Most common questions about Flutter and Dart when you start building a mobile app

In this article, we will overview common questions about Flutter and Dart!

Why does flutter use dart?

If you’re coming literally any other background (and you’re like me), you’ve probably complained about the fact that Flutter uses Dart, and not x language for y reason. (Developers are, believe it or not, opinionated.)

Besides the fact that Dart isn’t your favorite language, there are reasons to be skeptical of this choice. It’s not one of the hot languages of today. It’s not even one of the top 50 most used languages. What gives? Is Google just using it because it’s their language? I’d imagine that played a role, but there are practical reasons, too.

  • Dart supports both Just In Time (JIT) compiling and Ahead of Time(AOT) compiling.
    • The AOT compiler changes Dart into efficient native code. This makes Flutter fast (a win for the user and the developer), but it also means that almost all of the framework is written in Dart. For you, the developer, that means you customize almost everything.
    • Dart’s optional Just-In-Time compiling allows hot-reloading to exist. Fast development and iteration is a key to the joy of using Flutter.
  • Dart is Object Oriented. This makes it easy to write visual user-experiences exclusively with Dart, with no need for a markup language.
  • Dart is a productive and predictable language. It’s easy to learn and it feels familiar. Whether you come from a dynamic language or a static language, you can get up and running with ease.

Who uses flutter?

At the time of writing, Flutter is used by big and small companies alike in production. I’ve been lucky enough to use Flutter at work since September 2017, when the technology was still in its alpha stage. By the time you read this, Flutter will be in (at least) version 1.0.0, and my company will have migrated all of our clients off of our native apps and onto our Flutter app.

While this isn’t a book about me, I am going to tell you a bit about what I do, because I want you to know that I’m confident in the future of Flutter. A large number of my career eggs are in the Flutter basket.

The company that I work for (as of summer 2018) is in the enterprise space. Our product is used by some big companies like Stanford University, Wayfair and Taylor Parts. We’re building a BYOD (bring your own database) platform that lets customers plug in a few options, press a few buttons, and it spits out a mobile and web app to manage workflows and business-y enterprise issues. Our mobile app supports offline usage, esri maps, and real-time feedback. We’ve done this all with Flutter (on mobile).

We aren’t the only ones using Flutter in production. As of writing this, Google AdWords and Alibaba are both using Flutter in production. You can see more examples of who’s using Flutter (including the app I’ve worked on) on Flutter’s website on the showcase page.