Cross platform apps are the call for today.Facilitating developers to utilize a single codebase to undergo app development for various platforms is what it aims for. Technologies supporting it are increasingly getting popular amongst the developer community, have a higher acceptance level and lower deployment cost. Of the popular ones, two big names that are often compared and leveraged are Kotlin and Flutter.
Kotlin and Flutter have been synonymous names when it comes to cross platform app development. Both are considered good, are popular amongst the developer community and have a standing of their own. Yet, they have their own characteristics that makes them distinctly different from each other. It is interesting to understand these two tech stalwarts in detail.
There are certain parameters based on which these two technologies can be compared and evaluated. They are:
- Popularity in the market
- Multiplatform support
- Performance and security
- 3rd party integration
- Ease of learning and adaptation
- Community support and documentation
- Prospects for developers
What Is Kotlin – An Introduction
Kotlin – A modern programming language that makes developers happier.Open source forever.
- Presence of a software development kit allowing progressive migration of features
- Employment of shared logic below UI layer enabling reusable business logic
- Offers native UI experience
- Good performance
- Ensures scalability and flexibility
- Offers a multi-platform support
- Supports object-oriented programming and functional programming
- Handles null pointer exceptions with ease
- Lesser coding as compared to Java
Organizations Using Kotlin
Vmware, chalk, Autodesk, Yandex, Touchlab, Google, Amazon, Netflix, Pinterest, Uber, Foursquare, Trello, Capital One and many more…
What Is Flutter – An Introduction
Flutter – Google’s UI toolkit for building beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase
With an initial release in May 2017, Flutter is written in C, C++ and Dart. It had its latest release recently in May 2020. It is an application framework whose main components include Dart platform, design-oriented widgets, Flutter engine and the foundation library. Top apps have been using Flutter owing to its beneficial characteristics. Applications made in Flutter are well-matched with both – iOS and Android.
- Open source and free to use
- Highly flexible and can be customized
- Hot reloading functionality
- Lesser costs involved and lower development time
- Supports back-end facility in the development scenario
- Ideal to create Minimum viable products and prototypes
Organizations Using Flutter
Google Ads, Alibaba, Birch Finance, Hamilton Musical, Hookle, Groupon, Square, Tencent, ebay, EMR, Reflectly and many more…
Kotlin & Flutter – The Similarities
Google has been officially supporting Kotlin for Android-based mobile application development. Flutter has been a mobile app development framework, offered by Google. Both are backed by Google and that is one big similarity which makes it difficult for the developers to decide.
Since both are cross platform technologies, there are certain characteristics that they both hold in common. Here are they:
- Ease of code re-usability
- Lower cost of development
- Uniform look and feel of user interface
- Easy to host on different platforms
- Integrable with cloud-based systems
- Simple learning curve
- Wider market reach and shorter go-to-market time
Kotlin Vs Flutter – A Comparison
|Programming Language||It itself is a programming language like Java||Framework that uses Dart as a programming language|
|User Interface||Effective UI experience with usage of widgets||Freedom to use UI elements as per convenience|
|Performance||Customized and superior performance, comparable to native app functionality, thanks to multi-platform compilation||Allows you to make decisions instantly with a good performance, thanks to its hot reload feature|
|Testing & Support||Offers backend testing services along with Firebase||Offers different testing features along with widget functionalities|
|Cost Involvement||Free to use, open source||Free to use, open source|
|Integration||Easy integration with 3rd party libraries with Flutter cross platform SDK||Integrable with multi-platform features and Jetpack Compose/SwiftUI|
|Platform Support||Supports all Android versions and iOS 8+ versions||Supports iOS 8+ and Android Jellybean V16 and more|
When to Use What?
Though both the technologies have similarities and differences alike, there are certain situations that call for usage of either. Here are those situations that prefer a certain technology over the other. Of course, the final call lies with the stakeholders, depending upon the actual scenario.
Use Kotlin when
- You want to add features to existing applications, without changing the entire infrastructure by using the feature of interoperability with Java
- There is a need for heaving coding which can be easily managed with Kotlin’s intuitive syntax feature and simple maintainability
- You need to find out errors / bugs instantly and automatically that can be done by the fail-fast compiler that Kotlin offers
Use Flutter when
- You want to build a minimum viable product (MVP) and offer a transparent idea of what the project is
- There is a need for an easy and quick setup, which can be done by availing native features like Geo-location and camera
- The application needs frequent changes that can be done with the hot reload feature
On a Parting Note
Both, Flutter and Kotlin are good technologies, each having their own features to showcase. Based on what the environment is, what is the need of the hour, decision can be taken to chose whichever. Flutter app development has been garnering increasing success and at the same time, developing apps using Kotlin is going great guns.
Hence, when the situation is tough to decide, you may choose an ideal, experienced IT solution provider to help choose the best and implement it smoothly. That is an ideal way to get the best technology on board, that strives to achieve your objective.
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