When starting as entrepreneurs, inventors are usually considering what platform and operating system they ought to start with when they have a narrow budget. Numerous businessmen aren’t capable of funding Android and iOS mobile applications, due to the limitations of the time and money resources. Then, they can decide on the application’s production with the Flutter framework.

Flutter - What’s this technology?

It’s a free open source SDK invented by Google Community over 5 years ago. The availability of the creation of iOS and Android apps together while employing one codebase is the main motive why it is chosen more and more frequently. Flutter devs code with Dart. This client-optimized, object-oriented programming language with C-style syntax was invented by Silicon Valley’s giant - Google. It complies with the native code as well as JavaScript. Dart can support abstract classes, interfaces, mixins, and reified generics. Last year Google stated that the number of apps coded with Flutter published in the Play store has increased to 90 000. What is more, according to Statista, Google Flutter was the 2 most popular cross-platform framework in 2020. Right now, many popular companies like Alibaba or KlasterMe use it.

Why opt for Flutter?

Businesses often select Flutter because it makes it possible to produce projects for various operating systems at once. It is not that time-consuming and is less costly. Moreover, the framework brings numerous valuable features like hot-reload - it makes reloading the app in a few hundred milliseconds possible, so a programmer is able to verify the results immediately without the urge to recompile the code. Additional characteristics are the form of the interface with aesthetic and well-created components  - widgets. They are designed just pretty, are fast as well as easy to customize. These characteristics are highly useful for businesses and developers. Especially, when their goal is to supply homogeneous and tasteful products for the 2 biggest app stores.

Is the Flutter framework right for your final app?

Adopting the framework is a smart choice, particularly when your business just starts its journey. Today, we cannot imagine our lives without them - mobile apps make our lives easier and smarter, train harder, and many, many more. With them, we are able to order dinner, shop without the hustle, and even check the health parameters. Moreover, this framework lets you develop your project in less time. How? It enables the production of a mobile application for 2 operating systems concurrently. Flutter just shortens the digital product implementation time. One built code consolidates into 2 native apps. What’s more, every tech expert is able to check all of the improvements they made almost instantly. Therefore, the coding is quicker but moreover, you do not have to prototype tools. Moreover, you can bring to life an aesthetic and functional UI for all of the app stores. Besides this, opting for this Google’s technology may be seen as a future investment. In several years, it is going to more mature, and it will definitely transform the IT industry.

An answer to multi-platform development

This should be your go-to framework for app creation for more than one operating system. It remains a smart decision while you have to deliver a digital product quickly, within a restricted budget. Its characteristics include excellent flexibility, integration, as well as scalability. It also comes with the hot reload function outlined above already.

Besides, this allows every programmer to make modifications and verify them right away in the product. Additionally, widgets are vital parts of the framework. They can be accustomed to the app's claims. This also decreases the time needed for production and enables to focus on delivering the best possible UX.

Flutter weaknesses

The framework characterizes by numerous merits, primarily in cases of digital products that have to be presented within a tight deadline. However, even Flutter has its drawbacks like any other technology.

In spite of its progressive development, the framework remains in the early stages of its growth. However, this and universality make this technology more and more solid. Another drawback is the underdevelopment of several extensions. Hence, when your goal is the production of your app with this framework, cooperate with highly experienced developers. Programmers should be able to code in Dart, yet it isn’t everything they have to be experienced with. They ought to specialize in Android and iOS, mostly to develop plugins communicating with native apps.

Moreover, its specific UI rendering characteristics provide additional limitations. Let’s say, several functionalities are integrated with the User Interface on a native operating system. Then, the tech experts need to redevelop them. In this matter, the video player is one of the most common flaws. There are already various implementations of it developed in Flutter, however, they appear different than on the original - mainly on iOS. This obstacle isn’t impossible to fix, yet it requires extra time.

Strengths of Flutter

One of its benefits is that it is pretty simple to study for programmers. If they know JavaScript or any other language similar to C, they won’t have any problem with Dart and they will pick it up within a few days. Moreover, Google offers great support for the framework. It supplies developers with guidebooks, extensive documentation, and libraries. The giant hosts events to ensure assistance for startups and enterprises so they can get to know the framework better.

Besides, the framework comes with numerous ready-made libraries. They enable the production of the apps efficiently and use native functionalities like geolocation or even push notifications. Framework’s layered architecture allows fully to customize the digital product. This enables you to animate and overlay images, videos, texts as well as controls without limits. It just lets you control every pixel on the screen, which is a great advantage! What is more, the framework enables you to create a web application. It offers proper documentation, therefore, it allows to verify how native controls function. Moreover, you are able to develop a web app by using already existing logic and UI elements. It will be faster and more efficient than using other web frameworks. The web version of your application does not have to implement all features that the mobile one has.

Furthermore, the QA tests can be shortened due to the compatibility of the latest and older versions of the Apple and Google platforms. Eventually, when your company’s aim is to create an MVP really quickly it is a great advantage you can use to get ahead of your competitors. For startups, it is an excellent business opportunity as well. The Flutter app development price is usually half the budget needed for apps for the 2 biggest platforms.

Flutter mobile application development price

The cost of an application always varies - depending on various elements which are principally defined by what the investor expects and what is the concept behind the digital product. What the application does, what is its purpose, and how complex it is - entrepreneurs should ask themselves these questions. The final price varies on the characteristics, design, and features of the app. They influence the final budget. Features like integration with other apps e.g. Google Maps, geolocation, in-app purchases, user's login, push notifications, and media contents (such as emojis or gifs) can raise the estimated budget of your digital product. Therefore, you ought to list all of the characteristics and functionalities before your work on your product starts.

With such a listing, briefing of an IT team is going to be just effective and more productive. Especially, to assess what budget it will require. Examine what functionalities are a “must-have” and which you can classify as “good to have”. Even the smallest or less crucial one will have an influence on the budget for your required product.

If you would like to know how much you ought to have to produce your Flutter application, the approximate budgets range from 30 000 to 40 000 euros. But it just varies - the complexity of your desired mobile application determines it in the end.

Moreover, the value depends also on the software house you are willing to cooperate with if you aren’t creating an application in-house. IT agencies rates are much lower in the Central European countries than in the United States or Canada. With a limited budget, it is best to decide on such an offshore partnership. Especially, that the quality and tech skills of developers in the CEE are highly valued all over the world.

Jan Kamiński
Huge Thing Accelerator Mentor. Startup enthusiast. He believes that building long-lasting business relationships is the key to success. Worked with: PKO Bank, Nokia, Callpage, Lettly, Slock.it, ETH Zurich and many more.

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What Influences the Costs of the Flutter Application?