Are you a mobile app developer who has a cross-platform app development project?
You might be wondering which technology to use. People say Flutter and Kotlin are ideal for creating hybrid apps, but which is suitable for you?
Kotlin and Flutter are budding contestants fighting to dominate cross-platform app development. Why do businesses prefer cross-platform apps over other kinds of apps?
Cross-platform app development allows companies to access a wider target market by enabling the function of applications across multiple platforms like android and iOS.
Grand View Research expects the global mobile app market to grow at a CAGR of 13 percent from 2022 to 2030. It shows the enormous growth in the tech industry currently.
Here is a quick rundown on which tool is ideal for cross-platform app development – Flutter or Kotlin. Let’s start by understanding both of them.
What is Flutter?
Since its launch in 2017, Flutter has been all the rage among the developer community.
Flutter is an open-source UI framework developed by Google. You can create hybrid apps on flutter for iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, Google Fuchsia, macOS, and the web.
Flutter aids users in developing distinct native-like applications that have hybrid capabilities. It employs Dart programming language to leverage AOT (Ahead-of-Time) compilation.
You can write a single code base for all your apps for various operating systems like Android, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Windows.
Prerequisites of Flutter
To use flutter to develop your cross-platform app, you need:
- To know how to write code in Dart language
- To understand object-oriented concepts — methods, class, objects, inheritance, and abstraction
- Skills in object-oriented programming languages such as Java and C++.
Features of Flutter
- Hot reload
- Access to native features
- Platform-specific logic application
- Minimal code
Pros of Flutter
- Write a single code for two operating systems
- Speedy coding
- Less testing required
- Facilitates creation of faster apps
- The consistent interface of the app on older phones
Cons of Flutter
- Insufficient iOS support
- Limited database and resources
- No password management service
- Flutter apps are chunky in size
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a general-purpose, cross-platform programming language developed by JetBrains. It uses static type code and is interoperable with Java.
Jetbrains developed Kotlin for Java Virtual Machine (JVM) in 2016. Being a general-purpose language, it allows developers to share business logic and code data with several web programs.
Thus, Kotlin can share data with the android studio for android and swift and XCode for iOS. Mobile app developers who use Kotlin benefit from its flexibility as it interacts with multiple native environments.
Prerequisites of Kotlin
To use Kotlin to develop your cross-platform app, you need:
- Expertise in writing code in java
- Experience in any coding environment
- Knowledge of simple concepts such as syntax, variables, and commands
Features of Kotlin
- Cross-platform support
- Reuse of logic
- Null safety
- Tool friendly
- Extension function
Pros of Kotlin
- Easy maintenance
- Convenient bug detection
- Least buggy language
- Raises team productivity
- Beginner friendly
- Supports current Java code
Cons of Kotlin
- Compilation takes time
- Limited user base
- Fewer resources
- Smaller developer community
When should you Use Kotlin?
Kotlin is the perfect programming language for boosting your current app. It can fully function alongside Java and streamlines the application editing process.
Go for Kotlin if your mobile app requires super complex and heavy coding, as Kotlin makes writing codes easier. Its fail-fast compiler identifies issues automatically and fixes them in real-time.
Use Kotlin when:
- When you don’t need a hybrid environment
- When you require a lightweight and speedy app
- When you need the pop-ups and forms in the app to function
- properly, the app’s design should be minimal
- When the app is a commercial solution for the end user
When Should You Use Flutter?
Flutter is known for its unmatching hot reload feature. Hot reload allows developers to check the edits they make to the code in real-time.
Choose flutter app development if your potential investors ask for a prototype or MVP of your app.
Use flutter when you:
- Need a full-fledged app
- Want to build a retail business app
- Want to buy a fintech or banking app
- Have a limited budget and a shorter timeline
The Ultimate Comparison Between Flutter and Kotlin
Flutter has 23.1K forks and 144k stars on GitHub, while Kotlin has 5.2K forks and 42.5K stars.
Stackoverflow Developers found that 9 percent of mobile app developers use Kotlin, and 12 percent use Flutter.
Google provides limited resources to learn Kotlin Multiplatform, while flutter users enjoy extensive documentation comparatively.
Flutter shines in performance with its features, hot restart and hot reload, enabling users to edit their codes and view their impact immediately. It accelerates app development, increasing convenience in creating apps.
Kotlin, on the other hand, uses a unique method and offers more native components and features such as a camera, Bluetooth, etc.
Flutter is a widget-based framework with unmatched customization options, letting app developers build performant, scalable, and unique products.
On the other hand, Kotlin enables users to create hybrid apps by letting them share the codebase. Kotlin helps developers build functional app solutions without any hassle.
Tools and Third-party Resources Integration
Being a cross-platform and open-source SDK, Flutter allows you easily integrate user interface development tools.
Developers can create native-like hybrid app products using Kotlin as a programming language. Kotlin uses native tools, such as Jetpack Compose and Swift UI, for this purpose.
Scope in Backend Development
Kotlin’s new extension, Kotlin Multiplatform helps professionals in direct backend coding without any issues.
Backed by Google, flutter helps developers make use of Firebase (Backend-as-a-service platform) for backend coding.
Now it’s time to wrap up our arguments for using Kotlin and Flutter for cross-platform app development. Both are able platforms to build perfect cross-platform solutions.
However, they both have their perks and downsides. We cannot give a verdict on the war of Flutter versus Kotlin as Kotlin is a programming language, and Flutter is a framework.
This discussion aims to help you choose the best software for your app development project. You need to clarify your needs and then weigh the pros and cons of the available tools to choose the most suitable one.