Mobile App Development

Creating Cross-Platform Apps with Flutter: A Detailed Guide


In today’s competitive world, offering users the convenience of accessing a mobile app across multiple platforms can be a key to success. That’s why most startups and enterprises are increasingly investing in cross-platform mobile app development. On one side, cross-platform apps enhance user engagement and user experience. On the other side, they enable businesses to reach a wider audience without creating a separate app for each platform. 

When it comes to building cross-platform apps, Flutter has emerged as the top choice of developers. Globally recognized for its robust performance and rapid development capabilities, Flutter enables developers to create high-quality applications that maintain consistency across various devices

This detailed guide sheds further light on why building cross-platform apps with Flutter is becoming the next big thing in the tech industry. Besides, it also covers key market statistics, how Flutter overcomes common challenges associated with cross-platform app development, the entire development process, and more. 

So, let’s quickly begin! 

What is Flutter?

In simple words, Flutter is a UI software development toolkit that is used globally to craft natively compiled mobile apps for diverse platforms. Developed by Google, Flutter uses Dart programming language and comes with a rich set of widgets and plugins to effortlessly build cross-platform apps for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. 

Flutter for Cross-Platform App Development: Market Statistics 

Let’s check some interesting statistics about Flutter being used for cross-platform mobile app development:

  • A Statista report highlights that Flutter was the most famous cross-platform app development framework used by developers worldwide in 2023. Approximately 46% of developers used Google’s framework for building multi-platform applications. 
  • According to an online report, the global market size for cross-platform mobile applications is forecasted to reach approximately USD 546 billion by 2033. 
  • Mobile app development with Flutter is one of the biggest trends of 2024. 

Why Choose Flutter for Cross-platform App Development?

Flutter offers numerous benefits, including a shared codebase, superior performance, multi-platform consistency, and more. These amazing benefits make it a preferred choice for building cross-platform mobile applications. Let’s dig deeper to know more about this open-source framework:

#1 Shared Codebase

One of Flutter’s biggest advantages is that it enables developers to build a cross-platform application using a single codebase. In other words, developers can write code once and use it to develop an app for Android, iOS, web, and desktop platforms, minimizing development time and effort. 

#2 Fast Development

Owing to its hot reload feature and rich widgets, Flutter facilitates quick development and launch of apps in the market. With the hot reload, developers can view changes in real-time without restarting the app. It accelerates the overall development process while improving productivity. The framework has a large array of widgets that can be easily customized to build intuitive and responsive interfaces across different platforms. 

#3 Cost-Efficient 

Building cross-platform mobile apps using Flutter doesn’t require developers to write different codes for each platform. On one hand, it saves development time, effort, and resources. On the other hand, it is cost-efficient. 

#4 Superior Performance

Flutter mobile apps can be compiled to native ARM code leveraging Dart’s AOT compilation, resulting in native-like performance. Besides, Flutter uses the Skia graphics engine that facilitates smooth and quick rendering of graphics.  

#5 Consistent User Experience 

Flutter has a unified codebase and a rich set of customizable widgets that contribute to delivering a consistent user experience. With this framework, developers can easily maintain an app’s consistent look, feel, and performance across diverse platforms. 

#6 Large Community 

Google’s Flutter has strong community support that provides global developers with access to abundant resources, libraries, and tools to improve and bring innovation to the applications. Moreover, such communities are also an easy medium to stay updated with the latest developments. 

#7 Seamless Integration and Customization

Selecting Flutter for cross-platform app development enables developers to easily integrate with an app’s existing codebase and other technologies. Moreover, it provides extensive customization features to allow engineers to try their hands on building innovative designs and complex functionalities. 

#8 Rich Ecosystem

Flutter comes with a comprehensive range of plugins and packages to simplify the implementation of additional functionalities like navigation and databases. It helps in making an app versatile and highly successful in the market. 

#9 Seamless MVP Development 

Most businesses prefer to represent a minimum viable product (a mini version of the actual app with essential features) before launching a fully developed application. MVPs validate the app idea and also help to gather feedback from targeted audiences based on which the final app can be developed. Flutter’s compatibility with Firebase allows developers to quickly build an MVP without requiring separate backends. 

Explore other cross-platform app development frameworks here: Top 5 Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks for 2024.

Challenges Associated with Cross-platform App Development: How Flutter Overcomes Them All

Cross-platform app development comes with numerous challenges, but Flutter addresses them all with its shared codebase, native-like performance, and other functionalities. Let’s understand how:

#1 Inability to Maintain Consistency Across Platforms 

Challenge- The inability to maintain the gap between the native code and framework code is a serious bottleneck related to cross-platform mobile app development. 

Solution: Flutter uses Dart programming language that is compiled directly into native ARM code, eliminating the inconsistent performance issue and ensuring native-like performance. 

#2 Inability to Design an Intuitive and Responsive UI/UX

Challenge: Each platform has its different design guidelines and behavior conventions, making it difficult for developers to craft consistent and responsive UI/UX. 

Solution: Flutter comes with a wide range of customizable widgets that contribute to offering the same look and feel across different platforms. It also has platform-specific widgets, adhering to the design languages of almost every platform.  

#3 Limited Access to Native Features

Challenge: Accessing device-specific features and hardware functionalities can be challenging with cross-platform app development. 

Solution: Flutter has a plugin system that allows engineers to seamlessly access native features. Moreover, they can also utilize existing plugins or build new ones to interact with platform-specific APIs and hardware functionalities. 

#4 Difficulty with Integrating with Existing Codebase

Challenge: The inability to integrate with the current codebase can also be a significant challenge with cross-platform mobile application development.

Solution: Flutter can be effortlessly integrated into existing mobile applications without requiring to rewrite the codebase. 

#5 Slow Development 

Challenge: Lack of real-time feedback can impact productivity and result in slow development cycles. 

Solution: Flutter has a hot reload feature using which developers can see changes in real-time, improving the development speed and productivity. 

Building Cross-Platform Apps with Flutter: The Development Process

Creating cross-platform mobile apps using Flutter requires connecting with a reliable and highly experienced technology partner. While most use the following development process, it is a great approach to prepare a list of your custom app requirements, share it with your potential app development company, and discuss the development process. 

Installing Flutter SDK

The first step involves downloading the software development kit from Flutter’s website, establishing the required environment variables, and installing dependencies. It further includes configuring the IDEs (Android Studio, Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ IDEA, etc.) depending on the platforms you wish to launch your cross-platform application on. 

Creating a Flutter project

The second step focuses on building a Flutter project using its command line interface (CLI) and predefined templates. It also incorporates initializing the project structure, such as entry points, configuration files, and resources. Based on your unique project requirements, developers choose from multiple templates. 

Designing the App’s User Interface

Flutter has a rich set of customizable widgets that can be used to build the app’s UI. It is Flutter’s widget tree that is used to build the interface, define layouts, and manage interactions. Besides, widgets like Material Design for Android and Cupertino for iOS are used to ensure the platform-specific appeal of the application. 

Implementing the App Logic

It comprises coding, i.e., writing the code using the Dart language to manage various aspects, such as app state and user inputs, execute computations, extract data from APIs, and integrate with backend services. Flutter’s reactive framework allows developers to efficiently manage state changes and update the UI in response to user actions or data updates.

Integrating Third-Party Packages and Plugins

Integrating third-party packages and plugins extends the functionality of the cross-platform application. Using Flutter’s plugins, developers can easily incorporate, such as maps, authentication, analytics, and more. 

Testing and Debugging 

Cross-platform app development testing is conducted to verify the functionality and behavior of each element, function, class, and component. Besides conducting widget and unit tests, developers also use Flutter Doctor for diagnosing issues and debugging tools in IDEs for identifying runtime errors and performance problems. 

Deploying Flutter App to Multiple Platforms

The team of Flutter developers then deploy or launch the app to designated platforms, like Android, iOS, web, or desktop, using a single codebase. For successful deployment, the team generates platform-specific binaries and launches web applications straight to hosting services. They ensure the app’s compatibility and optimal performance across different platforms.

Support and Maintenance

With post-deployment support and maintenance services, Flutter developers ensure the app’s optimal performance, usability, and compatibility with new platform updates. Moreover, these services also involve checking the app regularly for updates, new feature enhancements, and bug fixes. 

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Leveraging Flutter’s Layered Architecture for Cross-Platform Application Development 

Flutter has a layered and structured architecture to facilitate seamless development and ensure robust performance of applications for different platforms. This architecture includes the following components:

Framework Layer

It comprises Flutter’s main libraries and frameworks written in Dart. This layer builds a foundation for crafting interactive UIs, managing user inputs, and more. The framework layer of the architecture also includes widgets to create UI elements and manage layouts and libraries that further bring animation, gesture, and other elements into the application. 

Engine Layer

This layer comprises the Flutter engine, written in C++. It utilizes Google’s Skia graphics library to offer low-level rendering support and handle different tasks such as creating shapes, texts, images, managing animation, and more. 

Embedding Layer

The third crucial layer of Flutter’s architecture is responsible for creating communication between the Flutter engine and the host platform where the application runs (e.g., Android or iOS). The layer includes platform-specific code that handles particular services such as platform accessibility and permissions. 

Platform Layer

It is the host platform, i.e., Android, iOS, web, or desktop. This layer has native components and services along with APIs for handling location, file systems, and other crucial functionalities required to run the app’s operations. 

8 Points to Consider When Choosing a Flutter App Development Company 

Keep the following points in mind to choose the best Flutter app development company for your cross-platform mobile app development project:

  1. Partner with a company with extensive experience and a prior record of building cross-platform apps utilizing Flutter. 
  2. Make sure its developers have hands-on experience in Dart, Flutter’s architecture, and API integrations that are essential to building a successful cross-platform app. 
  3. Check the portfolio and case studies section on the company’s website to have an idea of their previous Flutter app projects. 
  4. Check client reviews and testimonials to get an idea of their work quality, delivery commitments, and work ethics. 
  5. Select a company that prioritizes customization and is flexible to adapt to your specific requirements.
  6. Check the security measures the company follows to ensure your data and protect your cross-platform app. 
  7. Evaluate their communication practices and collaborative tools to ensure smooth project management and timely updates.
  8. Ensure the company offers after-launch support and maintenance services to handle updates, bug fixes, and ongoing improvements.

These are the tips to find the best Flutter app development company, in case, if you want to hire Flutter developers,

Read the tips here: How to Hire the Best Flutter Developers From India.

Flutter Vs. Other Alternatives for Cross-platform App Development 

Apart from Flutter, there are many other SDKs and frameworks that developers choose for creating cross-platform applications. Let’s briefly read about their key difference with Flutter:

Flutter Vs. React Native

  • Flutter uses Dart programming language and compiles to native ARM code, whereas React Native uses JavaScript and bridges to native components. 
  • Flutter offers high performance and a consistent UI across platforms, whereas, React Native offers flexibility but with a slightly lower performance.

Flutter Vs. Xamarin 

  • Flutter uses Dart and allows cross-platform app development with a single codebase. On the other hand, Xamarin uses C# and .Net languages to develop native-like apps for multiple platforms. The latter requires platform-specific UI adjustments for each OS.

Flutter Vs. Ionic

  • Flutter has its own rendering engine that contributes to offering a consistent UI across platforms. Ionic uses web views and web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript/TypeScript, for rendering. 

You might also interested in reading a detailed comparison between: 

Flutter vs Swift: Explore an Impeccable Solution for iOS App Development

Flutter for Cross-platform App Development: 5 Real-world Examples

At present, there are a plethora of companies that have used Flutter for developing cross-platform mobile applications. Since it is not possible to name all of them here, we are highlighting globally renowned ones here:

  • BMWa German-based luxury car manufacturer
  • Toyota a Japanese automotive manufacturer
  • Alibaba a Chinese e-commerce company
  • Google Pay- a popular digital wallet and online payment platform
  • Philips Hue a division of Philips


Flutter’s single codebase, faster development cycle, high performance, and versatility are the features that make Google’s open-source SDK and framework a preferred choice for cross-platform app development. 

Building cross-platform apps using Flutter only requires connecting with a trusted Flutter mobile app development company, like Quytech, or hiring Flutter developers from a reputed organization. However, before doing so, it is important to know the inside-out of Flutter and why it is used for creating multi-platform applications. And that’s what this comprehensive guide covers. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q – What are the key highlights of Flutter?

– It is an open-source and free SDK developed by Google. 
– Flutter uses Dart programming language to write codes. 
– It comes with a rich set of widgets and plugins that can be customized. 
– Flutter allows developers to use a single codebase for building cross-platform mobile apps for web, desktop, and mobile platforms. 
– This SDK and framework comes with a unique Hot Reload feature to facilitate instant UI updates that accelerate the development process. 
– It makes MVP development quicker and easier. 
– Flutter delivers native-like experiences. 

Q – How much does it cost to develop a cross-platform app with Flutter?

The cost of creating a cross-platform mobile app with Flutter depends on multiple parameters, including the app’s complexity, features, API integrations, and deployment platform. 

Q – How long does it take to build a cross-platform mobile app with Flutter?

The time needed to develop a cross-platform mobile application with Flutter also depends on similar factors, i.e., the app’s complexity, features, API integrations, and platform.

Q – What are the key components of Flutter?

Two major components of Flutter include a software development kit and a framework. The first component includes the set of instruments and tools that help to write code and convert it to the native machine code. A framework incorporates reusable UI components, such as buttons and sliders, that are fully customizable. 

Q – Is Flutter suitable for building complex apps?

Considering Flutter’s robust architecture, user-friendly features, rich set of customizable widgets and plugins, high speed, and versatility, Flutter is undoubtedly a suitable choice for creating complex mobile applications. 

Q – What are some advantages of building cross-platform apps with Flutter?

Here are the key benefits of developing cross-platform apps with Flutter:

– Single codebase
– Consistent UI
– High performance
– Fast development cycle
– Access to native features
– Strong community 
– Easy maintenance and upgrade
– Headless testing
– Completely scalable 
– Hot reload

Q – Which programming language does Flutter use?

Flutter uses Dart programming language to write the codebase that can be used to build apps across multiple platforms.