You've probably already used Flutter applications without even realizing it. You've probably seen the consequences of Flutter's still-young history if you've purchased on Alibaba, run an ad campaign on Google Ads, made payments using Google Pay, or utilized a digital coupon.
According to the number of stars on GitHub (119k compared. 95k for React Native), Flutter gained tremendous popularity quickly after its alpha release in May 2017 and the official stable version released in December 2018. And it continues to rise, indicating that the product’s popularity is unwavering.
The second version of Flutter was launched in March 2021, with further updates and changes to provide a better experience for both developers and consumers. So, we dug further into Flutter app development services to see what benefits and downsides it has to offer.
What Exactly Is Flutter?
Flutter is a Google open-source platform that allows developers to create mobile, desktop, and online apps from a single codebase. Flutter is a complete SDK-software development kit rather than a framework or library, as with the other popular alternatives.
Let’s go through it again just to make sure we’re on the same page.
A library is a reusable piece of code that you may use in your program to execute a certain task.
A framework is a structure that offers a skeletal architecture for software development. It's a set of tools that acts as a foundation for your project, requiring you to fill in the blanks with your code to finish the structure and achieve the necessary functionality.
An SDK is a collection of tools that includes libraries, documentation, APIs, frameworks, and more, providing you with everything you need to build software. And that's the case with Flutter: it already comes with everything you'll need to create cross-platform apps.
Other cross-platform technologies, such as Xamarin, React Native, Ionic, and NativeScript, are being utilized to create apps. In a separate piece, we compare and contrast various cross-platform solutions in depth. So, what does Flutter bring to the table?
The Main Architectural Framework
SDK for Flutter
Flutter features a rendering engine, ready-made widgets, testing, and integration APIs, and more because it is a full-fledged SDK. Let's have a look at the major components and how they operate together.
An engine developed in C/C++ that offers low-level implementation of Flutter's main APIs;
An embedder that employs a platform-specific language to make the app operate on any OS. Graphics (through the Skia 2D graphics library), text layout, file, and network I/O, accessibility support, plugin architecture, and a Dart runtime and compilation toolchain.
A Dart-based framework. Its use is optional, however, it provides a comprehensive collection of libraries organized into layers: fundamental core classes, rendering layer, widget layer, and Material/Cupertino libraries.
Widgets are another important aspect of Flutter. They are used as building blocks in the Flutter SDK and may be used to cover practically all elements of development. Flutter not only provides a large number of ready-to-use widgets but also allows you to tweak them or develop your own. Continue reading for more information on the Flutter widgets.
Flutter also includes a suite of automated testing tools for three different sorts of tests: unit, widget, and integration tests. For such exams, Google has guided. Flutter also supports the Continuous Delivery paradigm using Fastlane, a free platform that connects Flutter to CI platforms like Travis, Jenkins, and Cirrus (check the guide on continuous delivery with Flutter).
The Flutter DevTools are used to debug Flutter applications (also called Dart DevTools). They're used to check layout, assess performance, and troubleshoot programs, among other things. Read the Flutter debug documentation if you want to learn more.
Flutter 2 is a sequel to Flutter
Flutter was created to be a mobile-focused SDK that could be used to create native Android and iOS apps with a single codebase. Google, on the other hand, has been hard at work expanding and polishing their idea, and their most recent big improvement now includes the long-awaited ability to create applications for nearly any platform.
Flutter 2 Is Compatible with Pcs, Foldables, And Embedded Devices
Flutter is gradually extending outside traditional mobile devices and the web, and we highlighted three collaborations in today's speech that illustrate Flutter's mobility.
To begin, Canonical is collaborating with us to bring Flutter to the desktop, with developers providing code to make development and deployment on Linux easier. The Ubuntu team demonstrated an early version of their new installation app, which was developed in Flutter, during today's event. Canonical needs to be able to provide rock-solid but attractive experiences across a wide range of hardware configurations. Flutter will be the default framework for all future Canonical desktop and mobile apps.
The Flutter ecosystem is expanding
There are currently over 15,000 packages for Flutter and Dart, including major packages like Lottie, Sentry, and SVG, as well as Flutter Favorite packages like sign in with apple, google fonts, geolocator, and SQLite, from businesses like Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Alibaba, eBay, and Square.
We're excited to announce the beta release of Google Mobile Advertisements for Flutter, a new SDK that integrates with AdMob and AdManager to provide a range of ad types, including banner, interstitial, native, and rewarded video ads. We've been testing this SDK with a few important clients, including Sua Musica, Latin America's largest music platform for independent artists, and we're now ready to release the Google Mobile Ads for Flutter SDK to the general public.
Flutter's secret ingredient is Dart
As previously said, Flutter 2 is adaptable to a wide range of platforms and form factors. Dart, Google's programming language that is specialized for multiplatform development, is largely responsible for the smooth shift to supporting web, desktop, and embedded.
Dart brings together a unique set of capabilities for app development:
Iterative development with stateful hot reloads on desktop and mobile, as well as language features tailored to contemporary UI programming's asynchronous, concurrent patterns.
If you haven't used Flutter yet, we believe you will find it to be a significant improvement in your app development experience. Flutter is an open-source toolkit for creating attractive and fast apps that target mobile, desktop, web, and embedded devices from a single codebase, designed to meet both Google's and our customers' demanding expectations.