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Last Updated: Jul 8, 2024

Introduction and Features of Flutter

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Introduction

In this blog, we will look into the features of Flutter. 

Flutter is a cross-platform software development framework first introduced by Google in 2015 and released in 2017. Flutter has steadily matured and expanded its capabilities to include mobile development for iOS and Android and web and desktop applications. Let's look at the issue and see why it's so popular nowadays.

If you are new to Flutter and are yet to set up your environment for the language, you can check out this article.

We'll go over the entire architecture and features in the following paragraphs.

Characteristics of Flutter

Let’s now look at some of the characteristics of Flutter.

Dart: the language used by Flutter

Before we begin analysing the Flutter framework, let's look at the Dart programming language utilised to create it. Dart is an object-oriented programming language that Google introduced in 2011. Dart has steadily evolved since then by delivering new features. The "dart2native" capability allows it to be compiled as a desktop programme for Windows, Linux, and macOS. The desktop solution is not yet in production as of the writing of this article, but the prognosis appears positive. Aside from that, the Dart programme can be turned to JavaScript or made into a self-contained executable file. The last one is particularly noteworthy since, by compiling to JavaScript, you can run Dart programmes in any modern web browser.

Dart Logo

Dart is a simple language to learn in general. Its syntax is comparable to those of Java, Swift, and Kotlin. Furthermore, the Dart software development kit (SDK) comes with a standalone Dart Virtual Machine (VM) that allows users to build programs in a command-line interface (CLI) environment. If you are unfamiliar with CLI, you can try out Dart on DartPad. DartPad is a web-based editor that allows you to use Dart's API and compile Dart code.

Flutter Framework

As previously stated, Google first announced the Flutter framework in 2015. It used the Android operating system and had the codename "Sky." On December 4, 2018, the Dart SDK version 2.18 and Flutter version 1.17 were released, offering a build with Metal API integration. 

The framework is developed in C, C++, and Dart, and the user interface is rendered using Google's Skia Graphics Engine. Google Chrome, Chrome OS, Chromium OS, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Android, Firefox OS, and now Flutter all use this graphics engine.

Flutter logo

Flutter runs on the Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems via the Dart virtual machine (VM). The Dart VM employs just-in-time (JIT) code compilation, allowing development time savings such as hot-reloading. The JIT compilation injects new code into the running programme as the developer writes and debugs the mobile application. It has a stateful hot-reload functionality that allows source code changes to be instantaneously reflected in the running application without a restart or any loss of state. This saves the developers a significant amount of time in the long run.

The Flutter framework was created using various principles that should be discussed in detail. These are the ideas "Everything is a widget," "Composition > Inheritance," and "Widget tree."

Flutter System Architecture,

 Source: flutterdocumentation.com

Flutter Architecture

Apart from the previously mentioned essential ideas, Flutter provides the basic architecture that you may use to apply to your application and simply manage its state. The Business Logic Component architecture(BLOC) is used in Flutter. It's a state-based method that allows you to initiate events and handle state changes resulting from them. The BLOC is an excellent strategy for separating business logic from the user interface and testing important business logic points. The BLOC architecture was designed with simplicity, versatility, and testability in mind, and all of these aims were met. However, this is a different topic that we may discuss later.

Flutter architecture

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Features of Flutter

Flutter Features, source: medium.com

Hot Reload

Hot reload allows you to see changes in the code immediately reflected in the user interface. This expedites working on the application's appearance; it also allows developers to repair problems, saving time and money.

Hot Reload Demo

Cross-platform development

Flutter allows developers to write code that runs across multiple platforms. Two different applications can use the same codebase. The user interface is also shareable, in addition to the UI code. This makes maintaining a single codebase considerably easier than keeping codebases multiple for different platforms.

Cross-platform development

Widget Library

In Flutter, everything is defined as a widget. A widget can be anything from a colour to padding to a menu. Flutter can create complex devices that can be adjusted to meet the application's needs. Built-in widgets are also available for use. Cupertino pack and Material Design are two examples of widget sets that deliver a smooth user experience.

 

Widget Library Demo

Source: widgetbook.io

Native Performance

Flutter includes platform-specific widgets for Google Fuchsia, Android, and iOS. These widgets can be embedded into the Flutter application to utilise platform-specific functionality. Existing Java, Swift, and Objective-C code can be utilised to use native features like the camera and geolocation. As a result, third-party integrations and APIs can be readily integrated into Flutter.

Open Source

Google introduced flutter as an open-source platform. Developers can experiment with several design options when creating Flutter apps. Can Use Material Design and Cupertino widgets to develop user-friendly applications. Flutter Form is a group of Flutter fans who get together to answer issues and discuss the language. Flutter is entirely free, and it comes with extensive documentation and online forums.

Flutter Form, source: github.com

Advantages of Flutter

For a high-performance and excellent mobile application, Flutter comes with gorgeous and customisable widgets. It satisfies all custom requests and specifications. Flutter also has several other advantages, which are listed below.

  • Dart has an extensive software package repository that you can use to expand the functionality of your application.
  • For both applications, developers only need to write a single code base (Android and iOS platforms). In the future, Flutter may be extended to other media.
  • Flutter requires fewer tests. Because the code base is the same for both systems, writing automated tests once is sufficient.
  • Because of its simplicity, Flutter is a strong contender for rapid development. Its flexibility to be customised and extended makes it even more powerful.

Disadvantages of Flutter

Despite its many benefits, flutter has the following disadvantages:

  • Because it is written in Dart, a developer will have to learn a new language (though it is easy to understand).
  • Modern frameworks try to keep logic and user interface as separate as possible, whereas Flutter mixes the two. We can get around this by using clever coding and high-level modules to segregate the user experience from the functionality.
  • Flutter is another framework for developing mobile apps. In a crowded market, developers have difficulty selecting the correct development tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a portable UI toolkit from Google that lets you create attractive natively built apps for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Flutter is free and open-source, and it works with existing code. It is utilised by developers and organisations all over the world.

To utilise Flutter, how much programming expertise do I need?

Flutter is accessible to programmers familiar with object-oriented and imperative programming ideas (classes, methods, variables, and so on) (loops, conditionals, etc.).People with no programming knowledge have been able to learn and utilise Flutter for prototyping and app development.

What types of apps can I create with Flutter?

Flutter is built to handle both Android and iOS mobile apps and interactive apps that you can embed in your websites or run on your desktop. (Windows desktop support is now available on the stable channel; macOS and Linux support is still in beta, although a snapshot of the beta is also accessible on the stable channel.) Flutter is exceptionally well suited for apps that require highly branded designs. On the other hand, Flutter allows you to develop pixel-perfect experiences that are compatible with both Android and iOS design languages.

Conclusion

In this blog, we have extensively discussed the Introduction and features of FlutterWe hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding the Flutter Framework. And also, check out the awesome content on the Coding Ninjas Website,
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Happy Coding!  
 

Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
Characteristics of Flutter
2.1.
Dart: the language used by Flutter
2.2.
Flutter Framework
2.3.
Flutter Architecture
3.
Features of Flutter
3.1.
Hot Reload
3.2.
Cross-platform development
3.3.
Widget Library
3.4.
Native Performance
3.5.
Open Source
4.
Advantages of Flutter
5.
Disadvantages of Flutter
6.
Frequently Asked Questions
6.1.
What is Flutter?
6.2.
To utilise Flutter, how much programming expertise do I need?
6.3.
What types of apps can I create with Flutter?
7.
Conclusion