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Getting hands dirty with Flutter

An Android Developer point of view.



 I have never been a fan of cross-platforms until Flutter came by. Actually, it was my first experience with cross-platforms. Never have I ever tried React Native, Ionic or whatever. But what was intriguing about Flutter? Well, since I am a Google fan and a Native Android Developer, i thought I should give it a try.

Jumping into Flutter was pretty easy. They have simple documentation comparing to the Android Developers documentation, and I think it has a lot more details and better best-practices. Also, Android Studio supports flutter development by just installing Dart and Flutter plugins. So the only real configuration I made was telling Android Studio where my Flutter SDK location was.

In order not to transfer this article to a tutorial, I'm just going to point out, what I think Flutter development is comparing to Android.

Honestly, Flutter is simpler.
Even though I was an inexperienced programmer when I started Android, I remember a lot of struggles when having to face a bug or implement something new in Android. I expected to face more trouble with the State, since should have been a new concept but I got into it pretty quick.

Dart > XML for design
The easiest thing I'm going to point out here, is a BottomNavigationView, or a BottomNavigationBar (flutterly speaking). While in native code you have to care a lot about what happens when you press one element of the Navigation, in Flutter it's pretty simple:

However, I still think as a Flutter beginner that the syntax is pretty strange comparing to the heavy Java and Kotlin structure (and Java's verbosity of course).

There are a lot of Widgets
 Looks like I had to google a lot about implementing the right widget. I admit that I should have read the docs more, but still, widgets in Flutter are too many comparing to the Android Development views.
  
I loved lists.
A pain in the Android world is RecyclerViews and Adapters. They are not hard, but every time I have to create a list and display some data, I have this immediate reactions: "Oh great. Another adapter". In Flutter ListViews or GridViews were just too good.

Futures were great.
 While Android has made a lot of improvements in Futures (or Deferred responses to be exact), still, I loved the way dart manages asynchronous methods:

Adding some FutureBuilder support, Flutter Futures are just sweet.

Note, one thing I learned in Flutter, is that if I'm overthinking how to solve the case, perhaps I'm doing it all wrong or know nothing about the problem.

Kotlin > Dart
Yea, Kotlin is a better language to program comparing to dart. They do look the same in some cases but my experience with Kotlin has always been very easy.

Flutter lags a little
Perhaps I didn't google enough, and my loading images had a high quality, but I did experienced lags and shakes especially on the web (even though we know web build it's still not ready for production yet).  

I still don't know why can't I build a debug version for the web
The localhost:WHATEVER doesn't load a thing (The page was always blank. I didn't find much in Google, if you can help please share.), while building a release was pretty easyOne thing to keep in mind is that you must prepare the project to support web. Overall it's just 4 commands on the terminal.

TypeScript > KotlinJS > Dart.js on the web-perspective.
Well, even though I'm not experienced in the web development at all, I have tried Angular and I still think that no language is able to compile to JavaScript better then TypeScript.


Project overview: Just retreive some data from some API and make some List Rendering, usual things


The web version: (recently changed to new design)


IOS:

Since I own an Android device, I'm using XCode's Emulator

Android:

Since I own an Android device, this is just a screenshot from it.

The performance is nearly the same.

Best of luck.

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