Kotlin vs Flutter: Which Should You Choose For Cross-Platform App Development?

Kotlin vs Flutter: Which Should You Choose For Cross-Platform App Development?

A cross-platform application is the need of the hour service for every business and every individual to gain prominence in the market and build an authentic rapport. Cross-platform app development allows the app developers to use a single code base to develop a mobile application for multiple platforms. The prominent ones are Android and iOS.

Flutter is being compared to other SDKs (Software Development Kit) like React Native and Angular, but recently, a new framework ‘Kotlin’ is also seen emerging in the market, adding to the comparison table.

Flutter and Kotlin offer the developers distinct features and mechanisms to choose from. Kotlin is a general-purpose programming language with type inference and Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit. This means we are not comparing two similar mechanisms, but two different mechanisms which serve the same purpose of app development.

So now, which one is better to choose for your project? To help you with this, let’s dig deep into both frameworks.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is not a new framework now. Google developed Flutter in the year 2017, and it has been flourishing in the market since its start. It is an open-source Software Development Kit that enables the developers to create unique, native-like feel, cross-platform applications.

Flutter has Dart as its programming language. Dart uses ahead-of-time compilation. You can share the single-code-base across various platforms, including Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, Windows, etc in Flutter. Flutter uses many different widget designs in combinations to create the app user interface. It creates the whole application package using widgets. The latest version is released in May 2020.

Flutter’s framework proved to be a remarkable innovation for major issues. Prominent companies like The New York Times Square, Alibaba Group, Groupon, eBay, etc. depend on Flutter for the development of their apps.

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a general-purpose programming language and not a framework. It is developed by the company JetBrains in the year 2016. The meaning of General-purpose is that it enables the developers to share the code data and business logic with several other web programs. This means that it makes the developers interact with XCode and Swift for iOS, Kotlin & Android Studio for Android. In other words, it allows interaction with different Native ecosystems.

Although the concept of investing in an all-new cross-platform SDK like Kotlin is risky, many business brands like Autodesk, Quizlet, and Yandex, are leveraging this latest technology and building their community.

Kotlin syntax is not compatible with Java but is able to interoperate with Java Codes.

Kotlin Vs Flutter: App Development Performance

1. Ease of use

The Flutter framework and its programming language Dart are easy to learn and apply. If you’ve ever coded with Java, Swift, React Native, etc. you will know the difference with Flutter’s improvised framework. Flutter enables you to develop creative apps fast and with lesser coding. Flutter develops apps using widget technology making it way easier to grasp and identify errors made by you in the exact place.

In Kotlin, one has to learn this new language. Kotlin is similar to Java, but after all, these are two different languages. Developers will not be able to shift easily or quickly from one to another. Also, Java maintains its position in case of clean built if you are inclined towards Java. Kotlin does not come as superior to it. Kotlin uses inference to decide on the expressions and values which are not depicted properly. Meaning, Kotlin is more distinctive than Java and often needs repetitive type specifications. Currently, Kotlin is not as supportive of Native as it seems. It still lacks some features which the developers need.

2. Hot Reload

Flutter enables the developers to edit the code and watch those changes in real-time through the function called Hot Reload. With Flutter’s Hot Reload, you can make changes to the back-end and observe the front-end changes right away. This reduces the need to reload the entire app frequently. It saves the development and compilation time.

However, Kotlin is still old-fashioned in this sphere. Hot reload or similar functionality is not available in Kotlin. Kotlin programming language is frequently much slower than other frameworks and Java as well. When compiling any changes, it is not as quick as Flutter.

3. Market and Popularity

Flutter and Dart are evolving quickly and becoming one of the most popular programming languages. In the current Google Trends statistics and on GitHub community, Flutter is seen having highly rising popularity as compared to Kotlin.

Also, in Kotlin, there is a limited community of developers available worldwide. It leads to lesser resources for learning Kotlin and seeking answers to resolve different problems while working with it.

Being developed by Google’s own developers, Flutter SDK is expected to gain prominence soon with the evolving features and expansion of Google’s own operating system Fuchsia, Google home, and (IoT) Internet of Things, along with the increasing scope of AR and VR technology.

4. Pricing and MVP

The documentation is free for both Flutter and Kotlin if anyone wants to learn it on their own.

With the introduction of Kotlin, your company will not find it easy to identify masters of Kotlin, as they are very few. If you want to train your developers, it will make the whole project a bit more expensive. Even though Kotlin provides semi-native functionalities and is not fully native, the cost of building a mobile app is very high in Kotlin, especially when developing prototypes and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs)s.

Flutter developers are relatively very highly available in the market and Flutter users are growing day by day. Flutter charges by keeping in mind the complexity, design, category, and maintenance of the app, along with the hardware and location of the agency. You will get a transparent picture of Flutter’s pricing.

Flutter vs. Kotlin

This comparison must have solved almost all your doubts about making a better choice. But as a conclusion and final tips, we will sum it all up and put the results of our analysis in front of you.

Kotlin is definitely not a good choice for start-ups, MVP, and developers with no team or a small team. In this case, forget about Kotlin, but even any other SDKs or Language are not a better option than Flutter in this case.

Flutter with its easy-to-use UI and functions makes it again the better choice for new as well as experienced and expert developers. Also, new developers should not get into the pool of confusion, small community, and less opportunity in the market which is the case with Kotlin.

If efficiency and effectiveness are what you seek, then Kotlin surely lags behind Flutter. Flutter works with a smarter and more modern framework. Its widget technology takes the lead here.

Flutter is a rapidly evolving Google SDK in the market with large community support and a big company base which depends on it for its app development.

We hope that now you can begin your project with an exact clear picture of what you need and what is best in the market. Our Flutter app development community is ready to help further.

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