This is a biggie, ladies and gentlemen. If you’re looking for a cross-platform mobile app and a matching web app, that is.
What if you could have just one lot of code written which produced native apps on five operating systems: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux; as well as web experiences targeting browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge?
That’s “one lot of common code, easy to write, support and maintain, cheaper than separate Android and iOS builds” using a modern and future-proof system supported by a tech giant and 500,000 programmers worldwide?
Well. Now you can!
Chris Sells, Google Product Manager, earlier announced the release of Flutter 2, a new build of Flutter, Google’s cross platform web and mobile development framework, of which we at Foresight Mobile are huge fans.
What’s “cross platform”?
Well, let’s put it simply. Way Back When, if you wanted an app developed, you would have either an Android or iOS app developed using separate codebase - a codebase being a collection of source code used to build a particular piece of software. Android and iOS were incompatible systems, so you had to write two sets of code.
Result? $$$ times two.
To cover the market, you had to (expensively) have two different apps written. Then you had the headache of trying to get a similar look and feel on the two apps. Then you had the headache of trying to maintain and support both of them in the future.
Over the last decade, a number of frameworks have been developed which allows developers to write one codebase which is then used to produce both Android and iOS apps. Hence “cross platform”.
Flutter 2 is the latest incarnation of cross-platform development frameworks” And we’d argue that it’s the best. Really, if you want to go down the cross-platform route, you have two viable alternatives - either use Facebook’s React Native or Google’s Flutter. (Have a look here for a comparison between the two.)
What do I get for my money?
Flutter now officially supports three formats - Android, iOS and Web. There are another three formats in Beta - native Windows, MacOS and Linux apps.
Since the first stable release two years ago, Flutter has proved wildly popular with developers. Perhaps a good reason for this is that Flutter’s Dart programming language is relatively easy to learn, as programming languages go. Flutter is also very well thought out, without any Rube Goldberg workarounds which are pretty common in older toolsets.
Everything in Flutter makes sense compared to predecessor solutions, making it less likely for developers to go home with a headache every evening. It’s also performant, with true 60 frame a second animations, which gives consistent look and feel over different platforms and lends itself to quickly building attractive apps.
Simply put, if you want a mobile or web app developed, have a look at Flutter 2 first.