Developing with Flutter — Week 1 Review

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If you have been following me on Twitter then you may have noticed that I have been developing in Flutter framework. As a native iOS developer when Flutter was announced last year I simply paid not attention and rolled my eyes. I have developed mobile apps on several other cross platform frameworks including Xamarin and React Native. Both of them did not live up to my standards and left me with headaches and migraines.

Flutter is different! The whole concept of everything is a widget allows you to quickly build your user interface, which might have taken a long time even in native development. Flutter is also super fast since it does not uses bridge to render the native components but builds the components from scratch and renders it directly to the screen.

The Hot Reload functionality, which also exists on React Native is a God send. The ability to change the user interface and simply see the updated screen without having to build the whole app gives you the freedom to iterate through different design quickly. Keep in mind Hot Reload is not perfect, I have seen a number of times that it does not reload. But even then it is faster than building the complete app.

The community around Flutter is insane! Insanely good I mean! Whether you are on Facebook, Gitter or Slack group they are always there to help you. Apart from the community, the documentation is also very good. Usually Google provides limited or no documentation at all but Flutter is an exception.

Obviously, not everything is rainbows and unicorns. Here are some shortcomings of Flutter:

  1. Google owns Flutter and Google is pretty good at … killing things. It is quite possible that you wake up tomorrow and Flutter is gone.
  2. Since Flutter draws on the screen if iOS exposes some new controls or look and feel then the Flutter team have to make sure that it updates the framework to accommodate all the new changes.
  3. Flutter uses Dart programming language and it is not commonly used anywhere else. This means you will have to train your developers to learn Dart. It is not a big issue since I have always believed that you can learn languages very quickly.

Here are some of the basic Flutter demos I created:

Overall, I am having fun with Flutter and I think it is definitely something to keep on your radar. Check out this amazing article by Don Felker where he communicates his thoughts on the Flutter platform.

If you liked this article then check out my Udemy courses below:

iOS Developer, speaker and educator. Top Udemy and LinkedIn instructor. Lead instructor at DigitalCrafts. https://www.udemy.com/user/mohammad-azam-2/

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