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Table of contents
A brief about Flutter
Advantages of Using Flutter
Disadvantages of Using Flutter
A brief about Android Studio
Native Android Application
Advantages of Using Android Studio
Disadvantages of Using Android Studio
Differences Between Flutter and Android Studio
Flutter or Android Studio, Which Is Better?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a unit test?
What is just-in-time compilation?
Why is Kotlin preferred for developing native Android apps?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Flutter Vs Android Studio

Author Abhinav Anand
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23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


Many frameworks and programming languages are available for developing Android applications, for example, React Native, Kotlin, Flutter, etc. Each of these has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

flutter vs android studio

In this article, we will go over the features of Flutter and Android Studio and their differences.

Let’s get started.

A brief about Flutter

Flutter is an open-source software development toolkit created by Google which is used for building natively compiled cross-platform applications. It lets you create applications for platforms, such as Web, Desktop, Android, and iOS, from a single codebase. Dart programming language is used for developing apps with Flutter.

Advantages of Using Flutter

Let us look at some of the advantages of using Flutter for developing Android applications.

advantages of flutter
  • Cross-Platform Apps: You only need a single codebase for developing high performant applications for many platforms. This reduces the development time and costs of maintaining different codebases for different platforms.
  • Hot Reload: Flutter supports hot reload, which allows you to see the changes in your applications almost instantly.
  • Pre-Built UI: Flutter has a set of pre-built customizable widgets that supports native UI frameworks such as Material Design (Android) and Cupertino (iOS).
  • Web Support: Along with mobile platforms, Flutter can also be used for developing web applications directly from the mobile codebase.
  • Dart Language: Dart is a modern programming language that supports just-in-time (JIT) and ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation which makes your production builds highly performant. It has a concise syntax which increases your development speed.

Flutter has some disadvantages as well. Let’s take a look at them.

Disadvantages of Using Flutter

The following are some disadvantages of using Flutter:-

  • Large Application Size: The installation package of your Flutter application can be very large when you compare it to its native counterpart. A native application with the same functionalities will be many times smaller.
  • Limited Native Functionality: Flutter supports many platform-specific features through plugins and platform channels, but some advanced niche features are not supported by it. In such cases, you will have to rely on a third-party plugin.
  • Differences in UI: Some parts of your UI may look different on some platforms. This can be an issue if you have specific design guidelines.
  • Optimizations: While developing native applications, you can perform platform-specific optimizations to increase the performance of your application. With Flutter, it may not be possible to perform these optimizations.

Now let us take a look at native app development with Android Studio, which is an alternative to Flutter.

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A brief about Android Studio

Android Studio is the official integrated development environment (IDE) for developing native Android applications for phones and other Android platforms such as TVs, Android Auto, Smart Watches, etc. It is based on the open-source IntelliJ IDEA software, and it has a wide range of tools and support for 3rd party plugins, which will help you efficiently develop high-performing native Android applications.

Now, let's understand what exactly is a native Android application.

Native Android Application

A native Android application is just a mobile application developed using the official Android software development kit (SDK) using either Java or Kotlin. These applications are highly efficient because they can communicate directly with the Android API and have direct access to the device’s hardware without any layers of abstraction.

The only disadvantage with native applications is that you must develop them separately for each platform, i.e., you have different codebases for your iOS and Android applications.

Let’s look at some advantages of using Android Studio to develop native applications.

Advantages of Using Android Studio

The following are some of the benefits of using Android Studio:-

advantages of android studio
  • Hassle-free Emulator: Android Studio has an in-built emulator that you can use to test your applications as you develop them without using physical devices. It does not require additional setup and can emulate different Android platforms.
  • Built-in Testing Tools: Using Android Studio, you can access testing tools such as JUnit4 and Functional-UI by default. JUnit4 is commonly used for writing and running unit tests for your Java/Kotlin code.
  • Language Mixing: Android Studio supports Java and Kotlin to develop Android applications. It also supports mixing the languages in your projects, allowing for a more gradual migration of your Java codebase to Kotlin.
  • Layout Editor: Android Studio has a layout editor that can make it easier for you to create your application's user interface by using simple drag-and-drop functionality along with a real-time preview.
  • Instant Run: The instant run feature speeds up the development process by allowing you to see changes to your application without rebuilding it.
  • Regular Updates: Android Studio is the official IDE for Android development so it receives regular updates from Google, which makes sure you have access to the latest tools for developing Android applications.

Just like Flutter, Android Studio also has some disadvantages:-

Disadvantages of Using Android Studio

The following are some of the disadvantages of using Android Studio:-

  • Resource Intensive: Android Studio is extremely resource intensive, which makes it hard to run on lower-spec devices. You can experience high build times and degraded performance while working on larger projects.
  • Emulator Performance: On lower-end devices, it is better to use physical smartphones for testing your Android applications, as the emulator can feel extremely slow to use.
  • Incompatible Plugins: Android Studio offers a large variety of plugins; however, they are not maintained very well. This leads to IDE compatibility issues or instability in your Android applications.
  • Learning Curve: Android Studio has a steep learning curve making it difficult for beginners to stick with it. It takes time and effort to use it to its full potential.

Now let us take a look at some key differences between Flutter and Android Studio.

Differences Between Flutter and Android Studio

Comparison Criteria Flutter Android Studio
Platform Flutter is a tool kit for developing cross-platform applications. Android Studio is an integrated development environment that is used for developing native Android applications.
Performance Flutter applications perform extremely well, but they are not on par with native applications. Native applications are high-performant due to the absence of abstraction layers between the Android API and the application.
Layout Definition Flutter uses widgets for defining the layout of your applications. In Android Studio, you can use XML files to define the layout of your app.
Language Dart is the programming language used for developing Flutter applications. Java and Kotlin are used for developing applications in Android Studio.
Realtime Changes Flutter supports hot-reload, which allows you to see real-time code changes in a running application. Android Studio supports instant run, which can apply code changes to a running application. For complex changes, you may have to restart the app.

Flutter or Android Studio, Which Is Better?

Both Flutter and Android Studio have their own sets of pros and cons. The choice between them depends on your project requirements and target platforms. If your team can manage separate codebases for different platforms, you can go with Android Studio; otherwise, pick Flutter, as it will help you develop cross-platform applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a unit test?

A unit test is a software test that focuses on isolated testing of the individual units of your application. A unit is the smallest testable part of your code, such as a function, component, or class. Some commonly used unit testing frameworks are JUnit, XCTest, NUnit, etc.

What is just-in-time compilation?

JIT is a compilation technique in which the high-level source code is first converted into some intermediary representation (e.g., bytecode), and just when the code is executed, it is converted into a machine-understandable form. This makes it easier for your application to be platform-independent.

Why is Kotlin preferred for developing native Android apps?

In 2017 Kotlin was declared the official language for Android development. It has built-in null safety along with native support for functional programming concepts like lambda expressions and higher-order functions such as filter, map, and reduce. Kotlin also has a concise syntax if you compare it with Java.


To sum it up, Android Studio is the official IDE for developing native Android applications, while Flutter is a toolkit used for developing cross-platform applications. Both of these are open-source, and they have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to decide what suits your project requirements.

You can go through the following articles to learn more about this topic:-

Happy Learning!

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