Officially released in 2018 by Google, Flutter found itself rising in popularity quickly. It also received a second-generation release in March of 2021. However, this gem of software is unlike other development tools.
What is Flutter?
Initially often mistaken for a programming language, Flutter is actually an open-sourced SDK or Software Development Kit. An SDK consists of libraries, APIs, frameworks, and all the other elements needed to make an app.
To take it a step further, let’s clarify other similar development tools:
- Libraries: Codes that can be recycled to decrease coding difficulty and time.
- Frameworks: A skeleton of tools used to make apps, requiring code to build on it
Flutter also contains layers, which are an embedder, an engine (utilizing C or C++), and a framework.
Aside from Dart, widgets are the most notable feature of Flutter. Developers essentially build apps with widgets through Flutter. These widgets can be pre-made in virtually every level of development and Flutter allows for the altering or creation of new widgets.
The Release of Flutter 2
Originally, the first generation of Flutter enables developers to create apps for iOS and Android. Flutter 2, however, expands that list to include macOS, Linux, and Windows. Moving into a technologically overwhelmed world, Flutter 2 is compatible with smart TVs, cars, and other smart home appliances.
Pros of Flutter
- Widgets that are pre-made or can be completely customized for fast coding
- The Java compatibility and simplicity of Dart
- A gentle learning curve for experienced or inexperienced developers
- A strong community that supports and works to improve Flutter
- Backed and used by Google (continuous updates and fixes)
- Hot reload feature for simultaneous updates
- Fast performance speed
- Extremely accessible for creating and distributing apps
Cons of Flutter
- Fewer third-party libraries to help with automation
- Dart is not as preferred as other programming languages
- Contains a larger file size with no way to significantly decrease it
The fact that Flutter is an SDK is important to remember because, while it may seem a little more clunky than other development tools, it’s still a kit of all the necessary tools to create an app.
If choosing Flutter for app development, there are three primary steps to follow. First, check the system details of the computer being used. Next, download Flutter SDK. With this software, iOS and Android capabilities, as well as Dart, are included automatically. When designing a web app, a Chrome browser is needed. Third, install editor software. It’s recommended by Google for developers to use IntelliJ, Visual Studio, or Android Studio.
Being backed by Google, incorporated into the company’s system, and giving way to Flutter 2, the original Flutter is still very popular. It isn’t likely to fade into the background anytime soon either.