Flutter App Development Cost: The Only Reason to Choose Flutter?
The attractive development cost of a Flutter app is not the only reason why this UI toolkit is increasingly in demand. This relatively new technology skyrocketed almost immediately after its release in 2017 and its potential is still being discovered. Statista reports that 42% of developers will use Flutter for mobile cross-platform development in 2021, making it the most popular cross-platform framework today.
Cross-platform mobile frameworks used by software developers worldwide from 2019 to 2021. Source: Statista
The MadAppGang team has explored Flutter’s capabilities, and today we’ll share our knowledge and show you why it’s an optimal choice for cross-platform app development. We’ll also review Flutter app development costs and the major expenses. But before we dive deep, let’s take a closer look at Flutter and its benefits.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source mobile software development kit (SDK) that was created by Google. It allows native mobile app developments from a single code base, and utilises Dart, a fast, objective-oriented programming language.
Flutter’s initial version, Flutter 1.0, was launched in 2017 and was widely used. After the 2021 release of Flutter 2.0 and 2.5 with a wide range of improvements, it has even outperformed React Native in both GitHub and Stack Overflow. Over 100,000 apps made with Flutter are in use on hundreds of millions of devices. Notable Flutter-based apps include Xianyu by Alibaba, the Google Ads app, Hamilton, and many others.
What are Flutter’s main benefits?
There are several cross-platform frameworks for mobile app development, but Flutter is one of the most competitive and top-performing. This technology differs from its opponents in some core aspects. Below we cover some of Flutter’s major benefits.
Open-source technologies are common among developers and organisations worldwide — around 90% of IT leaders use enterprise open-source technology. Public and freely available, the source code can be viewed, modified, and used by third parties. Flutter's fast-growing and active community deserves special credit for its dedication to ongoing technological enhancements and the strong support provided to both developers and users.
What’s so special about Dart that we’ve highlighted it as one of Flutter’s significant advantages? This object-oriented language with C-style syntax was developed by Google and first introduced in 2011. Dart allows developers to build various app types as it supports all major platforms.
Source: Flutter Dev
Additionally, Dart has a strong base with multiple libraries and tools. Simplifying programming tasks is among Dart’s key objectives, and many developers agree that the language is fun and easy to learn.
Flutter is compatible with multiple operating systems and platforms. Plus, its native widgets allow apps to run older versions of operating systems (OS) with no significant drawbacks or degradation.
Single code base
With Flutter, you can build natively compiled applications for Android, iOS, web, and desktop from a single code base. Covering Android and iOS platforms simultaneously streamlines both maintenance and update submissions.
This powerful feature allows developers to rebuild an application and see their changes reflected straight away without having to restart the app each time. Whether it’s adding features, fixing bugs, or building user interfaces (UIs), after running the hot reload command, the code updates immediately and execution continues.
Flutter possesses a broad collection of visual, structural, platform, and interactive widgets that don’t rely on platform-specific UI components. Flutter’s widgets are rendered directly by the Skia framework and look native to Android (Material) and to iOS apps (Cupertino).
MadAppGang has used Flutter since it first started creating a buzz in the development community. With extensive experience in Flutter app development for various projects, we’re well aware of all its pros and cons.
Why choose Flutter over others?
With the variety of cross-platform frameworks available, you're probably wondering which is best for your app. Above and beyond Flutter’s technical benefits, it offers some real pros in terms of development timeframes and performance. Here are few more reasons why you might choose Flutters over the competition:
Building apps with Flutter is fast
If you need to develop an app quickly, Flutter is an excellent solution. The hot reload feature we mentioned earlier saves time as code changes can be viewed immediately, a factor that also applies to Flutter’s ready-made widgets.
Plus, as Flutter possesses a rich set of components, developers have everything they need in one place, including plenty of libraries. Working with this framework is more efficient than React Native, for example, which has fewer components and relies strongly on third-party libraries.
Another solid reason to choose Flutter for your next project is cost-efficiency. We’ll cover that later in the article, but first, let’s estimate development costs for a Flutter app .
What is the average cost to develop a Flutter app?
Flutter seems highly attractive in terms of building feature-rich applications on a limited budget. However, bear in mind that the cost of developing a mobile app in Flutter depends on several factors, the most significant of which are:
Complexity of features
The application type and its key features are the main factors affecting mobile app development costs. As the code is reused, building a cross-platform app is faster and cheaper compared to developing dedicated native apps for the iOS and Android platforms respectively.
But even with Flutter, complex apps with advanced features require months of development and testing, which is expensive. If you only want to build a working minimum viable product (MVP) with one or two key features at most, the process is obviously faster, and you can expect the price to start at an average of $15,000.
Sometimes, an MVP can be created very quickly, something MadAppGang learnt when we built an MVP in six weeks.
UI development is integral to a positive user experience. After all, who doesn't enjoy rich animations and interactive graphics in an app? Designing high-quality and robust UI requires a lot of time and effort, which leads to increased costs. But with Flutter, it's possible to reduce the design time due to its incredibly customisable widgets and that handy hot reload feature.
Maintenance and support
Mobile app development expenses don’t end after an application is deployed. Based on user feedback, there might be small changes or updates implemented post-launch. If you want to keep the audience while attracting new users, it’s crucial to follow the latest trends and update your app with new features from time to time. In addition, you’ll also need to conduct standard maintenance procedures like application data backups or server scaling. For post-launch app maintenance, expect costs to run at approximately 20% of the initial development cost.
Cost estimation in mobile app development is complex and the factors above aren’t the only considerations. If you’re struggling to set the right budget for your project, check out our detailed article on how much it costs to develop an app.
Another factor that impacts Flutter app development cost is the location of the developer you hire. It's well-known that app developer salaries fluctuate worldwide, but is there any difference in rates for Flutter developers?
The Flutter community is still young but is growing rapidly along with the market. The Open Flutter Project revealed that in countries including the US, Russia, and India, Flutter developers earn more than Kotlin and Swift developers. While in the UK, Flutter developer incomes are noticeably lower compared to the other two categories.
It's still more convenient, however, to hire companies such as MadAppGang. Our core developers, who have years of experience, are based in Ukraine. You get the same high-quality end-product but cheaper, or for the same price with additional advanced features. And as a full-service development company with plenty of support staff, we deliver quickly too.
What makes Flutter cost-saving?
Cost optimisation is a core priority for any successful business. When it comes to mobile app development, a relatively expensive process, business owners often search for affordable choices and alternatives. For example, instead of developing native apps separately for Android and iOS platforms, building a single cross-platform app at a lower cost is an attractive proposition.
We’ve already highlighted the Flutter SDK's main advantages, so now let’s see why the development cost for a Flutter app is normally lower than, for example, React Native:
- Flutter app development is speedy in comparison with other platforms as it makes use of the same codebase for every platform.
- A single code base also makes testing faster.
- Flutter's customisable widgets allow the creation of unique designs and layouts in no time.
Flutter saves money thanks to the expedited development process. Developers can write the code, implement changes, and test the app faster with this technology. The collection of ready-to-use widgets helps to create a beautiful UI within a shorter time frame. Additionally, faster prototyping and debugging as well as reduced testing and QA cycles increase the time-to-market speed. Developers report that they save lots of time performing automated tests as the same tests run on both platforms.
Is Flutter a good idea for every app?
After discovering Flutter's numerous benefits and perks, you're probably optimistic about trying it on your next project. However, you shouldn’t rush your decision as Flutter is not a universal solution. In fact, there are some exceptions when you should consider other alternatives.
Example of apps built with Flutter. Source: Flutter.dev
For example, if you need to create an instant, smaller-sized app, this technology isn’t the best choice as even optimised Flutter apps are bigger than native apps. Search for better alternatives if you're planning a minimalistic UI or intend to use the phone’s hardware as an integral part of your app, for example, to play music or take pictures with the camera. Additionally, when you need to use native UI elements such as maps and web views, the app might not work as smoothly as expected.
The cross-platform approach, with all its advantages, simply isn’t the right solution for every app. Sometimes, it’s more reasonable to invest money and time in native Android and iOS app development.
The bottom line
Cross-platform mobile development is a massive trend in software development. Flutter SDK is among the top frameworks available to build cross-platform mobile apps that perform well. Its reliability minimises risks for business, while its cost-effectiveness makes it a great solution for small enterprises and startups.
Furthermore, Flutter allows you to upload your application to the App Store or Google Play as quickly as possible. Using this framework, you can develop apps for both platforms simultaneously and save a lot of time. However, Flutter isn't a universal solution, and your project may require alternative approaches.
Get in touch with MadAppGang's experts for guidance if you're unsure whether Flutter is right for your app. Building iOS, Android, and web apps is what we do best, and we can help you find a reliable and cost-effective solution. Drop us a line and let’s discuss your project or Flutter app development costs.