Android and Flutter are all Google’s babies. One business that handles the web product development for Android devices, both native and cross-platform. The development of Android apps began at Android Inc which Google acquired in 2005. The project Flutter originated at Google, and the first-ever Flutter SDK was launched in 2017. Comparing native Android growth with Flutter app creation, and seeing what Android’s future will be with Fuchsia’s rise, would be extremely fascinating. Let’s discuss all these questions, and seek to resolve them.
Organizations are searching for short-term and budget-constrained solutions at creating applications. Production of native smartphone applications for iOS or Android often requires two different tech platforms resulting in two different teams and higher costs. That is why organizations began to search at cross-platform options. One such example of this statement is the success of the React-Native system.
You would have heard about Flutter because you live on a remote island without the internet. This is yet another web cross-platform technology system that has recently boomed in the industry. In this article, we’ll examine Flutter’s possible effect on the growth of native Android and address why we should pay attention to it.
What is Flutter?
Just in case you haven’t heard of Flutter, it’s an open-source, multi-platform software SDK with the same source code that can be used to develop iOS and Android applications. Flutter has been around for a long time but after Google I / O 2018 when Google revealed Flutter’s release preview, it has begun to gain more coverage. Google launched the first stable version of Flutter with lots of new features at Flutter Live on 4th December 2018. Some major companies like Alibaba already use it for mobile device growth.
You should think of Flutter as React Native along with full support from native apps. Check out my thorough analysis of Flutter and React Native if you’re interested to know more.
Flutter VS Native Android App Development
Production of the native Android device is actually in a fascinating condition. Google recently revealed that Kotlin is the preferred language for Java. Google is now working on Chrome and web operating system like Fuchsia is.
Native Android applications built with Android Studio are undeniably fantastic in usability and sleek. On the other hand, it is easy to find applications built with cross-platform approaches and it seems like something is lacking there. Yet because Flutter applications arrived in app stores, there’s no way to claim the applications were designed with Flutter. The apps look slick, seamless and local. And what does Flutter make users sound more or less native?
Quite a few native Android app developers have publicly shared their opinions on Flutter. One of the posts here discusses a view of Flutter from an Android creator. Also, Quora is hotly debated as to whether Flutter can replace Java and native Android creation. Looking at all of these posts, it’s apparent that native Android developers can’t for sure ignore Flutter.
Flutter is different from the programming tools of native Android systems. Official documentation provides a simple tutorial of Flutter for Android developers, translating native Android application principles to flutter.
Let’s evaluate Flutter with native Android Development with the help of some basic criteria:
- Technical Architecture
- Developer Productivity
- UI Components
- Testing Support
- CI/CD Support
Android Studio can be used for the development of both the Flutter and native Android applications in terms of IDE. Flutter apps can, however, also be built-in lightweight editors such as Sublime Text, Atom or VIM, or in an IDE such as IntelliJ Concept.
As we know, Java / Kotlin-developed native apps are sleek and fast because all of the components are designed, native. Flutter uses the Dart language and is therefore not allowed to connect with the native modules through the bridge.
In short, in the Flutter engine itself, Flutter has everything required for the native app development. The native developer’s guide to Android describes the whole Mobile app development environment.
Android developers continue to use Android Studio and the native development and application support that Android Studio offers when building applications natively. Android Studio has integrated all of the SDK Software within the IDE. These tools often allow the Software to run the emulators or Android Virtual Machines. Any time developers make improvements to the software, in some cases, they need to restore the software or third-party dependencies to see the improvements in the simulator or on smartphones. You may have encountered this sluggish phase as a native Android developer because Gradle builds will take some time.
The hot reload alternative is available at Flutter. If a developer makes certain modifications, the modifications automatically show in the simulator or apps. However, as the app increases in scale, developers need to incorporate new strategies to make successful use of this functionality.
Google’s offering native UI components are so strong and well known. Using the Android Studio, the UI can also be created. Use that feature, the native programming tools can be used to create UI faster. Android includes all the basic details required to create components of some type of user interface.
Flutter’s UI technology is special, the rendering system and application run on Flutter software. Flutter uses the widget framework that can be used to write complicated UIs. In short, the Flutter UI is, in fact, a list of stateless or stately widgets. To build complicated UIs, there are tons of widgets available that support both Android Material Components and iOS Cupertino.
Native Android devices have superb research support. Using Gradle, Native applications can be conveniently checked from the Android lab itself or the command line. For Android apps, you can add device, configuration, instrumented, and UI checks. Java and Kotlin frameworks such as JUnit are available for lower-level testing and Expresso is provided for UI testing. For systems like Mockito, there’s painless support for mocking stuff. Android testing was thoroughly covered in literature, you may link to the various stages of Android testing apps here Flutter offers a solid testing system that enables developers to write tests at device, functional, and UI level.
Widget testing is one fun feature Flutter offers to run UI testing as fast as unit testing. Flutter has interesting guides on how to use sample code to check Flutter applications at various stages. Flutter integration tests are similar to Xcode UI tests which perform different operations via the UI.
Creating and releasing native Android applications is a bit of a dynamic task beyond the IDE. Native Android applications have good support from Android studio in automation testing, automation development, and publishing. Web, however, has not provided Android with a dedicated CI / CD interface. Native Android developers will focus on third party CI providers such as Jenkins, TeamCity or web CI platforms such as Travis CI, Circle CI, Nevercode, etc. Thankfully, native Android applications can also be installed on Ubuntu, so that the Android CI / CD component is simpler compared to iOS devices. To install native Android applications using other CI tools it also needs additional configuration.
We’ve also compared both the native and cross-platform Google approaches for the creation of smartphone applications, i.e. Android and Flutter. Yet we can’t decide which is better since it depends entirely on the mission, the business, the budget, and the background.
Can Flutter Dominate over Native Android Development?
Flutter in android app is packed with feature sets, but it isn’t full yet. There are a few significant features absent in Flutter, such as OpenGL, Maps, support for Video and support for Accessibility. Flutter still lacks the programming packages required. As with interface designer, there is no support for editing the form. A few other apps may still be absent. Flutter population is very limited as compared to the number of native developers.
All in all, for android app development services, Flutter is an alternative for creating native iOS and Android apps with the same source code and fewer resources. Because of now, too many cross-platform mobile app development systems have come and gone, and the development of native apps remains a stable alternative for creating smartphone applications.
Flutter has become an incredibly ground-breaking system, which can no longer be overlooked. If you enjoy or hate Flutter as a native Android Developer, you should test Flutter and Dart to recognize its true strengths.
We won’t make any assumptions or estimates here, but it might be the worrying bell for developers of native mobile apps that anything like Flutter could impact their future position.
Anshul Sharma is an expert in the creative writing, blogging, and social media. He is passionate about blog writing and shares his knowledge and insights on the latest developments and trends in web design, web development, SEO, SMO, app development and much more.