What is Flutter? [Guide to Development with Flutter]
Flutter is a free and open-source framework created by Google for mobile development. It lets developers create native mobile applications for iOS, Android, and other platforms with a single codebase.
Flutter can be broken down into two parts:
- Flutter SDK: Flutter’s software development kit includes tools for developers to use when creating applications. One of the most important features is a compiler to make your code compatible with each platform’s native machine code.
- Flutter Framework: Flutter provides a library of widgets, which are reusable UI elements for developers to use within their apps. This gives apps built with Flutter a clean and intuitive interface.
What is Flutter Used For?
Flutter is a framework designed to simplify the app-building process. Mobile users have ever-increasing expectations when it comes to app experiences and design. Flutter makes it easy to create stunning apps, even with limited design or development experience.
“Flutter lowers the bar to entry for building apps. It speeds app development and reduces the cost and complexity of app production across platforms.”Source: https://flutter.dev/docs/resources/faq
How Does Flutter Work?
Flutter acts as a UI framework, in which developers provide mapping from application state to interface state. Flutter’s framework then takes the developer’s work and changes the interface at runtime depending on the platform it’s running on.
Flutter uses design elements called widgets to make designing app user-interfaces easier. Flutter’s SDK comes with commonly used formatting and layout elements like grids, navigation bars, tables, and lists.
Flutter and Dart
Dart is the programming language used to code Flutter apps. Google first released Dart in 2011, but the language has seen many improvements in recent years. Dart is client-optimized for faster apps across a number of platforms.
- Optimized for UI Design: Dart was created specifically for designing intuitive interfaces for mobile and web apps.
- Faster Development: One of Dart’s best features is called ‘hot reload’. It lets developers see their changes in real time rather than having to wait for the app to rebuild.
Examples of Flutter Apps
- Realtor.com App: Realtor.com’s app lets users find homes available for sale or rent. The app has the clean and intuitive interface that has come to be associated with apps built with Flutter.
- Google Ads Mobile App: The world’s largest advertising platform uses Flutter to build its mobile app.
- eBay Motors App: One of the largest e-commerce platforms uses Flutter to build its mobile apps.
How To Install and Setup Flutter for Development
Installing Flutter on your computer for developing an app is a straightforward process. If you’ve ever setup other development environments, like Python or .NET Core, you should have no problem installing Flutter. Plus, Flutter’s documentation is top-notch, so it should answer any questions you may have.
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