Flutter, a new framework for crafting native apps for iOS and Android by Google, boasts design, animation and performance. When the first meetup for this software development kit (SDK) was announced in Argentina, several members of our Android and iOS teams registered immediately. Mauricio, Marina and Diego participated in the event and told us all about it.
What are the characteristics of Flutter?
Flutter allows to develop apps with a single code, able to compile changes in less than a second through the “Hot Reload” functionality. This framework uses Dart programming language, works in a layered architecture and leverages a set of widgets that make usability definitions and expressions flexible, something that helps those who don’t have design experience, as Mauricio highlights.
Flutter is free and open source. It can be integrated with the already known editors and enables native applications development for iOS and Android. However, Marina suggests that the true goal of Google could be to have an app ecosystem compatible with Fuchsia, Google’s new operating system. Rumor has it that Google wants to replace Android for Project Fuchsia in the next five years. If that were true, having a set of compatible apps could prove useful.
What makes Flutter interesting for us at intive-FDV?
Marina thought Flutter would be useful to make quick prototypes. Mauricio was a little bit more skeptical and is going to try Flutter in a personal project. Diego is more into the Android aspect, “maybe because we are Google Voice”, as he put it. All three of them agreed that Flutter is here to change the methodology for developing a product. Some apps aren’t completely Android nor iOS based, but rather are more disruptive and have a personal touch to them that differentiates them. For those reasons, our Android and iOS teams in Argentina are set on trying and studying Flutter up close, since they believe that it will become more relevant in the future.
At our offices in Buenos Aires, we have conducted three Study Jam sessions (that’s how we call study groups), where we play a Tic Tac Toe game as a way of learning. Those of you interested can find the code here. And we are not the only ones: at the offices in Munich, they have organized other Study Jams to learn about this framework, and in this case, the jams are open to the public.
The future of Flutter
Although there is still a lot of skepticism around it, Flutter is beginning to be used in different projects of the market, such as:
- Alibaba, the equivalent of eBay in China
- Hamilton, an app for Broadway’s theatre community
- Reflectly, a mindfulness app
In fact, Marina told us there is a very dynamic and bustling Flutter community. For example, the Spanish speaking group translated the official documentation. Even though there are libraries that will never include an SDK for Flutter, devs are starting to get trained to solve problems or achieve certain goals, and also in order to become experts on the subject in a few years’ time. Today, Flutter is Google’s second or third highest moving repository. Besides, “it looks nice”, concludes Marina.