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Kotlin vs Flutter: The game changers of Cross-Platform App Development from Google

avantikashergil profile image Avantika Shergil ・6 min read

Over the past decade, mobile apps have become the pivot or the fundamental pillar around which a successful modern-day business organization is built. If you have expert app developers by your side, your business has a definite edge over your competitors.

With the expansion of mobile technology, more and more entrepreneurs and developers are relying on cross-platform apps so as to expand their user base in a budget-friendly manner. For years, top business houses have relied on React Native and Flutter app development to fulfill their cross platform app needs.

Best Flutter app developers help the businesses to develop state-of-the-art cross-platform apps with limited resources without compromising on the quality of the app.

Meanwhile, Kotlin, due to its advantages, has become the favorite of many among the leading mobile app development companies and is giving stiff competition to Flutter app development, leaving everyone confused about which platform to choose for cross-platform app development.

Therefore, without much ado, we’ll try to paint a clear picture of the overall comparison between Kotlin and Flutter app development.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a framework and in more literal form can be defined as a modern app development kit that is designed to build excellent mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Google Fuchsia. It was first released by Google in the year 2015. The SDK helps in creating native-looking apps by using a single code base. The dedicated Flutter app developers build apps that are compatible with Android and iOS with equal consistency.

Advantages of Flutter

  • Flutter is an open-source and free to use software development kit. Thus, the developers here have the luxury to view the documentation and post the queries to the developer forum.
  • Flutter has Firebase integration. Therefore, the developers can add the backend facility in the app or web development realm.
  • It lowers the timeline and cost of app development as Flutter uses single codebase for both iOS and Android platforms

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and it was developed to make the programming language more reliable for any design. The app development codes used in Kotlin are considered to be trustworthy and reliable.

Kotlin, which was also developed by Google, has emerged as one of the most immediately adopted languages in the world. It is uniquely interoperable with its functional pieces and Java.

Brief Introduction of Kotlin Multiplatform

Kotlin Multiplatform is a feature of Kotlin language that enables the developers to run Kotlin in Native desktop applications, iOS, and JavaScript. Thus, Kotlin Multiplatform is a method to share codes between multiple platforms.

Advantages of Kotlin

  • Kotlin has a syntax that is similar to the top programming languages such as Swift, and thus it becomes easier for the app developer to learn Kotlin.
  • Kotlin is an SDK, and thus you don't need to shift the entire application. You can begin with a single feature and then gradually integrate other functionalities and aspects.
  • The Kotlin multiplatform combines the code, which is precisely the same as the targeted platform. Thus it provides excellent performance at par with the native counterparts.

Weighing the Cross-Platform App giants on different scales of Merits

Both Kotlin and Flutter have a myriad of advantages, and thus it becomes crucial to compare both the platforms on various parameters.

Performance

The most significant advantage that companies have while opting for Flutter is that it provides hot reloading functionality. This feature makes it easier for the users to make any kind of modifications at the backend and then view the difference it makes at the front-end.

Thus, the flutter developers get a clear idea about the changes they make in real-time, thus reducing the time taken for app development.

Kotlin language makes the cross-platform app development process more reliable with better performance as compared to the native counterparts. Kotlin Multiplatform compiles the code in the precisely same format that is desired for the targeted platform.

Thus, the cross platform apps built with Kotlin match performance with their native counterparts.

Enhance UI Experience

The perks of working with the Flutter Platform is that the app developers manage to get the opportunity to utilize various types of widgets in the app development environment.

Thus, the apps developed using flutter makes it really easy for the end-user to have a constructive mobility solution that is faster and has enhanced and customized look and feel.

There is no need to follow any kind of instruction to create a UI in Kotlin Multiplatform. The UI developers working with Kotlin will have the luxury of experimenting with the behavior, performance, and appearance of the mobile app in the same manner as they would do in a native app.

Platform Supporting Testing

Expert app developers working with Flutter will have the luxury of working with a rich set of testing features. Flutter provides test features for the mobile app at the unit, widget, and integration level.

Proper documentation of testing is done by Flutter on the flutter apps. It has a very unique widget testing feature, which allows the user to examine the widgets in order to see the UI and operate them at the speed of the unit tests.

As far as Kotlin is concerned, the Kotlin platform has major advantages if you consider working with the backend development services. By far, the app development platform is regarded as the best backend development service provider.

Unlike Flutter, Kotlin multiplatform allows the app developers to develop the backend code. Flutter operates with Firebase in order to have sufficient backend development opportunities.

Working with Third-party Library and Tools

Flutter provides the functionality of developing state of the art mobile app that works consistently on both iOS and Android platforms. Flutter, as a cross-platform app development platform, fills the gap with a prime focus on native performance, elegant UI, and improved productivity.

Thus, Flutter becomes the ideal platform for MVP development for the company. The MVP development with Flutter can be done while creating a prototype.

While Kotlin Multiplatform operates within the native ecosystems, there is no need to build one. The good choice mobile app development service providers can operate with the same tools from the native ecosystem. Their libraries involve SwiftUI and Jetpack compose.

This clearly indicates that Kotlin requires third party libraries and the tools in order to connect the combinations and be at par with the native app environment.

Market Popularity

There are high chances that your product will flourish in the marketplace if you work with the top flutter app developers. Flutter as an app development platform is rapidly expanding and is becoming the first choice of the renowned app developers.

Since it is developed by Google, the search engine giant is planning to make Flutter big in the mobile technology realm in the future.The app developers find Flutter very easy to understand and work with .

As compared to Flutter, Kotlin is still in the nascent or an experimental stage. Thus, the documentation and community support is comparatively less as to Flutter. But, it is expected that in the future as Kotlin multiplatform becomes stable in the marketplace, the community support, as well as the documentation, will increase.

Thus, the future looks bright for Kotlin, as many companies will opt for Kotlin.

Coding the final Line

Recently, there has been a spike in the number of businesses looking for efficient cross-platform app developers as there are plenty of frameworks and platforms to support the development of cross platforms or hybrid apps in the best way possible.

If you are looking for native as well as cross platform application development, working with Flutter or Kotlin multiplatform remains a reliable option. Both the platforms have a common aim of decreasing the time taken for developing the app and increasing the mobile app’s performance. Both platforms can be used for app development purpose as they work consistently with both iOS and Android platforms.

Organizations need to realize the expectations and requirements before opting for a platform to develop an app. An expert app developer or an app development firm can be your perfect ally in defining the app requirement and easing the process of mobile app development.

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Avantika Shergil

@avantikashergil

An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co, coordinating and managing the technical and functional areas.

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Kotlin was developed by JetBrains and adopted by Google and others for their platforms.