We’ve been seeing an increasing number of cross platform app development technologies gaining popularity. You must be wondering what’s the buzz all about. These cross-platform app development frameworks are offering increased ease of running businesses across platforms. Flutter and Kotlin are technology frameworks supporting this purpose. Read on to know more.
As implied by the name the cross-platform app development technologies let the applications be run across several multi platforms like Android, iOS. This allows enterprises to reach a larger base of audiences and earn more value out of their investments in technology. Newer technologies are gaining immense popularity in this domain.
As per recent research by Statista, the outlook for mobile revenue is expected to increase by USD 613 billion by the close of 2025. This is quite an impressive number, and it indicates the openness of enterprises to make use of novel technological frameworks.
So, what is the text he best framework for cross-platform mobile app development? There is not the best option to go for but a more compatible alternative that is aligned with your business vision. However, there were initially two competitors trying to gain the attention of the business leaders. Flutter vs. React Native. There has also been the introduction of a new programming language based on Java, which has gained popularity over the years. Over the past decade, developers and business leaders have started noticing the benefits of this novel framework. This is Kotlin. Now that we are hearing the recent comparisons between the programming languages Kotlin and Flutter, however, both are well suited in their own space.
The Google Connect:
React Native and Flutter were considered the past industry benchmarks for cross-platform app development initiatives. Developers are used to supporting programming in these frameworks. With the advent of Kotlin, we can sense a slight shift in these dynamics. It was through Google’s efforts in 2019 to support the Android platform for app development that Kotlin first made its presence felt. It was Google who also developed the open-source platform for mobile app development, Flutter!
Source – Statista
Flutter and Kotlin are both associated with Google. This is the main concern for developers. We’ll dwell deep into each of these cross-platform app development platforms in detail further in this article, along with their unique features. This can help you and readers like you to make up your minds about which is the most compatible framework for your enterprise. But before that, let’s quickly throw some light on cross-platform app development to give some context to the cross-platform app development frameworks: Flutter and Kotlin
Cross Platform Development; A Blessing in Disguise
Creating software solutions for different sets of software environments or operating systems is known as cross platform development. Software engineers and developers leverage several methodologies to adapt a single solution or application suited for various operating systems and environments.
The end result of cross platform app development is the creation of software applications that can function across multiple platforms or environments seamlessly. To support both Microsoft and Apple platforms, the functionality differentiator is eliminated by leveraging cross platform app development languages.
Cross Platform app development is gaining popularity and why?
- These apps make it possible to reach a wider audience.
- They have quick development cycles, saving time and resources
- The launching of software apps is possible on different platforms.
- The updates are reflected rapidly.
- These apps are quite cost-effective
- They take a shorter cost-to-profit cycle
Now that we have the benefits of cross-platform development in sight, in this context, let’s move on to understanding the Flutter framework and its outstanding features in the next section.
Flutter: Portable UI Toolkit
Alt Tag: Flutter: Portable UI Toolkit
Flutter is launched by Google as a portable UI Toolkit. Through Flutter, developers are able to create and design native and appealing web, desktop, and mobile applications with the use of a single codebase. Flutter is in popular use by enterprises to create Flutter apps that are functional with a pre-written code base.
Flutter is a free, open-source technology for building apps using a low code/ no code tech stack. The apps developed on Flutter give a native feel to iOS and Android platforms. With the support of Flutter Desktop App Development, more than thousands of apps are developed daily to be released on App Store and Play Store. In 2013, Google pitched in for Flutter, which had started collaborating with industry veterans. With the release of Flutter 3.0, the momentum and demand to hire flutter app developers have only increased. Flutter, no doubt, is getting better with each of the newer advanced releases.
Some of the distinguishing features of Flutter are as follows
- Flutter can be considered one of the most popular platforms for cross platform app development. With Flutter, the developer had to develop the code just once, and it is possible to run across diverse platforms. The Flutter functionality is time and cost efficient.
- With Flutter, the requirement of code is minimal. It is one of the low code development frameworks. It makes use of Dart programming language to create the app’s overall speed and performance. It features AOT and JIT compilation techniques.
- With Flutter, one can make use of widgets. The widgets are useful in building customizable and special design patterns. Flutter functions across two sets of widgets: Material Design and Cupertino Design. Flutter provides bug free experience among various platforms.
- Flutter is open source hence it can be used by anybody to build mobile as well as desktop applications.
- Flutter provides hot reloading functionality. One can almost instantly see the edits made in the code base in real time. This can empower the developers to make changes in the codebase and fix bugs quickly.
Kotlin: A General-Purpose Language
Alt Tag: Kotlin: A General-Purpose Language
Kotlin is an integrated open-source capability and a cross platform programming language. Also known as general purpose language, it is capable of being deployed anywhere Java is deployed. Kotlin operates on the JVM. It is also known as statistically typed language.
With Kotlin, one can build Android apps, server-wide apps, and so much more. In 2008, Kotlin was a small project developed by JetBrains. Kotlin was formally released in 2016.
Let’s have a look at some of the features of Kotlin
- Kotlin comes with a null safety language feature. With Kotlin, we can get rid of NullPointerException in the code.
- With Kotlin, the immutable values are typecast and can be automatically inserted into the safe cast.
- Kotlin is quite concise. The developers can write very less lines of code to make the code concise on the Kotlin platform.
- Kotlin platforms support extension functions for expanding the functionality of the subject without any need to change the source code.
- It is quite a friendly platform. Any Java IDE or the command line can be easily used to develop Kotlin programs.
Now that we’ve gained some clarity on the features and functionality of Flutter vs Kotlin, let’s now divulge a comparison to understand which of the tech stacks is more suited for our enterprise
Comparison between Flutter and Kotlin: This is exciting!
Alt Tag: Comparison Graph of Flutter Vs. Kotlin
Here we’ll consider different parameters and see how each of these cross platforms mobile app development stands out.
- What is the essence of each technology stack component?
Flutter: Flutter provides designers and developers with a cross platform tech framework with easy-to-use features to build mobile applications for iOS and Android.
Kotlin: Kotlin is a hundred percent functional with Java. It is a detailed and statistical programming language for JVM and Android browser.
- How do they stand when it comes to performance?
3. What language is predominant with each of these tech stacks?
Flutter: The mobile applications developed on the Flutter platform uses the Dart programming language.
4. What’s the learning curve like on these platforms?
Flutter: To create applications in the Flutter framework, the developers are expected to be experts in Dart programming language.
Kotlin: Learning here is simple as the framework is related to Java and Java native languages.
- What is the app size between both platforms?
Flutter: The app size here is large.
Kotlin: In comparison with Flutter, the Kotlin app size is smaller.
- How about technical support?
Flutter: Flutter framework comes with many testing features along with a specific testing widget.
Kotlin: Kotlin mostly focuses on providing backend development solutions. It uses Firebase as a secure backend alternative.
- The organization of Documentation?
Flutter: All the information that one can look for is available in a highly organised architecture in the Flutter framework.
Kotlin: The documentation here is also organized but not as much as in the Flutter framework. The libraries are subject to modifications as Kotlin is yet in the development phase.
- How about Third-Party Integration?
Flutter: Flutter will need third party libraries and tools to connect with the native environment because it is a UI based framework.
Kotlin: Kotlin may or may not require third party libraries or applications.
- What are the implementation options?
Flutter: The apps can be implanted in mobile, desktop, or web.
Kotlin: Like Flutter, the apps developed in Kotlin can also be implemented on mobile, desktop, and the web.
This brings us to the obvious question.
What is the future of App Development? Flutter or Kotlin?
This is a significant question, and the answer is not a this or that option.
By now, we are aware of the pros and cons of each of these app development platforms. When we compare them with other programming languages, both frameworks have some very unique attributes that set them apart from each other.
Each of them has some unique use cases as well.
For example, if you are looking for an application for an e-commerce store, hire a Flutter app development company for your cross-platform app. Start-ups, Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from cost-efficient and simple use cases of the Flutter framework. When the end goal is to deploy apps quickly, Flutter probably supports this initiative the most. Developers are also able to use Flutter to create functional prototypes.
When we speak of Kotlin, it is more of a Java’s advanced version and compatible with Java. A large-scale project is easily able to utilize Kotlin cross platform framework for application development. The use of Kotlin requires some expertise. Kotlin is the most compatible option for you if you are looking to strengthen your backend systems.
Hence as per your unique use case, you can take a call on what platform is most suited for your cross-platform app development initiatives.
Hope this article brought some clarity upon the significance, differences, and use cases pertaining to Flutter and Kotlin framework. Both platforms are equally capable when it comes to developing efficient cross platform applications. They come with a different set of advantages and limitations. It solely rests upon the business’s vision and upon the developer as to what language to use for their end purposes.