Toby Rogers

Toby Rogers

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Is Flutter a Future of Your App Development Process?

In this article we will uncover some truth about:

  1. What is Flutter?
  2. How is it different from other cross-platform development frameworks?
  3. What difference a common user face from a native app?
  4. Recent Developments in Flutter announced in Google IO 19.

1. What is Flutter?

Flutter is Google’s portable UI toolkit for building beautiful, natively-compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase.

If you haven’t heard about Flutter and have been living under a rock, I would suggest you check out this site: https://flutter.dev

2. How is it different from other cross-platform development frameworks?

Flutter has a tough competition ahead and this competition with other frameworks and Native Application Development will get tougher if Google doesn’t pull up the gear. Flutter has been doing really good amongst others.

Here are some points that I feel will help you find out the difference and see why Flutter has managed to keep its head up high.

  1. Speed for Communication: Flutter does not use a Javascript bridge for communication between mobile and the application. This means less context switching. The application is natively compiled and thus reduces the communication time. All the other frameworks use a Javascript bridge.
  2. 60 fps Animations: It delivers animations at the rate of 60 fps. This amount of speed is achieved due to no javascript bridge. Other frameworks like React Native is not able to deliver such a wonderful performance.
  3. Ahead of Time Compilation: Flutter use Ahead of Time (AOT) Compilation that natively compiles the dart code to machine code. This helps in saving disk space, memory, battery life, and startup times.
  4. Stateful Hot Reload: This is the most exciting feature. Flutter uses JIT (Just in Time) Compilation and that helps in developing apps faster. As soon as you change the code and save it, you can see it in under 1 second. This is lightning fast and a game changer. It not only reduces the development time, but it also reduces the time-to-market and makes it suitable for everyone.
  5. Getting Started: Getting started with Flutter is way too easy and the documentation is really good. Creating your first application with Flutter is easier than with Android and iOs. It was way too easy and really boosted my confidence.

The list doesn’t end here, it’s a lot more. I have added an image down to see what are the major differences between Flutter and React Native.

Is Flutter a Future of Mobile App Development Process

3: What difference a common user face from a native app?

Enough has already been said why we should start adopting Flutter but there are some issues that is avoiding the complete mass adoption. Flutter has been able to deliver high quality and many big companies have started adopting in their mainstream applications.

But every coin has two sides. Flutter has too.

  1. Janky Animations: Flutter brings 60 fps animation but there has been issue with this. The animation is janky at the first time startup and then eases up. This leaves a bad impression.
  2. Application Size: The application size is much too high at the development time. For a simple application that displays a list, its size is as big as 45 MB. That is really huge for such a small and simple application.
  3. Unnecessary Widget Drawing: Widgets must be created with state in mind. Flutter’s stateful widgets have state attached to them. This means that functions cannot actually change the UI, it can only change the state data. So when the next redrawing happens, Flutter takes in the new state data and build the widgets.
    If this is not kept in mind, your application can do unnecessary redrawing the widgets on to the screen and thus wasting app resources and making application janky.
  4. Slight Inconsistent UI: You can add some flutter code in your existing Android or iOS app and you can feel the difference between the UI. This can be one small point or a deal-breaker. If you feel you are not much concerned about consistent UI with both the iOS and the Android app, then its not a problem, otherwise it’s a deal breaker. It does not create much difference but there is some.

4. Recent Developments in Flutter announced in Google IO 19

Google IO 19 just happened and Google revealed numerous announcements.
Google just announced that beside taking iOS and Android under its wing, it has started taking Web and Desktop and Embedded too.
Google also said that they have already started using Flutter in Google Home Hub internally. This has been one hell of an announcement. Earlier Cross-Platform meant Android and iOS. This changed the whole world around.

Is Flutter a Future of Mobile App Development Process

With Declarative UI pattern, Flutter has changed the game. Even Apple announced Swift UI that uses the same pattern, Declarative UI.

Why this mass adoption? This is because Declarive UI pattern creates less number of files to manage, great code reusability.

5. Final Question: Will it replace Java for Android Development?

Drum roll please.

Is Flutter a Future of Mobile App Development Process

After all the Knowledge Transfer, here is my conclusion for the Flutter future for replacing Java for Android Development.
I would say, YES.

Java is an old language and Google has been trying to find a replacement for Java since the Sun/Java acquisition by Oracle. And in the process, they found Flutter. Though I said Flutter would replace Java for Android Development, I didn’t say it will replace Native Application Development for Android.
Kotlin is here to stay and it will be a really tough competition for both.

Kotlin with Android:

Kotlin is now a first-class language for Android Application Development and the recent announcement in Google IO 19 claimed that they will be releasing Declarative UI pattern for Kotlin with Jetpack. This is a huge step in favoring Kotlin and will further the Android App development in Kotlin.

Closing Statements:

I will be really brutal and be done with it.
A native application is always better than a Hybrid application in terms of performance and speed. But.

But there are trade-offs with both. If native gives speed, Flutter reduces time to market and reduces code. It will always depend upon the use-case you are after.

If you’re a startup, I’d say go with Flutter that delivers performance and speed in no time. And make your customers happy. But if you’re multi-million company and has time, money and human resource to spend, go with Native. Again, it depends upon the use-case and resources.

Finally we’re done. Hurray!

Is Flutter a Future of Mobile App Development Process

#flutter #dart #mobile-apps

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Is Flutter a Future of Your App Development Process?
Fredy  Larson

Fredy Larson

1595059664

How long does it take to develop/build an app?

With more of us using smartphones, the popularity of mobile applications has exploded. In the digital era, the number of people looking for products and services online is growing rapidly. Smartphone owners look for mobile applications that give them quick access to companies’ products and services. As a result, mobile apps provide customers with a lot of benefits in just one device.

Likewise, companies use mobile apps to increase customer loyalty and improve their services. Mobile Developers are in high demand as companies use apps not only to create brand awareness but also to gather information. For that reason, mobile apps are used as tools to collect valuable data from customers to help companies improve their offer.

There are many types of mobile applications, each with its own advantages. For example, native apps perform better, while web apps don’t need to be customized for the platform or operating system (OS). Likewise, hybrid apps provide users with comfortable user experience. However, you may be wondering how long it takes to develop an app.

To give you an idea of how long the app development process takes, here’s a short guide.

App Idea & Research

app-idea-research

_Average time spent: two to five weeks _

This is the initial stage and a crucial step in setting the project in the right direction. In this stage, you brainstorm ideas and select the best one. Apart from that, you’ll need to do some research to see if your idea is viable. Remember that coming up with an idea is easy; the hard part is to make it a reality.

All your ideas may seem viable, but you still have to run some tests to keep it as real as possible. For that reason, when Web Developers are building a web app, they analyze the available ideas to see which one is the best match for the targeted audience.

Targeting the right audience is crucial when you are developing an app. It saves time when shaping the app in the right direction as you have a clear set of objectives. Likewise, analyzing how the app affects the market is essential. During the research process, App Developers must gather information about potential competitors and threats. This helps the app owners develop strategies to tackle difficulties that come up after the launch.

The research process can take several weeks, but it determines how successful your app can be. For that reason, you must take your time to know all the weaknesses and strengths of the competitors, possible app strategies, and targeted audience.

The outcomes of this stage are app prototypes and the minimum feasible product.

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Idrish Dhankot

Idrish Dhankot

1622532470

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Google's Flutter 1.20 stable announced with new features - Navoki

Flutter Google cross-platform UI framework has released a new version 1.20 stable.

Flutter is Google’s UI framework to make apps for Android, iOS, Web, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Fuchsia OS. Since the last 2 years, the flutter Framework has already achieved popularity among mobile developers to develop Android and iOS apps. In the last few releases, Flutter also added the support of making web applications and desktop applications.

Last month they introduced the support of the Linux desktop app that can be distributed through Canonical Snap Store(Snapcraft), this enables the developers to publish there Linux desktop app for their users and publish on Snap Store.  If you want to learn how to Publish Flutter Desktop app in Snap Store that here is the tutorial.

Flutter 1.20 Framework is built on Google’s made Dart programming language that is a cross-platform language providing native performance, new UI widgets, and other more features for the developer usage.

Here are the few key points of this release:

Performance improvements for Flutter and Dart

In this release, they have got multiple performance improvements in the Dart language itself. A new improvement is to reduce the app size in the release versions of the app. Another performance improvement is to reduce junk in the display of app animation by using the warm-up phase.

sksl_warm-up

If your app is junk information during the first run then the Skia Shading Language shader provides for pre-compilation as part of your app’s build. This can speed it up by more than 2x.

Added a better support of mouse cursors for web and desktop flutter app,. Now many widgets will show cursor on top of them or you can specify the type of supported cursor you want.

Autofill for mobile text fields

Autofill was already supported in native applications now its been added to the Flutter SDK. Now prefilled information stored by your OS can be used for autofill in the application. This feature will be available soon on the flutter web.

flutter_autofill

A new widget for interaction

InteractiveViewer is a new widget design for common interactions in your app like pan, zoom drag and drop for resizing the widget. Informations on this you can check more on this API documentation where you can try this widget on the DartPad. In this release, drag-drop has more features added like you can know precisely where the drop happened and get the position.

Updated Material Slider, RangeSlider, TimePicker, and DatePicker

In this new release, there are many pre-existing widgets that were updated to match the latest material guidelines, these updates include better interaction with Slider and RangeSliderDatePicker with support for date range and time picker with the new style.

flutter_DatePicker

New pubspec.yaml format

Other than these widget updates there is some update within the project also like in pubspec.yaml file format. If you are a flutter plugin publisher then your old pubspec.yaml  is no longer supported to publish a plugin as the older format does not specify for which platform plugin you are making. All existing plugin will continue to work with flutter apps but you should make a plugin update as soon as possible.

Preview of embedded Dart DevTools in Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio code flutter extension got an update in this release. You get a preview of new features where you can analyze that Dev tools in your coding workspace. Enable this feature in your vs code by _dart.previewEmbeddedDevTools_setting. Dart DevTools menu you can choose your favorite page embed on your code workspace.

Network tracking

The updated the Dev tools comes with the network page that enables network profiling. You can track the timings and other information like status and content type of your** network calls** within your app. You can also monitor gRPC traffic.

Generate type-safe platform channels for platform interop

Pigeon is a command-line tool that will generate types of safe platform channels without adding additional dependencies. With this instead of manually matching method strings on platform channel and serializing arguments, you can invoke native class and pass nonprimitive data objects by directly calling the Dartmethod.

There is still a long list of updates in the new version of Flutter 1.2 that we cannot cover in this blog. You can get more details you can visit the official site to know more. Also, you can subscribe to the Navoki newsletter to get updates on these features and upcoming new updates and lessons. In upcoming new versions, we might see more new features and improvements.

You can get more free Flutter tutorials you can follow these courses:

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