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Flutter vs Native Technology: Choosing the Right Mobile App Development Technology

Flutter vs Native Technology: Choosing the Right Mobile App Development Technology

Flutter and native technologies are comparable in terms of providing an exceptional user experience and high scalability. Is this the only thing they have in common? But not exactly. There are huge differences in mobile app development patterns, cost, performance, maintenance, and many other aspects. This article will help you make informed decisions about native vs Flutter technologies. It will cover their advantages, limitations, and differences.

iOS and Android are two prominent mobile app development platforms that use their native technologies to develop applications. Swift for iOS is available with Xcode, Java, or Kotlin. Recent developments have shown that Flutter, a cross-platform framework, is on the rise. It provides native performance for iOS as well as Android using a single code line.

It is better to have one app for each mobile app development platform than two separate apps with different codebases. This research compared criteria such as cost, performance, architecture, use case, and many other factors to help you make a decision. This blog will help you decide whether Native or Flutter technology is right for you.

The Comparison Battle

What are Native Technologies?

Native app development is the process of creating an application that is specific to iOS, Android, and Windows. It allows you to take advantage of all features on your device, such as a camera, accelerometers, compass, GPS, etc. App stores such as App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android allow native apps to be installed. These are some of the most popular frameworks and programming languages:

iOS: Swift, Objective C, and Xcode

Android: Kotlin and Java, as well as Android Studio

Use cases

  • AR/VR applications
  • Apps with rich animations
  • Gaming apps
  • Native applications that can be used alone
  • Apps that have complex/advanced user interfaces
  • Apps that are GPS-centric
  • Applications for travel
  • Apps on-demand with heavy computation
  • AI-triggered apps that use large volumes of data
  • IoT apps that can connect to TV, Watch, and Wallets

What is Flutter?

Flutter is an open-source framework that works with Dart by Google. It is a UI toolkit that allows you to create cross-platform applications using a single code base. It allows you to create expressive, flexible UIs with native performance. Flutter is also supported by the whole flutter community and a team made up of Google developers.

Use cases

  • MVP Mobile Applications
  • Apps with material design
  • Apps that work with OS-level features
  • Advanced OS plugins that use simple logic
  • Skip rendering engine for high-performance apps
  • Flexible UI with high-level widgets
  • Apps with large data integration can be reactivated

Speed and Cost of Development

Native Technologies

The time it takes to build a mobile app development with native technology depends on your budget, timeline, and scaling ability. Native technologies can be used to create small-scale or enterprise-level apps that meet the needs of both Android and iOS users. Either the development team will be large, or two separate teams will be required for iOS and Android.

This could increase your project’s investment cost as you will need to write two codes for different platforms that have separate functionality. Native technologies follow the principle of “write twice, run twice”.

Flutter

Flutter uses the “write once and run anywhere” approach to development, allowing developers to create one code for two platforms. This means that android app developers will be able to develop their applications in a shorter time and at a lower cost. Flutter has only required five developers to create applications for major players such as Alibaba, Watermaniac, and PostMuse.

It allows developers to create code quickly and makes it easier for new developers to understand the code. The training costs are affordable, so even a beginner developer can be trained, without the need to hire multiple developers.

Code Maintenance

Native Technologies

As you will be developing your native app for each platform, it can be time-consuming and expensive to maintain a native application. It is difficult to maintain two codebases. Developers also need to identify and fix bugs for each platform to create updates. The number of supported OS devices also increases the maintenance cost.

Flutter

It’s easy to maintain a Flutter app because you only need one codebase to support two applications. Developers can easily spot problems, source external tools, and support third-party libraries. Flutter’s stateful Hot Reloading feature instantly resolves any issues.

It takes less time to release quality updates and make immediate changes to the application than native frameworks. This flexibility also helps to ensure stability in the business.

Native Features and Integration Capacities

Native Technologies

Based on the software design pattern used and the application’s performance, integration capabilities for iOS and Android are different. Swift is one example of a native framework that can be used to build iOS apps. It provides improved safety and expressive advances in features, as well as fast integration capabilities.

Let’s take a look at Kotlin or Java for Android. Both frameworks allow seamless integration by simply using their default runtime classes and Intellij environments.

Flutter

Flutter makes it easy to integrate unique features from third-party plugins or libraries. However, developers who don’t know Dart’s capabilities might find it difficult. Add-on plugins such as CocoaPods and Android Archive (AAR) are required to integrate targeted features for iOS or Android. However, the Flutter engine has limitations when it comes to integrating native modules via Xcode in Android studio by default.

The documentation contains detailed instructions on how to overcome these obstacles and integrate them for iOS or Android. Flutter can reduce the time-to-market, but this is often overlooked due to the savings. Flutter supports iOS 14 and later. However, it does have limitations. With every update, functionality can change. The Flutter/iOS 14 combination is still not fully stable.

Application Performance

Native Technologies

iOS and Android apps work flawlessly even when there are no external libraries. Native apps that are built using native technologies run at 60 FPS or 120 FPS, even if Core Animations are used. Native technologies can use 30% to 45% of overall GPU performance.

It is important to note that native technologies can use up to 118 MiB of the device’s memory if you have a heavy application due to native performance. If you don’t choose external-SDK options to increase performance and memory usage, the device may become overloaded for life.

Flutter

Flutter doesn’t require a bridge because it has native components by default. A standard device performed the performance test and showed that Flutter’s “hello world” app ran at 60 FPS. Each frame renders in 16 milliseconds.

There were fewer frames dropped. Flutter also uses the Skia graphics library. This allows the UI of the application view to be redrawn every time there is a change. Flutter runs at 60 FPS. Flutter can currently perform at 120 FPS.

Application Size

Native Technologies

Let’s take a simple “hello, world” app to show you the minimum size Native technologies can offer for Android and iOS. Android apps with Java are 539 KB, while Kotlin is 550 KB.

A simple hello world application on iOS takes less than 1MB to 3MB. The maximum size of Android apps is between 15 MB to 35 MB. The size of Android applications can be further reduced by using third-party or external tools.

Flutter

A simple Flutter “hello world” app was approximately 7.5MB in size. This app’s size is affected by the Virtual Machine of Dart, the C/C++ engine, and other factors. To avoid any size issues, Flutter can contain all code and assets by itself. A special tag such as -split_debug-info can also reduce the code size.

Take a decision

If you are looking for native technologies, then choose them.
  • Create high-performance apps using an OS-embedded connection between your application and your device.
  • To access native tools, you can leverage the 100% capabilities of your mobile app development device’s hardware.
  • Create niche-specific MVP apps.
  • Develop native apps that are both affordable and on time.
  • Continuously update and upgrade the application to reflect every new OS release and any new tech stacks.
  • Simple or complex features can be provided with unflinching reliability and security.
  • Apps that are fast and efficient with a simple navigation-based UI to capture a large audience of users can be created.
If you’re looking for Flutter, here are some options:
  • Create a single code that includes both front-end functionality and back-end functionality.
  • You can create a strong, materialistic, and smooth design experience.
  • Create native apps using modern cloud services and real-time databases
  • Create MVP using reactive widgets and mobile app development features on-demand.
  • Integrating code magic to support Continuous Integration allows you to ensure a smooth development process.
  • Cross-platform apps allow you to reduce time-to-market and reach a wider audience quickly.
You don’t want to use native technology, avoid it
  • Do not invest too much at the beginning and get the app on the market quickly.
  • You can develop apps with a smaller team or a less skilled team.
  • Avoid an exponential increase in maintenance and update costs.
  • Provide users with a native application with lower in-app payments.
  • Avoid issues related to global device compatibility development.
Flutter is not something you should choose if possible
  • Native apps can be developed without UI limitations or functional limitations.
  • Instead of focusing on innovative designs, focus more on native performance.
  • Create brand-specific and feature-specific apps that target a single business.
  • Mobile apps should be built using a defined model standard, and universally accepted MVP, MVC, and MVVM architectures.
  • Flutter’s many abstraction levels make it easy to get rid of the tedious task of error-fixing.

This blog is meant to help you get started with the technology you might use. We want you to use this information to start a dialog with your team using technology that is easily understood by both of you.

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