When Flutter emerged on the horizon of mobile app development, some thought of it as flash in the pan. The framework, however, turned out to be a revelation, helping developers to address several challenges that tormented them in mobile app development. Cross-platform applications faced a lot of issues such as lack of access to a device’s camera, microphones, and other features. Flutter seemed to have some answers.
The Coming of Flutter
In the early days of cross-platform development, the technology had its share of issues. Cross-platform apps were sub-optimal, and their maintenance was nothing less than a hazard.
Popular mobile development platforms at that time included Xamarin, Ionic, and PhoneGap. These frameworks were surpassed by React Native, which operated on web logic. And then Google announced Flutter.
Flutter naysayers were quickly proven wrong, as Flutter took everyone by storm, setting itself as a powerful cross-platform app development tool. Let us find out about the components that made Flutter as successful it is.
- Single Codebase for all Platforms:
- Unaffected by OS and Version Updates:
- Hot reload facilitating quick experimentation with code:
- Independence of UI from Data:
- Implement UI/UX design of any complexity:
- Automated memory storage:
- Compilation into the native code:
Obviously, as a cross-platform framework, Flutter enables a single codebase for various operating systems. Whether iOS or Android, the interface will look the same. Everything in Flutter is a widget though and the code comes across as a markup.
Flutter developers can work with clients to come up with a focus group for testing an app’s concept before going ahead with the development. This allows them to experiment with the app’s logic dynamically. Developers can build a specific part of the functionality, test it with the focus group, and get back to development with new directions. The code undergoes just one change for all operational systems, helping engineers to move ahead rapidly on the project.
Flutter code is designed to remain unaffected by any OS update or system customization, thanks to its own rendering engine.
Another way Flutter code fosters stability is via version compatibility. This allows the usage of old code in the upcoming apps.
A Flutter feature that has got quite some traction with engineers is the hot reload. This helps developers quickly experiment with code, create UIs, add features, and fix errors. Developers execute hot reload by infusing updated source code files into the running Dart virtual machine which updates classes with the new versions of code components such as fields and functions, enabling engineers to quickly find out how their changes in code have affected the appearance and functioning of the app.
The BLoC (Business Logic Components) architectural pattern that Flutter follows is based on the reactive programming approach. By deploying streams, the architectural pattern facilitates the segregation of the app’s user interface from data and reactivity. It uses structuring, streams, and async methods to prevent delays in the app’s performance. Even while the server streams out the data, animations and screen scrolls keep working flawlessly. BLoC pattern architecture works well in apps with complex architecture and a lot of data.
The absence of recursive calls during the processing of the layout means the number of nested objects in the Flutter code has no effect on the performance and responsiveness of the app. Usually, the number of widgets compiled in the native app negatively affects the performance of the app. Flutter facilitates the execution of UI/UX design of any complexity and stylization.
Dart, a cross-platform programming language that Flutter uses is object-oriented and strongly typed. Dart uses algorithms to determine the correctness of the code. The garbage collector mechanism stores memory automatically, so there is no need for developers to monitor it.
Support for multithreading helps engineers find appropriate solutions for long-running tasks that need to be processed by the application in the backend while it is running. Threads are termed Isolates in Dart. Code refers to just one primary Isolate as the UI Thread.
Developers can compile Dart into the native code to boost the functioning of the app. Engineers may choose an ‘Ahead of Time’ or ‘Just in Time’ approach for code compilation during the build. During the build, when engineers opt for the ‘Ahead of Time’ approach, the Dart code is compiled for ARM and x86 processors. When they follow the ‘Just in Time’ approach, the code supports dynamic compilation during the runtime.
Libraries come across as a strong component in Flutter. DarkPub is a popular package manager among developers as it has several reusable packages and libraries. Even when using an external lib, engineers can keep full control and retain the ability to adjust the code.
Flutter is now among the frontline cross-platform mobile development technologies. Backed by Google, it has immense resources and enables easy learning with high-quality documentation. Simple to learn and convenient to use, Flutter can support small, medium as well as large enterprise projects. The framework is tailor-made for devising an extensive functionality for complex enterprise solutions in a rapid-fire way or for creating non-standard interfaces. Having a strong community and innovative solutions, Flutter comes across as a framework that assures a sound development journey. Clearly, this is a great tool for developers to develop applications with flair.