In today’s business realm, any measure of success is hard to achieve without implementing IT solutions of some type. Digital solutions make a modern venture appealing and profitable. This is why brands develop applications to stand out, tying the fate of their business to software performance. However, it's crucial for businesses, especially startups, to look beyond code and put a bigger focus on the tools underlying the creation of branded apps and platforms.
One such exceptional tool is Flutter – a free and open-source UI development kit introduced by Google in 2017 that deserves a good portion of separate attention. Since its inception, numerous companies have explored its capabilities and created over a million amazing apps made with Flutter.
At Requestum, we firmly believe that this is one of the top platforms to help achieve perfectly balanced user experiences. According to our assessments, the majority of Flutter-based applications are cross-platform, making Flutter the ideal choice for over 46% of developers. In this article, we analyze what we consider to be the most successful Flutter app examples, shedding light on this tool’s practical advantages.
Flutter is a framework that powers the creation of applications for various platforms using a single shared codebase and a unified programming language. Its impressive rendering mechanism grants smooth and stable performance across different devices. The Flutter ecosystem encompasses a wide range of packages and plugins that streamline the development and integration of various functions. This versatility in a software development kit attracts companies across the board, from the financial sector to entertainment. However, Flutter didn't just happen overnight.
Historical background and evolution
Before the advent of Flutter, the usual app development process was intricate and relatively inefficient. Apps had to be tailored for specific platforms, which required distinct teams of programmers, frameworks, and tools for each. This hindered the progress and widespread adoption of the industry, calling for a solution of a fundamentally different nature. And that solution emerged.
A new product was announced in 2015 under the name "Sky Engine," adopting the modern name "Flutter" a year later. The first beta version was released just a year after that, and in 2018, version 1.0 became available, demonstrating its capability to create applications for both iOS and Android simultaneously using the same code. This quick realization struck startups and major companies alike. Industry giants like Alibaba, Google Ads, and Reflectly were all fast to grab Flutter and start building unique applications.
From there on out, the project's growth was substantial thanks to the major points of value and use it eventually introduced.
Key features and benefits
First and foremost, the main Flutter takeaways that intrigued developers and IT product owners included:
- Cross-platform functionality
- A unified codebase
- Custom widgets with advanced animations and gesture recognition
- Hot reload feature
- The Dart language, compiled into binary code for blazing speed
- Interface rendering via its own proprietary graphics engine
- Component-based approach for UI construction
Another advantage of Flutter app development is the absence of legacy issues, allowing for a cleaner and more forward-thinking codebase. This streamlines updates and maintenance, ensuring a smoother evolution of apps over time.
Who Uses Flutter Successfully
If you're wondering, "What apps use Flutter?" We'll tell you: the newest and the best. Some of the most established development tools were created a long time ago, containing outdated technologies that require constant improvement. For instance, Xamarin was written in 2011, while Flutter emerged in 2017, making its methods more contemporary and straightforward.
So, let’s discover the most popular companies using apps built on Flutter.
Xianyu, part of the wholesale eCommerce giant Alibaba, is the largest online marketplace for used goods in China. It's a one-stop shop and a social network with over 50 million users, a fifth of whom use it daily.
According to the app’s developer Car Guo, what intrigued him about Flutter the most were its high FPS and smooth UX. He especially noted the time savings and simplified app maintenance. Tests demonstrated better performance on mobile devices compared to React Native. Significant improvements were achieved in the graphics and user experience of the Xianyu app.
Google Ads is an application by Google that allows users to view, manage, and optimize their advertising campaigns, service offerings, product listings, and media for marketing campaigns. Users can also configure notifications and alerts, set budgets and keywords, and engage with Google experts in real time.
The functionality is extensive, and powering the app with Flutter made its interface and content monetization tools extremely convenient and fast. This is why millions of business professionals and regular users have downloaded the app.
In 2017, the Danish company Reflectly introduced an immediately popular AI-based digital personal journal. Users loved the combination of minimalistic design and rich functionality, which is indicated by millions of subscribers and high ratings in app stores.
With Reflectly, you can create voice notes, track your mood, share photos, participate in contests, interact with psychology specialists, and much more. Whatever you do, the app always runs quickly and smoothly, largely thanks to Flutter.
BMW cars have always been valued for their power, speed, and innovation. When the German manufacturer decided to expand its customer-centric product development into the mobile sector in 2019, it chose Flutter. Thanks to Flutter, the company quickly deployed over a dozen versions of the MyBMW app, offering around a hundred different options.
It now allows luxury car owners to control various aspects of their vehicles remotely from their smartphones, entirely in line with the brand's values and image.
Until 2018, eBay didn't have a dedicated app for auto enthusiasts. To meet the user audience's needs, eBay Motors' team created a cross-platform solution in less than a year.
Since development time was limited, they decided to give Flutter a try, despite lacking prior experience with it. The company's experts spent a month exploring its capabilities and found no gaps. Instead, they discovered that work progressed twice as fast as with previously used tools.
Tencent is a renowned brand in the world of video games and digital entertainment. It efficiently leverages Flutter to create new apps and migrate existing ones, such as Tencent: English AI Teacher, Now Live, K-12, Mr. Translator, Qidian, and DingDang.
According to the company's developers, the SDK's key advantages include:
- a low entry barrier – they learned Dart in just two weeks;
- easily adapting created interfaces to various screens;
- smooth animations displayed at 60 frames per second.
The developers additionally noted an 80% reduction in debugging time and development efforts.
Nubank, the Brazilian neo bank, consistently demonstrates growth, thanks in no small part to its Flutter-based mobile app. Users find it highly intuitive, practical, well-optimized, and unproblematic, even under heavy network loads.
According to developers, cross-platform apps are entirely secure, requiring only a slightly different approach to security reinforcement, similar to web apps. Flutter allows for the creation of a completely secure financial application.
Toyota is synonymous with reliability, practicality, and comfort. To provide the best digital experience on the market, the company developed infotainment systems for cars using Flutter.
The choice is attributed to its high performance, flexible API interface, unique rendering mechanism, and exceptional SDK ergonomics. As a result, in-car systems look and function almost like mobile devices. They load quickly, pair easily, and exhibit premium functionality, performance, and graphics.
Analysis of Flutter Apps Examples
We believe that the success of the brands mentioned above is largely due to their use of Flutter and the impressive results it brings to the table, like the following.
Reduced development time and costs
Answering the question of why use Flutter for app development, we say it's just perfect for quickly creating MVPs, speeding up development and testing processes by approximately double. The Hot Reload feature allows one to preview instant code changes without shutting down the live code version. Ultimately, developers can write less code and make fewer corrections.
Improved app performance and user experience
Flutter-based applications run significantly faster compared to React Native-powered ones. Speed advantages come from Flutter's proprietary engine and the use of a different programming language. Flutter libraries offer a set of visually pleasing widgets and are constantly improving various interface components. This enables smaller development teams to create beautiful native applications for separate platforms much faster.
Increased developer efficiency and teamwork
Flutter-based applications contain fewer intermediate components. The by-default compilation to native ARM instructions avoids unnecessary storage. Application binaries require fewer resource costs. And in case of any issue, developers can seek assistance from the rich community.
Achieving feature parity across platforms
Applications written in a typed language work across different operating systems without losing bits of functionality. Regardless of the platform, the number of user-accessible functions remains constant. Flutter also simplifies integration with other tools and platforms, such as Firebase, other APIs, and SDKs.
Scalability for expanding user cases
With built-in widgets, developers can create applications that adapt to various screen sizes and orientations. Customizable components and high performance satisfy the needs of rapidly growing user bases. A reactive programming model ensures that the user interface synchronizes with underlying data and updates automatically.
Strong community and resource library
Regular updates and improvements provide developers access to the latest features and enhancements. Resilient support allows developers to find solutions to their problems consistently. Currently, the official repository offers more than 25,000 packages, making it easy to add features to apps made with Flutter.
When comparing performance before and after implementing Flutter, even its main competitor, React Native, pales in comparison. Flutter stands out with better performance and debugging tools. It is also more accessible to those who have previously worked on native app development.
Lessons and Recommendations for Flutter Use for Other Businesses
Flutter is a modern development tool that is sure to appeal to all those eager for new knowledge. Judging by its rapid growth, it's poised to dominate a significant portion of the mobile development market in the coming years.
Flutter is the best choice for you if:
- You are unfamiliar with creating page layouts using CSS and styled-components;
- There are no strict deadlines, and your project allows for a certain level of flexibility; Keep in mind that developing specific interfaces in Flutter can be more complex than in React Native;
- Your application employs a simple navigation scheme. Flutter's routing system is more complex than React navigation;
- High performance is a top priority
If you've decided to create apps built with Flutter, we recommend making use of educational materials provided by its creator, Google. You can also find plenty of valuable information on sites like Habr or Alibabacloud to transition to this technology seamlessly.
Statistics don't lie — Flutter is becoming a global phenomenon. We can already talk about cross-platform dominance and its influence on various industries. Its performance and functionality are on the rise. Supported and developed with the help of Google's investments, it has all the potential to become an unrivaled tool.
Whether you're a developer or a business owner looking to expand your app's audience, consider how to leverage the experience of companies that use Flutter at the heart of their dedicated apps.
And if don’t have time to figure it all out, don't hesitate to consult with specialists. Together, we can create solutions that will push your business to new heights - contact us.