Today, almost every business is invested in building its digital footprint. For some businesses, especially in the health-tech, fintech, and sports/gaming sectors, building a robust online application is a critical part of their business model. Building a state-of-the-art app comes at a financial and labor cost. Companies want to go to market faster to stay competitive.
This journey has been accelerated, with the use of Flutter, Google’s User Interface (UI) toolkit that has simplified the app-building process. Released in May 2017 by Google, Flutter is a free-to-use, open-source UI software development kit, used to develop cross-platform applications for mobile, web, and desktop, from a single codebase.
In May 2021, yet another innovation simplified the ability to build an app for iOS, Android, web, and desktop. FlutterFlow, built by two ex-Google engineers, is a drag-and-drop interface. In this blog, I pack in what is FlutterFlow, its benefits, and features, and why it is such a revolutionary tool, for those building dynamic tech-enabled businesses.
What is FlutterFlow?
FlutterFlow is an online browser-based app builder that enables users to create native cross-platform applications. This is a third-party visual app builder for the Flutter framework, enabling app builders to accelerate the process significantly. However, the most important feature is that it can be built with literally no code. This app builder has a highly intuitive interface, which helps businesses expedite the amount of time needed to take an app to market. The product was created by two former Google engineers, Abel Mengistu and Alex Greaves. In October 2022, FlutterFlow’s 2.0 version was launched with additional features. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
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What is FlutterFlow used for?
Building a superior quality app is an expensive and effort-insensitive journey. Developers need to create tons of code to pull off a market-ready app. Using FlutterFlow greatly simplifies the process. This enables developers, entrepreneurs, and organizations to build apps “10X faster”, according to the creators of FlutterFlow. incredibly fast in your browser. It brings down the cost and time needed to build completely functional apps, with animations, push notifications, API support, and firebase integration. Using FlutterFlow enables the complete design and development of an app through the use of just one tool. One can get easily started. Kickstart a new project in your browser, and use the drag-and-drop mechanism to build your app.
What language does FlutterFlow use?
FlutterFlow uses Dart code, which is the language used by Flutter. Dart language comes with many advanced features. For instance, one code can be written, and the tool allows it to be compiled into the architecture of various platforms.
Also, Read: Flutter For MVP Development - Why Is It The Best Choice?
Top FlutterFlow Features
Snapshot of flutter flows features that make it so seamless to use.
- It lets you build an app without writing code. This is one of the most attractive features of FlutterFlow, which opens up the doors of app creation to a wide range of users such as designers, entrepreneurs, and early-stage developers.
- You can build apps for iOS, Android, web, and desktop, simultaneously, which pretty much covers the spectrum of a wide range of devices and users. Hence, the apps can have greater reach. You also save the amount of time needed to build apps for both systems as you can build a boat at the same time.
- You can access readymade UI templates and components. These include over 50 screen templates, and individual/ group chat templates. Bring vibrance to the app with widget animations, and Lottie and Rive animations.
- With a single click it is possible to send push notifications to all users, and trigger engagement.
- A growing number of users are prioritizing the dark more, today. FlutterFlow enables users to switch to dark mode based on their preferences.
- You can leverage third-party integrations such as Stripe and Braintree, for instance, which enable e-commerce and payment solutions. This saves the time spent on manual integrations while enabling monetization avenues for apps.
- Other third-party integrations include OpenAI, Algolia, CodeMagic, and RevenueCat.
- Setting up a data infrastructure is important for the success of any app. FlutterFlow lets your app connect to live data, using Firebase.
- User authentication is one of the key requirements for any secure app today. FlutterFlows powers seamless user registration, log-in, and authentication by integrating Firebase, Google, and Facebook log-ins.
- FlutterFlow’s GitHub configuration enables easy linkage of app projects to the ever-growing GitHub repository. This integration enables app creators to leverage all GitHub benefits.
- You still own the source code which can be easily downloaded and used to build your app.
- You can access guided troubleshooting, which empowers you to quickly address any roadblocks, through real-time feedback and course correction.
- If a team with multiple members is building an app, the FlutterFlow framework offers easy collaboration between team members.
FlutterFlow pros and cons
Water flow comes with a 4.5 rating on GetApp, and 5 on ProductHunt, performing well on aspects like value for money, ease of use, features, and customer support. Here’s a snapshot of FlutterFlow's pros and cons.
- This is a useful tool for those with limited technical expertise looking to build apps. For instance, it is used by non-technical designers and entrepreneurs, looking to value-add to existing services.
- A feature-rich tool that simplifies a lot of processes otherwise involved in building apps.
- A user-friendly tool with a visual approach to building an app, through its drag-and-drop interface
- The app offers trouble-shooting support, all the way, which is especially useful for new users, and app builders.
- The tool has sharing features, and enables team collaboration between members of a team or project, building an app, together.
- There are several video and text Flutterflow Tutorials available to help designers, and other app creators learn how to use this tool from scratch.
- The tool does not create access to boilerplate functions and utilities, making it difficult to scale an app.
- This may not be the tool of choice for professional developers who are looking to build apps on a different quality and scale spectrum.
- FlutterFlow does not come with a workflow builder. This makes it tough to add complex logic and processes properly.
- Despite the ease of use, FlutterFlow users may need to invest in some training to get savvy with usage. This may take up to three to four weeks, minimum. Hence, if you are looking to get your app up and running in a few days, you may need to hire someone with more domain expertise.
Also, Read: Flutter for startups: Build Mobile Apps with Flutter
Now that you have understood what FlutterFlow is all about, you can make an informed decision on how you can go about building your application. It is prudent to understand the long-term goal of your app, and how it ties into your business goals. For long-lasting, sustainable businesses, an app is an extension of the brand. A secure, user-friendly, feature-rich app provides long-term value to customers and clients. It must also inspire confidence and trust in the business, because a lot of sensitive data may be at stake. Hence, evaluate the needs of the app from a customer perspective, before deciding on the development approach.
If you are looking to build an app using flutter and FlutterFlow, reach out for a conversation. Schedule a meeting today to talk with our team. How about we make an application of your dreams?