Summary: It goes without saying that Flutter is the most appropriate framework for cross-platform app development. But, it may sometimes not work due to your specific project requirements. In this case, looking for the right Flutter alternatives can be a good option. Let’s explore here. 

Flutter is one of the most sought-after frameworks for cross-platform app development.

According to research by Statista, in 2022, 46% of software developers across the world use Flutter to create cross-platform apps.

Meanwhile, it’s also available with several disadvantages, which prompt developers to look for some Flutter alternatives. They can find a variety of cross-platform app development frameworks that are good alternatives to Flutter in terms of features and flexibility.

Let’s explore some of the top frameworks that allow developers to build cross-platform apps hassle-free. You can choose the right one based on your project requirements.

What is Flutter? 

Developed by Google, Flutter is one of the most popular software development toolkits that use Dart programming languages. It’s available with a range of pre-designed widgets that allow developers to craft user interfaces that are fully consistent and visually appealing.

Developers leverage this open-source UI software development toolkit to build apps for different devices such as laptops, mobile, or desktops. Apps developed with Flutter are natively compiled. It includes a hot reloading feature that allows developers to do coding work rapidly and also make necessary changes instantly.

It gained wide acceptance for its higher efficiency when it comes to creating cross-platform and also high-performing apps while providing a completely seamless user experience across multiple devices.

Flutter Features

Flutter boasts a wide range of features that make it a top choice among developers. Let’s have a look at some of the top features of this framework:

1. Hot Reload

One of the top-rated features of Flutter, Hot Reload lets developers visualize any code changes instantly, even without restarting the apps. It maximizes the overall speed of the Flutter development process by offering fast feedback, which makes it easy to experiment.   

2. Single Codebase

Flutter is available with a single codebase. It facilitates developers to write code once and run it on multiple platforms like iOS or Android. It streamlines the overall development process and reduces the effort needed to maintain a separate codebase for various platforms. 

3. Expressive UI

Expressive UI enables developers to craft a customizable and visually appealing user interface. The framework uses a wide range of pre-designed widgets that designers can combine to craft complex UIs hassle-free. 

4. Native Performance

The framework includes the ability to compile code directly to ARM code and can achieve native-like performance. It removes the necessity of bridging between devices and applications. It leads to quick execution times, a responsive user interface, and smooth animations.

5. Widget-Based Architecture

Widget-based architecture is known for its higher flexibility and composability. Be it structural elements or complex layouts, everything in Flutter is available with architecture. Flutter’s widget-based architecture brings the possibility of code reusability and also makes it easy to maintain and update apps with time.     

The Pain Points of Flutter

Indeed, Flutter has outstanding cross-platform development abilities and is also faced with various challenges. Let’s find out several challenges that developers most frequently face when using Flutter:

1. Learning Curve

As mentioned, Flutter uses the Dart programming language, which is new to many developers compared to other languages, including Kotlin or JavaScript. Therefore, the learning curve for Flutter is tough, especially for those who are beginners in mobile app development. 

2. Limited Native Modules

Flutter is packed with a wide range of widgets for creating user interface (UI), which may lack several native modules that are widely available in various platform-specific languages. Developers may face several challenges when integrating specific languages, including Swift or Java. 

3. Large App Size

Larger app sizes are one of the drawbacks of Flutter, especially when compared to native applications. It’s a significant concern, especially for many users with limited storage capability on devices or in several regions with slow internet connections. The larger app sizes also tend to impact the download and installation times. 

4. iOS App Store Approval

Submission of Flutter applications to the Apple App Store may, several times, be challenging, especially during the processing. Apple is known for its complex guidelines and also for deviating from native-like behaviors or issues that are directly related to performance, which may lead to rejection as well. 

5. Community Package Quality

The package ecosystem of Flutter is indeed extensive. Meanwhile, the quality of community-contributed packages tends to vary. Developers may need help with maintenance, documentation, or compatibility between packages.  

6. Customization Constraints

Flutter brings limited customization options. Developers find it quite tough when it comes to implementing some platform-specific design elements. It’s certainly stringent to balance uniformity with the need for several platform-specific aesthetics. 

7. Platform-Specific Bugs

Since Flutter is a cross-platform framework, it aims to minimize some platform-specific bugs. But it’s not capable of eliminating the bug directly. Apart from this, one may also encounter several issues, especially during updates or when using some particular features. Moreover, developers also need to have a thorough knowledge of underlying platforms.

10 Best Flutter Alternatives

While exploring information regarding Flutter, you may also be interested in knowing about its alternatives. Let’s check out several top alternatives of Flutter, which you can consider using for your project development. 

Best Flutter Alternatives

1. React Native

React Native is one of the popular alternatives for Flutter. It enables developers to use a single codebase on multiple platforms while developing apps. It follows the principles of learning once and writing from anywhere. 

Introduced in 2015 by Facebook, React Native is an open-source framework based on JavaScript. Being a developer-friendly framework, it’s a mobile-first platform that is capable of rendering mobile apps for multiple platforms, including iOS and Android.  

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Cross-platform development
  • Limitation accessibility to native modules
  • Code reusability
  • Larger app sizes
  • Live reload and hot reloading
  • Dependency on Facebook
  • Larger community and ecosystem

2. Xamarin

Developed and launched by Microsoft, Xamarin facilitates developers to build apps for iOS and Android by using C# and .NET. It ensures a seamless integration with Visual Studio and lets developers experience a fully familiar environment. The framework provides a single codebase and allows developers to perform app development rapidly. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Single codebases
  • Tough learning curve
  • Access to Native APIs
  • Larger file size
  • Code reusability
  • Smaller community and ecosystem
  • Native performance

3. NativeScript

NativeScript is another open-source framework that enables developers to create a fully native mobile app by leveraging TypeScript, JavaScript, Angular, etc. 

With the framework, developers get the option to craft a completely native experience even without interfering with the user interface. Those who are familiar with JavaScript can leverage NativeScript to its fullest.

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Rapid development
  • Smaller community size
  • Support for XML and CSS
  • Performance overhead
  • Angular Integration
  • Limitations in accessing native features
  • Larger Ecosystem

4. Ionic

Ionic is one of the popular alternatives to Flutter. With it, developers can use web technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, to create mobile and web apps. 

Ionic is mainly known for its simplicity and, thus, is an appropriate choice for those who have a small team or own startups. The framework is popular for its predesigned UI components, which catalyze the overall development process. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Less development cost
  • Unstable plugins
  • Feasible cross-mobile app development
  • Native functions are not available
  • Native plugins
  • Debugging can be challenging
  • Testability
  • Free and open-source

Struggling to Find the Right Cross-Platform Framework for Your Project?

Let us guide you to the ideal solution. Reach out today and let’s build something great together!
Contact Us

5. Vue Native

Vue Native is appropriate for developing native mobile apps. Those who are familiar with Vue.js can easily leverage Vue Native, which includes the same structure and syntax. It brings the possibility of reusing Vue.js components and can also be integrated seamlessly with several well-known state management libraries. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Higher performance
  • Limited popularity
  • Improve developer experience
  • Small community
  • Vast and active ecosystem
  • Native components 

6. PhoneGap (Apache Cordova)

Developed by Apache Cordova, PhoneGap is used extensively for developing cross-platform mobile with the use of several web technologies. It lets developers write code by using HTML, CSS & JavaScript and package it as a native app. Being a simple framework, it includes the largest collection of plugins that extend its wide functionality. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Open-source
  • Performance issues
  • Powerful backend
  • Limited support for 3rd party native plugins
  • Each apps act like native apps
  • Backed by Apache

7. SwiftUI

Developed by Apple, Swift UI is a declarative framework for developing user interfaces across multiple Apple platforms like iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. It also includes features like live preview, which makes it convenient for developers to see changes in real-time. It’s considered to be one of Flutter’s competitors when it comes to Apple-centric development. It doesn’t support non-Apple platforms. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Interoperability with UIkit
  • Less community and documentation support
  • Animations
  • Accessible only in iOS 13
  • Declarative syntax
  • Lack in flexibility
  • Multiple layout options

8. Kotlin Multiplatform

Developed by JetBrains, Kotlin is used by developers to build cross-platform apps. It lets developers share business logic across various platforms and also facilitates them to maintain separate UI components for each platform. Its interoperability with Swift codebase and Java makes it a perfect choice for those who work with different technologies. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Code sharing
  • Platform-specific UI code
  • Native performance
  • Complex setup 
  • Multiplatform development
  • Non-backward compatible changes
  • Interoperability
  • Limited resources
  • Higher development speed  

9. Fuse

FUSE presents an innovative approach to cross-platform app development, enabling developers to utilize JavaScript to create native mobile applications. With a focus on rapid prototyping and a web-oriented approach. FUSE simplifies the process of building apps with its pre-built modules and native feature integration.

Despite its limitations in flexibility and debugging support, FUSE remains a cost-effective solution, particularly suitable for simpler applications

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Limited Flexibility
  • Web-Oriented Approach
  • Debugging Support
  • Portability
  • Suitable for Simple Apps
  • JavaScript-based
  • Stability Concerns
  • Cost-effective
  • SDK Issues

10. Appcelerator Titanium

Appcelerator Titanium is one of the finest choices among those looking for a highly matured cross-platform framework. It enables developers to leverage TypeScript or JavaScript to create native mobile apps. 

It provides a range of various pre-built modules, which simplifies the integration of various native features. It ensures the native look, feel, and performance of apps. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Quick prototyping
  • Limited flexibility
  • Web-Oriented
  • Not enough debugging support
  • Portable
  • Appropriate only for developing simple apps
  • JavaScript-based
  • Unstable
  • Cost-effective
  • Issues related to SDK

Conclusion

So, above are some of the Flutter alternatives you can consider for your upcoming projects. To make the right selection, you should analyze the characteristics of your applications, which will help you make the most appropriate selection. You can also get in touch with a Flutter development company to go with the right option.

FAQs

01

Is Flutter losing popularity?

No, Flutter is gaining popularity today with its vast adoption among developers from all over the world.

02

Which is better, Swift or Flutter?

It depends on your actual requirements. If you are looking for a highly secure and performance-oriented framework, you should opt for Swift. Flutter is the right option for building speed and also an ability to accelerate time-to-market.

03

Is Kotlin more popular than Flutter?

No Flutter is highly popular when compared with Kotlin.

04

Is Flutter a backend or frontend?

As a framework, Flutter can be used for both front-end and back-end development.
About Author

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

fab_chat_icon fab_close