The high demand for cross-platform development continues to increase thanks largely to the successful commercial rivalry of iOS and Android devices. Statistics suggest that there are more than 6 billion smartphone users worldwide, and from June 2022 research discovered that there are now more iOS users than Android users in the US for the first time since 2010. With so many mobile phone users accessing the internet it is not hard to understand why people unlock their phones over 250 times a day. The problem this creates is that not all websites are mobile friendly which is bad for business. This has seen an unprecedented demand for iOS and Android engineers (and custom mobile app development in general), and a growing demand for cross-platform development solutions. In the past Ionic and Xamarin were a cross-platform solution and helped create mobile apps from one source code. In more recent times, you have probably used multiple React Native apps. It’s time to take a deeper look at 32 Apps built using Flutter and why the cross-platform future is Flutter.
- What is Flutter?
- What is Dart?
- Popular Flutter apps
- Other apps built with Flutter
- Apps built with Flutter – summary
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source framework created by Google that allows a single code base to create complex user interfaces on multiple devices regardless of whether it is an Android or iOS operating system. Flutter’s “hot-reload” function allows developers to introduce changes in almost real-time making it efficient, and Google’s Material Design allows developers to modify each and every pixel on screen using “widgets” to create consistent UI designs for all platforms during cross-platform development. Fans of cross-platform mobile app development laud Flutter for its amazing performance, logical architecture and thorough documentation.
What is Dart?
Dart is an open-source, object-oriented and multi-platform programming language created by Google for developing high-performance, sophisticated mobile, web and desktop applications. It has a large set of APIs, which makes it simple to create iOS and Android apps and the extensive libraries allow developers to access the database and other external services with relative ease. Flutter apps are programmed using Dart which can compile both in AOT and JIT (see below) and has well-defined syntax, making it easy to develop and maintain code. All of these things allow developers to create apps twice as quickly as those produced using other cross-platform development frameworks.
Just-In-Time (JIT) Compilation
Just-in-time compilation (or dynamic compilation) is a method for improving the performance of executing “interpreted” source code. Interpreted code is “translated” to the native code line-by-line. In the past this was extremely time consuming for developers but JIT is significant because it cuts down the time it takes to see changes in the code.
Ahead-Of-Time (AOT) Compilation
Ahead-of-time compilation happens during the build phase of mobile app development. While JIT happens when the application is running in the browser, AOT happens before running the application in the browser. It helps with fast startup and better execution of the app.
Why brands pick Flutter?
Flutter has been used in big projects by some very well-known and influential brands in apps like Google Ads, eBay, BMW app, Tencent, Groupon and the list keeps growing. But the question many ask is why would they choose Flutter over native languages or other cross-platform frameworks.
The simple fact is that Flutter gives corporations (and startups for that matter) countless possibilities which other cross-platform frameworks cannot deliver. Most significantly, Flutter has a single codebase which can not only build Android apps and iOS apps, but also web apps, desktop operating systems, and even embedded systems like digital watches, medical devices and fitness trackers.
Another significant advantage the Flutter framework has over other cross-platform development frameworks is that Flutter allows direct access to native operating systems for APIs and microservices which are not “cross-platform friendly” meaning API integration is much easier and efficient through Flutter channels. Custom app development companies using Flutter over other cross-platform frameworks can create unparalleled mobile app user experience and visual design thanks largely to the fully customisable widgets.Additionally, the characteristics of the Dart programming language and JIT compilation allows for hot reloads which is not possible in other cross-platform development frameworks.
With those significant advantages in mind, let’s take a look at some of the Flutter apps which you may use on a daily basis. You may be surprised just how good some of these mobile apps are which have adopted the Flutter framework.
Popular Flutter Apps
Here is a list of brands that have their own Flutter app or even several apps for powering their primary services. We take a closer look at the app development process and implementation to determine how internationally renowned companies took advantage of Material Design, hot reloads and all the other advantages of other robust functionalities of Flutter. App enables extremely rich user experience and
Google products – Stadia, Google Ads, Google Assistant
Google Stadia is a streaming platform for gamers. This service is available on mobile devices, both Android and iOS. On November 18th, 2019, UI Engineering Lead confirmed that the Stadia app was built using the Flutter software development kit (SDK). The Stadia team decided to use this technology during the prototyping stage of app development.
Flutter received support a while ago and now it makes it possible to code apps for other platforms – like web and desktop. But Stadia developers acknowledged that for the implementation time of Stadia, only mobile apps are using Flutter. Nonetheless, this is proof for devs from all around the world that they should give this framework a chance. Not only did Google create it for themselves, but they also use it in their products.
Flutter is also used in the mobile app for Google Ads management. Unlike a previous application, the new Google Ads app offers better insight, campaign management alerts and editing current campaigns. It also allows Google experts to be contacted through it.
Flutter also helps power an ever-growing number of Google Assistant apps.
Reflectly is an example of an app that was created in react native, which is still a popular cross platform framework. The team programmed it for iOS using this technology. When they decided to introduce the Android app – a problem occurred. Because of the enormous popularity of the app, in 2018, they decided to rewrite it altogether. They chose Flutter, which was perfect for this purpose. In 2 months, they rewrote their app and made it available for both Android and iOS. The new version was shared in May 2019.
“Using Firebase Analytics and Sentry, we meticulously monitored the release for any unforeseen issues as it was being deployed to new and old users. Despite Flutter’s beta label, we did not, and have not, seen any major issues using Flutter in production across hundreds of thousands of users, running on a multitude of different iOS and Android devices.” ~ says Daniel Vestergaard, Co-founder & CTO at Reflectly.
Alibaba Group used Flutter in the Xianyu app
A development team from Xianyu (闲鱼), which is the second biggest retail platform of Alibaba Group, created an app using Flutter. It was downloaded more than 50 million times and has over 10 million active users every day. Choosing Flutter helped to save time because, with a single codebase, they could easily create and maintain the app.
Alibaba already had a pre-made app. That’s why their work began with implementing Flutter features step by step, adding more functionalities based on that framework to it. You can read more about Flutter and how it’s used in the Alibaba Group on their blog.
Groupon app is built with Flutter
Groupon is another example of a company that used a pre-made application. It had two types of apps – customer-facing and merchant-facing. The first now has more than 50 million downloads. The second one was much smaller, downloaded over 500 thousand times, that’s why it wasn’t so risky to implement new technology into it.
Groupon decided to integrate Flutter with an existing solution instead of rewriting the app from scratch.
One of the products from the major retail platform is built using Flutter. This mobile app allows users to sell and buy vehicles with their smartphones. With just a few taps, they can browse the offers, post advertisements and bid for the cars they like.
The main challenge that the eBay engineering team had to face was limited time – they had only one year to hit the market. They also wanted an impressive user experience that would include all the features known by eBay users. They stumbled upon Flutter that was in its 1.0 version and thought that it perfectly suits their goal. The main advantages included almost none platform-specific code, fast programming and awesome UI. They described the whole process – from discovering Flutter to finishing the app in their blog post: eBay Motors: Accelerating With Flutter.
One of China’s biggest enterprises that operates internationally and offers digital products and services also uses Flutter – and not for one but several of their applications. That includes DingDang, AITeacher, K12, QiDian, Mr. Translator and Now Live.
The main goal for Tencent was to create a smooth and beautiful experience for all their users, no matter which product they will be connecting with. Their applications are genuinely universal – they help with work, studying, travelling and many other daily activities. Hitting multiple platforms allowed Tencent to be flexible and highly available with their software. Developers used all the benefits of Flutter wisely – to code faster, integrate better and achieve spectacular results. The app enables extremely rich user experience which gave them a faster development process. They talk about the Flutter development process and other aspects of their custom software development experience in a YouTube video made together with Flutter.
Hamilton Musical Flutter app
GoPosse had a quest to develop a mobile app for Hamilton Broadway Musical. It was supposed to work on Android as well as on iOS. The team picked the Flutter framework because, according to them, it was faster and more fun to work with.
“Flutter made it possible to deliver more and at a higher level of quality. If we had developed two independent fully native apps, we never would have shipped the feature set we had at launch. The ability to do more continues to be a major benefit as we grow and add features to the app on a weekly basis.” ~ they stated in a blog post on the Posse Medium account.
Philips Hue Flutter apps
Philips Hue is a smart-home lighting system. They sell lamps, bulbs, accessories and starter kits for customers who want intelligent lights in their homes. Two of their apps are built using Flutter – Hue Sync and Hue Bluetooth. Thanks to these mobile controllers, Philips’ clients can change the tone of the light and synchronize lamps with their media kits.
Philips has used Flutter since 2018 and picked this technology even though other great solutions were available on the market. With Flutter, it just clicked and they knew it’s a perfect match for their project.
inKino Flutter app
inKino is a multi-platform Dart project with code sharing between Flutter and the web. This app allows its users to browse movies and showtimes at Finnkino cinemas. 40% of the app’s code is shared between Flutter and the web. Android and iOS applications are developed with a single Flutter codebase. The PWA (Progressive Web App) was designed using AngularDart.
This finance app provides clients with detailed information about cryptocurrency signals, news and wallet history. Within the app, we have access to data of more than 1600 cryptocurrencies. Developers responsible for this application claim that if it wasn’t for Flutter, they wouldn’t be able to deliver it in 2 months. They own 4 apps that are available on the Google Store. All of them are created in Flutter and they are still working on other ones that will be coded using this framework as well.
Other apps made with Flutter
Furthermore, there are a lot of different applications that were created based on the Flutter framework. We present them below.
The New York Times
In 2019, Google revealed that Flutter would also give the programmers an ability to code desktop and web apps. The New York Times announced their KENKEN game available on web at the same time. No surprise – it was made with Flutter.
This app makes it possible to find direct flights around the world. It also displays weather forecasts in a specific place, as well as load estimations without delay. Thanks to this application, it’s easy to pick the best flight option keeping in mind routes, weather conditions and seat availability in the plane.
A financial app that helps to manage credit cards. It analyses the expenses and presents which card was used to make a specific purchase. It also recommends which cards are suitable for our shopping habits, for example by showcasing offered discounts and cashback options.
NuBank Flutter app
Speaking of finances, another Flutter software product that appreciated the framework because of its scaling possibility. NuBank is positioning itself as a mobile-first Fintech startup and they began with apps made in native technologies. They picked Flutter for their digital savings account app because they were looking for a productive framework that would provide efficiency to the project.
Coach Yourself Meditation app
This app offers guided meditation created by Ramin Raygan. The goal is to strengthen the heart, body and soul. After picking a theme, the user can start their meditation session with custom options that play different sounds in the background. The app tracks progress and displays simple statistics. This way, it helps the users to introduce meditation into their daily routines.
Insight Timer Flutter app
One of the most popular apps for sleep and meditation on the market, with more than 9 million users. This Flutter app gives people access to a massive library of guided meditations, exercises, songs and sounds that support their well-being. The developers took advantage of material design to create perfect UI for the feature-rich Flutter application.
Hookle – Social Media Managing
Hookle is an app for managing social media profiles from one place. Creating, scheduling and publishing content is easy with this app. It monitors the effectiveness of created posts. Hookle is free up to 3 social media accounts and it integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google My Business.
Using this app can help you to prepare yourself for a job interview. It also includes brain exercises. Questions and answers, sorted in different categories, can be useful when it comes to getting ready for the conversation with a potential employer. The creators claim that using this app can make yourself prepared for 90% of the most common recruitment questions.
Platypus Crypto app
Free app for cryptocurrency resources tracking. Platypus Crypto includes real-time weekly charts, current prices and market caps, and also the trade percentage. Thanks to customization, it allows us to delete specific charts and to use dark mode in it.
Weight Tracker app
A simple application dedicated to people who want to lose weight or stay in shape. Tracking progress and goal motivation are some of the functionalities available.
Beer Me Up app
This app’s purpose is to keep a record of all the beers we have had, so we never forget what kind of beer we have drunk. We get points for each beer we add to our list. With the profile we create in the app, we get a history of consumed beers (so we don’t have to wonder what kind of beer we want to drink this time) and the view of all the points we have.
All the information about SpaceX is available in this app. Thanks to it, we can access a detailed list of all previous and upcoming rocket launches. Apart from that, we can look through the catalog of all transportation vehicles and find out more about rockets, capsules and ships created by SpaceX over the years.
This app has a ship locator that allows the user to check the position, speed and status of the active spaceships used by SpaceX. Also, the Tesla locator is available and it displays the orbit, speed and distance of Elon Musk’s Tesla.
With this app, creating, sharing and browsing for many different types of online content is easy. It has images, articles and much more, and it is available on Android and iOS.
Grab is a service for people that want to order food with home delivery. Flutter was used to build its merchant application for restaurants that want to offer their products in Grab. Thanks to this software, local businesses can grow by adding their menu items, managing orders and view their earnings.
A real-estate application that allows people to find their dream homes. It won several awards – not only for the software but also for excellent customer service and industry influence.
A straightforward application for personal data management. Thanks to You, we can download all the information about us kept by Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Tieba – the most prominent communication tool in China, is owned by a search engine called Baidu. They used Flutter to develop their messaging application.
This app rewards users for sharing their shopping bills with it. All you need to do is scan your receipt and then evaluate them in a survey. The data is anonymous and it is used for market research. For all those actions, we gain points that are then exchanged for vouchers and gift cards. With the Flutter framework, the app was able to be developed within 4 months.
A multi-purpose application for hotel guests was created with Flutter for Android and Apple devices. It allows booking restaurant tables, check in the resort, browse nightlife events and acts as a key card to open the rooms. It also allows guests to collect reward points and get personalized recommendations so their stay at the hotel can be perfect.
Watermaniac and others
One of the many water drinking trackers out there was created using the Flutter framework. The design of Watermaniac is quite simplistic, which would be expected from a product like that. It also has all required functionalities like setting goals, archiving logged drinks, and push notifications as reminders. If you check the list of all Flutter applications, you will find out that many similar apps were made with this framework.
After we hydrate ourselves, it’s time to water the plants. With this small Flutter application, everyone can become a master of plant care – it reminds the user about watering each piece they have.
Flutter base of apps includes many simple games with math problems, text adventures and word quizzes. Of course, you probably can’t develop advanced 3D entertainment with this technology. Still, if your goal is to give people a time killer – then you can definitely do so with cross-platform development, including Flutter.
Apps built with Flutter Framework – summary
Even though Flutter development is still a relatively new app development process, there are plenty of apps built with Flutter framework. You can find the Flutter app list here. It consists of almost 1900 Flutter apps, but not all of them are listed. The presented examples prove that cross-platform Flutter apps are a more than viable solution to achieve the business objectives for startups, SMEs, and big brands alike (check out the BMW app here). It is quite evident that cross platform apps have a future in the mobile app development landscape, with Flutter and React Native leading the charge for the foreseeable future. However, what we are seeing is that React Native apps have some shortcomings against well-built, true hybrid flutter apps which take advantage of hot reloads, JIT or AOT compilation, Flutter channels, and superior UI design possibilities.
How to find the best Flutter development company?
With Flutter being relatively new it is not easy to find reputable Flutter app development companies which can actually deliver what they promise in their marketing materials. The key to finding an app development company which can realistically take advantage of the faster development process the Flutter framework provides is finding an app development company who understands how to.
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