Flutter vs Kotlin: Which One to Choose in 2022
Flutter vs Kotlin: Businesses wanting to reach out to many customers are looking at cross-platform app development. It allows mobile apps to run on different platforms like Android or iOS.
Cross-platform app development has caught the imagination of companies as it allows you to market your app quickly, gives an almost native app-like performance, and is available at a much lesser cost due to a single Codebase.
There are numerous cross-platform app development SDKs (software development kits) available in the market with their pros and cons. In this article, you will see a comparison between two very popular cross-platform technologies; Kotlin and Flutter.
You will learn the pros and cons of these two so that you can choose one that fulfills all your requirements.
A comparison between Flutter and Kotlin
Here you will learn why you should use Flutter or Kotlin to develop your mobile app.
It is an open-source UI software and development kit to build feature-rich and highly functional mobile apps across multiple platforms. As it is created by Google and has its support, the popularity of this SDK has grown over the years.
It provides you with a comprehensive toolkit in addition to Flutter API, widgets, and framework to develop high-performance mobile apps.
Advantages of using Flutter
This feature-rich, open-source SDK has numerous advantages that make it perfect to create attractive and highly functional mobile apps with powerful security features. Some of the advantages to choosing Flutter app development include the following.
It is easy to use
Flutter SDK uses the Dart programming language for coding, which is quite easy to learn. This programming language is very modern, and it allows you to create feature-rich, fully functional apps with much less code.
The installation of the Flutter framework is also very simple, and it only takes 30 minutes before you can use it to start building your application.
It is free and open-source.
Flutter is an open-source platform that helps you get easy access to the original code and all the documentation you will need for building an app. Furthermore, the documentation in Flutter is quite simple, user-friendly, and easy to navigate.
Flutter allows you to create rich movement APIs, which significantly improves the user experience to attract the customer and persuade them to use it frequently.
The firebase integration feature can help the flutter app developers easily add back-end services in the development setting.
Flutter allows you to edit the code and see the output of the change in real-time. This feature of the Flutter SDK is also known as hot reload. It helps you find any change in the front-end when you tweak some code at the back-end in real-time.
This feature helps remove the need to reload the entire app after each change made to the back-end, thereby saving valuable compiler and development time.
The popularity of this SDK is growing quite rapidly along with its programming language, Dart. Dart is becoming a favorite amongst app developers due to its ease of use and amazing features.
Great native support
The performance of an app plays a critical role in its success, and Flutter provides ample support in this regard. Any app made through Flutter offers you the type of performance that is very near what native applications offer.
Along with highly sophisticated UI animation. In addition, flutter SDK allows you to build straight into the machine code, which removes the chance of bug occurrence. In this way, you can easily develop Android and iOS apps using one technology.
Disadvantages of using Flutter
While Flutter is one of the top SDKs available in the market, it has its limitations, and we have shared two such disadvantages of this amazing platform with you.
It is still not widely adopted.
Numerous app developers indeed enjoy using this current SDK, but you will find comparatively fewer resources and materials available.
It is continuously changing.
Flutter and the Dart programming language are continuously changing, making it harder for app developers to maintain the code of their app in the long run.
The app size is larger.
Another big problem using Flutter is that any app you make using it is relatively bigger. As app developers want to create an app that does not take much space on smartphones, this could be considered a big disadvantage for using Flutter.
Furthermore, it takes much longer to load Flutter apps and download any updates compared to other platforms.
Some popular apps built using Flutter
Several well-known companies have developed their apps based on this robust and highly dynamic platform, such as:
- Google Ads (for ad campaign management).
- Xianyu (an e-commerce application).
- Pairing (an online dating application).
- PostMuse (it offers templates for Instagram stories).
- SpaceXGo! (It provides information and updates on the Tesla space division).
It is a statically typed open-source programming language that is designed in such a way that it can easily interoperate with Java. It is a robust and feature-rich standalone language that works perfectly with a few other older languages.
Kotlin provides the developers with multiplatform capabilities to share logic, code, and data across platforms such as Android, iOS, web app, and more. This strong language offers numerous advantages and some disadvantages.
Advantages of using Kotlin
Here, you will learn about the various advantages you can leverage if you use Kotlin to develop your app.
It works seamlessly with Java.
As Kotlin still preserves a big chunk of Java’s object-oriented nature, you will find it very easy to convert any pre-existing Java code. This ease of compatibility you will find both in application migration and language from Java to Kotlin simpler and faster.
It allows you to maintain old apps made with Java or build new Kotlin apps and is also simple to convert applications one file at a time without interrupting the process.
The code is clear and concise.
The syntax of Kotlin is very compact and simple. As a result, you have to write fewer lines while developing your mobile app, which makes the entire process efficient and also helps you save money and time. Therefore, Kotlin offers you simplicity, reliability, and a quick app-building process.
No runtime overhead
The standard library of Kotlin is extremely centered and minimalistic. Here you will find Java standard library extensions. There is no forced upward runtime.
Furthermore, since the aggregate time in-lining is much used, you will find that practical innovations like channel/guide/decrease pipelines accrue comparably as a simple form of similar code.
Adaptability and flexibility
Using Kotlin, you can easily upgrade the developed application without needing a virtual machine. This feature makes Kotlin an ideal choice as it offers greater flexibility, adaptability, and scalability in the future.
Reuse of logic
Many platforms such as React Native need a separate user interface and enterprise logic. However, in Kotlin, you can share logic and libraries inside the UI layers.
This allows the app developers to increase their work efficiency on multiple local factors such as Android Studio, JS for Xcode for iOS, Swift, and the Internet.
In Kotlin, you will find the features of null safety. This feature helps in removing the null pointer exception from the code.
It is safe and consistent.
As the code base of Kotlin is short and easy to read, the bugs compiled in the development process can be spotted and fixed earlier on.
Kotlin is designed in such a way that it prevents you from making mistakes that are quite common during the program execution. It shows a higher level of safety, and it solves some of the issues that the developers of Java are faced earlier.
Disadvantages of using Kotlin
While Kotlin is very powerful and offers numerous features to the app developer, it has a few disadvantages that you have to deal with. Some of these include the following:
Comparatively new language
Kotlin is a very robust language, but as it is relatively new, many Kotlin app developers are fewer compared to the market demand. However, as the popularity of this technology grows, this shortage of talent will soon be resolved.
It is expensive
Kotlin offers you semi-native functionalities; this makes the overall cost of building a mobile app much higher. It is a big downside, especially when building prototypes or MVPs of your apps.
Furthermore, as explained earlier, Kotlin is a relatively new language; therefore, you have to spend resources to teach your developers this modern and feature-rich app coding language.
Slow compilation speed
The compilation speed of Kotlin is much slower if you compare it with Java. If you are trying to compile incrementally, it performs well, but it still lags when comparing it with other options like a Flutter.
Weak native support
At present, Kotlin isn’t very supportive of natives. While it is true that Kotlin/native products are growing, it still lacks some important features that app developers need, like the platform-independent GUI.
Some popular apps built using Kotlin
Many big multinationals have used Kotlin to build their app as it offers them numerous advantages. Some of these apps include the following:
- Pinterest (it is an image-sharing service).
- Trello (it is an app project management tool).
- Tinder (it is an online dating platform).
- Netflix (video streaming service).
- Airbnb (online rental marketplace service).
You cannot compare point-to-point Flutter with Kotlin as both have their advantages and some disadvantages. So you have to check each one of these carefully to find out which one offers you the best advantage and is compatible with your development team’s skillset and your existing app Codebase.
If you are a small company or a start-up, you should hire Flutter app developers as it’s a great option. The reason is that it is cheaper, and you can make multiple apps with a single code base.
Developing apps would also take less time as Dart is much simpler and requires fewer codes. However, if you are already using any pre-existing Java code, hiring Kotlin developers would offer you more benefits.
Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, and a Tech geek. Founder & CEO at Guru Technolabs - an award-winning Flutter App Development Company. Loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.