App development… Such a modern term that rules the tech industry especially after Covid-19. The world has changed and more and more people rely on mobile apps. And here comes Flutter. Powered by Google, Flutter is the popular choice of app developers. It enables developers to create intuitive applications for Android, Linux, iOS, Windows, and the web from a single codebase.
Let’s look at some of the benefits this great app development platform by Google can bring to developers.
Why Does Every App Development Company Love Flutter?
According to Google, over half a million developers choose Flutter as an easy and less expensive choice of mobile app development. Why is this enthusiasm around this cross-platform toolkit? Why do developers love Flutter?
Here are some of the reasons:
Flutter is an open-source SDK (Software Development Kit). It means that it is made freely available for anyone to access, copy, modify, and redistribute. It gives developers a lot of freedom to tailor the code to fit their needs. It also provides transparency. When you include an open-source SDK, data on users is accessible from their devices and websites.
It is not an API (Application Programming Interface) which is what the term denotes — an interface. The comparison of API and SDK is not the topic of this article. But if you want to know more, read this article to compare APIs and SDKs.
Native-app like performance
Most companies want their app to function like a native app on both iOS and Android. Flutter is a cross-platform toolkit that provides a native-like performance on both platforms. That’s why it is often a preferred solution by many app development companies.
Faster Code Writing
Time is always an issue with app developers. In this respect, Flutter is a solution. Developers can use the Hot Reload features and view the changes made to the source code. The capability of customizable widgets gives an opportunity to experiment with the UIs of the application.
Yes, Flutter is all about widgets. There is a super-easy-to-use catalog of widgets available and you can give a native-like feel to your application using the widgets. Developers are enthusiastic about these features as they can build a customized application that ensures high performance.
Flutter is known for its in-built UI widgets. It is also flexible in UI creation. The nice thing about it is that the UI changes its interface automatically. You can integrate beautifully designed components into your application with Flutter UI. You just need to copy and paste and it’s in.
Since the same source code is used for various platforms, debugging becomes faster with Flutter. There is also a capability of automatic testing that is very handy. Once again Hot Reload capability is very useful because you can check the impact of the changes on the code instantly. However, if you use different features on different platforms, you need to test for both platforms.
Businesses are always short of budget. They don’t want to have a separate budget for iOS and Android. Meanwhile, they don’t want to compromise on performance. The answer? Most developers will come up with Flutter as a toolkit that can create a consistent experience across different platforms.
Before, in order to add a new feature, developers had to change or add code and save the file to see if changes are done. Now they can change or add code and click on the Hot Reload button. This allows them to experiment and add new features without stopping the app.
Accessible to all developers
Strong community support
Flutter is supported by a big community of developers that can ask and answer questions on this toolkit. It is much easier than turning for the help function. Developers get answers to their questions from the thriving community on GitHub.
What are the Disadvantages of Flutter SDK?
Now that we know the good sides of Flutter, let’s have a look at the disadvantages.
Lack of third-party libraries
Flutter is a relatively new SDK. For many older technologies, finding a third-party library is not a problem. As of today, there are 15k+ packages on Flutter’s official resource. If you compare that with its competitor React Native, we must accept that React Native excels Flutter in this regard.
The smaller your app size, the bigger the chances that the users won’t delete it in favor of photos or a music library. That’s why developers tend to minimize the size of an app. Flutter apps’ minimum size is over 4MB. This is bigger than native Java (539KB) or Kotlin (550KB). However, if you compare it with Xamarin which takes 16 MG and 7 MB in React Native, Flutter can still be a good choice. If you want to compare Flutter and React Native, you need to go a bit deeper. It is a hot topic and you can find lots of resources on that.
2D apps only
Currently, Flutter uses only the Skia 2D graphics engine. It does not support 3D via OpenGL ES or similar. Although this capability is planned in the long run, it may be a problem as of today.
Flutter desktop is in alpha
You need to use Flutter’s alpha functionality in case you want desktop support Windows, macOS, or Linux. In this case, you’ll have to work on the target platform.
How Much Does It Cost to Build an App Using the Flutter SDK
It’s hard to say the exact amount you will spend on app-building with Flutter SDK. The cost depends on a number of factors like the number of features, the complexity of the app, the location of developers, etc.
However, to give you a general understanding of the cost of Flutter apps, we will compare them with apps developed using other toolkits.
Normally, you can build a simple app with basic features spending something like $2000 to $10 000. If you spend Flutter, it would cost just half of the price.
Why are apps built with Flutter SDK cheaper? Firstly, you refrain from paying license fees or fees for launching applications on various platforms. Also, developers have access to the codebase and use it whenever the need comes.
Naturally, your app cost depends on the number of hours you will hire a developer. But not only that. It will depend on the location of the developers. Here is a list to consider.
Average Flutter Developer Hourly Rate By Regions
Western Europe $70–90
Eastern Europe $30–65
To have a rough understanding of the number of hours needed for various applications here is what to consider:
Video chats/text chats — 50 hours
Payment integration — 50 hours
Design and navigation — 300 hours.
Depending on the type of your app, you can calculate the rough cost of your application based on the number of hours and the rate of the developer.
Flutter is undoubtedly ruling the business environment and is a bridge between the tech world and businesses. It is the best choice for many startups in most cases. This is especially true about startups with a low budget that seek building applications with cross-platform capabilities.
If you have finally decided to go into the app development business, you may consider hiring an app development company in Eastern Europe as this region is known for good quality at reasonable rates. No matter how complex your app is, companies in Eastern Europe can face the challenge.
Good luck with your Flutter app development!