The Future of Flutter: What's in Store for the Revolutionary Framework?
The mobile app development industry is experiencing significant changes and unprecedented growth over the past decade. Undoubtedly, it will grow tremendously at double speed in the coming years.
This popularity of the mobile app industry has resulted in the inception of multiple frameworks that facilitate the development of mobile apps. Among all frameworks available out there, Flutter is one that facilitates the development of apps for Android and iOS.
This article introduces you to Flutter, its features, and its advantages. Further, it walks you through the future of Flutter.
So, let us get started!
What is Flutter?
It is an open-source mobile application development framework created by Google. It allows developers to build natively compiled mobile, web, and desktop applications using a single codebase. It is a versatile, user-friendly framework enabling developers to build high-quality mobile applications quickly.
The framework uses the Dart programming language, created by Google. It provides a rich set of pre-built widgets and tools that enable developers to build aesthetically appealing and highly responsive user interfaces. Also, the framework ensures a fast development cycle with out-of-the-box features, like the hot reload. This feature enables developers to see the changes made to the code instantly without having to rebuild the entire app.
What Makes Flutter Important for App Development?
Flutter is an important framework for mobile app development due to its cross-platform compatibility, beautiful UIs, performance, and open-source and community-driven nature.
It offers a fast development cycle and hot reload feature, allowing developers to quickly build and iterate on their applications. It also provides a wide range of customizable widgets that enable developers to create visually stunning, pixel-perfect UIs that are easy to use and navigate.
Flutter's reactive programming model and modern engine architecture make it a high-performance framework, designed to work with modern hardware and optimized for mobile devices. It has gained popularity among developers and organizations, making it an important player in the mobile app development industry.
A brief history of Flutter
- 2015: Flutter was initially developed as a small project within Google under the name "Sky". The project was intended to provide a new way to build mobile apps with better performance and a more modern approach.
- 2017: Google officially announced Flutter at the Dart developer summit in October 2017. Flutter was initially released as a beta version, and it included support for Android and iOS platforms.
- 2018: Flutter 1.0 was released in December 2018, which marked the first stable release of the framework. The release included support for web and desktop platforms in addition to Android and iOS.
- 2019: In May 2019, Google announced the creation of the Flutter for Web project, which would allow developers to build web apps using Flutter.
- 2020: Flutter 1.17 was released in May 2020, which included significant improvements to the framework's performance, tooling, and accessibility features. Google also announced the creation of Flutter for Desktop, which allows developers to build native desktop applications using Flutter.
- 2021: In March 2021, Flutter 2.0 was released, which included several new features such as null safety, support for multiple form factors, and improved web support. Flutter has also gained popularity and adoption in the developer community, with several high-profile apps being built using the framework.
- 2022: In May 2022, Flutter 3.0 for Desktop was a new release from Google that allowed developers to build desktop applications. It included support for Windows, macOS, and Linux and included features specifically designed for desktop development. It also operates on Apple silicon and Intel, covering all six major platforms.
Current State of Flutter
When Google introduced Flutter it was awe-inspiring for developers its performance when as compared to other technology developed specifically for creating cross-platform mobile apps.
Flutter is packed with lots of features that you'll not discover in other tools currently. Dart is a remarkable language designed from scratch to serve the purpose of developing mobile applications.
Dart is the current fastest technology available to build Android and iOS apps. It makes it simpler to create powerful UI components. It also has great IDE (integrated development environments) support and powerful autocompletion tools, permits creating live prototypes of code without losing app state and finally, embraces the concept of object-oriented programming, making it compulsory.
Top Apps Built Using Flutter
Flutter has been used to create several popular and successful apps across different categories. Let’s go through some of the top apps built using Flutter:
- Google Ads: Provides a simple and intuitive interface for managing ad campaigns on the go.
- Reflectly: A popular self-care and mindfulness app that helps users keep track of their thoughts and emotions. The app comes with an attractive and engaging user interface that makes it easy to use and navigate.
- Hamilton- The Official App: The official Hamilton app for the musical provides fans with a range of features, including ticket booking, merchandise shopping, and news updates.
- Philips Hue: The app for smart homes from Philips lets users control smart lights and other devices using their mobile phones. The rapid growth of the Internet of Things has given an array of such applications to control smart home devices in the digital age.
- Hookle: Hookle is a social media management app that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs to manage their social media presence. It provides a range of features, including post-scheduling, analytics, and collaboration tools.
- eBay Motors: While the primary eBay mobile application isn't developed using Flutter, however, the framework is used in the eBay Motors app for buying and selling cars. The app can search for cars that allow you to find specific models of vehicles that you can bid on and purchase online.
How promising the Flutter looks in the Future.
The future of cross-platform application development is exciting. Flutter is advancing to become an accepted standard. The demand for it is increasing every day because of promising results and cost-effectiveness. It will become more common in the near future due to its compatibility with various smartphones and operating systems.
Flutter's latest updates and features
Flutter 3.7 is the latest update from Google that focuses on improvements to the framework's performance, stability, and developer productivity. It is available now and is supported by Google for an extended period of time. The release was released on January 25th, at the Flutter Forward event, with guests from Google, community members, flutter contributors, and all the tech geeks gathered to witness the action-packed event.
Flutter 3.7 is an update with a variety of features as follows:
- Material 3 has been added to the Flutter framework and is available in the FlexColorScheme Package with pre-built themes and customizable themes.
- Dart 3 is a major release expected to be released around mid-2023. It is the most productive, portable, and approachable version of the Dart and is not been officially released yet.
- The most important idea is that Flutter has released Impeller, a graphics rendering engine, for preview on iOS on the stable channel.
- Flutter offers support for 3D models and custom shaders, allowing for impressive graphical experiences.
- Flutter 3.7 reduces code size by 66% for Google Classroom functionality.
The impact of Flutter on app development
No matter whether mobile app developers decide to utilize the Flutter platform or not, it is fast becoming a hot topic among them. Although cross-platform apps have been in use for a long time, it is the first which can handle things correctly. Flutter has had a significant impact on app development by making it faster, easier, and more efficient to build high-quality apps for multiple platforms.
Flutter's future in the market
Since the advent of cross-platform apps, native apps are losing importance on the ground because cross-platform apps are simple to build and sustain.
With the increasing market demand, there's an increasing demand for developers of cross-platform apps. App developers who are cross-platform also tend an adequate amount of money since they are regarded to be an essential component for any software design firm.
Advantages of Using Flutter
The primary advantage of the framework is its ability to quickly create high-performance and visually appealing applications. The compatibility of a single codebase for different platforms and ease of use make it an attractive option for businesses and developers looking to reduce development costs and time-to-market for their applications.
Some other advantages include:
- The framework comes with a wide range of widgets. We can customize them and build stunning user interfaces as quickly as possible. This does not just improve the design of the app but also the user experience.
- The framework’s reactive development model, combined with its hot reload feature, allows for faster development cycles, reducing the time required to build and test an app.
- It enables developers to build natively compiled applications for multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, web, and desktop.
Flutter in Comparison with Other Technologies
Flutter has several advantages over other technologies, including its cross-platform capabilities, hot reload feature, and customizable UI framework. However, the choice of technology ultimately depends on the specific needs and requirements of the app being developed. Here's how it compares to some other popular technologies:
Xamarin: Xamarin is a cross-platform app development platform that uses C# and .NET. It allows developers to build native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows using a single codebase. Xamarin has better integration with Microsoft technologies, but Flutter is easier to learn and has a more modern UI framework.
Swift: Swift is Apple's native programming language for iOS and macOS development. While Swift is very powerful and has a large developer community, it is limited to Apple's platforms. Flutter, on the other hand, allows developers to build apps for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, web, desktop, and embedded devices.
Java/Kotlin: Java and Kotlin are the native programming languages for Android development. While Android development has a large developer community and many resources available, it is limited to Android devices. Flutter, on the other hand, allows developers to build apps for multiple platforms using a single codebase.
Future Adaptation of Flutter
Flutter has gained wide adaptation across the IT sector as an open-platform platform technology for mobile applications. In the month of April 2020, Google said that 5,00,000 developers are using Flutter on a regular basis and that more than 2 million developers around the world have been using Flutter since the launch of version 1.0.x in December 2018.
Cross-platform desktop apps will adopt an innovative and thrilling way to engage with app users by 2023. Since the market is constantly developing and evolving, these apps will give an opportunity to remain ahead of the game and attract a wider audience across all platforms.
Limitations of Flutter
Flutter is a powerful and versatile framework, but like any technology, it has its limitations and trade-offs. Developers should carefully consider the following limitations when choosing a framework for their mobile app development needs:
- Flutter apps tend to have a larger file size than their native counterparts, which can be a concern for users with limited storage capacity on their devices.
- While Flutter has a growing number of third-party libraries, the selection is still more limited than some other frameworks, particularly for niche or specialized features.
- Flutter can be challenging for developers who are new to the framework or who are not familiar with the Dart programming language, which is used in Flutter.
- While Flutter has support for building web applications, it is still relatively new and may not have all the features and capabilities required for more complex web applications.
The impact of limitations on the future of Flutter
Flutter has gained popularity over time and the present trend suggests that increasing numbers of developers are embracing the Flutter framework to build widgets and mobile applications. Although there are some limitations related to Flutter, however, if you conduct an in-depth analysis, you'll discover that the benefits far outweigh the cons.
Flutter provides you with a variety of advantages such as a speedier development time and lower price that could be a game changer when you decide to put your app on the market more quickly.
Flutter's position in the market
As the trend shows, Flutter is the most desired choice when it comes to developing cross-platform apps and has around 42% market share. The Flutter platform is considered to be the no.1 option for Social networking apps because it can launch quicker and more efficiently capture Android as well as iOS users at once.
Flutter is rapidly becoming one of the most popular frameworks for mobile app development, and its market position is expected to continue to grow as more developers adopt the platform and contribute to its development.
- Opportunities for Developers
- Future developments for Flutter developers
- Importance of Flutter in the developer community
Job Opportunities for App Developers with Flutter
The job market for app developers with Flutter skills is growing rapidly, and developers with expertise in the platform can expect to find many opportunities in the coming years.
Job opportunities for app developers with Flutter skills can be found in a wide range of industries, including:
Many startups are now using Flutter as a cost-effective and efficient way to build mobile apps quickly.
- Freelance Work
Many companies and organizations are looking for freelance Flutter developers to build custom mobile apps for their business needs.
- Consulting Firms
Consulting firms that specialise in mobile app development or software development may also be looking for Flutter developers to add to their teams.
- Education and Training
As the popularity of Flutter grows, there is a need for trainers and educators who can teach others how to use the platform effectively.
Importance of Flutter in the developer community
Flutter has a rapidly growing community of developers and contributors who are creating new packages, tools, and resources to support the framework. This growing ecosystem provides developers with access to a wide range of resources and support, making it easier to develop and maintain Flutter apps.
With the increasing market demand, there's an increasing demand for developers of cross-platform apps. Flutter 3.7 is the latest update from Google that focuses on improvements to the framework's performance, stability, and developer productivity. It offers support for 3D models and custom shaders, reduces code size by 66%, and has a significant impact on app development.
Moreover, its growing community, strong backing from Google, cross-platform capabilities, high performance, and increasing popularity suggest that Flutter has a bright future ahead and will continue to be a popular choice for mobile app development in the years to come.
The Future of Flutter
Looking to the future, it is clear that Flutter will continue to be a popular choice for mobile app development due to its ability to compile to both Android and iOS, as well as its flexibility in terms of UI customization and plugin integration.
Final Thoughts on Flutter
Overall, Flutter is an excellent platform for developers looking to build high-quality, cross-platform mobile apps quickly and efficiently. In future, the majority of app developers will build custom mobile apps that work seamlessly across different platforms.
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