Did you know? – Flutter is the 2nd most well-liked cross-platform mobile framework by its users worldwide.
Flutter is relatively a new framework, a competent one, and definitely  something that you should know about.

In this article we will discuss some important features of Flutter, reasons and benefits for you to choose them when developing a new app. Now, why choose it? Continue reading to find below:

Tim Sneath, the product manager of Flutter and Dart at Google states, “ Despite the conditions during COVID-19 pandemic, the flutter saw over 10% user growth to half a million  user growth and currently, more than two million developers use Flutter ever since its release i.e, sixteen months”.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is an open source framework by Google for building beautiful, natively compiled, multi-platform applications from a single codebase. Flutter is a game changing Software Development Kit. It is used by many top companies, such as: Google, ebay, Tencent, Byte Dance, BMW, Alibaba.com and many more.

Gold Features:

Fast installation – Many developers are excited, and shook  when they discover how fast they can learn Flutter. It barely takes 30 minutes to finish the installation process and have a working development environment set up. And, now, you  are all ready to create your own first flutter app.

Neat Development Process- In developers’ own words “Compared to my previous experience with hybrid app frameworks, the development process in Flutter feels neater”.He continues to give an example, where he states, When he was using WebViews to display lists with many elements (around 100 or so), he had to deal with high CPU usage, especially when the user was scrolling the list.

In Flutter, He resolved this by using Ionic framework elements specifically made for this. In Flutter, there is one accepted way of displaying lists, called the List view, popular for it’s out-of-box performance.

Dart, the Programming Language- Dart is a programming language produced by Google, for someone who knows C languages or Java, it is very easy to catch. For beginners, it is a cup of  tea, it has a simple syntax and takes little time to learn. You may know that JavaScript is the fastest, but wait till you see the Dart. It is acclaimed for its speediness. Dart is considered 2x faster than JavaScript.

Cross-platform star-Consistent UIs across both mobile platforms is another amazing feature of Flutter. Flutter uses its own rendering engine which enable the UI be the same across on iOS and Android. This makes Developers life easy. They no longer have to deal with platform-specific styling and aesthetic issues in order to make them look exactly like the design: Flutter gives the guarantee of this, for it is part of it’s framework.

Hot Reload and Hot Restart- Both these features help a develop reduce the execution time of an app once they execute it.  These features are way better than your regular default restart. However, It can be only used once you execute your program.

A Hot reload let one apply changes, fix bugs, create UIs, and add features in a second. The hot reload doesn’t destroy the preserved state of the programme.

A Hot restart is faster compared to the full restart function, and slower than Hot reload, And does tasks different to hot reload. Hot restart destroys the preserved states of the app, and the code gets fully compiled again and starts from the default state.

Usually, the Android and iOS developers need to write the code and wait for it to compile and to be loaded on the device or simulator before they can see changes. However,in flutter’s live reload , when the app code is reloaded on the device as soon as developers hit “save.” This gives immediate feedback, making development a lot faster.=

Skia- Flutter uses the high-performance, battle-tested Skia graphics engine to beautify anything to your mobile application.Skia provides two major perks that developers love:

  • The app will look exactly the same on all platforms without the need to customise each one of them.
  • The app will get great performance, same as native applications, because there is no intermediate layer that has to translate the code into native platform code to draw the widgets.

Create Plugin-One can create plugins easily, in order to take advantage of its native platform capabilities . It benefits  developers broadly, when they need access to a platform feature for which there is no plugin already,  they code one up.

DevTool- One can perform following functions with Devtool

  1. UI inspection.
  2. App state inspection.
  3. Diagnose UI junk performance.
  4. Diagnose issues with flutter apps.
  5. DevTools use for CPU profiling.
  6. Network profiling for an app.
  7. Source-level debugging of an app.
  8. Debug memory issues in a Flutter or Dart or command-line app
  9. View general log and diagnostics information of an app
  10. Analyze the code and app size of the flutter app

The Flutter widget inspector- It is a great tool for visualizing and monitoring the Flutter widget trees of the application. The Flutter framework uses widgets as the core building block for manipulating and controlling things such as text, buttons, etc. to layout such as centering, padding, row, and column. Inspector aids in visualize and explore widget trees, and can be utilised for the following:

  • With the inspector, one can easily understand the existing layouts of their app.
  • Can diagnose layout issues in their application if one arises.>

Native App Performance-Application performance is essential for good UX. In most of the cases, the Flutter application performance is the same as the native app and even improved  in complex UI animation arrangements..
How?

Unlike the approach of most cross-platform frameworks, Flutter doesn’t rely on any intermediate code representations or interpretation.

Flutter application is built directly into the machine code, which removes all performance bugs of the interpretation process.

Benefits of Flutter:


Flutter surprising its first time users.
Image credits to:giffer.com

1.Flutter is an open-source product
The beauty and benefit of the Open Source Community is endless. It is a major source of feedback, documentation, code contributions and much more.

2.One of the biggest advantages of flutter a business can have is that there is no  requirement of a big team, a small number of developer with limited skills can write code which will be run across ios, android, chrome book, Macbook, or desktop the same way and will look the same way flutter has many inbuilt features in its framework which allows the execution of programmes quickly, Reduced Code Development Time,

  • Flutter offers a feature called hot reload, which allows one to make changes to their code and see the results instantly without restarting their app or losing its state.
  • Many ready-to-use widgets to ease developers’ lives and save their time.
  • In addition, Flutter provides a broad group of Material and Cupertino widgets that copy the behavior of each design language.

3.Flutter has some really good UI for developers, check them out here https://freefluttersource.com/40-beautiful-flutter-ui-themes-for-developersMy personal favourite https://docs.flutter.dev/clock, The animation, aesthetic are out of this world. The ability to draw such great UIs tells how performative Flutter is.

4. A hybrid mobile application framework- Flutter has some unique way of working. One being- It doesn’t delegate the UI to the native platform, or use a web view. Instead, Flutter uses its own rendering engine to paint the UI. This is similar to how games use a game engine that generates all -k-parts of their UIs, instead of using native controls.

5. Flutter code is powered by the world-class Dart platform, which enables compilation to 32-bit and 64-bit ARM machine code for iOS and Android, as well as JavaScript for the web and Intel x64 for desktop devices.

6. Flutter is fast. It’s powered by the same hardware-accelerated 2D graphics library that underpins Chrome and Android i.e., Skia.

7. Flutter is architectured to support glitch-free, jank-free graphics at the native speed of your device.

8. Flutter uses Skia for rendering itself onto a platform-provided canvas. Due to this nature of its engine,  UI built-in Flutter can be set-up virtually on any platform. There is no longer the need to adjust the UI to transfer it to a platform, this simplifies the development process greatly.

9. Many real-life mobile applications rely on advanced operating level features, for example fetching GPS coordinates, Bluetooth communication, gathering sensor data, permission handling, working with credentials, etc. Flutter has ready-to-use plugins for  these supported by Google.

10. Flutter provides an easy to use way of establishing the communication between platform-native code and Dart through platform channels. This way, you can implement anything that a native app can do on a Flutter app, with just a little extra effort on the native side.

Do you want to be a Flutter developer and Don’t know where to start? Learn Flutter for free with Flutter Apprentice. Check the link below before its time period.

https://medium.com/flutter/learn-flutter-for-free-with-flutter-apprentice-32ced5f97a12