From time to time, the development community is presented with a new technology, framework or environment that has the potential to become a major game changer. For now, I don’t know if Flutter is one of the “next big things”, but you can test and debug Android apps built in Flutter with Nativetap’s help.
What exactly is Flutter?
Flutter is a rather new mobile software development kit (SDK in short) officially supported by Google. As with many other devkits, Flutter comes with a complete framework and bunch of widgets, so it offers more than just a new language to learn. Flutter is powered by Google’s Dart – an object-oriented, fast language. And that’s what Flutter is in a nutshell.
Things you may like about Flutter
First and foremost, Flutter is perfect for developers that have to build an application for both Android and iOS platforms. You only need to write the app once and you need to do it in Dart, a language in which Flutter operates. Flutter will then produce a native code for both Android and iOS systems. This makes the development cycle much shorter and more efficient. However, remember that you’ll still have to manually code parts of the app, depending on the platform and type of application. These differences come mostly from the UI requirements of each platform.
Luckily, UI is the field in which Flutter really shines. And I mean, really. The Flutter development team made the UI elements like widgets, gestures and general styling the same for both platforms. The Whole User Interface is based on Google’s Material Design principles, which are a standard thing in newly made Android apps but can be found as quite original on the iOS platform. If used right, this can make your iOS version stand out from all other generic apps. Also, Flutter’s focus on the UI consistency and Nativetap’s easy UI testing make Flutter and Nativetap a truly powerful combo.
It’s worth mentioning that the Flutter team wants to achieve a crazy 120 frames per second UI smoothness. However, I wouldn’t bet on older phone models being able to handle it properly.
Finally, we’re very happy to let you know, that it is perfectly possible to test and debug an Android application made in Flutter with Nativetap. However, to do this you’ll need to run your Android/Flutter code through Android Studio (we advise you to work on the 3.0 version of Android Studio) or in IntelliJ IDEA. You may want to install the plugins from IntelliJ plugin repository for both Flutter and Nativetap.
First and foremost, Flutter is still fresh and new. It’s in early to mid development phase, thus you may find some small things not working or some cases not documented. Please, remember that Flutter is an open source project, so if you find such cases we encourage you to share it with the dev community.
Moreover, even if Flutter is a great way of developing for Android and iOS simultaneously, it still won’t be better than well-written, clean Android code. Sorry, that’s simply the truth. Otherwise, everyone would be working in Xamarin by now, and we would need neither Android nor iOS developers. Only mobile app devs.
Some final thoughts
Even though Flutter is a rather new SDK, I think it’ll be more and more valuable for mobile apps development. If you don’t want to try it, at least check what’s going on with Flutter from time to time. If we take their UI building system, unified development (and its impact on productivity) and open source nature into consideration, we may find Flutter to be “the next big thing”.
If you have any questions or comments regarding Flutter + Nativetap combo, feel free to ask in the comments below.