The proliferation of cross-platform development platforms, startups and entrepreneurs are never dependent on one platform. They support smartphones, tabs, and nascent technologies.
Many cross-platform development platforms promise that developers can build your codebase once and run the app on any platform.
Why build natively for different devices and platforms when you can build it once and deploy on as many platforms as possible.
Cross-platform app development is certainly compelling. This is because it saves a lot of time and money.
The maintenance and development cost to make the app comes down to half. From the developer’s standpoint, it is very interesting.
If you own a startup or a firm and have finally decided to create a single base application, the only thing you need is to choose between the frameworks.
This article will demystify the confusion by comparing Flutter and PWA, which are the most popular frameworks.
- What is Flutter?
- Why Flutter is Huge Success?
- How Flutter can benefit your business?
- Progressive Web Application
- What does Progressive Web Apps mean?
- Advantages of PWA for your Business
- Flutter vs PWA: Which is better?
- How FLutter & PWA is game-changing?
- The final word
Without even knowing it, you probably are already using the apps made with Flutter.
Have you bought something from Alibaba, ran an ad campaign on Google Ads?
Do you watch videos on Voot or booked your can via Ola?
If yes, then you have witnessed the results on Flutter’s still short history.
Flutter has remained beta for a very long time.
With its final release, there is a lot of excitement about the new transformative technology for the developers.
Within a short time, Flutter has become very popular on GitHub and has gathered plenty of stars.
You may be thinking, how is the platform different?
If you are aware of hybrid and cross-platform development, you must be thinking of how Flutter is better than Xamarin, React Native or PWA.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is Google’s new open-source technology that has the ability for creative native Android and iOS apps with the help of a single code base.
With the help of popular solutions, Flutter is not only a framework, but it is also a comprehensive SDK i.e. software development kit.
This means it already has everything that you need to build the cross-platform application.
It includes rendering engine, readymade widgets, testing and integration of APIs.
You will be surprised to know that Flutter follows the React-native development architecture but with a twist. The main thing is to know about reactive programming.
The user-interface contents are automatically updated once the variables are updated in the code.
Do you know where the difference lies?
Dart is Flutter’s object-oriented language using Ahead-of-Time compilation techniques and complies with the native code without any additional bridge. This speeds up the app startup time.
Debugging takes place in Flutter and all the credit goes to Dart. The Dart Analyzer and Dart Observatory tools find errors with the help of specific commands.
There is another method that includes Flutter supported IDEs and debuggers. As Flutter doesn’t use a web view, it won’t debug directly in a browser like Ionic.
Also, Flutter programming language is a comprehensive SDK offering an automated testing toolset having unit testing, widget testing, and integration testing.
Why Flutter is Huge Success?
Google offers a development kit allowing the Flutter expert to create 2D mobile apps.
This particular kit is also used to develop full-featured apps supporting storage, geolocation, cameras and more.
To give branded design and layout, Flutter is a suitable framework for the development of a cross-platform custom build app.
How Flutter Can Benefit Your Business?
Flutter is free, open-source app development frameworks having the ability to create iOS and Android apps from a single codebase.
Besides these, there is a long list of Flutter benefits:
a) Faster Development
One codebase can be run on both iOS and Android in this cross-platform solution-Flutter.
This helps in saving a lot of development time. Of course, it won’t directly come down to 50% but when the Flutter developer you hire writes single codebase for two platforms, it will certainly take at least one quarter less.
Simultaneous app updates on both platforms
Having the same codebase for Android and iOS allowing you to release app updates simultaneously.
It becomes a challenge when there are different projects for both platforms.
The availability of experienced developers makes synchronizing difficult.
There is an issue when the app update requires changes in the backend infrastructure.
Hire developers from India who is experienced in removing this issue as the app is made for both the platforms at the same time.
b) Easy Maintenance
When the app is created and launched, you can then aim at expanding the user base.
This clearly means shifting the app to the maintenance mode where resolving bugs is a priority.
With the help of the Flutter development team, it becomes a lot easier as you don’t have to hire iOs and Android app developers separately.
The team will take care of everything.
c) Instant Fuchsia Support
Do you know an interesting thing? Google has now started working on a new operating system called Fuchsia.
This language has the ability to replace Android.
Whenever you write an application in Flutter, it is ready to get released on Fuchsia from the start.
This definitely gives your application a great and early adopter boost.
Flutter iOS test & Flutter Android tests are worth considering
d) Ready-made custom widgets
One of the revolutionary things about Flutter as technology is how beautifully it creates user interface while utilizing the building blocks. Flutter has a consistent and unified object model.
Any Flutter object is a widget. Ranging from a simple button to a font, widgets are amazingly combined to build layouts.
You can choose any from the Flutter inherited widget on any level of customization from the initial building block to the lowest level.
One of the major advantages of Flutter is, it has its own widgets.
These perfectly follow Material Design and Apple’s Cupertino look.
The UI customization that utilizes a lot of time for a developer is quick with Flutter.
e) Ideal Choice for Advanced User-Interface
Flutter programming provides different interface parts the opportunity to use internal engine-Skia.
This is the same used in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Sublime Text3.
Skia is a fully-optimized software allowing Flutter to behave differently.
With the OS, you are given a blank canvas and the user-interface elements are drawn by application.
The Flutter app development team put in their efforts to recreate material UI components and Apple Design System elements internally.
You can make your own component and this point makes Flutter shine. Flutter desktop app, Flutter web apps and Flutter mobile apps-FLutter offer everything.
With Flutter, creating amazing custom UI elements is very easy and they will work on both Android and iOS.
This makes Flutter an ideal choice for apps having advanced and custom UI design.
f) Freedom to Customization
Flutter has a very interesting feature that gives you the opportunity to customize the application even if it is completed and running.
You can create an app with Flutter and easily customize animation, gestures, design, and the layout of the app.
g) Impressive interfaces
The book is usually judged by its cover. The same is the case with apps.
Initially, every app is judged by its appearance. Flutter creates highly responsive and natural-looking apps making the interface impressive.
h) Adaptation to multiple screens
The perfect fit and view to multiple screens and devices are due to Flutter’s layout and the declarative nature.
Creating graphics and different animations is way smoother than the native iOS and Android.
Well, Flutter for web and Flutter for desktop is also available now.
i) Single UI design
With a single codebase for Android and iOS, you will require only one UI design.
The cross-platform app follows the Material Design principles having simple adjustments to various platforms making the complete UI look customizable.
Even in the case of Flutter Vs React Native, FLutter wins the race as it offers plenty of advantages.
j) Access to device features
The cross-platform solution doesn’t give access to native features.
But in Flutter applications, the developers simply have to prepare iOS and/or Android code and send the complete data to Dart via platform channels.
The Flutter development community already has many native functionalities that are pre-prepared so your developers don’t have to write them again.
If you have a different idea for your app, take the help of a native library and get going.
k) Stable Performance
The code compiles during the Flutter mobile development of the application that takes place for distribution.
Because Flutter’s code is drawn on the system canvas, this gives the app an additional performance boost.
The Flutter development team provides stable 60/120 fps performance on many devices.
After you have understood how Flutter is beneficial for your business, it is now time to understand progressive Web Applications
Progressive Web Applications
What does PWA Mean?
The basic idea behind the Progressive Web Application methodology is to combine the benefits of web-based applications with improved user experience.
As they were only exclusively offered by native apps on smartphones.
PWAs are basically developed to make websites or apps more effective and successful.
Converting a traditional website into PWA makes it simpler for search engines to find.
This amplifies SEO and on-site conversions. PWAs deliver unique value to an organization by catering to digital capabilities beyond what is possible with native apps and mobile websites only.
Progressive Web apps are beautifully designed for different scenarios and use cases.
Three key points of PWAs:
- Reliability: Instantly loads and doesn’t require an Internet connection.
- Speed: Smooth, responsive user experience that doesn’t lag.
- Engagement: Features like native apps
Advantages of PWA for your Business
There is a long list of real-world examples demonstrating the power and potential of PWA.
The biggest example is Starbucks. As soon as the coffee chain giant released its PWA, it not only doubled the monthly active customers but it increased the total orders.
Here are the worth considering benefits:
a) PWAs work without an Internet connection
They remove the app’s typical connectivity need by enabling instant access to the cached resource.
This certainly makes PWA useful for customers having connectivity issues.
b) Improves Website SEO
PWA has the ability to improve the website for search.
By aiming at user satisfaction, the Google ranking gets better. This includes faster page load speed, less bounce rate, and more users.
c) Better User Experience
Fast interactions and smooth apps give a seamless browsing experience.
Better UX improves valuable page metrics for the website like bounce rate, CTR and returning users.
As the Progressive Web Applications become measurably better at serving users, a search engine is expected to favor the website.
d) Content is indexed by Google
There is something that gives a punch to the SEO benefit which is PWA are indexable websites anchored via live URL.
To make it simple, this means that the content or screen of PWA is discoverable to search engine crawlers.
e) Compatible with Apple, Google, and Microsoft
The Facebook app used on an Android device is quite different from the one on the iPhone.
This clearly means that separate codebases are required to manage apps for Apple and Android devices.
PWA gets quickly compatible with any device and gets connected to the web.
f) Leverages user re-engagement features
Access to mobile features like push notifications is available to native mobile apps.
PWA offers many features enabling them to passively re-engage offline users making sure they come back to the app again.
PWA also sends push notification to the user even if the app is not opened on the device.
g) Improves Native apps
There are a few native apps that perform exceptionally well.
SO, the development of a PWA doesn’t mean you have to discard your native app.
Both can be built to work in tandem as a hybrid app.
This further gives the advantages of both the platforms as well as the user base.
There is nothing to lose with Progressive Web Applications.
In fact, you can grab new opportunities to build a robust website that doubles the power.
h) No more lags
As they are a feature to perform exceptionally well even when offline, PWA load instantly.
There is no need for storage or processing power that native apps need.
This clearly means that the PWA animated elements respond instantly to the user gestures and clicks.
i) No store download
Progressive web apps are device agnostic which means you can download, distribute or share them via a simple URL.
New PWA version is immediate updates
Hire mobile app developers that understand that app maintenance is equally important like development.
Regular updates help in keeping the apps compatible with the latest version of the operating system.
Whenever a Progressive Web Application is opened, it quickly accesses the latest version and the users instantly benefit from the PWA enhancements.
Flutter vs PWA: Which is Better?
There is always incertitude as to what a customer expects from a smartphone application.
An app with an excellent user interface, exceptional user experience compatible with multiple platforms is easy to develop.
Flutter and Progressive Web Applications are two hot cross-platforms in trend these days.
Here is the long list of difference between Flutter & PWA:
Created by Google, the initial alpha version (v0.06) was released in May 2017.
Designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome engineer Alex Russell coined the term ‘Progressive web apps’ in 2015 to define the apps that take advantage of new features supported by browsers.
This further includes service workers and web application manifests.
It can be installed as a native app on devices.
It can be installed as a shortcut on the home screen.
c) Support by Industry Giants
- Google Ads
- Google Greentea
- Abbey Road Studios
The frameworks are backed by industry giants (Angular by Google, React by Facebook) and a huge community of contributors.
The popular ones are:
Uses the rendering engine
Performs exceptionally well
Lower performance as it uses web DOM
Requires browser to implement
e) Development Speed
Hot reload features is packed with default widgets
Codes from the scratch if you don’t use widgets
Web and mobile app codebase increases the development speed
Codebase reduces the overall cost
Flutter is much stable
Many libraries are included
Compatible with new versions
Stability is directly proportional to the selected framework
g) Code Complexity
Flutter and Dart knowledge is required
Ease of coding depends on the type of framework
Any web-based technology can be used
Utilized its rendering engines
Lower performance comparatively
Utilizes DOM for implementation
i) Distribution Channel
Real Native applications are built
Applications can be distributed on Google Play and App Store
Needs installation and download
Google and Apple monetization tricks are used
In-app billing, advertising, and paid version is possible
PWA is not a native application, distributing it via the Google market and Apple store is impossible.
The application can be easily distributed via the web as:
No installation at first
Used immediately when opened
No need to take device memory
Low user engagement threshold
No approval by App Store or Google Playstore
Custom monetization is possible
j) Engagement Experience –
Push notifications ate supported natively.
A third-party native extension gives sharing ability.
Push notifications are supported via W3C specifications.
Available on Android and not iOS (unless you use Safari browser).
Easily share PWA content.
You can’t register your app as a share target
k) Contact Integration
Completely supported natively
Contact Integration isn’t supported by W3C
Third-party contact integration is possible.
Platform-specific widgets create a native UX on iOS and Android.
Customized widgets designs engaging user experience.
It doesn’t rely on 3rd part components.
PWAs have many frameworks with possible languages.
PWA apps are widely supported by the community.
m) Messages and Call Integration
Progressive Web Apps are unable to read and send SMS
PWAs can invoke calls via manual action (tapping ‘call me’ button)
Flutter apps can invoke calls via manual action via ‘call me’.
SMS are easily read by Flutter apps.
Why Flutter and PWA are Game-Changing?
Flutter has one of the best testing support for unit, widget, and integration testing.
Unit testing has a quicker compilation rate and execution time than respective tests on Android and iOS platforms.
In addition to this, the Flutter development team and Quality Analysts will get a benefit as more scenarios can be tested in less time.
The cherry on the top is “Hummingbird Flutter” that was presented in the Flutter Live Event on December 4, 2018.
Progressive Web Applications is the next generation trend that will be pivotal for the upcoming years.
If you’re planning to upgrade your already existing business app/website or want to develop it from the scratch, leverage the power of Progressive Web Apps.
This is because they have already managed to establish a new viewpoint of structuring websites.
The Final Word
PWA is recommended for your website and Flutter for your mobile apps.
Want to build a cross-platform application that is compatible with iOS and Android?
Go for Flutter without a second thought. Hire Flutter developers to create feature-rich applications and fulfill the expectations.
Ever since Google announced the first stable release, Flutter has become hot in the market.
The flexible and customizable toolkit empowersFlutter specialists.
This will help in enhancing productivity, speed development processes while earning the loyalty of Flutter Android and iOS users.