Multi-platform development of apps with Flutter framework

6 minutes

Mobile app development is not a simple task itself. It might become even more complicated if you want to aim for both today's biggest platforms - Android and iOS. These are completely different platforms, so the development differs in many aspects. Both platforms use different development environments, programming languages, libraries and frameworks. This implies that if you want to create two identical apps, one for each platform, you have to do most of the development twice. It is thus necessary to have two experienced teams of developers, one for each of the platforms. In addition, it is inevitable to test each app separately and maintain two source codes. Process mentioned above means a lot of repetitive work and is a native development. But does it really have to be like this? 

No! Let’s take a look at it in more detail:

There are a number of multi-platform tools which can be used for mobile app development. One of the first ones is Xamarin, which is today not as popular as it used to be. Xamarin was then replaced by the React Native framework, whose main advantage is that it is based on the React framework. If you are a web designer and you use React framework, or you have experiences with web technologies such as HTML, CSS or JavaScript, this framework will probably be more friendly for you.

Another tool is the Flutter framework. It was created in 2018 and since then, its popularity has been continuously increasing. Today it is one of the most popular multi-platform tools for mobile app development. In contrast with React Native Flutter does not use web technologies, but programming language Dart. Both Flutter and Dart are open source projects and their development and maintenance is partly done by company Google.

Both Flutter and Dart are being continuously developed and they receive new features on a regular basis. Fluter is not only a multi-platform framework for mobile apps design anymore, now it is possible to develop desktop and web apps in this framework as well. Flutter supports all three basic desktop operating systems (Windows, MacOS and Linux). If we add web apps support as well, we can say that Flutter is a unique multi-platform tool, which can save in particular cases up to hundreds of hours of development. 

Flutter focuses on having as much performance and speed as apps programmed natively.  And not only this, another aim is to provide the similar user experience and app behavior to the final users as an app created natively.

One of the Flutter’s key advantages is its community. This community is responsible for many packages which can shorten development time by tens of hours. If a developer cannot find some feature or widget directly in Flutter, it is no problem to seek it on web page and to add it to his project. 

Flutter has an ace in its sleeve. The first one is hot reload, which enables developers to see their changes in a moment without the need of compiling whole code again. The second one is DevTools, which is used for app debugging and optimizing.

We have rich experiences with Flutter framework together with Firebase backend in ASN Plus. We have used it for an example during mobile app Leviathan development. This app uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for communication with Leviathan airsoft guns control unit, which we have developed for JeffTron company as well. The application enables wireless firmware update of a gun’s control unit via bootloader. It is possible to deliver both new  features and bug fixes to the Leviathan devices all around the world thanks to this tool. The application enables guns optical sensors calibration, shooting detailed statistics monitoring and many more.

Jefftron Leviathan app

If you have an idea of an electronic device, or you would like to develop a mobile app for your existing device, you can give this task to us, same as JeffTron company did it. Our programmers will be happy to meet you and discuss your vision and expectations from a new app. We will select suitable way and tools for the development. Our programmers will be in a contact with you all along the development and ready to discuss potential changes. When the development will be approaching its finish, we will provide you with an app beta version for finalizing the last details. We will help you with app distribution to selected platforms as well.