His knowledge of Flutter was highly impressive, and it was decided to write a blogpost that would go a little deeper into this very popular software development kit.
What is Flutter?
It is an open source, cross-platform system for software developers, allowing them to design and implement software applications that work instantly with all three frameworks, iOS, Android and the Web.
In the podcast, Flutter was likened to Lego, the building block game. Instead of plastic blocks, the software uses something called a widget. A widget is a tiny piece of User Interface that combines with other widgets to make an app.
Because Flutter uses widgets for everything, a developer can add them to an application and it will simply work.
During the development process and after launch, programmers can use a nifty feature called Hot Reload to fix any bugs. This allows the devs to instantly see the changes in the code without renewing the app.
Released by Google in 2018, Flutter has blossomed over the past 4 years into a well-supported development kit that has been used in the creation of over 400,000 apps, with more than 1,000 new apps appearing every day.
The latest version of the SDK is 3.3, released on 30th August 2022, and shows that the Flutter team, together with vital contributions from the development community, are constantly upgrading and fixing any bugs.
Google responds quickly to suggestions from developers, and it stands to reason that Flutter will work hand in hand with Google’s new OS, Fuchsia when it is released.
Dart, the programming language
Dart, released by Google in 2013, is a general purpose programming language used to build web, server, desktop and mobile apps.
It is robust and quite easy to learn, making it a good first language.
It is really flexible, and uses the open source ecosystem, similar to Flutter. Therefore, if a programmer spots a bug, they can report it or fix it themselves. The same goes for a new idea, a programmer can suggest it or make it.
The latest version of the language was released on the same day as the Flutter upgrade, a double whammy of delight to Flutter devs everywhere.
With Flutter and Dart both being open source, the amount of outside assistance is what really pushes the growth of the software.
Many developers contribute to open source projects, adding layers of personality that can be lacking in proprietary software.
There are no worries about licenses and lawsuits for using open source products and there will never be a fee for using an open source programming language.
Is it good for businesses?
Judging by the names shown on the official Flutter showcase, yes, it is. Apart from the great user interfaces, it is easy to display brand colors and logos precisely, and engaging users with speed of delivery. Consistency is easy for Flutter, with the ability to render identical UI designs on both of the mobile platforms.
BMW, Ebay, Alibaba, Toyota, the list goes on and on. Even fans of the theater production of Hamilton can download the official Hamilton app for news, quizzes and information about their favorite theater experience.
Vehicle management systems use Flutter to communicate with drivers using Flutter smartphone apps.
Flutter offers a command line interface that enables businesses to set up continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) services.
With the latest release, we don’t know if all of the little niggles have been ironed out, but I would assume that Flutter is approaching its peak. There will always be new libraries added and new apps produced, but perhaps this is Flutter at the top of the pile and it won’t be replaced soon.
Pros and Cons of Flutter
Although it wasn’t the first hybrid system, Flutter has surpassed the original, React Native by Facebook, and has better overall performance.
Flutter is cheaper to develop, using the Lego analogy from earlier in the post, and has a shorter time to market.
Using widgets means much greater efficiency in coding, as there is no need to rewrite the same code repeatedly.
In terms of the user interface, it is easy for developers to create stunning designs.
It is much faster than other cross platform systems as it uses its own 2D rendering engines to load web pages.
I’m going tongue-in-cheek here. Pawel, the Flutter specialist, talked about how good the software kit was, and how few problems there were.
He mentioned that desktop visuals needed some work, and iOS was a little laggy in scrolling a while ago.
With the latest download only a week or so past, I can’t comment on any cons until I speak to Pawel again!