Given how important mobile apps are to our daily lives, a huge focus has shifted to making app development as simple as possible without sacrificing quality. Cross-platform application development solutions developed by major technology companies are trying to fill this gap.
In this article, we’ll look at the two most popular frameworks and programming languages for creating mobile apps, and compare what makes them the best choice for developing your next mobile app.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a free and open source mobile user interface development kit created by Google and released in May 2017. Simply put, using Flutter, you can create your own mobile application with a single code array. This means that you can use a single programming language and a single code base to create two apps (iOS and Android).
Flutter almost immediately broke into the rating of the best frameworks for application development due to its capabilities. It was developed in 2015, but was tested for a long time, and was released only in 2018. Google is actively promoting the framework, and it is rapidly gaining popularity among developers. Although some people are reluctant to switch to Flutter, however, the advantages and opportunities suggest that Flutter will soon be able to displace native development for Android.
Flutter aims at two important things:
- SDK (Software Development Kit): A set of tools that will help you develop applications. It includes tools for compiling code in native machine code (code for iOS and Android).
- Framework (Widget-based User interface Library): A collection of functional user interface elements (buttons, text inputs, sliders, etc.) that can be personalized to your personal preferences.
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a young programming language developed by the Russian company JetBrains. This language appeared in 2011, but succeeded only in 2017, when Android developers announced at the Google international conference that Kotlin native received official support for developing applications for the Android operating system.
So, what is Kotlin? It is a statistically typed language that is capable of supporting both procedural and objective-oriented programming. It is often compared to the Java language, with which, by the way, it is fully compatible. But in fact, this is the next stage in the development of Java, an improved version that can work more efficiently and easier.
Advantages of Kotlin
- It’s a concise language. The code written in Kotlin will look accurate and noticeably smaller than in the same Java. The language is very clear and accessible.
- Fully compatible with Java. The same classes will work perfectly on both Java and Kotlin, which gives flexibility for the developer. For example, a programmer can use both languages in one project.
- Thanks to Google’s support, Kotlin has got a stable version and has far fewer flaws than it could have. Despite the fact that it is a young language, it is comfortable, and has no difficulties in using it for developers.
- Quite a large number of extensions, named arguments, and other killer features.
- Lack of academic structure. Kotlin is an industrial modern language that was not created in a laboratory academic environment. The developers specifically created it in order to make effective applications for Android. This means that applications written in Kotlin Native have fewer problems and more functionality.
Flutter vs Kotlin: Differences In Development and Adoption
Flutter helps you develop a cross-platform application for various operating systems. In fact, it turns out to be a mobile application that can work independently, without a browser. However, its promotion is only possible in the app markets.
Kotlin Native is a programming language that appeared thanks to Java. In fact, this is its simplified version, which has improved functionality. To write an application in this language, you need to know it, as well as have knowledge of Java. Clean code is written, visualization and design development also looks like clean code. The main feature is the absence of unnecessary data, so the application is light and functional. But the visual component-quite concise, goes into the background.
Comparison of Flutter and Kotlin
Choosing Flutter for app development will allow you to use different widgets. These widgets reduce development time by creating a mobile solution individually, quickly, and efficiently. After all, Flutter is a software development kit designed primarily to support user interface development.
Kotlin allows developers to have a complete understanding of the execution, behavior, and appearance of applications the way they want. It does not impose any restrictions or pre-designed recommendations-thereby giving developers the opportunity to use local widgets and libraries. This makes it very similar to native app development.
Kotlin and Flutter have their own performance advantages and disadvantages. One of the most notable features of Flutter is the hot reload and hot restart function, which gives developers the ability to make changes to their code and instantly see user interface changes, speeding up development time and making it easier to build applications.
This utilization of native components helps Kotlin developed apps perform as efficiently as they would as natively developed apps. This is a much sought after advantage for various developers looking to make something beyond an MVP.
Kotlin, on the other hand, provides more access to native features and components like camera, Bluetooth, etc., whereas in Flutter they are achieved using libraries written in native languages like Kotlin, Java, Swift, or objective C.
As Kotlin is a very new alternative, libraries and community support is still very limited and will need catching up. There are a few basic libraries and it is constantly improving and being worked on.
Thanks to Flutter’s growing popularity, it has surpassed other open-source frameworks in popularity and community support. Flutter currently has over 102,000 stars on Github. Google also continues to actively support Flutter and its development, and this is no longer a potential, but rather a very stable option.
It is known that both Flutter and Kotlin are reliable for developing both native and cross-platform mobile applications, and each of them is aimed at reducing the time and cost of application development, as well as improving the performance of the applications. Each platform is unique in its own way, and the process of choosing among them should depend on the requirements and priorities.
If you do not want advanced user interface levels and you are in a hurry to launch your app – choose Flutter. The reason is that it offers end-to-end development. Everything will be done to your contentment. However, if you want to implement an optimized and adapted user interface with a high level of business logic – nothing can be better than Kotlin.