The Rising Popularity of Flutter

So just how popular is Google’s Flutter, and should I be seriously considering it for my app?

You might notice that we mention Flutter a lot on our website.

We keep going on and on about Flutter, Google’s new development platform for mobile apps. Why? Because we think it represents a great step forwards in cross platform app development.

We’re not the only ones thinking that.

Let’s explain it simply.

Google Trends report on the top four development platforms over time
Google Trends report on the top four development platforms over time

A picture always helps. As you can see from the Google Trends graph above, more and more people are searching online for Flutter. It’s a pretty remarkable rate of growth, given that Flutter V1.0 was only released to the world on December 1st, 2018. By comparison, React Native, the second contender, has been around since March 2015.

As you can see, the growth of Flutter and React Native have been at the expense of the once popular Cordova and Xamarin. We can’t predict if Cordova or Xamarin will make a comeback, but it seems unlikely, given the limitations of their toolsets. Basically, it’s a two horse race between the modern contenders - Google’s Flutter and Facebook’s React Native.

Google Trends - Flutter vs React Native
Google Trends - Flutter vs React Native
“Flutter has 72,675 GitHub Stars, while React Native has 80,034 (August 2019). According to Statista, React Native is the third most wanted tool among developers. Flutter has the 6th place as of early 2019. React Native has 56,808 Stack Overflow questions.18 Aug 2019

Suffice it to say that the trend looks set to continue. Flutter has attracted a large (and growing) developer fanbase on GitHub and Stack Overflow.

The statistics, six months ago, (right) showed that Flutter had slightly less GitHub Stars than React Native. What are GitHub Stars? Well, briefly, when a developer on GitHub “likes” a project, they save it their profile and also award it a star to show that they like it. It’s a rough and ready metric to measure popularity, but an industry yardstick for perceived quality.

As of a month ago, ie. December 2019, Flutter surpassed React Native in GitHub Stars. This is an astonishing achievement for a software platform which had only been available for a year.

You might also infer from the quote that a lot of developers want to have Flutter on their CV, as well.

So who’s using it?

Just four examples here - there are many more. Google Ads, Alibaba, Hamilton Musical and Hookle, a social media account management tool.

If you want to have a look at more Flutter developed apps, there’s an official Flutter showcase here.

It’s popular. But is it what I need?

This is where we need a conversation.

We always suggest going for cross platform development when you’re not looking for an app with platform-specific features. One codebase, faster development, simpler support and new features, and speed comparable to native apps.

However.  

Whilst Flutter and React Native do similar things, there are some technical differences. For example, Flutter (at the moment) doesn’t support 3D Touch, and Bluetooth is tricky to implement using React Native.

Looking for an app development agency ? Check out our Manchester based Flutter app development services here.

We’re really happy to talk through your needs, of course, and if you want a chat, feel very free to contact us here.

The Rising Popularity of Flutter

Dave's IT background goes back "to the beginning of time" and has worked with some leading technologies and brands during his professional career