A little over a month stable, Flutter is finally ready for production use. On December 4th Google release its brand new mobile application development framework Flutter v1.0.0, and for us, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Having just completed our Android app, we were ready to nosedive into iOS development at the start of this year when we watched Flutter Live and made the decision to shelve our native Android DineMob app and build it in Flutter. Yeah, we literally threw away months of work to start over, it’s that good. But in actuality, it just made the most sense for us. We had a fully developed Android app, and we needed to port that to iOS. Well why not just redevelop the app in Flutter, and then just manage a single codebase in the same amount of time, perfect!
1. It’s Gorgeous 😍
I’ve long been a hater of all things cross-platform. I’ve used PhoneGap, Xamarin, and RhoMobile to name a few, and they all end up being more trouble than they’re worth. They never really feel or navigate in a native way and end up looking all mobile-webly to me. But not Flutter, Flutter apps look completely native, and although many development frameworks claim to do that, Google seems to have actually succeeded. Flutter uses Skia for 2D rendering so we end up being able to utilize all of the user’s device pixels without limitation, and the results are stunning!
2. Our Team 👥
Most of the devs on our team have a background in Android development. Already used to Android Studio and like features Instant Run, installing the Flutter plugin to Android Studio and using Hot Reload seemed natural. Even syntactically Dart feels like Java, so that cushions the learning curve too.
3. It’s Proven 💪
Google is already using it in their production apps along with big dogs like Capital One, Groupon, and e-commerce giant Alibaba. Alibaba boosts over 10,000,000 users on Android alone. Enough said.
4. Extensive UI Catalog 🖼
Although Flutter doesn’t come with a WYSIWYG editor, it does come pre-stacked with a lot of styled built-in UI components and themes. This makes building native UX for both Android and iOS just as easy if we had been using the native IDEs but with none of the styling effort. This works for an on demand food delivery app like DineMob that is not that graphic intensive.
5. Open Source 💻
Sure a lot of frameworks are open source. But what impressed us with Flutter is that after only being released a month, at the time of this writing, there were already over 2000 packages (libraries) for Flutter applications. To us this was huge plus because this meant the framework would be well documented, supported by the community, and it would have a TON of examples!
Have you gave Flutter a spin yet? What did you think?