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What is Flutter? Developers Preview.

3 Mins read

Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit created by Google. It allows you to build native cross-platform apps i.e Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the web with one programming language and a single codebase.
Flutter has been around since 2015 when Google introduced it and remained in the beta stage before its official launch in December 2018. Since then, the buzz around Flutter has been growing bigger and stronger.

NATIVE CROSS-PLATFORM: It allows you to build two real apps with ONE PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE, you don’t need to learn one language for android and another for iOS, you write your code once and you still get two different apps as a result.

According to GitHub, Flutter is the fastest-growing programming language in the year 2020.

However, we’ve seen thousands of Flutter apps being published on both play store and apple store. One of the most notable examples is Google AdsXianyu by Alibaba, and Hamilton used by over 50 million people.

Also one of the most used flutter apps published in Nigeria is 1app(A payment app) built by O’Bounce Technologies.

The term Flutter refers to two major things:
1. SDK (Software Development Kit): A collection of tools that allows you to write one codebase or use one codebase with one programming language because it includes tools that can compile your code into native machine code, and it also gives you everything you need to create beautiful applications.

2. A Framework (UI Library based on widgets): A collection of reusable UI elements (buttons, text inputs, sliders, and so on) that you can personalize for your own needs.

So Flutter uses a programming language called Dart. The language was created by Google in October 2011, but it has improved a lot over these past years.

Dart is a programming language that is focused on building front-end(mobile apps, web) user interface (UI) front-end apps development.
It’s not limited to building mobile apps, that’s just what Flutter uses it for, but Dart is independent of Flutter and you can also build web apps with Dart.
It’s a programming language that was developed by Google or is developed by Google, just like Flutter, so these are actually two independent teams in Google but of course, they’re working together to improve each other.
Dart is an object-oriented and strongly typed language and its syntax is a bit like a mixture of JavaScript, Java, C# but you don’t need to learn or know anything about any of these languages before you can be good with Dart.

Flutter build up on Dart, Flutter is a framework for Dart and Dart actually is the programming language which we are using, Flutter then is a collection of tools, a set of features, utility functions, and these widgets which are implemented using Dart, so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel there, but you can write your own Dart code and use these exiting widgets in your code so that you don’t have to again reinvent how a button should look like and work but use the pre-built button instead and then customize it to your requirements, that’s how it works. And in addition, Fluter also gives that SDK so all these tools for compiling your code in the end.

Benefits of Flutter
Without making any comparisons with other languages, here’s a list of some of the features and qualities that may make you consider having a go with Flutter:

1. High productivity. Since Flutter is cross-platform, you can use the same code base for your iOS and Android app. This can definitely save you both time and resources.

2. Great performance. Dart compiles into native code and there is no need to access OEM widgets as Flutter has its own. This means less mediated communication between the app and the platform. As Wm Leler puts it: “Flutter is the only mobile SDK that provides reactive views without requiring a JavaScript bridge.” All of this contributes to fast app startup times and fewer performance issues.

3. Fast and simple development. One of the most lauded features of Flutter is hot reload which allows you to instantly view the changes made in the code on emulators, simulators and hardware. In less than a second, the changed code is reloaded while the app is running with no need for a restart. This is great not just for building UIs or adding features but also for bug fixing. As far as simplicity is concerned, Flutter claims in its docs that programming with Flutter is so easy that no prior programming knowledge is required: “Experience with object-oriented languages is definitely helpful, but even non-programmers have made Flutter apps!” There’s only one way to find out whether this is true.

4. Compatibility. Since widgets are part of the app and not the platform, you’ll likely experience less or no compatibility issues on different OS versions. This in turn means less time spent on testing.

5. Open-source. Both Flutter and Dart are open-source and free to use and provide extensive documentation and community support to help out with any issues you may encounter.

Are you looking for a team of Mobile experts? Look no further! Our Flutter specialists know how to make the most out of this technology for a mobile development project. Get in touch with us at O’Bounce Technologies.

Got a question or suggestions? Kindly leave your comment down below.

Happy fluttering 👨‍💻.

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I'm passionate about learning and teaching programming, majorly Flutter at the moment. I make friends, develop, or learn from them.
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