Introduction To Flutter & Dart

What Is Flutter?

Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit created by Google. It is used to develop applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Google Fuchsia and the web. The first version of Flutter was known as codename “Sky” and ran on the Android 

A Bit Of Background

Flutter has been around since 2015 when Google introduced it and remained in beta before its official launch in December 2018. Since then, buzz around Flutter has grown stronger.

How was Flutter Made?

Flutter apps are built using Dart, a simple object-oriented programming language.

The central idea of Flutter revolves around widgets. The entire UI is made of combining different widgets, each of which defines a structural element (like a button or menu), a stylistic element (like a font or color scheme), an aspect of layout (like padding), and so on.

Flutter does not use OEM widgets, but provides its own ready-made widgets which look native either to Android (Material Design) or iOS apps (Cupertino). It’s also possible to create custom widgets. 

The Advantages Of Flutter

Without making any comparisons with other platforms, here’s a list of some of the features and qualities that may make you consider having a go at Flutter:

1. High Productivity

Since Flutter is cross-platform, you can use the same code base for your iOS and Android app. This can definitely save you both time and resources.

2. Great Performance

Dart compiles into native code and there is no need to access OEM widgets as Flutter has its own. This means less mediated communication between the app and the platform.

“Flutter is the only mobile SDK that provides reactive views without requiring a JavaScript bridge.”

(Wm Leler, 2017)

All of this contributes to fast app startup times and less performance issues.

4. Fast and simple development

One of the most lauded features of Flutter is hot reload which allows you to instantly view the changes made in the code on emulators, simulators and hardware.

In less than a second, the changed code is reloaded while the app is running with no need for a restart. This is great not just for building UIs or adding features but also for bug fixing. 

5. Compatibility

Since widgets are part of the app and not the platform, you’ll likely experience less or no compatibility issues on different OS versions. This in turn means less time spent on testing.

6. Open-source

Both Flutter and Dart are open-source and free to use, and provide extensive documentation and community support to help out with any issues you may encounter.

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