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The business landscape is constantly changing because their customers’ needs are changing. Technology has to adapt accordingly. Businesses leverage technologies to build cutting-edge applications to remain competitive. The development should be as easy as possible and the timelines to be as fast as possible. Companies need to engage with their customers on the web, mobile, and desktop. In the past, app development was from three different environments. Businesses always needed to prefer all three from a single code base.
Flutter is one platform that has revolutionized the app development space. Flutter is a multi-platform, is an open-source and free framework for creating mobile applications. Flutter was created by Google and has established itself as the go-to technology for cross-platform mobile apps development.
Flutter was created to compete with frameworks such as React Native. The initial use case for Flutter was to work as to be a mobile UI framework. The initial functionalities helped mobile developers build native interfaces for Android and iOS. Flutter evolved in May 2020 to help developers build desktop, embedded, web apps, and mobile – all from the same codebase.
Applications developed on Flutter can be used on phones, tablets, wearables, laptops, desktops, televisions, and smart displays. Google calls this Ambient platform Computing as Flutter’s services are available whenever the developer needs them.
Let us discuss why businesses should choose Flutter as the platform of choice. It-make sense to choose Flutter for a variety of reasons. They are
- Developed by Google
- Open source and is free to use
- Emerged as the most preferred cross-platform app development
- Robust platform as it compiles everything to the native mobile apps
- External dependencies on the bridges are not here
- Large Flutter community for a good documentation source and also on collaboration to discuss issues and solutions.
- Ideal platform for startups building out a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
- Easy to adapt and to use
So, with the advantages of Flutter outlined above, it makes business sense to hire Flutter developers. Let us talk about why we would need to hire Flutter developers.
Flutter developers can help you deliver a unified experience. The developers will reduce the cost and time to develop web and mobile applications. The programmers will also reduce the risks associated with errors on the UI and the inconsistency of security. The developers need not write a codebase for each application as Flutter is designed to develop both Android and iOS cross-platform apps with a single code base. Hence the time to take an app to the market is very fast with Flutter.
Cost of developing applications using Flutter
First of all, the cost of the platform is free because the code base is open source. The cost and time to deploy a Flutter application will be relatively lesser because of the abundance of plugins in the ecosystem. It becomes easy for you to develop basic functionalities based on your needs. However, customization of the functionalities is where you will have to spend your money.
The initial parameter of the development will be in the cost per hour. Development resources on Flutter are scarce in the USA. An experienced developer will cost anywhere between USD 150 to USD 200 an hour. However, in India, the developer’s cost will be between USD 30 and 40 per hour. The price depends on the complexity of the application, the seniority of the developer, and the timelines to complete.
The next element is the design aspect. The cost will be directly proportional to the design of the application, the backend, and the server. The design cost will be based on the design complexity, animation, graphics, interactivity, etc.
The next element of the costs will be on the backend. The backend will have to connect with and control the data in the app, the server, the real-time chatbots, the app security, and finally, the data backups.
The next element of the costs will be on the functionalities and the integration in the app. As businesses try to build their apps based on their customers, the cost will vary. The costs depend on the depth of the functionalities the mobile app should have. The indicative list could be AR / VR facilities, Mobile push alerts, multiple payment gateways, Geo-location, social integrations, Integration with IoT devices, and Chatbots, to name a few.
The final element of the cost will be Maintenance. The maintenance cost is dependent on the business to decide what the developers should perform as maintenance tasks. The tasks can range from performing updates and security checks, suggesting improvements based on the user feedback taking constant backup of app data, ensuring system uptime, and scaling the server based on the load.
Freelancer vs. Software Company
The next decision you would need to take is to choose the team to build out the Flutter application for you. The resources are scarce, and the decision will fall on an external unit. Now there are multiple choices. Freelancer in US/ External country, a Software development company in US/External country.
Hiring a freelancer is tempting because of the cost and the proximity. However, you will have to look at these aspects before you decide.
- Do you have an understanding of your needs?
- Do you need some consulting on the possibilities of specific functionalities and some business ideas?
- Do you require project management from an external source?
- Do you have a process that you would require for the developer to adhere to?
- Do you need some senior help with your project?
- Do you like face-to-face meetings, or are you ok with remote contacts?
If the answers to many of these are yes, you will have to choose a software development firm.
It is fair to assume that coding is an ordinary skill and anyone can code and the other. However, a software development firm has its advantages, as mentioned above. They follow a structured process, have multiple senior people who can chip in to help, have the proper business consulting mindset, do the right kind of testing, and give you the correct type of documentation.
A software development company in an offshore location like India will come in with a price structure similar to that of a freelancer in the US but will come with a structured process. A software development company in an offshore location like India may be slightly expensive than a freelancer. Still, it will be able to consult, give you ideas on developing an app, and finally troubleshoot real fast, which a freelancer may not be able to do. A software company has a reputation for being safeguarded. The company would have implemented multiple projects in multiple technologies and would have evolved best practices to come in handy to you. Read our other blog to check how to hire flutter developers for startups.
Necessary Skillset and experience
Let us discuss the necessary skills of a Flutter developer as a dedicated person/team or a freelancer?
- They should be very familiar with version control tools such as GitHub or Bitbucket.
- They should be hands-on with Dart – A programming language that allows the developers to do Hot Reloading, Hot Restart, Ability to import widgets into the Flutter applications. They should also be familiar with the UI design tools such as Materials Design for Android and Cupertino for iOS. They should be familiar with the DevTools and Design Tools of Flutter. Additionally, they should also be familiar with Agile and Waterfall methodology. You can evaluate the developers on these parameters and make the right choice.
Having understood how Flutter stands out as the programming platform of choice, you can decide the functionalities and the external support you require. You can then choose the type of team you would like to form. Once you select the kind of team, you can evaluate the team or the freelancer on the support they can give you during and after the project.