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The power of Flutter – the perfect solution for your cross-platform digital business

by Christopher Gower
by Christopher Gower

Whether we like it or not, the digitalization of the healthcare industry is happening.

Whether we like it or not, the digitalization of the healthcare industry is happening. The migration of brick-and-mortar businesses to novel digital platforms has been occurring slowly but steadily for years. The recent world events related to the pandemic have only accelerated the transition. Any existing medical service or business interested in remaining relevant in this evolving market needs to adapt. New companies do not have it easier. They must announce their presence and provide digital solutions from day one to capture any part of the market.

From a user point of view, these digital solutions must be simple, intuitive, and functional. Considering how omniconscious the users are, achieving all that cannot come at the expense of experience or aesthetics. This can pose a serious challenge to those tasked with designing and developing these digital solutions. Not only are there multiple hardware types that run two different operating systems, but any digital product built for these systems must also withstand frequent updates and be ready to incorporate new solutions or add-on without going offline. 

Do the developers have the skills, tools, and time to tackle all these challenges at once? They do now.

At the end of 2018, Google released the first official version of Flutter, an open-source software development kit for cross-platform applications. At last, the struggles to ensure that apps available on different operating systems and devices run smoothly were put to rest. This is because Flutter allows building one project for Android, iOS, partially for the Web, and desktop purposes using single, intelligent code. The whole codebase is written in Dart, a fast-responding object-oriented programming language also developed by Google. Its most important feature is its ability to compile and translate different programming languages into one; thus, allowing a developer to write one script that all the devices and operating systems will understand.

Because Flutter is open-source, the programmers’ community decides on the trajectory of its growth and evolution. Anyone can improve the code, fix bugs, or create a plugin. The community rapidly embraced Flutter, creating entire libraries of useful scripts and solutions available to the public. These libraries can be easily downloaded and incorporated with only a few clicks using a package manager. If part of the downloaded script does not meet expectations, it can be easily edited or removed.

The ultimate battle between Flutter and React Native?

Flutter was not the first cross-platform developing tool. Facebook launched React Native three years earlier. This older brother has a larger community and a more extensive list of solutions to potential coding problems, which are significant advantages in the programming world. On the other hand, it's not compiled directly to a native code because of the JavaScript layer, rendering apps based on its code less likely to work correctly across all devices. Every part of the graphic interface in Flutter is a widget, making it fully customizable and intuitive. This coding feature is missing from the Facebook product, which causes any desired change to be cumbersome and time-consuming. 

Another advantage of Google-made Flutter over Facebook’s React is its overall framework, which automatically renders every change in the background. This feature is called hot reload and does not require additional coding or implementing actions. This speeds up the UI development process, especially while working with UX creators who can check alternative views and their performance without taking the service offline.

Conclusion

Rapid implementation of changes matters in the first phase of coding. Using Flutter, we can create basic apps for internal brainstorming purposes without wasting time or money on external, third-party solutions. We also use it to gather data for existing projects by building a simple application that helps collect, store and label the data by non-technical personnel. When working with clients, Flutter allows us to create a minimum viable product (MVP) that can be presented as a concept and either modified rapidly, if changes are desired, or used as a core or scaffold on top of which the product will be built. 

The obvious advantage is having one team of developers for Android and iOS since most of the flutter UI components are adaptive to the platform. Occasionally, some device-specific enhancements might be needed and are handled by our developers.

Flutter is an ideal tool to build digital solutions for the growing digital healthcare sector with its cross-platform functionality. This powerful tool can be used to create intuitive and engaging solutions that customers using different devices find user-friendly and functional. We have already developed and launched projects using this technology. Please contact us. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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