February 15, 2023
The popularity of technologies enables organizations to embrace the surge of mobile traffic is a no-brainer. According to Statcounter, 60.28 percent of all web traffic came through mobile channels in 2022, and - as all forecasts are saying - that is not over. The scales will indeed be tipping in favor of mobile media, and Flutter will remain one of the beneficiaries of the ongoing wave.
It is a fact: the world is going mobile, and there is no going back to the desktop era. We have become too convenient and even addicted to constant online presence, and - despite the fashion for online detox - the milk has already spilled.
Businesses, regardless of their sector, have no other way but to acknowledge it and try to carve their paths to our smartphones by finding reasonable ways of cost optimization while developing mobile apps. Using native technologies to build an iOS and Android app seems counterproductive and a bit outdated as there are market-proven cross-platform frameworks used to create apps accessible across multiple systems - for example, iOS and Android.
Flutter is one of them, not the only one, but with certainty, the most popular one.
Flutter is the most popular cross-platform mobile framework used by global developers, according to a 2021 developer survey. Based on the survey, 42 percent of software developers used Flutter. On the whole, roughly one-third of mobile developers use cross-platform technologies or frameworks; the rest of the mobile developers use native tools.
Flutter, made by Google, a portable UI toolkit for creating beautiful, natively compiled mobile, web, and desktop applications from a single codebase, is often compared with React Native. They are both cross-platform frameworks invented to lower the entrance level for the mobile world, and they both have an audible fandom as well as Xamarin or Ionic - other cross-platform frameworks available on the market.
What spokes for Flutter? There are many advantages of this solution:
Flutter, a Google-backed product, is the staple technology behind the company’s products: Google Pay, Google Ads, and recently shut down Google Stadia, but the list of companies who trusted Flutter with mobile app development is much larger, encompassing brands such as Alibaba Group, eBay, Toyota, BMW, iRobot, and Tencent.
eBay Motors, owned by eBay allows users to search and buy vehicles, as well as vehicle parts and accessories. Besides eCommerce features powered by an Escrow payment system, eBay Motors enables users to get in touch with the resellers via chat, set alerts for new listings, and save searches.
Thanks to Flutter, eBay Motors provides users with great UX, seamlessly combining different parts of complicated business logic, and Flutter's extendability allows developers to shape it due to local users' habits - for example, by adding other payment systems to the checkout.
This flagship in Google's advertising ecosystem allows businesses to display ads to a global audience through the Google search engine and other Google entities within a pay-per-click model.
Google Ads significantly lowers the entrance threshold into digital marketing, as businesses pay only when users click on their ads. Multiple targeting options allow companies to set campaigns to reach desired audiences, and intuitive UI enables checking their performance and optimizing them in real-time to improve their results.
Flutter turned out to be a technology able to wrap up all these complex data-based features under an intuitive user interface and make the app easy to maintain and update.
Google Pay is one of the most popular digital wallets in the world that significantly accelerated the adoption of digital payments globally. Yet, the app development was extremely challenging due to the local requirements of every region. Separating units between iOS and Android seemed to be a waste of resources, so the Google team once again opted for Flutter.
Flutter enabled the Google team to save the time needed to develop the app on iOS and Android and lessen their codebase by 335 percent. According to Google, they were able to save 60-70% on development time due to a single codebase.
The New York Times, like every rep of old-fashioned media, had to tackle numerous challenges imposed by the digital era, and yet it turned out to be one of the few that succeeded.
The company was relentlessly looking for new ways to engage its readers and improve the user experience, and - besides its main mobile property - in 2019 it launched the KenKen puzzle app built with Flutter.
Flutter’s single codebase enables the company to launch KenKen Puzzles for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and the web, at the same time, deepening the immersive engagement of the NYT readers.
In order to increase the engagement of users and possibly prolong their interest in the spectacle, Hamilton's creators decided to develop an app that gives users additional ways to interact with their favorite characters.
The eye-pleasing iOS and Android apps were built within three months with Flutter with no harm to performance and consistency.
Flutter was chosen particularly because it turned out to be the most effective in terms of cost and time, enabling updating graphics and copy, and tweaking UI elements significantly faster than with other frameworks.
MyBMW app enables BMW owners to interact with their cars — lock, unlock, locate, monitor, and navigate using their mobile devices. The company focused primarily on the iOS version for several years, from whom its Android entity differed a lot. The discrepancies between their iOS and Android offerings had grown in time and eventually became too large, jeopardizing brand consistency.
The team decided to unify its offering across the platforms regardless of mobile OS, BMW, and MINI brand, without significantly increasing costs or slowing feature development velocity. The challenges were significant as the need to build cross-platform apps was tangled with the need to manage product complexity.
BMW evaluated several cross-platform frameworks, including Flutter, that turned out to be a go-to direction. With Flutter, the company launched the new MyBMW app to deliver a cohesive and seamless ownership experience, saving thousands of hours on development.
Xianyu is a used goods platform based on the eCommerce system of Alibaba Group. As the secondhand market is complex, the app requires not only superb UX but also unique eCommerce features.
Xianyu team compared several cross-platform frameworks and chose Flutter, which offered a better developer experience, faster testing capabilities, and accelerated time-to-market than, for example, React Native.
Flutter quickly became a standard part of Xianyu’s tech stack, speeding up development and improving the cross-platform experience for end-users.
Nubank is another app that choose Flutter, but the reason standing behind that decision was slightly different: the company struggled with talent shortage that slowed down its app development and divided it into two separate lines: iOS and Android.
Choosing a cross-platform framework was a natural direction. After carefully evaluating all available options the company opted for Flutter, which outperformed all competitors in terms of development experience, documentation, and stability.
Realtor.com mobile app, released in 2010 was originally built with Objective C and Java and for almost a decade, the app was developed in two separate lines for Android development and another team responsible for iOS development.
With time, however, this model revealed its drawbacks. The app became hard to scale, time- and cost-consuming. The teams worked on very similar features, but their collaboration was limited due to the different technologies they used. This led to inefficiencies as sometimes the same problem was being resolved twice.
The need for efficiency forced the team to switch to the new technology, and choosing a cross-platform framework was a no-brainer. Flutter turned out to be a good fit as the company didn't want to rewrite the entire codebase but add new features and user experiences by leveraging the Flutter Add to App mechanism.
This app makes life easier for digital nomads, who can be up-to-date with direct flights around the world, weather forecasts in a specific place, and load estimations without delay, was made with Flutter.
This cross-platform technology was chosen due to its capacity to build great UI, which - in the case of the company's core business - was crucial to hook the user who often doesn't have a stable internet connection - at a very first glance.
These varieties and industry-independency of apps made with Flutter showcase this solution’s versatility, performance, and ability to deliver seamless user experiences across multiple platforms, and - despite the fact. Sure, it has strong competition (yes, we are talking about React Native), and it is hard to say that it is objectively the best, but we sure can say that it is in stardom.
React Native Mobile Development Flutter Ionic Cross-platform developmentCross-Platform App Development: What Is It and How Does It Differ from Other Approaches?