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Flutter vs Kotlin: Which One to Choose | Major Difference Between the Both

author
Parth Kotecha
~ 14 min read
Flutter vs Kotlin

Summary: Today’s technology is a booming market with exciting and innovative software developments. With increased tech adaption, millennials drive their SMEs and entrepreneurs towards the digital space. So, with every groundbreaking tech stack emergence from consumers to developers, everyone is curious to know more about the app solutions world. In this blog, our experienced app developers have discussed the most popular cross-platform app developments- Flutter vs Kotlin. Let’s have a good read at Flutter vs Kotlin and know which one is better for your solution.

What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job that customers want to be done- Tim O’Reilly

We have come a long way from single-platform app development to multiple ones. Technological advancements have turned the tables in reaching and engaging customers in every niche. The burning question in everyone’s mind is how to develop a successful and trend-setting solution. Which tech stack should we use?

In the middle of these questions, the emergence of cross-platform development gave a new turn to the app development cycle. The developers and organizations started looking at the new development framework and technologies, making them popular.

Cross-platform app development gained new hype. It is the best alternative to native development. The major reason for this popularity is that it allows running apps on multiple iOS and Android platforms. Also, reduces the overall cost, increases engagement on both platforms at a time, through a single codebase, and more. Before moving to the Kotlin vs Flutter differentiation, let’s look at some cross-platform development criteria and statistics of the app world.

Cross-Platform App Development

In this ever-competing world, everyone is after accessing things instantly. Instant service is achievable by deploying applications on all the leading platforms. With the advent of React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Nodejs, and more, the cross-platform functionalities got easier. 

How will one decide to opt for cross-platform development?

  • Suppose you plan to have your service for multiple platforms or desire to reuse the code, design, or database. And plan to maintain app visibility.
  • If UI is your major concern, cross-platform application tools can deploy identical UI designs across the platforms. It also gives the app acceptability in the digital world.
  • Most important the deadline for deploying an application. It plays a crucial role in selecting a framework, as the development time varies a lot between each platform.
  • If you are looking to develop a complex app, then cross-platform development is a feasible choice. 
  • If you want to develop a native app specifically for iOS or Android, you can create an app of better quality with cross-platform advancements.

Now, let’s look at the overall app development world and the popularity of such cross-platform software solutions across the globe.

Global App Development Statistics

  • The size of the worldwide market for mobile applications, which was USD 206.85 billion in 2022, is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2023 to 2030. These statistics strongly showcase the futuristic demand for applications across the platforms.
  • The global consumer spending on the store increased by 30% in the first half of 21 compared to the same time in 2020, while the App Store grew by 22.1 %.
  • According to a Sensor Tower report, global app spending increased by about 1% annually to $65 billion in the first half of 2022.
global consumer spending

Seeing the real hype over the years, if someone is eyeing the mobile app development industry, you should vouch for cross-platform. Easy-to-deploy solutions with minimalistic coding and easy updates.

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What are the core benefits of cross-platform development? What are its main benefits?

Benefits of Cross-Platform App Development

Marketing Strength

Now that such developments are encouraging you to develop apps on all the known digital platforms, it is natural that you will engage with more audiences at once. As a brand, you can target almost 99.4% of mobile users by deploying solutions with cross-platform advancements. 

Short time to develop

You can easily focus on the app’s marketing as the development time is way less than the other development advancements. One will have a similar UI & codebase. The only thing to alter is the app’s development per the store guidelines. Thus, it does help accelerate the software development lifecycle. 

Less workload

When you are developing an app, you prefer to hire dedicated developers for your platform, i.e. for iOS, you are likely to hire an iOS developer, and for Android, you are likely to hire Android developers. But, when you opt for cross-platform, you only need to hire a cross-platform developer. It is cost-effective and easy to communicate way. For developers, it also has less workload in a short time.

Faster development

The project developers get time to build a secured coding set for your app and the perk of reusability. Cross-platform development uses pre-written, reusable code rather than creating new code. It shortens the testing phase and speeds up the development process overall. 

Expert advice: The cross-platform application helps reduce overall software development costs. So, if you are eyeing to deploy applications with qualitative functionalities and speedy development, the world is going gaga over the ever-evolving cross-platform frameworks. Try it out for yourself to experience the difference.

Cloud integration

With a single source code, cross-platform integrates easily with cloud-based technology. It will increase the user experience significantly and make your application secure and accessible to the mass in no time.

Flutter vs Kotlin: The Overview

Flutter 

Flutter programming language is a Google-built UI toolkit. One can easily deploy web, mobile, desktop, and other embedded devices. Successful cross-platform development is possible by using Dart as the programming language and generating a single code.

Moreover, it is known as the most popular library and framework of 2022. 12.64% of developers use Flutter for their effective solution development.

Most used libraries and frameworks among developers
Source: Statista

Major advantages of using Flutter:-

  • Fast development:  Flutter enables rapid development by providing a user-friendly UI, customizable widgets, easy reloading, and fast bug fixing. Thus, developers can leverage a range of widgets to create fully native interfaces quickly and efficiently.   
  • Native performance: Flutter provides full native performance by addressing critical platform differences, including scrolling, navigation, fonts, and more, through its programming language. And so it ensures that the app runs seamlessly and performs optimally on different platforms.
  • Easy coding: Dart, the programming language used in Flutter, simplifies coding and enables developers to create fully functional apps with minimal code. Thus, this approach makes it easier to perform routine tasks efficiently, streamlining the development process and allowing developers to focus on more complex tasks.
  • Growing popularity: Flutter is gaining popularity as people adapt the framework at lightning speed. Dart, the programming language, is extensively used to effectively deploy cross-platform apps without issues. However, it might become a go-to option for programmers across the globe.
5 Apps Developed using Flutter

Disadvantages of Flutter App Development:-

  • Performance issues on iOS 
  • Large file sizes 
  • Lack of third-party libraries and integrations
  • Dart language

Kotlin

Why is Kotlin used for Android app development? What is the difference between Kotlin and Kotlin multiplatform? How does a Kotlin framework known for a better performance app? Give a break to your mind; our experts have answered it all for you.

An open-source computer language called Kotlin was created to work with Java. Moreover, the excellent capabilities of this framework make Java look primitive. The advancement also saves much time and makes the process hassle-free.

Also, with Kotlin multiplatform, developers can exchange code, logic, and data across various platforms, including iOS, Android, the web, and more.

Major advantages of using Kotlin:-

  • Java-compatible: Kotlin for Android is Java’s object-oriented nature. The programming language allows hassle-free migration from Java to Kotlin. A user can easily maintain existing apps with Java and develop new Kotlin ones. And so, it easily converts applications one file at a time without disrupting the process. 
  • Clear & compact coding: Kotlin’s simple syntax makes your code concise. It makes a development team efficient by saving them time through minimal coding. Less coding means free bugs, especially when the framework handles all the mundane coding. It allows for a reliable, simple, accelerated app development process. 
  • Imposes no runtime overhead: The majority of the standard library’s contents are Java standard library extensions, making it small and concentrated. Due to the extensive use of compile-time inlining, functional structures like map/filter/reduce pipelines compile similarly to an imperative form of the same code.
  • Strong community: The community behind the development of Kotlin is constantly evolving the programming language. And thus, they are improving their quality with each passing day.
5 Apps Developed using Kotlin

Disadvantages of Kotlin App Development:-

  • Lower compilation speed than Java 
  • Fewer Kotlin experts

So, by now, you have understood the idea of Flutter & Kotlin individually. Further, you will read the specific parameters on which our app developers have differentiated the framework for you.

What is Kotlin Multiplatform?

It is a significantly higher version of the ‘Write Once, Run Anywhere’ phenomenon. The 2017 invention with Kotlin 1.2 consists of the following perks.

  • Issue-solving platform-specific dependencies
  • Code once and target multiple platforms
  • It also allows to include platforms like Linux, Windows, and the web (JavaScript)
  • Business logic code from a single codebase for Android and iOS

Over time, the advancement has seen steady growth. From a user perspective, it still has to go a long way.

Kotlin Multiplatform Growth

How Does Kotlin Multiplatform Work?

Kotlin Multiplatform is a technology that enables developers to write shared code that can be used across multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS, and the web.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Developers write Kotlin code that contains shared logic and functionality, such as business logic, data models, and utility functions.
  2. The shared Kotlin code is then compiled into platform-specific libraries, such as Android libraries (AAR files) and iOS frameworks (framework files).
  3. Developers can then use these platform-specific libraries to build native apps for Android and iOS.
  4. Since the shared Kotlin code is compiled into platform-specific libraries, it can leverage the native platform APIs and UI frameworks, allowing the app to look and feel like a native app on each platform.
  5. The shared Kotlin code can also be used to build web applications, either by compiling the code to JavaScript or by using Kotlin/JS, a variant of Kotlin that can run in a web browser.

Overall, Kotlin Multiplatform provides a way for developers to write code once and use it across multiple platforms while still leveraging the native APIs and frameworks of each platform. It can lead to faster development cycles, reduced code duplication, and improved code maintainability.

Benefits of Kotlin Multiplatform

  • Faster development
  • Improved code quality
  • Maintainable code

Kotlin Multiplatform VS Flutter: Is Kotlin Multiplatform Better than Flutter?

Flutter is a superior option because it offers various widgets, facilitating quick and effective platform-specific designing. The lack of widgets in Kotlin makes it more difficult for developers to create apps.

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Flutter VS Kotlin: The Ultimate Comparision

If we look into the popularity and overall reach among the developers and users, Flutter wins the battle in comparison to Kotlin. 

Flutter VS Kotlin: The Ultimate Comparison

#1 Kotlin VS Flutter: Performance

Flutter app development provides the facility of using the same language in the front-end and back-end. Also, such functionality helps in improved speed and qualitative performance. It also has hot reloading, which allows developers to make new changes in the code in real time without reinstallation.

On the other hand, Kotlin organizes the code as per its targeted platform’s format. Thus, this facility makes the framework much easier to customize and provides higher performance.

#2 Flutter VS Kotlin: UI Experience

The former was formed as an SDK to support UI development. It offers unique widgets that accelerate development. The programming language provides an app solution that is quick and efficient.

In contrast, Kotlin gives developers the flexibility to create one-of-a-kind software based on their expertise. It does not have any pre-conceived guidelines. Thus, developers get control over the app’s appearance and conduct. 

#3 Kotlin VS Flutter: Popularity

This one is very important. Popularity automatically speaks about user favorite, developer’s preference, and a brand’s likeability. Among the other cross-platform mobile app frameworks, Flutter has been at the top. Kotlin must still work its way up, as the latter has set the bar way high in offering features, functionalities, and widgets.

#4 Flutter VS Kotlin: Compatible with third-party libraries & tools

The former interacts quickly with third-party tools and libraries since it is an SDK. While in Kotlin multiplatform, the development is done in the native ecosystem. An app developer can deploy its existing libraries and tools, SwiftUI, Jetpack Compose, and all the others used in native development.

When Flutter is a good choice?

The Flutter mobile app development significantly saves time and development costs. It is a great choice for developing MVP apps with limited time and resources. Thus, the framework works best where one has to develop a user-engaging application, majorly for an online store, Fintech app, or business app.

When Kotlin is a good choice? 

Java developers widely use Kotlin. It tries to overcome several drawbacks of Java. Moreover, the framework helps develop existing and cross-platform apps and write server-side code in Kotlin. It is the best choice to start a project on Android for cross-platform applications, regardless of their size and complexities.

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Kotlin vs Flutter: Key Differences

CriteriaFlutterKotlin
DefinitionFramework from GoogleObject-oriented programming language targeting JVM and JavaScript
Developed byGoogleJetBrains
Releases20172011
Supportive PlatformsAndroid, iOS, Google, Linux, macOS, WindowsAndroid, JVM, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux
App SizeBiggerLess than Flutter
PerformanceNative performance on all platformsSlower but overall compatible with other platforms
CommunityFast-growing communityEvolving community
Best FeaturesHot reload, fully customized widgets, and platform awareness for UIsInteroperability with Java, concise, safe, and functional programming support

Which one’s better?

Both frameworks have the capability of changing the future of cross-platform. The advancements offer the best performance and save time for software developers. Each programming language has advantages and disadvantages. But both are significantly the best in the market.

Kotlin has been here long, and Flutter has been around for a while. It is too early to say which one will excel over the other, as many digital innovations will come. Meanwhile, if you plan to develop an app on either of the two platforms, consult an experienced mobile app development company like us. And thus, our developers will guide you based on the idea, budget, feature complexity, and development period.

FAQs

1. Should I choose Flutter or Kotlin? 

The former’s rapid integration simplifies the testing process with iOS and Android. Kotlin, on the other hand, does not require integration. Kotlin is cross-platform, allowing programmers to use their preferred native framework. Thus, it makes it easier for developers to create cross-platform apps using native tools.

2. What are the benefits of cross-platform apps?

  • Deploying software on the same platform at once
  • Faster time to market
  • One source code
  • Easy updates and maintenance
  • Wider audience
  • Easy-to-implement

3. When should you choose Flutter?

A flutter is cheap, allowing a single code to run on desktop, macOS, web, and mobile platforms. So, you save on the cost of hiring developers for different platforms. Write the code once and deploy your advancement digitally.

4. When should you choose Kotlin?

If you want to easily understand and read code with clean syntax, opt for Kotlin. It also helps maintain the code quality and deploys apps with smaller code volumes on the Android platform. So if you want to make an Android-centric app, Kotlin is the answer.

flutter vs kotlinkotlin vs flutter

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