Category: Blog, Android, Business, Design, Development, Flutter, iOS

Flutter Pros & Cons for Mobile App Owners

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.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018. Here’s the latest update from December 2022!

Flutter pros and cons for app development

The developers’ community is in love with the new solution for building cross-platform mobile apps – Flutter framework. But while Flutter developers are growing in demand and the technology’s library is growing, the people who matter most – mobile app owners, are at a loss.

Keep reading to find out:

  • what Flutter framework really is;
  • what the main pros and cons of Flutter app development are;
  • and when it might be better to consider some cross-platform alternatives to Flutter technology.

Let’s jump in!

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a powerful software development kit for app development across multiple platforms and a solid alternative to another cross-platform frameworks, such as React Native.

Related reads:

Flutter SDK is powered by Dart – an object-oriented programming language that puts user interface first.

Flutter enables a smooth and easy cross-platform mobile app development. You can develop a single app for both iOS and Android at the same time. All you need is one codebase for both platforms.

But there’s more to Flutter framework:

  • Is free and open source;
  • Provides its own widgets, drawn with its own high-performance rendering engine
  • Thanks to the rich widgets, Flutter apps look and feel great (you can create your own custom app design, but also use readily available UI elements following specific platforms’ guidelines). Check out the article about Top Apps Made with Flutter
  • The architecture of Flutter is based on reactive programming that allows for fast edits, integration APIs, and customized use of native components
  • It’s becoming a serious competitor to React Native, but also to native app development as such.

Read also: React Native Pros and Cons.

Why Flutter? 7 advantages of Flutter app development for mobile app owners

From the perspective of an app owner, the crucial advantages are:

The list below has been prepared with the help of Paulina Szklarska and Karol Wrótniak – our Android Developers who work with Flutter. Let’s take a closer look!

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 (mili)seconds and helps teams add features, fix bugs, and experiment faster. It is one of the things top app development companies love about Flutter.

Hot reload is also very convenient in developer-designer cooperation when we want to improve or experiment with an app’s look and check the effects on the spot.

This approach allows your designers and testers to work together with Flutter developers on the UI, making the cosmetic changes (like “Put it 2 pixels right” or “Make the animation faster”) and seeing the immediate results.

Sure, not every kind of code changes can be hot reloaded that easily (check the list of current Hot reload Limitations), but there are plenty of those that can.

Whereas, in the case of native app development, the project needs to be rebuilt and adapted to different operating systems. That, naturally, takes much more time. You have to wait for every single change – sometimes, even up to several minutes.

2. One code for 2+ platforms

Flutter 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.

That’s right! Dart programming language essentially gets as close as possible to creating native Android and iOS apps while working with cross-platform technologies. Yet what’s important is that, if you want to differentiate your apps – it’s possible.

Editor’s note: As of early 2021, Flutter offers a possibility to build applications for desktop platforms as well as mobile operating systems. The latest update in mid 2022, Flutter 3, took it a step further stabilizing other technologies now supporting Flutter development – macOS and Windows.

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 a technical point of view, read this article.

Partially, Flutter applications are faster because Dart programming language is way ahead of its time. It allows for compiling customizable native code that will remain predictable in a single codebase, while its core features, such as hot reload, speed up the development and testing.

For more, check out this amazing page in the Flutter documentation that talks about best practices for app performance.

5.  Designs which your users will love

Flutter is basically synonymous with outstanding user interface these days.

The framework is designed to make it easy to create your own or customize ready-made widgets. Here you can browse a catalog of Flutter’s widgets and view, for example, Material Design widgets and Cupertino widgets.

Thanks to the widgets, you get more control over the look and feel of your mobile app on both iOS and Android platforms, which can rarely be achieved in cross-platform app development.

6. 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.

Why Flutter

Android 5.1.1

Why Flutter

Android 8.1.0

7. Perfect for MVP

Do you need an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for your app to show it to your investors? Flutter will be perfect, especially if you have little time.

If you want to see some apps built with Flutter, check out the Flutter Gallery app, which is a demo of some of Flutter’s features, widgets, and vignettes.

Flutter Gallery

Flutter Gallery

Flutter Gallery

Flutter Gallery

Flutter Gallery Screen

Flutter Gallery

Do you need an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for your app to show it to your investors? Flutter will be perfect, especially if you have little time.

If you want to see some apps built with Flutter, check out the Flutter Gallery app, which is a demo of some of Flutter’s features, widgets, and vignettes.

Flutter is perfect for creating a customized application experience. Time and time again it has been shown that award-winning applications (MWC’s Glomo AwardsTIME’s Best Apps of the Year and the Webby Awards Mobile Apps) focus on delivering beautiful custom experiences rather than the pixel perfect native iOS/Android look – and Flutter delivers on this.

On one hand, you have the ability to create a simple UI rapidly and, on the other, Flutter is a powerful tool to create beautiful custom applications thanks to its extensibility. The thing that I’ve found positively surprising is that we have communicated that developing applications in Flutter is much faster than native, product people were still astonished that’s true in practice.

tomasz polanski

Tomasz Polański
Senior Android Developer at Groupon

We wish you good luck with Flutter! And if you’re on the hunt for the best Flutter development company – you know where to look!