Android is the leading mobile operating system. It is now regarded as the greatest OS for developing applications, mainly for touchscreen devices. Because Android is highly configurable and has a vast worldwide community behind it, many developers find it lucrative to develop Android apps. Its popularity has resulted in a plethora of Android development tools, which makes deciding on the best Android framework for app development more difficult.
There are hundreds of frameworks, tools, and other technologies available today for Android app development. This article will provide you with an overview of Flutter. It is one of the most popular frameworks for Android app development that have gained a considerable market share in recent years. In addition to Android, Flutter can also be used to develop apps for Google Fuchsia, iOS, Linux, macOS, and the web.
In this blog, you will learn about the Flutter framework, its benefits, and where it lacks. So, let’s begin!
What is Flutter?
A software development kit (SDK) and a widget-based user interface library are included with the Flutter framework. It offers reusable UI elements like sliders, buttons, and text inputs.
An SDK is a collection of tools that includes libraries, documentation, APIs, frameworks, and more. It provides you with everything you need to develop software. The app development framework comes with everything out-of-the-box you’ll need to create cross-platform apps.
Despite the fact that Flutter is a newer cross-platform framework, more and more firms are choosing it over Xamarin, Cordova, and React Native.
Following are the three primary architectural components of the Flutter SDK:
- Embedder: It makes the software run on any OS by using a platform-specific language.
- Engine: It is a low-level implementation of Flutter’s basic APIs written in C and C++. Graphics, text layout, file and network I/O, accessibility support, plugin architecture, a Dart runtime, and compilation toolchain based on the Dart programming language are all included.
- Framework: Its use is optional, however, it provides a comprehensive set of libraries organized into layers: fundamental core classes, rendering layer, widget layer, and Material/Cupertino libraries.
Advantages of Flutter
- It is cross-platform. Thus, you can use the same code base for iOS and Android apps. This helps to cut down on time and money constraints.
- Development is simple and quick. Hot reload is one of Flutter’s most appreciated features, since it allows you to see changes to your code on emulators, simulators, and hardware in real-time. The updated code is reloaded in less than a second while the program is still running, requiring no restart.
- Because you don’t have to design and maintain two mobile apps, developing a mobile application with Flutter is less expensive (one for iOS and one for Android).
- Thanks to its extensive documentation and easy-to-follow use cases, Flutter provides a wealth of resources to address your questions. Its users can also exchange ideas through community hubs like Flutter Community and Flutter Awesome.
- You may quickly personalize the widgets offered by the app development framework to build a valuable UI for your clients.
- Developing iOS and Android apps from the same codebase is effectively the same as developing two apps for the price of one.
- Developers will encounter fewer issues while working with different operating system versions. Moreover, they need to spend less time testing the program on earlier OS versions. Also, rest assured that the developed app will run on future OS releases.
Cons of Flutter
- One of the major setbacks of using Flutter is the dearth of third-party libraries. Third-party libraries and packages play an important role in automating software development and removing the need for programmers to code everything from scratch. On Flutter’s main resource, there are over 15k packages, and the number is growing. Of course, it’s less than React Native, its major competitor.
- Since it uses built-in widgets rather than platform widgets, Flutter’s minimum app size is almost 4MB, which is, for example, significantly larger than native Java’s bare minimum app size of 500KB.
Flutter is one of the most popular frameworks for developing cross-platform apps. Its primary competitor is React Native, which is based on the popular JS library, React. Cordova and Xamarin are other popular alternatives to Flutter.
Despite being the new kid on the block, Flutter has succeeded in gaining popularity fast thanks to the plethora of advantages that it offers.
Q. No. 1: Describe the architecture of Flutter.
- Upper layers: Dart-based framework for app widgets, gestures, animations, drawings, and materials.
- The Flutter engine is in charge of displaying and formatting the text.
- Plugins, packages, and event loops are all managed by this built-in service.
Q. No. 2: Tell us about different modes in Flutter.
A: Flutter has three built-in modes:
- Debug Mode: This mode allows you to debug apps on a real device, an emulator, or a simulator. Here, assertions and service extensions are permitted. Compilation optimization is then used to achieve quick deployment.
- Profile Mode: Some debugging abilities are preserved in this mode, allowing you to analyze the app’s performance while testing. In this instance, tracing and some extensions are enabled.
- Release mode: This option is designed to reduce the size of the footprint and maximize optimization while delivering the program. Debugging, assertions, and service extensions are all turned off in this environment.
Q. No. 3: What is Dart?
A: Flutter apps are written in Dart. It is a garbage-collected and object-oriented programming language developed by Google. Dart is open-source and has a community both within and outside of its developer organization.
Because Dart’s declarative and programmatic layout is easy to comprehend and visualize, Flutter can avoid using a separate declarative layout language like JSX or XML, or separate visual interface builders. With all of the layouts in one language and one location, Flutter can easily provide additional tooling to make the layout a breeze.
Q. No. 4: What are the types of Flutter widgets?
A: Widgets are Flutter’s user interface components. It’s a way of describing an element’s configuration. It has two types of widgets:
- Stateless Widget: A Stateless Widget is a widget that accomplishes nothing. They are, in essence, stagnant and do not store any state. As a result, they don’t save values that are likely to change.
- Stateful Widget: A Stateful Widget is a widget that can do anything. Because stateful widgets are dynamic by nature, they may track changes and adjust the user interface accordingly.
Q. No. 5: List some of the best IDEs for Flutter development.
A: Android Studio, Eclipse, Emacs (code editor), IntelliJ IDEA, Visual Studio, and Xcode are some of the most popular IDEs for Flutter development.