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You may have heard of Flutter but what IS it exactly? Flutter is a cross-platform mobile application development kit (SDK). It’s also known as a UI framework, a collection of UI elements that make up an app and may be customized while being developed. Dart is the programming language that Flutter is built on. A single code base is utilized to construct web, Android, and iOS apps because it is cross-platform. Flutter is a powerful and reliable SDK that allows you to create attractive, native-looking apps for Android and iOS devices.
Sky, the first version, was released in 2015 at the Dart Developer Summit and was developed specifically for Android. At the Flutter Live event on December 4, 2018, the first stable version, 1.0, was unveiled. Flutter has since overtaken React Native in terms of popularity on GitHub and Stack Overflow.
In this post, we’ll go through Flutter’s design, how its features compare to those of competing frameworks, and how much it costs to build an app with Flutter.
Apps built with Flutter
- 1 Apps built with Flutter
- 2 How Flutter works
- 3 Widgets
- 4 Engine
- 5 Flutter and other frameworks: differences
- 6 Development Process
- 7 Performance
- 8 User Interface
- 9 Community support
- 10 Flutter app: how much does it cost?
- 11 Features
- 12 Design
- 13 Maintenance
- 14 Server rent
- 15 App release
- 16 Developer location
- 17 Summary
- 18 Author Bio – Artem Zaitsev
Flutter is becoming increasingly popular as a framework for mobile applications as a result of its expanding popularity.
Stadia is a Google-developed gaming platform that allows players to broadcast and play video games across numerous platforms. The procedure is seamless, so a player can start playing on the phone and continue on the TV. It can be played on nearly any screen. It’s amazing to be able to switch devices on the fly, especially because you don’t need any high-end hardware.
Square POS (Point of Sale) is a Square Inc.-developed mobile cash register. Businesses can use it to track sales, manage inventory, analyze key performance metrics, and accept cashless payments.
Baidu Tieba is a communication tool offered by Baidu, a Chinese firm. It is China’s largest internet community.
How Flutter works
Widgets, sometimes known as the app’s “building blocks,” are the foundation of a Flutter app. Every piece of the app’s interface is a widget, which can be stateful (meaning it can change appearance) or stateless (meaning it doesn’t change appearance).
Flutter apps have a uniform UI independent of the platform version, but widget appearance changes based on which platform the app is run on. Users will enjoy the same native experience on both Android and iOS devices as a result of this.
Flutter’s engine is primarily written in C++. Skia, an open-source, high-performance visual engine, is used in the framework to handle massive graphics and animation while maintaining a pleasant user experience at 60 frames per second.
Flutter and other frameworks: differences
Other popular cross-platform frameworks include React Native, Apache Cordova, Xamarin, Ionic, and Native Script, in addition to Flutter. This section will explore the most critical aspects of working with Flutter and compare them to other technologies.
The most significant advantage of developing apps using cross-platform frameworks is the cost and time savings. To create apps for Android and iOS, you must go through at least two unique end-to-end development processes. You only need to write one app with a single set of code when using cross-platform SDKs.
Thanks to Flutter’s Hot Reload feature, which updates the app whenever its code changes, the developer may experiment and explore multiple approaches to a problem. This dramatically drives the development and bug-fixing process. In other frameworks, such as Ionic, things appear less convenient because any changes to the code must be applied by refreshing the app.
Instead of using native UI elements, Flutter dynamically modifies an app’s appearance (fonts, colors, and animations) to match the platform’s visual style. Flutter gives an app a native appearance and feel, which many Android and iOS users appreciate. That is something that not every other cross-platform framework does. Apache Cordova, for example, took a different approach: it employs a web-based UI running in a WebView to ensure that an app’s visual style is consistent across platforms.
Flutter app: how much does it cost?
Several factors determine the cost of developing cross-platform software. It may cost as little as $30,000 for a simple app or as much as $500,000 for a more complex project.
The app’s functionality is the most critical component in determining the development cost. Voice calls, maps, and external hardware, such as a smartphone’s camera or smartwatch, contribute to the price. Apps can be divided into three categories: list view apps, which are essentially an ‘enhanced’ version of websites with minimal functionality and are usually the cheapest; dynamic apps, which require real-time access to data (social networks, for example), and games, which can be quite costly due to complex graphics and augmented reality integration.
The goal of app designers is to make navigation simple and the visual style appealing. Depending on the intricacy of the duties, employing designers for an app can cost anywhere from $1500 to $150,000.
To keep customers happy, every app should be updated regularly to ensure full compatibility with new versions of platform operating systems and solve any flaws (there are always some). It is recommended that you set aside 15-20% of the app’s initial budget for maintenance before you begin development.
If the app stores any user data, it should be stored on a secure server. The cost of renting a server starts at roughly $1500 per year and rises depending on the amount of data stored.
The cost of publishing an app is a one-time $25 fee for Google Play and a $99 annual fee for Apple Store.
The developer’s geographic location heavily influences the final price of an app. An hour of developer work in the United States or Canada, for example, costs roughly $150. In contrast, hourly rates for developers in Asian countries can be as low as $18. This is why hiring offshore freelancers and outsourcing developers pay off. Freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork have some talented freelancers who can help you in developing the app. Although North American and European freelancers will charge a lot for developing the app, mostly Asians will do your work for half of the amount.
Author Bio – Artem Zaitsev
Head of Flutter Department at Surf at the moment, Android Tech Lead in the past. End-to-end mobile app development for fintech, food tech and e-commerce for Android & iOS. Can tell you everything about Dart, Flutter and best practices of mobile app development.