Flutter vs Java
Mobile app development is an ongoing development field presenting exciting opportunities for developers. Modern mobile app development is seeing new and advanced frameworks introduced to reduce the complexity of making applications for Android and iOS.
Among several others, Flutter, a development framework, and Java, an object-oriented language, have emerged as two of the most popular technologies for mobile app development.
Continue reading as we differentiate the two based on their features and advantages so that you can make an informed decision when selecting one for yourself.
- Java is a high-level and object-oriented programming language
- Flutter is a cross-platform UI software development kit
- Both Java and Flutter are open-source
What is Flutter?
Google’s Flutter is an open-source cross-platform UI software development kit framework that allows developers, designers, and programmers to design modern mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Written in C, C++, and Dart, programmers can build native mobile apps, desktop apps, and even progressive web apps. While Dart is a fairly recent addition, it is an extremely versatile and powerful tool and a strong competitor to React Native.
Flutter was built with cross-platform development in mind. You can use the latest version of the SDKs by Google to develop your applications. As it is supported by Google, more and more developers are embracing Flutter as the newer and better technology for mobile app development. Apps made using Flutter run smoother and more efficient, offering an almost native app experience in terms of performance.
Flutter is unique when compared to other frameworks due to the fact that it uses its own high-performance rendering engine instead of the WebView or OEM widgets that shipped with the device. Developers have better control over the system as most items like animations, gestures, and widgets are written in Dart, which allows developers to read and modify items easily.
Flutter Core Features
- Open source
Developed by Google, Flutter is a free and open-source framework that can be used by developers to develop apps for mobile operating systems.
Code written once on Flutter can be saved, maintained and deployed on different platforms without compatibility concerns, making the app development process time- and cost-efficient.
- Minimal code
The Dart programming language uses AOT and JIT compilation to enhance the overall startup time and accelerate the app’s performance. The latter, JIT, improves the development system by refreshing the UI without expending resources on developing a new one.
- Hot reload
Arguably one of the most popular features of Flutter, Hot Reload allows developers to see any changes they make in the code instantaneously. Since the changes are visible in the app in real-time, developers can detect and fix any bugs instantly.
Flutter offers two sets of widgets, i.e., Cupertino and Material Design, which are capable of developing specific custom designs to provide a glitch-free experience on all platforms.
Advantages of Flutter
- Easily deployable
Flutter allows developers to adapt the same codebase for both Android and iOS apps, which, along with the hot reload feature, makes the app development process extremely fast.
Any code changes for the hardware and emulators will get a response in real-time without the need for restarting your application. This is not only suitable for both bug fixing, but it also helps in quicker UI builds without pause.
- Excellent performance
- Easy to handle
Using Dart, Flutter provides developers with a platform of easy-to-use features that make it more familiar among developers. It is very easy to handle as you won’t have to deal with a bunch of codes or regulations when developing your application.
Developers already familiar with Swift, Java, or React Native can easily differentiate between the platforms and use Flutter to its full extent.
- Suitable for MVP apps
Flutter is also suitable for Minimum Viable Product (MVP) apps if you want to deliver products to your investors before time. This is due to the fact that it is similar to native apps, operates more efficiently compared to other frameworks, is cheaper, and is cross-platform compatible.
What is Java?
Java is one of the oldest and most popular object-oriented class-based programming languages providing a rich set of libraries that are used to develop and maintain web, mobile, and desktop applications. It was designed specifically for reducing implementation dependencies to as low as possible, making Java fast, secure, and reliable.
Before the introduction and subsequent popularity of Flutter, Java maintained a monopoly over the mobile app development scene. Several mobile and desktop applications have been written using Java codes, and even now the Java Android API is stable and well-documented.
That said, there are some drawbacks when directly comparing Java and Flutter. For instance, in Java, you lose cross-platform capabilities, meaning you will need to spend considerable amounts of time and money to develop native apps for individual platforms if you want to target multiple operating systems.
- Simple to learn
The Java Syntax is based on C++, making it easier to learn for programmers after the native language. Java has also removed any complicated or less-used features like explicit pointers and operator overloading, which combined with the automatic garbage collection makes Java easy to learn and deploy for developers.
- Platform independent
Unlike other languages, like C and C++, which are compiled into platform-specific machines, Java codes are once written can be deployed in any hardware or software environment. This adaptability is achieved due to the fact that Java is a software-based platform that runs on top of other hardware-based environments.
- Robust memory management
The lack of explicit pointers and the automatic garbage collection work in tandem on Java Virtual Machine to eliminate the objects that are not used anymore. You also get access to features like type checking mechanisms and exception handling.
- Runtime security
Java programs essentially run inside a virtual machine sandbox, which makes Java a really secure development platform.
- Readable Syntax
Introduced in Java 8, the Lambda syntax and Streams make the syntax very easy to read for new developers. For instance, the parentheses can be obviated, and the body tag can be a single expression without the curly braces. The intuitive and readable syntax makes Java an easy to learn language that can be easily deployed across multiple environments.
- Inheritable classes unless stated otherwise
Java is an object-oriented programming language. Interfaces and abstract classes are designed to be extended and several design templates rely on inheritance. It also comes in handy with frameworks that have embedded Dependency Injection as they need to generate proxies for each injectable component.
- One class per file restriction
Java is also a simple to use programming language with clean code that is easy to read. Each file in Java is represented as a single class and any new classes in the same file will have to be a nested class, which is usually inaccessible from the outside. This simple feature keeps the files organised better, cohesive, and easy to name as long as you know how to name the contained class.
- Supports multi-threading
A thread is similar to a concurrently executed separate program. Java allows developers to write programs that can deal with several tasks by defining multiple threads in a shared memory area. Multi-threading capabilities are crucial when designing web apps, multimedia, etc.
Flutter vs Java Comparison
|Description||Cross-platform UI software development kit||High-level and object-oriented programming language|
It appears Google is strictly focusing on developing Flutter and Kotlin going forward, making Java a less-favourable choice for cross-platform app developers.
However, Flutter is still fairly new and provides very limited access to the SDK libraries, restricting the functionalities available to a developer.
Moreover, the Dart programming language is easy, but still, a new technology to learn unlike Java, which is closely based on the C++ syntax.
As app developers, you will need to compare the various functionalities of each framework before deciding on one for yourself.
What is Flutter?
Cross-platform UI software development kit
What is Java?
High-level and object-oriented programming language
What are the differences between Flutter and Java?
– Flutter is a cross-platform SDK
– Java is a programming language
– Java is available since 1995
– Flutter was released in 2017
– Flutter was created by Google
– Java is from Oracle
– Both are open-source