estimate an approximate project cost — there are simply too many variables to consider.

But when you are looking for a Flutter development partner, shortlist companies with their project cost estimates and cross reference those with their experience in similar project’s to yours. Industry experience goes a long way in predicting potential bottlenecks in development. A mobile app development company with expertise in specific types of projects will know how to keep your product bugless and user-centered.

How to hire Flutter app developers and build a reliable team?

There are many factors to consider when searching for Flutter developers. You have to ensure that they have the necessary skills and experience to build the type of app you need to reach your business objectives. One of the biggest differentiators among Flutter mobile app developers is their background in native technologies. Experience in native app development gives Flutter devs an upper hand in developing mobile digital products, especially from the user experience point of view. Check out our short guide on finding the right mobile app agency.

Should You Build Your Next Web App with Flutter?

Flutter can deliver a true cross-platform experience in development — with the right team working on your project, you can quickly release an app along with its web version. Web development in Flutter means you can quickly release the MVP to test your app with real users, collect feedback, and decide what’s next.

While Flutter was designed for mobile cross-platform development, Google has shifted that focus to encompass all platforms: mobile, web, and desktop (and while we’re at it, you can also build Apple Watch apps with Flutter).

Dozens of globally recognized brands have included Flutter in their core technology stacks, often creating whole ecosystems in this SDK, including web applications.

Flutter FAQ — Learn More about Cross-Platform App Development

If you still have questions about Flutter, check for the answers below.

Is Flutter still relevant in 2024?

Definitely. Google, the creator of Flutter, invests in it a lot. The expansion of this cross-platform framework is one of their top priorities. For example, Fuchsia OS, the purported future replacement of the Android operating system, can run apps written entirely in the Dart programming language. This means that if the OS grows in popularity, Flutter developers will be in demand because brands will want to have their apps compatible with Fuchsia.

As of 2024, Fuchsia OS continues to be relevant, especially in the context of Google's smart home devices. Fuchsia, an open-source operating system developed by Google, is distinct from both ChromeOS and Android as it's based on a new microkernel named Zircon. Most of Fuchsia's code is written in languages like Rust and C++, with its user interface and apps being developed in Flutter, a framework that allows cross-platform development capabilities for Fuchsia, Android, and iOS.

Fuchsia made its first foray into the consumer market in 2021 with an update to the first-generation Google Nest Hub, replacing its existing Chromecast-based software. This deployment did not bring any user-facing changes to the device's software or user interface. In May 2023, Google began rolling out a Fuchsia-based update to the second-generation Google Nest Hub. These updates indicate Google's ongoing commitment to the development and implementation of Fuchsia OS in its product ecosystem.

According to Statista, Flutter’s popularity significantly grew in the last few years. Currently, Flutter is the leader among cross-platform technologies. Source: Statista

Is Flutter web stable now?

Yes, it was announced by Flutter that their web app development environment is production ready in 2021, and the available libraries have been offering stable support ever since. Google recommends their framework for progressive web apps (PWAs) and single-page apps, and also when converting existing Flutter mobile apps to web. Static websites with large amounts of content might not work so well when built with Flutter, but it’s possible to build them with the right approach and a few code tweaks. Plus, with a hot reload feature it's easier to keep track of screen size rendering across platforms and devices.

Is Flutter no-code?

Flutter itself is not a no-code product development platform — it’s an SDK where you use Dart to write code. But there’s FlutterFlow that uses Flutter’s logic and widgets. FlutterFlow is a great way to build an app quickly for fast idea validation; however, it’s not yet a good tool for long-term products that will have a higher number of features in the future and large customizability needs.

What is the best backend for Flutter?

The choice of the backend technology for building Flutter apps depends on many factors. For example, does your business already have digital products that run on backends? In that case, a Flutter app can be hooked to that. If you need a custom backend, then the choice depends on your product’s functionalities and how much it has to rely on backend calculations. So it all depends on the APIs you need to let the frontend communicate with the backend.

You can also go serverless and pick one of the backend-as-a-service solutions. Your Flutter app development company will easily connect the frontend to a BaaS tool like Firebase.

Is Flutter good for big projects?

Yes, it can be a suitable technology for large Flutter apps. It has its limitations, but throughout the years, it became a reliable framework that offers enough stability and many benefits for bigger projects. The number of established brands that decided to trust Flutter speaks for itself. Plus, there are many Flutter widgets that developers can use to speed up development and allocate resources conveniently.

Flutter renders widgets by building a tree of widget objects, which is then translated into a tree of corresponding element objects that manage the underlying render objects, responsible for layout and painting on the screen.

When browsing for a Flutter development agency to work on a large project, make sure their portfolio includes complex projects. They should be able to quickly find remedies for common problems and fix potential issues without needing time to come up with solutions.

Can I use Flutter to develop games?

Yes, you can develop mobile and web games in Flutter. Flutter offers official support for game integrations such as Ads, Firebase, and Play Services to help you monetize and develop the game further.

a screenshot of a chess mobile game built in Flutter
Flutter is also suitable for game development. Source: Flutter.dev — games

Flutter Development for Stable Digital Products

Flutter has established itself as a highly efficient framework for building mobile apps, offering a seamless and cohesive development experience. The incorporation of automated testing within Flutter not only streamlines the development process but also ensures a higher standard of quality and reliability in the final product.

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