Developing an app from scratch is always a complex task that requires a comprehensive approach. The main goal of any professional in such a situation is to create a solution that will be convenient for the user. At the same time, any application should work stably and, of course, should have an attractive design. Among all technologies of development, the native one is considered a “classic.” However, cross-platform development using Flutter technology has recently become popular. Let’s try to understand which variant is more convenient to use.
The Flutter technology or native development: distinctive features
In the past, only one technology was used for application development – native. Its essence is very simple: a program that corresponds to the peculiarities of a particular operating system is created. But as time passed, the number of smartphone users increased rapidly, and the demand for mobile applications grew accordingly.
At this point, the developers encountered a new problem: the smartphones were running on different operating system bases, so it was necessary to share experiences on both platforms. The need to develop two programs in parallel led to the emergence of cross-platform technology.
Cross-platform Flutter technology – a bold solution or new problems
Flutter is a mobile app development technology that works on a cross-platform basis. In simple words, it provides the opportunity to:
- use a single code base to create two complete apps;
- create advanced designs for any request;
- minimize the time and cost of development.
At the same time, the technology was significantly different from existing versions. If earlier cross-platform services had significant drawbacks (e.g., limited functionality), then Flutter is not inferior to native technology in many ways.
What is native development technology, and why is it still popular
Native application development appeared first. The principle is simple: the creation of one program for one operating system. As a consequence, different programming languages were used.
At first glance, it may seem that the native option is already significantly outdated because it requires more time and investment, so many companies are trying to implement different applications for their customers. You should not think so categorically. Among the advantages of this development technology, there are:
- The developer can provide increased security by using non-standard methods and technologies to adapt to the specific project.
- The possibility to use all the operating system features to optimize the application.
- The presence of all the tools to create the perfect interface, such as the ability to use the new OS features.
These factors can be seen as obvious advantages of native technology. It is still relevant today.
Comparing the two technologies: what indicators are better to focus on
Developers often find themselves faced with a difficult choice. On the one hand, it seems to be a very attractive solution to use the options available in the Flutter technology and free yourself from having to create an application twice for a single client. But there is also the reverse side of the coin – the time-tested native technology allows you to adapt the program as much as possible to the specific request. Therefore, when choosing, it is worth comparing several indicators; after that, you should make your choice.
Development speed and cost
Cross-platform is the ideal solution for those situations when you need to launch an application as quickly as possible. On average, developers spend at least half the time creating a program as compared to native development.
The cost of development on Flutter is in the mid-price segment. In this case, keep in mind that you will not have to pay for the development of a second application. Moreover, the service currently implements an option that allows the software to work on mobile devices with different operating systems and web formats.
If we compare, Flutter more often uses standard templates or ready-made solutions, and for native technology, although this is also possible, developers usually pay attention to creating everything from scratch and making it as unique as possible. But this service also costs much more. If we talk about the creation of two separate applications by this method, the cost is much higher.
In general, this development technology requires minimal attention to writing code and its subsequent maintenance.
At the same time, the developer does not need to maintain the code for two applications at the same time. This greatly simplifies the process.
In this matter, it is worth mentioning: that further maintenance of the code will take a lot of time and resources. If two applications are working in parallel, the situation becomes even more complicated.
Native functions and the possibility to integrate data
The advantage of the technology is the notable ease of integration processes. However, the implementation of native modules may require a bit of effort.
In this case, it is also impossible to assess the situation unambiguously. As practice shows, native technology often creates a lot of problems during integration with third-party services or tools. At the same time, native functionality and interaction with the main elements of the operating system are, on the contrary, easier.
The developers of this technology use their own engine. Due to this, applications created with Flutter run quite fast.
Here it is important to understand: that the performance increases compared to counterparts focused on cross-platform development.
On this issue, the “classics” of software development unequivocally win. Native technology helps ensure high performance, for example, to cope with “heavy” animation.
In this aspect, it is again worth thanking the developers for using their own engine. This allowed them to get rid of “unnecessary” components and minimize the size of the application.
If we take the average figure, an offer developed in a native way will “weigh” about two times more than a cross-platform one. It is the size that has to be “paid” for high performance.
Which application development technology is best to choose?
When the question is about the need to develop two full-fledged applications for one company, a specialist may be faced with a difficult choice indeed.
But it’s important to understand that cross-platform technology cannot completely replace native technology. Let’s take a look at some common situations:
|Do you need to implement the app as quickly as possible and present it to customers? And there is no need for specific options that are not typical for this type of application? Flutter is a good solution. In addition to the high speed of the project, you will also be able to reduce the budget.||Do you need to create a program that can fully meet all the needs of the client and demonstrate maximum ease of use? In situations where it is a question of an intuitive interface and adaptation of all user requests, it is better to spend time on the development of two separate applications, choosing the native technology.|
Each situation requires an individual approach. If sometimes it is better to gain time but “turn a blind eye” to shortcomings, then cross-platform technology becomes almost a solution. In many other cases, it makes sense to take more time with native technology but then gets a perfect service.
Comparing native and cross-platform development technology, we objectively analyzed many parameters. Today Flutter is the industry leader and provides much more features than similar services.
At the same time, native development still offers more prospects for developers. In addition, it is safer and more reliable. Native technology is a solution for large businesses and long-term projects. Before making the final choice, it is worth evaluating both methods’ negative and positive characteristics.