It’s no surprise that the most effective cross-platform frameworks are receiving greater attention. The widespread popularity of cross-platform development owes much to its ability to run applications on several platforms, including iOS and Android, and its market penetration and substantial revenue gains for organisations.
Flutter and React Native, two of the best frameworks for cross-platform mobile app development, were involved in a long-drawn competition to outdo each other. The advent of a new programming language based on Java, however, has completely altered the tech market. This cutting-edge language is called Kotlin, which has piqued the curiosity of many web developers.
Both Flutter and Kotlin have a Google tag attached to them, and their cross-platform app development capabilities are of paramount importance to programmers.
This blog offers a glimpse of the similarities and differences between Flutter and Kotlin. It also highlights the features, advantages, and downsides to help you choose the ideal mobile app development platform.
Here’s a brief overview of the benefits of cross-platform programming.
What is Cross-Platform Development?
The process of creating applications that run on many platforms’ software environments is known as “cross-platform development.” Cross-platform development’s ultimate aim is to create apps that run smoothly on a variety of different computer systems. In order to make the same programme work in different settings, engineers and web developers use a wide range of techniques. These can be used across a variety of proprietary operating systems, such as Apple and Microsoft platforms, and it is common practise to strive for functionality.
Benefits of cross-platform development:
- A shorter time to market
- Distributing the software across multiple platforms at the same time
- Instantaneous and faultless updates
- The aid it provides in reaching a large audience is invaluable.
- Less expensive and quicker to make a profit.
What is Flutter?
The Flutter framework is used by businesses all around the globe to create fully functional, pre-coded web applications. Flutter is a portable UI toolkit that facilitates the creation of native-looking apps for mobile, web, and desktop platforms from a single source codebase.
This open-source framework can be used to create applications for both iOS and Android that have a native look and feel while sharing a common set of source files. With the aid of Flutter Desktop app development, hundreds of new Flutter applications are produced and launched every day in the Play and App Stores, where they can be used by a wide audience.
Key characteristics of flutter include:
- The Flutter framework is open-source software that may be used to create programmes for both desktop and mobile platforms.
- In terms of cross-platform app development, it is often regarded as a top choice. It allows code to be written once and then deployed to several platforms. As a result, developers can save time, money, and energy.
- Flutter uses the Dart programming language and the JIT and AOT compilation methods to dramatically speed up and improve the performance of mobile apps with minimal code.
- Having access to widgets allows for the development of highly customised layouts. Flutter offers two collections of widgets, Cupertino widgets and Material design, to provide a consistent and bug-free experience across devices.
- To see the effects of our changes immediately, we used a feature called “hot reload” in Flutter. A simple fix to the issues is possible thanks to this feature.
- It gives easy access to the platform’s APIs, third-party integration, and native code.
When it comes to cross-platform frameworks, Flutter has emerged as a top contender by offering time-saving tools.
The Pros of Flutter
Written in the easy-to-learn Dart language, Flutter stands out from the crowd because of its unique set of functionalities, the hot reload feature being only one of them.
- In Output Flutter, you can use the “hot reload” option to make changes to your code and immediately see their effects. If you use hot reload, you may make changes to the backend and see the effects on the frontend instantly, negating the need to reload the complete application as frequently.
- Simplicity and Rapid Progression to Competence Flutter and Dart together provide for a very user-friendly development environment. You can create fully working applications with far less code. Since the Flutter framework can be set up in about 30 minutes, you can quickly get to work on your first Flutter project.
- Dart, the language used by Flutter, has become the most popular programming language, paving the way for Flutter to become the most popular cross-platform development platform on GitHub.
Cons of Flutter
Although Flutter has numerous advantages, it is not devoid of flaws either. Here is a list of a few problems you could encounter when using this framework:
- The size of Flutter applications is a problem for developers who have worked hard to reduce their footprint. Despite the downsides to using Flutter, the Google app framework update team must be able to fix the problem.
- Although existing Flutter developers value its structure, there are few resources available to help potential developers learn the language. Flutter’s rising popularity, meanwhile, may soon render this disadvantage moot.
Flutter application examples
Both large and small businesses have testified to Flutter’s effectiveness as a framework to streamline app development by integrating the best tools.
The most popular apps that were built with the help of this Google UI framework are listed below.
- Alibaba’s Xianyu
- Pay and Display Parking
- Google Ads
- SpaceX Go
What is Kotlin?
First released by software development firm JetBrains in 2010, Kotlin is an open-source programming language that works on several platforms. As with English, it is a language with wide applicability. A statistically typed language, it runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and is used wherever Java is. Kotlin’s versatility is shown in the way it’s not limited to only server-side and Android app development.
Key characteristics of Kotlin
Among the top cross-platform frameworks, Kotlin stands out because of its many appealing features. Here are a few examples to consider:
- Concerning null safety, Kotlin is among the best languages, its main goal being to prevent the occurrence of the NullPointerException in programmes.
- Using Smart Cast, immutable values are automatically typecast as their safe cast type.
- Kotlin’s extension methods and properties allow you to add new features to existing classes without altering their original code.
- Kotlin’s succinct nature means that programmers may cut down on boilerplate code.
- The concise nature of Kotlin languages results in fewer lines of code.
- Kotlin’s interoperability allows developers to quickly invoke Java code, and Java can use Kotlin code.
- Kotlin is tool-friendly, meaning that it can be written using either the command line or any Java IDE.
Pros of Kotlin
There are innumerable advantages to using Kotlin, more so because it allows for cross-platform programming? Underneath is a list of a few of the many advantages of Kotlin:
- The code written in Kotlin is cleaner and shorter than any other language. It is not just easy to understand, but reducing the number of lines of code also helps save time and money. All you might need to do is fix a few issues, and the efficiency of your product is bound to skyrocket.
- A safe, reliable, less bulky, and more readable code reduces bugs at the start of the development cycle. The efficiency of Kotlin enables rapid detection and correction of errors.
- Kotlin retains many of Java’s object-oriented capabilities, making it easy to convert any existing Java code to Kotlin. For this reason, porting Java apps to Kotlin is much less of a hassle. If you’re considering switching between Flutter and Java, the advantages of Kotlin make it the superior choice when comparing the two for Android development.
Cons of Kotlin
No human creation is free from the clutches of imperfection, and this is applicable to Kotlin too. Here is a list of the most common restrictions in Kotlin that developers run against.
- One significant issue is that Kotlin takes longer to compile than Java. Although Kotlin is normally significantly slower than Java, in certain circumstances it may surpass Java throughout the compilation process. When comparing Flutter with Kotlin, the former does a decent job of compiling incremental updates, while the latter is slower.
- Because the Kotlin SDK offers near-native features, the price of mobile app development with Kotlin is higher. When it comes to developing minimum viable products or prototypes, Kotlin turns out to be a difficult and poorly understood programming language.
Kotlin Application examples
Here’s a glimpse of the most impressive Kotlin-based apps:
- Corda market
- Basecamp 3
Having known the advantages and disadvantages of both Flutter and Kotlin, it is now time to move ahead with a comparison between the two so that it becomes easier for you to arrive at a decision.
Flutter vs. Kotlin: A Comparative Study
This table will help you decide who is the clear winner between Flutter and Kotlin as a cross-platform mobile development framework.
|In order to build cutting-edge apps for both Android and iOS, designers and developers may take use of Flutter, a cross-platform mobile framework.
|Kotlin is a high-detail statically typed programming language that runs on the JVM, in web browsers, on Android, and with Java.
|When creating mobile apps, it uses the Dart programming language.
|To build an app using Flutter technology, developers need to learn Dart.
|Kotlin is easy to pick up because of its resemblance with Java.
|Flutter has extensive testing capabilities, such as a specialised widget testing tool.
|Kotlin is primarily concerned with back-end development and makes use of Firebase as a safe alternative to traditional server-side code.
|Flutter’s documentation is much more well-organized and user-friendly, so we can locate everything we need in a single place
|Kotlin has a somewhat well-organized documentation, but since it is still under development, changes may be made at any moment to its libraries.
|Size of app
|The Flutter app is much more substantial.
|Kotlin’s app size is much less than that of Flutter’s.
|Flutter is a cross-platform tool that may be used on a computer, the web, and a mobile device.
|Kotlin also has desktop, web, and mobile support.
|Third party integrations
|Since Flutter focuses on the user interface, it needs more native integration tools and frameworks.
|Kotlin is self-contained and may be used without any other libraries or tools.
|Technology and libraries inside the Flutter system may be used at no cost.
|Although Kotlin is free, additional features need to be purchased.
Flutter vs. Kotlin: Which Is Better for Building Mobile Apps?
It has been established that both Flutter and Kotlin have their benefits and drawbacks, as well as certain distinctive features that make them special in their own ways. So, it is now time to sum up.
While Flutter is the ideal solution in case you wish to build a commercial app or online shop for your small, medium, or large businesses alike, it also enables you to save costs without sacrificing functionality, so Flutter app development is the way to go. Programmers can easily build apps, prototypes, and real-world solutions now that they have Flutter to their rescue.
Kotlin is not only backwards-compatible with Java but is often considered the superior language. With its wonderfully advanced back-end programming abilities, Kotlin has the potential to become your partner in your cross-platform endeavour.
Based on your preferences, you can now choose your preferred mobile app development platform. But if you are still struggling to arrive at a decision, you can seek the advice of a professional mobile app development firm.
At Sterling Technolabs, we have a dedicated team of mobile app developers to assess your needs and priorities and guide you towards the best framework for your project.
Why choose Sterling Technolabs?
Sterling Technolabs’ focus on developing high-quality apps for the Android and iOS operating systems has been acknowledged by customers from across the globe. Our highly skilled and trained web developers will utilise their technological know-how to assist you in expanding the scope of your projects.
If you wish to seek the advice of our expert developers, do not hesitate to contact us.