Our Google Flutter Review: In some of our previous posts, we worked on how to build an app that looks and works as similar as possible to a native app. Our team has tried React Native and achieved amazing results, so, today, we want to do the same with Google Flutter and share the best qualities of this framework.
First, let’s look at a brief explanation: Google Flutter, as it says on its website, is Google’s mobile app SDK for crafting high-quality native interfaces on iOS and Android in record time. Google Flutter works with existing code, is used by developers and organizations around the world, and is free and open-source.
Now, here are some qualities that, as programmers, we found not only useful but necessary.
Most of the time you spend developing a mobile app, you find yourself waiting for your app to be built and not actually coding. Flutter has what it calls “hot reloads”, which basically means that your code changes are reflected in your app the moment you save them, preserving the current app state. This is extremely helpful when you are building your UI and it helps you fix bugs faster.
Google Flutter helps build your app with a beautiful UI by providing a catalog of widgets that you can use. It resolves the most common problems in the UI, such as centering an item or just putting it in the right spot. You just have to choose between the widgets that adapt most to the application that you have in mind. It might feel a little bit odd at first, but Google has a large community that can help solve your problems.
Widget customization and extension
You can also find yourself trying to customize the default behavior of a widget. All you need to do is a pull request to the class that you are trying to modify and just add the property or the behavior that you need, then you find yourself with an extended widget and a new way to customize your app.
Dart is the language used to develop Google Flutter apps. Here are some of the features that have made Google Flutter choose Dart:
- Dart Is ahead of time (AOT), which means that the code you build is compiled and transformed into a native (system-dependent) machine code so that the resulting binary file can execute natively.
- Dart is also JIT (Just in time) compiled for exceptionally fast development cycles and changing workflows.
If you want to know more about why Google Flutter has chosen Dart as its language, you can take a look at Flutter faq. You will discover some amazing things about Dart that you may have not known before.
2019 update highlights
We all know that in today’s world, no tech tool can go long without an update, so Google recently released a new version of Google Flutter with lots of new features and enhancements. Let’s take a look at our highlights in this Google Flutter Review:
- Apps for every device
Initially, Google Flutter allowed you to create mobile apps, which meant it was somewhat limited. The 2019 release has added the long-awaited possibility to develop desktop (for Windows and Mac) and web apps, as well as availability in Chromebooks and embedded form factors.
- Integration support
Google has also added support for integrating Flutter into existing iOS and Android apps which makes it easier to change into Flutter once you already have an app up and running.
- Updated tooling extensions
Visual Studio Code and Android Studio add-ins have been updated. If you haven’t already been using them, Visual Studio Code is a code editor developed by Microsoft that works not only in Windows but also in Linux and macOS. It does not only allow you to edit code, but it also includes an interactive debugger. Visual Studio Code is customizable and allows you to install a long list of third-party extensions. Regarding Android Studio, it is the official Android IDE, based in IntelliJ IDEA. It includes a number of testing tools and frameworks, as wells as built-in support for Google Cloud Platform.
- Faster compiling
Google Flutter has actually achieved a 15% compiling performance increase in many cases.
- New packages for the supporting ecosystem
Google Flutter also has its supporting ecosystem in mind and has developed new packages for Google Maps, Firebase ML Vision, in-app purchases and web views. The in-app purchases plugin is one of the most sought-after additions to Flutter and is available for both Android and iOS.
Google Flutter Review Summary
Our conclusion for this Google Flutter Review is that Flutter is a very powerful SDK that has gained traction with some industry giants. It has the tools and libraries to easily help you build your app—whether mobile, web or desktop—and bring your ideas to life. Furthermore, both Google and the community are constantly working on new features to make it into the most comprehensive SDK possible. If you don’t have any mobile development experience, or if you are just trying to build an app that works well on Android, iOS and the web in the fastest way possible, Google Flutter can easily meet your needs.