What Are the Differences Between Kotlin & Flutter?
This blog is updated on 25 November 2020.
Kotlin and Flutter are two major languages and frameworks which are widely used for mobile app development. Mobile apps have so much so become an integral part of our lives that right from booking an air ticket or hotel to ordering food, shopping apparel, ordering grocery, paying utility bills, everything is available just on a few taps.
The growing popularity and increase in demand for mobile applications have increased the demand for mobile application development companies that are efficient in developing numerous types of cross-platform applications.
Recently cross-platform apps have gained momentum as they are accessible from various platforms. Developers prefer these platforms for the ease of coding, less time consuming, and cost-effectiveness – as one code can be used for developing apps for multiple platforms.
A few years ago, developers used to rely on React Native and Flutter to develop a cross-platform app, and now technological advancements have introduced Kotlin.
Kotlin became the developer’s favorite because it offers a plethora of features and makes the app development process quite fun and hassle-free.
Kotlin Vs Flutter 2021: Google Trends Comparison
Let’s see Google trends comparison for both Kotlin and Flutter that makes you a clear idea about popularity.
Quick Comparison of Kotlin and Flutter
Here are the comparisons that help you to clear about Which is better kotlin or flutter?.
|Cost||Open-source and Free||Open-source and Free|
|Performance||Hot-reload functionality ensures app performance is not affected.||Efficient, secure, optimal and performs better.|
|Popularity||Despite being new to the market, Flutter has gained popularity in a very short span of time.||Kotlin is giving tough competition to Flutter as it is trending in Google search results.|
|Community||Flutter is backed by strong community support over GitHub.||Kotlin lacks community support over GitHub and other platforms.|
|Testing Support||In-built testing widgets and app testing features are available.||There is a rich set of units testing available, especially for Android Apps.|
|Integration||Flutter Integrates well with Android and iOS platforms.||Kotlin has multiplatform availability for the native environment.|
|UI Experience||Users can build a custom user interface with Flutter.||Kotlin allows users to have their native app experience.|
What are the differences between Kotlin and Flutter?
Kotlin is a programming language, and Flutter is a framework. As frameworks are meant to be a solution provider to particular problems, and hence there are many in-built functions in Flutter to successfully build a fully functional mobile app. And of course, programming language knows no limits in terms of app development.
Google supports both Kotlin and Flutter. Google has been supporting Kotlin since 2019, and Flutter, the open-source mobile app development framework, was created by Google. In this particular blog post, we will dive into a comparison of Kotlin and Flutter and help you identify the right choice for cross-platform app development needs.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source framework introduced in the year 2015 with an intention to prepare a market for Google Fuchsia. Flutter SDK enables the development of native-looking apps with the help of a single code. Over the years, Flutter had overcome many challenges and delivered efficient solutions resulting in Flutter becoming an ideal framework for developing cross-platform apps in no time.
Flutter is an ideal framework for developing apps for iOS, Android, Web, and Desktop-based applications.
Top brands that considered using Flutter are Google, the creator itself, Groupon, Square, Tencent, The New York Times, Alibaba, eBay, and more. These brand’s success stories developed curiosity amongst others to know the features of Flutter and whether or not it can benefit their business. Find below a glimpse of the advantages of Flutter.
Advantage of Flutter
Both Flutter, as well as Dart, are open-source and free to use programming language. Hence developers can check the documentation, post-development related queries in the developer’s forum, and learn and implement the code.
Flutter has this amazing Hot-Reload feature that allows you to see the reflected changes simultaneously aside from fixing the error, building the user interface, and even adding a particular feature without running the app from the start.
This scenario enables developers/ designers to decide whether the change looks perfect or sloppy and other elements of the application.
Same UI and Business Login in all platforms
Basically, Cross-platform frameworks provide a way to share codebase within the target platforms. But there are no app development frameworks that allow sharing the same UI and business login besides Flutter.
Flutter follows a single codebase structure enabling faster development as it does not require any platform-specific UI component to render its UI. Hence saving time and efforts of the developer and not compromising the performance of the end product.
This feature makes the framework stand out from the others available in the market.
Great performance similar to Native Apps
Application performance is most important for a good UX. With Flutter, application performance is not compromised at all, and it will be indistinguishable from any native app. In fact, it even runs better in complex UI animation scenarios. It is because the Flutter application is built directly into the machine code, hence eliminating the reliance on any intermediate code representation and performance bugs. With Flutter, you can get your application fully compiled and released before the schedule.
Support for Google Firebase
The Firebase integration enables developers to add backend facilities into the development environment.
Suitable for Creating MVPs and App Prototypes
Flutter allows creating applications for iOS and Android simultaneously, ultimately saving time, cost, and effort. This scenario makes Flutter an ideal choice for MVP development and creating prototypes that can be used in various projects such as fundraising/ charities etc.
Disadvantages of using Flutter
Still Immature Framework
Flutter has not been around technology for a longer time, and hence it is not stable yet. Developers face some of the other issues, and it lacks some advanced features that back the operating systems.
Flutter Apps are heavy to start
Apps built over Flutter occupy a lot of space on the device and take longer than usual to download or update the app.
Flutter and Dart are continually changing, making it difficult for developers to maintain the code in the longer run.
When to use Flutter?
For creating MVP – Minimum Viable Product
For apps that need to be ready in a short span of time, then Flutter is the best bet.
The robust hot-reload feature allows developers to progressively make changes to the app. If you know that the process requires a lot of time, then Flutter comes in as a handy solution.
Kotlin framework demands a simple set-up, even in those low-end PCs. They are allowing designers to access basic features like location and camera besides additional gadget support.
What is Kotlin?
It provides an unlimited scope of app development, and this is why it can be used for Android, iOS, Web, Desktop, and Backend development in Java frameworks.
Although Kotlin is still new in the market, surprisingly, some giants have embraced it to promote their business. Famous brands such as Chalk, Autodesk, Careem, VMware, Yandesk, Quizlet, Touchlab, and many more have chosen Kotlin over other apps.
Advantages of Kotlin
Not just any framework but a complete SDK
Experienced developers may know that Kotlin is a complete SDK. So when you plan to build an app over Kotlin, you need not shift the entire app. You can hire professional developers who are well versed with the Kotlin to first work on a single module and later plan to move other modules if everything else works perfectly.
Kotlin’s syntax is similar to other programming languages like Swift, Java, Groovy, and Scala – these languages are pretty easy to understand.
Reuse of Logic
Just like Xamarin and React Native, few other platforms require separate UI and enterprise logic. However, there is one thing dissimilar from others i.e., the shared logic and libraries within the UI layers. Kotlin developers can efficiently work on the local environmental factors such as JS for the internet, Swift, and XCode for iOS, Android Studio.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Kotlin allows designers to scale up the developed app without any virtual machine. This makes Kotlin a perfect choice for designers where it gives a future reservation of scalability and flexibility in the future.
Ease of Learning
The sentence structure, which is similar to Swift, Java, Scala, and Groovy, makes it easy for the developers to learn the language.
Disadvantages of Kotlin
Still Not Java
Agreed that they both are similar, but at the core, these two are different code languages. Developers find it difficult to navigate from one to another unless they have a thorough understanding of Kotlin.
At instances, Kotlin works faster than Java while performing incremental builds. However, one should keep in mind and remember that Java will stay incomparable when we talk about clean building.
Less Kotlin professionals/developers
Although Kotlin is widespread, accessible and popular, the amounts of Kotlin professionals/developers are very less. The reason being Kotlin developers requires in-depth knowledge about the language, and it is difficult to find Kotlin experienced professionals.
Limited resources to learn
The number of developers moving to Kotlin has increased, but there is a limited number of developer’s communities available to learn this language or solve any issue during the development process. With limitations in learning resources, a lot of developers are holding back to step forward from becoming experts.
When to use Kotlin?
Integrating Additional Features
Kotlin functions seamlessly with Java and any Java tools. Essentially if you wish to add highlights to your current mobile app, at that point, instead of patching up the entire development process or changing the platform, effective use of Kotlin can serve the purpose.
Easy to understand Syntax
Applications that demand substantial coding, Kotlin can be used.
Kotlin’s quick compiler feature is smart enough to look through bugs and ensure they do not return naturally. You can say Kotlin is more secure compared to JAVA and proactively reports bugs and resolves issues instantly.
Which is best for Android development? Kotlin or Flutter?
As far as Flutter and Kotlin are concerned, the development of both the native as well as cross-platform mobile apps, both the platforms are said to be reliable and intend to reduce the time and expense involved in the app development besides improved app performance.
Both platforms are supported by Google, which is an assurance in itself that both platforms will be dominating the technology marketplaces in the near future.
As per our observation, Flutter has performed a little better compared to Kotlin. However, based on your project needs and technology requirements, you can make your own choice.
Should I learn Kotlin or flutter?
Both the Kotlin and Flutter are good in development but the research says that the Flutter is better than Kotlin as you can see above Google trends comparison and discussed factors. However, the learning curve depends upon your interest, project requirement and app platform.
If you are in a dicey situation to decide which platform to choose from Flutter vs. Kotlin and need a technology consultation, feel free to reach out to us by commenting below or contact us, and our experts at Technostacks will be delighted to assist you.