Why In 2019, Android and iOS App Developers Should Give a Thought to Flutter?
AUGUST 6, 2019
There is a talk around that native apps which are build keeping the specific needs of iOS and Android platforms in mind are going to face a strong competition from cross-platform apps which are built for both platforms using a single codebase. With the introduction of cross-platform app development frameworks like Flutter and React Native, the difficulty to choose the right one as your mobility solution from native and cross platform will become all the more prominent.
It is true that the benefits we get from native Android and iOS apps have no match but it has been seen that cross-platform app development with platforms like Flutter taking mobile app development to a new level.
Flutter was just a side project of Google in the beginning but, turned out to be an amazing solution for cross-platform app development over time. Today more number of businesses and developer community is coming forward to use Flutter for app development.
So, let’s see the impact that Flutter has on Android and iOS app development.
While the development of Native iOS apps takes place by using Objective-C or Swift, while Dart languages goes into work for Flutter app development. Just like the languages, the IDEs are different. Just like Native iPhone apps makes use of Xcode, Flutter makes use of Intellij Idea, Android Studio or other text editors like Sublime Text or Atom. In case of Swift all the components which are involved in there are natively developed and this makes Swift truly a fast solution. On the other hand, Flutter follows the Dart framework which does not need to have any connection with native modules. This is because of iOS app developers Flutter already offers everything which can help with native app development.
The developers end up building the app from the scratch completely or even build the third-party dependencies, in order to see the changes in the stimulator or devices, every time a new change is made when building iOS apps natively. On the other hand, why to use Flutter for Android app development and iPhone app development lies in the feature of hot reload that it comes with. This helps the developers to see the changes made instantly in the real-time in simulator. Dependency management program is another productivity affecting feature that comes with iOS app development natively. In case of Native development, dependency management is dependent on a number of third-party tools like CocoaPods or Carthage, which does possess a learning curve. In case of Flutter app development, the framework makes use of personal dependency management tool and it can be considered as the benefit in this case.
In case of Flutter app development, it is easy to get new dependencies whenever it is needed as, Flutter apps comes with built-in dependency handling system.
UIKit is the native framework which is used by Apple in order to build UI components. UIKit is nothing but a user interface which is event-driven and offers a number of gesture support features. The framework comes with native support for printing, document, animation and drawing.
The UI engine of Flutter works quite differently. The UI engine comes with a framework and it runs on rendering engine. The engine comes with a number of stateless and stateful widgets and all the widgets offered here is pixel perfect. One of the main reasons why iOS and Android developers should consider Flutter for app development is the UIKit it comes with.
Apple offers XCTest, a native testing framework for performance, integration and UI testing of iOS apps. Now this framework comes with its set of issues too.
In case of XCTest framework a number of important elements are missing like data-driven testing, grouping of test, snapshots test, etc. However, stubbing and mocking is considered as the biggest shortcomings of XCTest framework. Here stubbing does not have native support while mocking asks for more code.
Flutter comes with a strong test framework which the developers can use to write codes for UI, unit and functional level. Moreover, the framework comes with detailed documentation which includes a number of example codes. Such codes are useful for the process which has to be followed to test apps at different levels. Here a separate package named as Flutter Driver offers Flutter integration tests which are quite similar to Xcode UI tests.
So now we have seen different elements where Flutter works better than Native iOS and has given a few reasons why iOS developers should go for it.
Even though Flutter and Native Android app development frameworks come from the same parent company of Google, the shift from Native Android to Flutter is clearly visible as it was in case of iOS app developers for their change.
So now let’s see why Android app developers should work on to learn Flutter while improving their skills to work on the Flutter framework.
One of the most important tools on which Android app development processes is Gradle hands down. However, it comes with very large build time and when it comes to carrying out faster development; it poses as a big hindrance.
For Flutter to make a huge impact on Android and iOS app development, it definitely needs Gradle build but not as much as needed by Native Android. During the beginning of the development, Flutter build calls for Gradle build for the first time, but then there is no need to have it done again for restarting the app completely. No doubt the Gradle build time has been lowered much by Android Studio, but what Flutter has to offer is quite better than the Native load time.
Native Android comes with Kotlin/Java files and separate layout which helps the developers to get view references which then be used to make corresponding changes in the backend files. While in case of Flutter, it just needs a single language for backend designing and the reactive framework that it comes with removes the requirement of having any widgets and their references. This itself tells us why we should choose Flutter for app development.
Even after the launch of Java 8, Java is still leaving a room for improvements. Dart has worked towards taking the best features from different languages without including the essence of Java. This points to the fact that it is better and effortless for developers to use and profit from Flutter app development.
Flutter optimizes animation patterns so that it can be easily used in mobile apps. For Android app developers, Flutter makes the loading of animation quite faster with 60FPS.