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What Are We Doing With Google’s Flutter?

October 5th 2017

Q&A with the top engineers from GeekyAnts

GeekyAnts has been working with React Native since its launch in 2015 and with many awesome apps to our credit, we are proud to say that we are one of the top React Native companies out there! 🎉 🎆

Over the years, we have noticed a few issues in React Native apps that make us want for “something more”.

Our search for this “something more” has led us to Google’s Flutter!

Dipping Our Toes Into Flutter

Earlier this year in July, Sanket Sahu and Atul Ranjan had the chance to speak with Seth Ladd and Yegor Jbanov from Google’s Flutter Team.

We spoke about Flutter’s operation, how it is being developed, and its future.

Our talks with the Flutter Team have continued even after we got back to India. We regularly speak with them about our experiments with Flutter.

Advantages of Using Flutter Over React Native

  • Flutter apps are compiled to machine code, it doesn’t need a bridge like the one between JavaScript and machine code in React Native.
  • Flutter does not use Platform OEM widgets. This increases the flexibility of the widgets and customising them is also much easier than React Native.
  • Dart is a typed language. This means that unlike in React Native, Flutter has no use for things like TypeScript or ReasonML.
  • Flutter’s tooling is great in VSCode and IntelliJ.
  • Support provided by Google to Flutter is way better than the support given by Facebook to React Native.

What have we been doing with Flutter?

  • We have created a curated list of open source Flutter themes called Start Flutter.
Flutter Flat App. The GIF has low FPS, but the actual app is very smooth.

This version of the app works much better than the React Native version. This is mostly because Flutter has lesser interactions with the native layer than React Native. Also, unlike React Native, Flutter has an in-built UI components library, negating the need to import 3rd party UI libraries like NativeBase. This is also why animations are much smoother in the Flutter version of Flat App.

How do we want to help grow the community?

  • We are one of the early adopters of Flutter and would love to do the same thing that we did with React Native. Since Flutter is still in development, there are many gaps in its build that we would love to help fill.
  • We have used Redux as the de-facto state management library with React and with Dart we have Redux-like Flux implementation. We would love to experiment and come up with something similar for Flutter.
  • We have a few more starter kits in mind which will help bring in more developers to Flutter. We recently launched React Native Seed, a tool that provides you React Native starter kits for your base app with the technologies that you love. We might soon come up with a similar tool for Flutter.
  • You might notice that styling your components in Flutter is different from the web. So we are thinking of bringing web-like CSS to Flutter.
  • We would also like to add Flutter’s support to BuilderX, our new design tool that writes React Native for you!

Flutter is amazing! But…

  • Flutter uses Dart, which is its own language and not a dialect of another language. However, it should be easy to learn for developers with Java, C#, JavaScript, TypeScript or ActionScript experience. The Flutter team suggests that Dart makes sense in Flutter because it offers developers powerful and advanced tools, supported by a very fast Hot Reload / JIT dev workflow, and compiled to native code for fast and predictable performance for end users. Plus, it’s rich core library and common paradigms makes it really quick to learn.
  • As mentioned above, styling is different in Flutter.
  • We really need something like Expo to test apps. Hopefully, Google’s Flutter Team or the community will come up with a solution for this.

Wrap-Up

Flutter is an amazing new tool that will help devs build performant cross-platform apps. Just like React, it is declarative so it will be easy for any React or React Native developer to migrate to Flutter.

Flutter feels like a more complete solution when compared to React Native, because there are very few instances in Flutter where a developer will need to use a third party library. Flutter’s in-built UI library also plays a huge role in its favour. 😄

How can you get started with Flutter?

Flutter is open source! So all you need to do is check out its official docs, get familiar with Dart and give Flutter a shot. Don’t worry about getting stuck, Google’s Flutter Team and the Flutter community is always there to help you out.😄

You can also check out our Open-Sourced Flutter Flat-App projects, do ⭐️ if you find them helpful! 😃

About The Author

I am Rajat S and I am a Technical Content Writer here at GeekyAnts. I am passionate about Soccer, Music and a fan of DC Comics. 😄

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