We’ve all gotten stuck at crossroads from time to time. Be it choosing coffee or tea in the morning, or choosing whether to have a shawarma or falafel! Now, this may be a little too in particular but if you’re a developer you’ve already been here! Choosing between Flutter and Native App is quite the dilemma too. Flutter, with its enticing timely delivery while Native app development claims to provide the best user experience out there. What is the best course of action? Stay tuned as hack it all down in this blog!
Flutter and Native - An Introduction
Cross-platform frameworks have been around for a while and Flutter has aced the test! Created by Google in 2018, this cross-platform framework helps you create animation and UI components that satisfy both parties - Android and iOS! With Flutter, you can create high-quality apps with a single code base, and the best part about it is that looks exactly like a native or an iOS app. Flutter also has proved to provide high-performing apps and help cut back on cost and time when compared to native apps. Their elements are also known to be quite user-friendly.
Native app development caters to one and only one application - either Android or iOS. If your app takes hold of sophisticated features like an accelerometer, camera, and GPS, then Native’s your best call! This is all great, but where exactly is the drawback here? Since this is application-specific development, this would require two different development teams. From a business point of view, this may not be ideal if you wouldn't want to break the bank. However, if that isn’t an issue, Native Apps are considered to be performance-specific and provide excellent user experience!
Language and Tools
Cross-platform frameworks like Flutter, use a single language, that is Dart. It works great on both Android and iOS. Flutter is considered to be easier to learn as well what with developers having to use a single code base. This is one of the reasons why Flutter app development is considered to be less time-consuming since it is done in a single development environment. Additionally, Flutter comes with a set of pre-built widgets that make animation a breeze! These pre-built widgets and user interface components make it easier for a beginner programmer to use across platforms, thus rendering a high-quality user interface.
Native app development has specific languages for each platform. If Android is your platform, then you must be well versed in Kotlin and Java, while your primary development studio would be Android Studio. If the platform is iOS, then the primary languages are Swift and Objective-C, with Xcode as the primary development environment. Native app development is thus perceived to be expensive due to the fact that one must have the skills and expertise for its platform-centric approach.
Since Flutter uses a generic framework, you can expect a less distinctive user interface than those found in native apps. This is because the applications are spread across different platforms. However, flutter aims to provide a rich set of UI components to help deal with this problem by helping customise these designs to look like they were made via native app development! Flutter's large library of widgets also helps its case here, making building complex UIs smoother.
Building an application that feels right at home? Native’s your guy! The interfaces of iOS and Android are very different, with iOS being sleek and round and Android having a material design interface. With native development tools, recreating the design language is easier. Security is also a prime concern when developing applications in this day and age, and Native takes the cup here as well! Built-in security features of the system can be used easily here as well, as the API security level is higher since they have more control over API calls to and from the server. Additionally, creating engaging apps is simplified, allowing Native to stand out when it comes to providing the best interface!
Not having to build two separate applications helps Flutter's cause here! This means Flutter allows you to build applications in record time. Since Flutter uses a single code base, development time and money are saved in the process. However, the more complex the app is, the harder it is for developers to create customizable solutions, which could then potentially drive up development costs.
You can’t put a price on creation, and native developers sure know this! The idea of two developmental teams, two separate design teams, and two separate testing teams could obviously put a strain on your budget. All the different resources needed for native app development add up to a hefty price tag, but is it worth it? In the long run, if a spectacular user experience is your target, native app development is worth all the fuss!
This is where Flutter takes a dip! A basic ‘Hello World’ application in Flutter exceeds 4 MB and is significantly higher due to its in-built widget rendering engine and other framework features. Since Flutter runs on Dart, Dart’s runtime also affects the app's size. Not to mention, Flutter relies on third-party libraries, which, if not optimized or compressed properly, could be yet another feature that increases Flutter’s app size.
When dealing with mobile app development, app size does make a huge difference for a user, and hence developers would need to keep it in check as well. Native app development takes the win here! Native apps are built using platform-specific tools and libraries, which render to their optimised size. Codebase is also limited since Native apps only need to include code specific to the platform they are built on. There isn’t a need for additional run-time as well, thus helping Native’s case with app size!
The Final Verdict
Don’t sweat it; we’ve got you covered! While Flutter seems to be the safer option, one must take into account what works best for the business goals of the product. Native does seem to provide when it comes to customization and high performance, while Flutter’s cost-effectiveness makes it the most convenient option. If you're a beginner, both Flutter and Native app development has a large following, so feel free to reach out to the developer community for assistance! Ultimately, the decision is in your hands, and taking into consideration the company goals, budget, and timeframe of your project, you could handpick what's best suited for the MENA region!