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Kotlin Vs Flutter– A Comparison Of Two Cross Platform Technologies

Kotlin Vs Flutter– A Comparison Of Two Cross Platform Technologies

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.

With an initial release in 2011, Kotlin is based on JVM, JavaScript and LLVM platforms. It had its latest release recently in April 2020 and is being considered apt for Android app development. It is a cross platform programming language under the Apache license 2.0. As a general-purpose language, it has a precise syntax.

Key Features

  • 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.

Key Features

  • 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

Features

Kotlin

Flutter

Programming LanguageIt itself is a programming language like JavaFramework that uses Dart as a programming language
User InterfaceEffective UI experience with usage of widgetsFreedom to use UI elements as per convenience
PerformanceCustomized and superior performance, comparable to native app functionality, thanks to multi-platform compilationAllows you to make decisions instantly with a good performance, thanks to its hot reload feature
Testing & SupportOffers backend testing services along with FirebaseOffers different testing features along with widget functionalities
Cost InvolvementFree to use, open sourceFree to use, open source
IntegrationEasy integration with 3rd party libraries with Flutter cross platform SDKIntegrable with multi-platform features and Jetpack Compose/SwiftUI
Platform SupportSupports all Android versions and iOS 8+ versionsSupports iOS 8+ and Android Jellybean V16 and more
Popularity
  • 28.3 K GitHub stars
  • 3.29 K GitHub forks
  • Named in 268 company stacks and 210 developer stacks
  • 69.5 K GitHub stars
  • 8.11 K GitHub forks
  • Named in 42 company stacks and 146 developer stacks

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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