The developer community is embracing cross-platform application development toolkits. They are mainly characterized by cross-platform code usability, or reusable UI elements. One of the most well-known frameworks is Flutter, powered by Google. By choosing a core that allows creating projects for different operating systems simultaneously, the originators save on development time and financial aspects. Besides, this technology provides many valuable features, such as hot-reloading (reloading the application in a few hundred milliseconds), composing the interface from aesthetic and well-designed components (widgets). Collecting all these advantages, it is clear why more and more products are created in this particular framework. Thus, it is worth presenting the best examples of Flutter mobile apps.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source, cross-platform framework used for mobile app development, based on native iOS and Android interfaces. It was introduced in 2018 and showcased at one of Google’s conferences for developers. The main reasons why Flutter has become so popular among developers are:
- Hot Reload function, thanks to it, the application development process is faster because programmers have the possibility of previewing changes in the code on the fly without having to recompile the application. This allows for speedier bug fixing, testing, and checking various code elements, user interfaces;
- OEM independence, Flutter uses its high-performance rendering engine to draw widgets, rather than WebView or OEM widgets shipped with the device as is done in most other application building options;
- UI based on embedded widgets, during application development, several isolated, independent, and reusable UI blocks are created, which in the next step are composed to compose a complete UI. Flutter provides Material Design and Cupertino widgets, flexible APIs for 2D, animation, effects, and gestures.
Best examples of Flutter mobile apps
Since Flutter became a recognized tool for mobile app development and investors recognized its business advantages, more and more applications are created using this open-source. I have selected the most exciting applications created in Flutter, each of them representing a different category, which shows how broadly Flutter is used in mobile app development.
While presenting the best examples of flutter apps, it is impossible not to mention Google Ads – an application created by Google (just like Flutter), which arouses some curiosity and generates consideration whether Google will make more tools using its own products. Google Ads is a tool used to collect statistical data about sites and services. Clicks, conversions, views, and audience groups are some of the information extracted using this tool. This information helps conduct digital marketing campaigns, and marketing specialists mostly use it. Google Ads is characterized, like all other Google products, by a self-explanatory and intuitive interface.
The Philips Hue lighting system was one of the first intelligent home management products. It has become increasingly popular with a growing number of products and integration with other devices dedicated to space management. Development team has started the first phase of work with Flutter to release two apps to control light in 2019 – Hue Bluetooth lights and the Hue Sync box. From 2020, Philips Hue is using Flutter in all their mobile applications. Philips Hue offers a range of possibilities to control lighting – the user can decide on the light intensity, its shade or choose any color from a range of colors. It is also possible to automate lighting to match an individual’s daily cycle or synchronize light with music, games, and movies.
BMW is a prominent automotive app developer and supplier with a 100% in-house Flutter architecture. My BMW is an application compatible with your vehicle. Thanks to it, you can control the security of your car, prepare it for driving by turning on the air conditioning, heating the seats, or setting the preferred route. This automotive app is perfect for users of electric and hybrid cars, allowing you to monitor energy consumption and costs via the charging and air conditioning timer. With an installed application, you can also contact the dealership of your choice or be notified of upcoming service. My BMW is your everyday driving assistant.
“The new app platform is built on three pillars: user-friendliness, safety, and reliability,” demonstrates Dr. Nicolai Krämer, Vice President Offboard Platform BMW Group.
Nubank is the largest financial services technology company in Latin America. Currently, 40 million Brazilians use its banking services. At Nubank, test automation is a development priority. Hence, after much deliberation, the technology choice fell on Flutter, which has excellent testing capabilities (built-in testing infrastructure for Unit, Integration, and End-to-End tests without the need for rendering to the screen). With improved hot reload features, excellent official documentation, and a more reliable API, the Flutter development experience is excellent.
The Nubank team created a full report with extensive statistics, advantages, and drawbacks and featured in a Flutter Developer Stories film for those who want to know the complete set of information about switching to Flutter.
A social media application. The user can create, share, and discover various content such as images or articles by opening an account. The app was created with the artistic community in mind – photographers, bloggers, or content creators, but is available to any author. Cluster encourages you to earn your gems, appreciation and get recognized in the community
A pilot web version of the app was released in December 2018, an iOS version on January 5, 2019, and an Android version on January 1, 2019.
Reflectly is a virtual journal, using artificial intelligence to organize and reflect on daily thoughts and topics recorded in the notes. The app is meant to organize thoughts and accompany a healthy approach to mental health and mindfulness.
The app was initially developed using React Native; however, creating a similar version for Android and iOS proved to be a considerable challenge. Thanks to the non-complexity of Dart 2, it fell on Flutter, and thanks to this choice, the development team managed to port the application in two months. Thus, the UI for users of these operating systems is the same.
Dating apps are just as popular as those for organizing shuffles. Since Tinder paved the way and made many people take their steps into online dating right there, the creators of Pairing decided to create something with a similar interface but easier to use, in a more sophisticated style. Pairing is an excellent example of a well-known app that has been replicated using Flutter.
Pairing features a lack of targeted ads, in addition to using algorithms to match pairs of people who potentially want to connect with each other. Additionally, an enhanced search option allows users to match with people outside of their immediate area.
An app for both those with a rich social life and those who like to be well organized. This is an application that allows you to schedule meetings. In10 gives users the ability to create events, invite guests, and notify them via SMS. The app takes care of the safety of the participants; 30 minutes before the start of the event, an estimated distance from the event location is provided (expressed in ETA minutes). There will be no more missed messages or phone calls, and you won’t have to worry about where your companions are! However, In10 manufacturers stipulate that they do not store location data history. Users can also provide an estimated travel time through the suggested route, and if a quick discussion of details is needed, a group chat or quick call with a selected group member is available.
Xianyu by Alibaba
Xianyu is an e-commerce platform for used products. Alibaba’s Xianyu has over 200 million registered users, of which as many as 50 million use Flutter. Flutter was developed with a simple and intuitive UI, high FPS, and the ability to be accessible to as many users as possible so that the development process would not take too long.
See what the Alibaba developers have to say about developing with Flutter.
Google Pay (Tez)
Since I’ve mentioned one Google product using its solutions, it’s impossible to note another. Google Pay was initially called Tez and was introduced as a payment app in India in 2017. As its popularity grew, Google expanded the work on the app, and thus Google Pay now has around 70 million active users
Currently, integrating the Flutter app with Google Pay is extremely easy, just with the help of a plugin provided by Google. The plugin gives you the ability to add functionality to your app on different platforms using a single and familiar codebase written in Dart. The open-source plugin for Flutter simplifies adding payments to Flutter’s cross-platform apps.
The plugin allows you to add components to apps across many platforms using a single, well-known Dart code base. It modifies typical procedures necessary to enable payments in a way that is consistent with how Flutter builds components, interacts with the app’s user interface, and communicates data between the native and Dart ends.
By integrating with a secure and fast checkout system like Google Pay, there is no need to manage payment data, which significantly simplifies the development process. And if you’re curious about app integration, check out our previous post.
Watermaniac is an app that allows users to track how much water a user consumes throughout the day. It is up to the person to set their daily water drinking goal, record how much they drink and get reminders and alerts to motivate them to make habits.
By using Flutter, it takes developers relatively little time to oversee and make updates. At this point, Watermaniac is only available on Google Play.
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Is it worth developing a mobile app in Flutter?
The answer to this question is not so simple because much depends on the effect you want to achieve. However, if you are looking for a solution that will allow you to save resources and time, compared to native development, but will provide an aesthetic UI and reach the largest possible audience – it is worth considering developing applications in Flutter. The above list is just a smattering of mobile apps. If you’re curious about the costs involved in creating apps in this open-source framework, read our dedicated post. Flutter is a relatively young technology, so the number of applications created using it is not huge, but it lets introduce new ideas to the market, and maybe in some time applications based on Flutter will be the most popular.