Comparison
10
min read

Flutter vs Flutter Flow: Best Way to Develop Your App in 2024

Last published on
March 27, 2024
When deciding on an app development platform, it's essential to understand the differences between Flutter and FlutterFlow.

The classic way or no-code next-gen way, scalability or speed? This is a question our clients often have to consider.

Flutter is a comprehensive framework that allows for a single codebase for multiple platforms, suitable for complex applications.

On the other hand, FlutterFlow offers a more straightforward, no-code approach that can be ideal for simpler applications or rapid development cycles required for MVPs.

This article will compare the two to assist you in determining which tool aligns with your project's requirements.

What is the best way to build mobile applications in 2024?

Short answer: FlutterFlow

This intuitive platform leverages Google's robust Flutter framework, presenting a blend of simplicity and efficiency for crafting multi-platform experiences. Ideal for developers seeking a balance between ease of use and comprehensive functionality, FlutterFlow democratizes app creation, making it accessible to both coders and non-coders alike.

It's perfectly suited for rapidly deploying custom, detail-oriented projects without sacrificing quality, offering a streamlined approach to app development where innovation meets agility.

It's the tool of choice for complex, custom-built projects where every detail matters.

What are their main differences?

Main differences between platforms

The Development Approach

Flutter is code-based, requiring Dart programming language knowledge for full-scale app development, offering deep customization for complex applications.

FlutterFlow uses a visual, drag-and-drop interface for app building, ideal for rapid prototyping or those with limited traditional coding skills.

The Speed

Flutter development speed is fast with hot reload but varies with app complexity and developer skill.

FlutterFlow speeds up the initial development phase moderately complex apps, enabling quick transitions from ideas to functional flutter apps, accelerating development, and drastically lower development costs, especially for straightforward projects.

The Control You Get

Flutter provides extensive customization and complete control over the app's intricate features, design and functionality, suitable for detailed customizations.

FlutterFlow offers ease of use with some control over app features, balanced by its no-code/low-code nature.

What Are The Advantages of FlutterFlow?

FlutterFlow advantages

FlutterFlow is a visual development tool that simplifies app creation. It's designed for non-coders, allowing for app development with minimal manual coding effort, streamlining the traditional app development' process further.

  • Visual Development: Enables rapid UI and logic construction through a drag-and-drop interface, minimizing the need for manual coding.
  • Integrated Logic & Connections: Simplifies the integration of app logic and connections to databases and external services, facilitating the creation of dynamic applications.
  • Code Export Flexibility: Offers the ability to edit and export generated Flutter code, allowing further customization and development outside FlutterFlow.
  • Responsive Design Tools: Provides tools and widgets for building applications that automatically adjust to various screen sizes, ensuring a consistent user experience across devices.
  • MVP Creation: Ideal for rapidly building and testing Minimum Viable Products, enabling quick market entry and concept validation.

Drag and drop interface

FlutterFlow is a drag-and-drop interface, a captain's wheel that lets you steer your app's development without getting tangled in the ropes of code.

This intuitive approach is perfect for those who want to see their FlutterFlow mobile apps and web apps ideas take shape swiftly and smoothly.

Integrated logic & Connections

FlutterFlow stands out by offering a visually intuitive platform that simplifies the process of integrating logic into your app and connecting it to a wide array of external services and databases.

This allows for efficient creation collaborative development of complex, dynamic applications without diving deep into code ​​.

Edit and Export the Code

With FlutterFlow, you're not locked into a no-code environment.

It allows you to edit and export the generated Flutter code.

This feature offers the flexibility to start a project within FlutterFlow for its rapid development capabilities and then export the custom code for further customization and enhancement in your preferred IDE ​​.

Build Responsive Applications

FlutterFlow shines in enabling the creation of responsive applications that look great on a variety of device sizes and orientations with minimal effort.

It provides tools and widgets that automatically adjust to different screen sizes, ensuring your application provides a consistent user experience across all devices​​​​.

Ideal for MVP mobile app development

FlutterFlow is the companion for innovators eager to validate their app concepts at speed. It’s tailored for building MVPs—Minimum Viable Products—that bring ideas to market rapidly, without the need to plunge into the coding depths.

Bonus: AI Integration

FlutterFlow's AI integration offers innovative tools to streamline app development:

  • AI Page Gen lets you turn text prompts into app pages, enhancing development speed.
  • AI Schema Gen generates backend schemas from descriptions, simplifying database creation.
  • AI Theme Gen crafts unique color schemes from text, elevating app aesthetics.
  • AI Code Gen provides code suggestions within FlutterFlow, making coding more efficient.

These tools make app creation more intuitive and accessible, particularly for those with limited coding experience. For more details, visit FlutterFlow AI.

Weighing the Options

Selecting the ideal app development tool requires navigating unique challenges and considering each option's strengths key features and limitations to match your project or team's skills specific needs.

What Are The Advantages of Flutter?

Flutter advantages
  • Universal Coding: Code once, deploy everywhere — from mobile to web and desktop.
  • Efficiency Boost: Single codebase for all platforms and real-time view of changes with hot reload.
  • Creative Freedom: Rich customizable widgets and animation capabilities for standout designs.
  • Reliability: Extensive testing features and strong community support for a smooth development journey.

'Write Once, Run Everywhere' Philosophy

Flutter embodies the modern developer's dream, allowing you to craft a single application that runs seamlessly across Android, iOS, web, and desktop platforms.

Think of it as being the DJ of app development, where your code hits the right notes across complex apps on all platforms with just one mix.

Cross-Platform Development Process

Flutter not only eliminates the need for separate codebases for each platform but also speeds up the development process with its hot reload feature.

This means faster development process, lower costs, and the ability enabling developers to make real-time tweaks to app functionality without restarting the app.

Designer’s Dream

Offering a rich set of customizable widgets and the capability to create intricate UI animations, Flutter is where creative visions come to life.

It's the canvas where every scroll or transition you imagine can be turned into reality.

Technical Robustness

With a solid array of testing features, a vibrant ecosystem, and strong community support, Flutter ensures your app is ready for the spotlight from day one.

Conclusion

In summary,

Flutter is like having a high-performance engine, a time machine, and an artist’s palette all in one. It’s not just about mobile app development;

it’s about crafting experiences and not creating visually appealing apps. Flutter apps that stand out in the crowded app marketplace.

Most Popular Use Cases

Popular app icons

For Flutter mobile app development:

Flutter's versatility and efficiency in handling various types of applications demonstrate its value as a top choice for developers looking to build high-quality, cross-platform apps.

  1. Fintech and Banking Apps: The need for secure, reliable, and high-performance apps is critical in the fintech and banking sector. Flutter's ability to deliver smooth animations and a native-like user experience, coupled with strong security features, makes it a strong candidate for mobile banking, payment, and investment complex apps.
  2. Cross-Platform Mobile Applications: Flutter excels in the development of both iOS and Android apps from a single codebase. This is ideal for companies looking to efficiently launch their apps on multiple platforms without compromising on performance or user experience.
  3. E-commerce Platforms: Flutter enables the creation of visually appealing and responsive e-commerce apps that can handle the dynamic and interactive elements of modern online shopping experiences. The framework supports rich multimedia content and seamless transactions, providing a smooth shopping experience for users.
  4. Social Media Applications: The framework's robust support for UI customization and interactive features allows for the creation of engaging social media platforms. Flutter can handle real-time data updates, multimedia content, and interactive elements that are essential for social networking apps.
  5. Healthcare and Telemedicine Apps: In the healthcare sector, Flutter can be used to develop apps that require real-time communication, appointment scheduling, patient monitoring, and data visualization. Its performance and scalability support the development of apps that can manage large volumes of data and provide critical services without latency.

For FlutterFlow mobile app development:

Mobile apps screens

FlutterFlow, with its visual development approach, and cross platform capabilities opens up a world of possibilities for rapid app development across various domains. Here are five use cases where FlutterFlow' visual development platform shines:

  1. Prototype and MVP Development: Startups and entrepreneurs can use FlutterFlow to quickly turn their app ideas into functional prototypes or minimum viable products (MVPs). This enables them to validate their concepts with real users and iterate based on feedback without investing heavily in initial development stages.
  2. Educational Apps: Educators and e-learning platforms can leverage FlutterFlow to create interactive learning applications. The platform's ease of use allows for the incorporation of multimedia elements, quizzes, and interactive lessons that enhance the learning experience.
  3. Business Process Automation Apps: FlutterFlow is ideal for developing applications aimed at automating business processes and workflows. Businesses can design custom complex apps that integrate with their existing databases and services to streamline operations, manage tasks, and track performance.
  4. Event and Conference Apps: Organizers can utilize FlutterFlow to build event-specific applications that feature schedules, speaker bios, venue maps, and real-time announcements. The platform's ability to connect with APIs means it can easily integrate with ticketing systems and social media for a comprehensive event experience.
  5. Community and Social Networking Apps: With FlutterFlow, creating community-driven platforms where users can interact, share content, and participate in discussions is straightforward. The platform supports the development of features such as user profiles, messaging, and content sharing, fostering engagement within community apps.

Maintenance and costs

Flutterflow pricing plans

Comparing Flutter and FlutterFlow in terms of maintenance and costs requires a look at their unique app development paths.

Maintenance

Flutter: Requires regular updates to the Flutter SDK and dependencies. A developer with Dart programming language knowledge is often necessary, especially for intricate apps, but the robust Flutter community offers ample support.

Direct code manipulation allows for detailed control over updates and fixes in app development process.

FlutterFlow: May offer simpler initial maintenance through managed services like hosting. For apps mainly built within its GUI, routine updates can be more accessible to those without extensive coding knowledge.

However, any advanced customizations need similar maintenance efforts as Flutter-based apps.

Costs

Flutter: Developing with Flutter is free, but the costs mainly come from the need for skilled developers for complex applications. Its cross-platform nature can save on long-term development costs and expenses.

FlutterFlow: Introduces a subscription model after deployment, with various pricing tiers. The platform can be cost-effective for creating simple apps or MVPs quickly. The free tier allows for development, but deploying an app or accessing advanced features requires moving to a paid plan.

The costs can escalate with the need for more complex features, customizations or higher-tier subscriptions.

In essence,

Flutter provides extensive control and flexibility, potentially requiring more in-depth development work.

FlutterFlow offers a more accessible starting point with its visual development environment, making it suitable for simpler projects or those requiring quicker turnarounds.

The choice between them hinges on project specifics, including budget, complexity, and long-term development goals.

Choosing the Right Tool: Flutter vs FlutterFlow

The right tool Flutter vs FlutterFlow

Final words

Choosing between Flutter vs FlutterFlow? It's pretty straightforward.

Go with Flutter if you have a team of skilled developers and need full control for a complex apps. It’s all about the details.

On the flip side, FlutterFlow is perfect if you’re not so code-savvy and want to get a straightforward app and rapid prototyping.

Remember, it's not black and white. You can mix it up, using both to your advantage, depending on the project’s needs.

Just pick the tool that fits your project best. Both are solid, but staying tuned to their updates is key to keeping your app game strong.

What's Inside?

Get insights delivered straight in your inbox.