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What Is Flutter? Discussing SDK, 10+ Flutter Libraries, Flutter Widget Types, Flutter Pros & Cons

Flutter is a UI software development kit that was launched by Google back in May 2017. It was introduced at Google’s I/O developer conference. It’s open-source software that is written in Dart, an easy-to-learn language.

Flutter is becoming an obvious choice whenever cross-platform application development is mentioned. Now there are a few reasons why Flutter is a popular choice among developers.

First of all, they only have to develop one codebase or you may also call it source code. That source code is written in Dart language. Once it is written, Flutter will use that codebase to serve the relevant platform, whether it’s iOS or Android.

How simple that is, right?

Well, its simplicity is not the only advantage of Flutter. In fact, it has rapidly gained popularity on an international level very quickly. This means that there is a massive opportunity for developers in learning Flutter. It got global very quickly, and now it is one of the in-demand skills.

That being said, let’s discuss what is flutter, how it works, 10+ nifty flutter libraries, and the benefits of using flutter.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

What is Flutter?

Do you find yourself wondering about what flutter is?

Back in May 2017, Google introduced a portable software development toolkit and named it “Flutter”.

Today, it is one of the most reliable toolkits to develop cross-platform applications.

It is incredibly useful for developing cross-platform applications for iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Google Fuchsia from a single codebase. Therefore, developers create a single source code or codebase using Dart.

The same codebase is repurposed to serve different platforms including iOS and Android.

Flutter has two main parts:

A Software Development Kit (SDK)

Flutter Software Development Kit is basically a collection of tools that a flutter developer uses to create an application. And when we talk about hardcore technical language, we call SDKs “Command-line Tools” and “Packages”

Flutter Framework

Flutter framework is a collection of UI (user interface) elements that can be reused. So for example, here are some of the reusable UI elements: Toggles, Date Field, Drop Down, Checkboxes, and so on.

A flutter developer can reuse them to keep the User Interface the same across all platforms.

The main components of Flutter include art Platforms, Flutter Engine, Foundation Library, Design-Specific Widgets, and Development Tools.

Here’s How Flutter Works

The utilization of widgets is the core idea behind Flutter. Every widget serves to define elements in an application, such as stylistic elements that include a font color or a theme. It also includes a structural element like a menu and a layout aspect such as padding. A flutter developer combines all of these widgets to build the entire User Interface.

Now Flutter offers an extensive library of widgets to help you design a beautiful user interface. Plus, you can also find many useful libraries such as the ones we have mentioned in our “What Is Flutter Library? 10+ Nifty Flutter Libraries To Develop A User-Friendly App” section.

But, the best part is that it allows you to create your own widgets as well. That way, a developer enjoy having a free ground to practice their creativity and they also have the option to save time if the deadline is just around the corner.

The other major advantage of using Flutter is that it uses Dart language. It helps Flutter to communicate with the respective platform (android, iOS, and other platforms) without requiring JavaScript Bridge. Consequently, problems that result from using another compiling language to serve as a JavaScript Bridge are immediately out of the scene.

That makes Flutter unique and perhaps the only Software Development Toolkit for mobile that provides reactive views without requiring JavaScript Bridge.

What Is Flutter Library? 10+ Extremely Useful Flutter Libraries To Develop A User-Friendly App

As we mentioned earlier, a Flutter Library is a collection of UI elements that are used to design an application.

So Flutter library consists of everything From Animations, and notification displays to app icons, and Google Maps flutter.

After clearing what is flutter library, let us move towards listing 10+ Nifty Flutter Libraries that will help you develop an amazing application.

1. Cupertino_Icons

Cupertino Icons, as the name suggests, contain all the icons that are generally used in applications that are developed for the iOS platform.

2. Font Awesome Flutter

Yet another amazing library to handpick items that are generally used in applications.

3. Animations

Animations make your application interactive. Hence, it is always useful to include animations and engage your user.

If you are looking to include animations to engage your user then consider getting your Animation Package from Pub.Dev or simply go to GitHub.

4. Flutter Money Formatter

If you are developing an application for E-commerce, then you absolutely need Flutter Money Formatter as it allows you to format any currency regardless of localization.

5. Flutter_Local_Notifications

Flutter_Local_Notifications It is a cross-platform plugin that is used to display notifications. However, it only supports Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux.

6. Backdrop

The backdrop is one of the amazing options that helps your application look professional.

7. Path Provider

Path Provider makes it easy for a user to find files using the application and supports internal and external storage.

8. Intro Slider

It totally depends on the type of application that you are developing. If you are developing an application where you see it appropriate to add an introduction slider, then here’s the Intro Slider plugin that will help your application introduce your brand, product, or service using a slider. It helps you choose from various animations and patterns and it’s quick and easy to use.

9. Fsuper

Developers can easily build complicated but much-needed designs using Fsuper. There is a range of interactive and interesting elements that can be used to enhance the application’s appearance including gradient effects, pictures, borders, and MUCH MORE!

10. Flutter Crop

Flutter Crop helps developers crop images and widgets. Flutter Crop package is written in dart and it supports widely used platforms such as iOS and Android, Desktop, and web.

11. FilterList

FilterList is an amazing and extremely useful plugin to add to your application. It helps your client filter the products, services, or any list of items that they are interested in. They can use filters to easily find the item of their interest.

12. FL Charts

FL charts help your client draw amazing charts as it has all the commonly used charts from Pie to Line & Scattered charts. In addition to containing a broad range of charts, FL Charts also entertains customization which enhances the overall look and User Experience as well.

Here are some of the useful sources on flutter libraries:

Now that we have established what is flutter and what is flutter library, let’s move toward discussing the basics of Flutter widgets.

What Are Flutter Widgets? Discussing The Three Types Of Flutter Widgets

Flutter utilizes a broad variety of widgets to ensure complete application functioning. That being said, let’s look at the three basic types of Flutter Widgets that are used in the development of Flutter applications.

Stateful Widgets

Stateful Widgets are dynamic widgets that allow the interaction between the user or client and the application.

Now you might ask, “what makes stateful widgets dynamic?”

First of all, it’s a good question. Here’s the reason why they are dynamic: Stateful widgets have the ability to change their appearance according to the user’s interaction.

Stateless Widgets

Stateless Widgets never change their state. Thus, they are not dynamic. Widgets like Icon and Text are some of the best examples of stateless widgets.

Inherited Widgets

Inherited widgets operate very uniquely. That’s because other widgets can easily subscribe to their state which helps the state to be passed down to the children.

Flutter Pros And Cons

Flutter Pros

1. Your Projects Are Completed A Lot Faster

Since Flutter is used for cross-platform app development, it help developers enjoy working on a single codebase. Consequently, your app-building process speeds up as the development team doesn’t need to rewrite the code.

2. Outstanding Performance

Flutter delivers outstanding performance because it uses Dart. Now Dart compiles into native code and therefore the performance of the application goes higher. And as we are talking about Dart language, it is important to note that its utility is way beyond just building cross-platform mobile apps. In fact, it is used to create web applications.

Remember, kicking JavaScript Bridge out of the scene helps Flutter-built applications deliver high-level performance.

3. The Hot Reload Button

The hot reload button is one of the greatest pieces of good news for a developer. The hot reload allows developers to immediately see the changes they made to the code. The change is viewed within a second. Hence, developers do not need to put in a lot of time which is usually involved in restarting the app.

4. Easy To Learn & Free To Use

Both Flutter and Dart are free to use and easy to learn. In fact, the Flutter team states that they have noticed people with no prior expertise in programming and very little knowledge of building apps use Flutter easily.

Also, Google Team has also put together a video series to help developers.

5. A Wonderful Opportunity For Developers

Since it is launched by Google and is now being used across the world, Flutter’s utility is increasing and getting prominently noticed on a global level. Similarly, it is getting more inclusive and today, you can find 78 languages and currencies in the Dart Intl Package that Flutter natively offers.

So, why is it a wonderful opportunity for developers? Well, it is being widely used, which makes it a valuable programming language to learn. And despite being highly valuable and in demand, it is very easy to learn. Hence, being a wonderful opportunity for developers – learning and the learned alike.

Flutter Cons

1. A Large File Size

This is one of the major drawbacks of using Flutter. Sometimes, the file size gets off the charts and that may cause developers to take an alternative route to develop a cross-platform app.

But why can’t developers simply cope with it?

Well, one of the reasons why is that they don’t have to. They know that creating massive files will make it impossible for the application to be downloaded by most of the audience. Therefore, the core objective of application development gets defeated.

However, this issue seems to fade away. Around 2020, a small-sized Flutter file measured around 25 – 35 MBs whereas today, a standard-sized Flutter file stands around 20 MBs.

2. Scarcity Of Flutter Libraries

Well, this is something that you will see getting discussed more often. Flutter libraries used to be scarce back in the day. Well, that problem is solved. Now, you can find a fairly reasonable amount of Flutter libraries and Flutter packages as well.

A Few Words Before You Bounce…

What is Flutter? And is Flutter good?

Flutter has done an outstanding job in creating eye-catching user interfaces. Type Flutter UI on Google Images and you’ll see stellar UI designs created using Flutter.

One of the core advantages of using Flutter is that it’s very easy to learn and easy to use. That reduces the complexity and speeds up the development process – Because let’s be honest, the easier the language is, the less it will frustrate your development team.

In addition to that, there are many Flutter libraries now that make it easy for developers an app creation. All of that and beyond make Flutter an amazing choice for cross-platform mobile development.