In March, when Google announced Flutter 2, the newest version of its open-source UI toolkit for building apps, we were thrilled to learn that Google had extended support to not only mobile apps but also web and desktop applications too.
A hugely positive sign, this release meant that we could now utilise flutter to build apps for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux and Web apps from one single codebase.
For those of you who have followed our journey with Xamarin you will appreciate that ease of cross-platform development, without compromising on front end quality and user experience, is hugely important to us as a team. For us, these frameworks must be easy to use and any codebase simple to maintain but perhaps most importantly afford us and our clients zero compromise on meeting standards of performance, design fidelity and UX.
Fast forward just a few months though, at the recent I/O conference, the announcement of Flutter 2.2 offers significant improvements to deliver more reliable and performant apps for customers. But apart from the many performance improvements and exciting new features, what also caught our attention is the rapid growth of the broader ecosystem around Flutter.
Flutter is extending its cross-platform capabilities to a growing number of platforms and operating systems, such as Windows UWP, Tizen (which is used by Samsung for devices and wearables) and embedded Linux (which Sony is talking about using). Even giants of the likes of Toyota and Adobe are bringing Flutter to their systems and it’s remarkable to see the traction that Flutter has gained so far across the full suite of technology providers.
At Screenmedia we have been working with Flutter for the past 18 months. Our initial attraction to the framework was the speed at which our team could use it to assemble a high-fidelity mobile UI. The ease at which we have been able to deliver features that encompassed more creative design, animation and transition has had our clients and design team jumping for joy. And, while we felt the buzz around Flutter growing considerably over the past 12 months, we are encouraged to see in the hard data that we are not the only ones finding the framework to be highly effective in delivering engaging experiences for customers.
At the conference, Google shared a study from analyst firm SlashData which shows that Flutter is now the cross-platform development framework of choice, with 45% of cross-platform developers choosing to use it. This represents a 47% growth between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021.
Google’s own data show this significant increase in Flutter adoption, with more than one in eight apps in the Play store now built with Flutter. Currently, there are now over 200,000 apps in the Play Store that are built using Google’s UI toolkit, which is a remarkable achievement for Flutter if we consider how vibrant the Android native community is.
What’s interesting to notice is also that Flutter is increasingly being used not only by innovative app developers, but now also by large corporations, including BMW, Tencent (WeChat), Shein and ByteDance (creators of TikTok).
As a design, technology and innovation practice that delivers user experiences across web, mobile, voice and connected devices, we are very excited about the powerful tools, options and choice we can now offer to our clients seeking flutter development. In fact, we’re currently working on a Flutter web application and we can’t wait to share more details with you soon. If you’re planning a new project or are looking to understand more about the benefits of using Flutter for apps across platforms, get in touch and we’d love to share more of our findings, R&D and portfolio in this space.