Flutter Web: A fresh perspective to web development

When it comes to web development, Angular and React will be the technologies that first come to the minds of developers and solution architects. Both technologies have been around for some time and they both matured well enough. It is in this arena where Flutter Web got introduced by Google and they did it to provide developers with a more performant, responsive, and streamlined approach for building cross-platform mobile and web applications, leveraging its unique features and capabilities. So, let’s see how Flutter Web brings a fresh perspective to web development.

Salient Features:

  • Fast performance: When Angular and React use JavaScript for rendering web applications, Flutter uses compiled language, Dart which provides native-like performance, faster load times and smooth animations. Also, unlike Angular and React which use JavaScript bridge, Flutter Web uses a rendering engine called Skia, which enables it to render UI components directly to the canvas. This results in improved performance and reduced overhead.
  • Single codebase: In Flutter, we can use a single codebase for both mobile and web platforms. The developers who create Flutter mobile apps can also leverage the same code base to develop a web application. This helps to avoid onboarding new resources for web application development.
  • Hot Reload: Flutter Web enables developers to perform development activities quickly with the help of the hot reload feature and widgets. Hot reload helps users to see the changes they make instantly without the need to restart the application.
  • Rich UI Components: Flutter Web provides a rich set of UI components and widgets that can be used to build beautiful and interactive web applications. These components are highly customizable and can be easily adapted to match the branding and design requirements of the application. Angular and React also offer UI component libraries, but Flutter’s widgets provide a more consistent and cohesive user interface across platforms.

Apart from these, in Google I/O 2023, Flutter Web 3.10 is introduced and the updates available in it excited the developer community even further.

Latest features in Flutter Web 3.10:

  • PWA support: Progressive Web Apps is a combination of some of the best features of mobile and web apps. PWAs are designed to provide a native-like experience to users, even when accessed through a web browser. Flutter Web 3.10 supports this helping developers to expand their web development capabilities.
  • Improved performance: With each update, Flutter Web undergoes performance enhancements to deliver an even smoother and faster experience. Flutter’s rendering engine and optimizations continue to evolve, resulting in improvements in rendering speed, reduced overhead, and better resource management. These performance enhancements make Flutter Web an ideal choice for building high-performance web applications.
  • Accessibility Improvements: Accessibility is a crucial aspect of web development, and Flutter Web has made notable improvements in this area. The framework offers support to screen readers, keyboard navigation, and other assistive technologies, ensuring that web applications built with Flutter are accessible to users with disabilities. This inclusivity makes Flutter Web a standout choice for developers aiming to create inclusive and user-friendly applications.

We have gone through all the positives of using Flutter Web, but like every coin having two sides, it has a few drawbacks too. First, it should be more SEO-friendly. Also, Flutter Web is relatively new so it has fewer third-party libraries when compared to Angular or React.

Flutter Web can be a good choice for web application development, especially if you value a single codebase, customizable UI, and high performance. A strong foundation and constant updates make Flutter and Flutter Web a favourite among the developer community. By showcasing the latest features available in Flutter 3.10, Google passively announced that Flutter and Flutter Web are here to stay. However, it’s important to evaluate your specific project requirements, team expertise, and long-term goals before making a decision.

Author Details

Nithin Thampi

Nithin Thampi is a Technology Lead who has expertise in mobile and backend technologies for digital transformation programmes at Infosys Digital Experience. He is part of the Intellectual Property and Products Development team, and he is also the platform lead for Orbit. He is experienced with the Azure cloud platform as well.

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