July in Norway is a month of vacations and huge festivals, that happen simultaneously in different regions: from upper North (Midtnattsrocken — 4 days, up to 15 000 visitors) to a week-long Tysnesfest near Bergen with more than 30 000 attendees.
And all of these bigger festivals are supported by our partner and client, ticketing provider TicketCo. “Event payments made easy” is TicketCo’s slogan and this time our aim for R&D team at Innocode was to make 2 apps Android & iOS in a quite short time — so that all the tickets/food and beers would be at the convenience of attendees.
We had a very limited timeframe and did’t have freehand iOS Dev, so rather than rushing to develop native iOS and Android apps or use React we decided to try… Flutter.
Flutter is Google’s mobile UI framework that allows crafting interfaces on iOS and Android in record time. It is now in Beta, so we worried a bit: it is obviously not so popular as ReactNative or Xamarin, not so many apps are built with it, but some of the most popular ones with the heavy load like Alibaba/ Hamilton & GoogleAdwords used it.
Our concerns about Flutter were:
- The age of Flutter (Alpha (v0.0.6) / May 2017; 1 year ago)
- A lot of issues in GitHub and lack of information on Stack Overflow
- A slow UI speed on complex screens
- Integration with native external libraries
Obviously there’s yet not a big community behind Flutter and when we needed answers, Stack Overflow had a very limited ones. So we looked into Futter’s GitHub Issues, and there were many workarounds suggested by community, you can use them until Flutter team comes up with the solution.
The good part of Flutter:
- Flutter has lightweight components — you can easily compose them into what you need)
- Since Flutter uses AOT Dart language the speed is many times increased — you don’t need JS bridge for reactive views
- it’s 80% ready for cross-platform mobile app development (one code for 2 platforms — iOS & Android)
- reduced time for UI and Business Logic on Flutter
All in all we are quite happy with the results and it took us less than 2 months!
Our final thoughts on Flutter
If business needs to get cross-platform app in a limited time, go ahead and use Flutter — it’s a good solution. Hint: if you don’t like any of the native components in Flutter, take a look into its’ source code and get inspired to write your own.
UPD: we already used this app during Midtnattsrocken festival this weekend and everything went smooth:)
Here’s a cool Youtube channel of a guy called Matt Carroll who recently joined Flutter Core team, who does a very inspiring job: he takes designs from Dribbble and put it in Flutter — https://bit.ly/2KG7DvC . It could be also a nice starting point for your journey, take a look at Fluttery.
Special thanks to Roman and Oleksiy Sidorenko for the help with this article!
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Wanna know more about us? Are we hiring? Yeap. Take a look at the Jobs of the month: July 🏄♀️ , and get to know Innocodians better.