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December 3, 2018
Application Development

Mobile Apps in 2023: Will Flutter Become the New Black for Android App Development?

Mobile Apps in 2023: Will Flutter Become the New Black for Android App Development?

On the 4th of December 2018, Google celebrates new mobile app SDK Flutter Live and Oleksandr Leuschenko, Head of Mobile Stack at Ciklum shares his thoughts on the future of mobile app development in the article. 

Oleksandr Leuschenko, Head of Mobile Stack at Ciklum, told about Google Fuchsia that has a potential to become one-size-fits-all operating system and Flutter platform that could supersede Android and Chrome OS in the next 5 years.


If you’re using a mobile device, chances are it’s powered by Android. In 2017, Google revealed its Android platform has over 2 billion monthly active users who download a total of 82 billion apps a year.

As of September 2018, Android is the dominant mobile operating system powering more than 76 percent of smartphones and 30 percent of tablets around the globe.

Users are drawn to Android because of its ubiquity, and Android’s ubiquity stems from its fundamental flexibility. Rooted as an open source software stack, the Android platform allows for total customization of hardware and software choices, enabling today’s most creative software developers to build apps, devices and services with the help of a vibrant community and the power of Linux. Whether it’s a new hardware form-factor, a custom UI skin or the latest version of a hot online game, Android’s the home to anyone looking to get the most out of their mobile device.

But all good things must come to an end. Despite Android’s sheer popularity, Google is currently hard at work developing the next big thing: Android’s replacement. It’s not because users are dissatisfied with Android; on the contrary, the platform itself has a loyalty rate of 91 percent, easily beating out its chief rival, Apple’s iOS. Instead, Google is looking toward a future that’s not just driven by the smartphone, but by an entire universe of connected devices.

Get Ready For Google Fuchsia

That future is named Fuchsia. Entering a quiet but public phase of development in 2016, Fuchsia is currently being tested out as bits of open source code. But its ambitions are vast, with Google engineers hoping to use the platform to power its own Android devices, third-party Android devices, smart home devices and laptops running Chrome OS. In short, it’s Google’s vision of a single operating system to power each and every one of the piece of hardware it currently touches — and the ones that have yet to be thought up.

Replacing the world’s most popular mobile operating system certainly isn’t an easy feat, but it’s quickly being considered a necessary one. Since Android was first developed, technologies like artificial intelligence control have become pillars of Google’s mobile strategy. However, they were not built as fundamental pieces of the Android platform. Neither was a uniform user interface or the rapid adoption of security updates, with fragmentation of Android OS releases leaving many users running old, insecure versions of the software. Building a new platform with these features in mind will help the company create another forward-thinking mobile platform that’s built to last. Fuchsia is expected to debut inside of smart speaker software and eventually make its way to smartphones by 2023 at the latest.

The day it’s even possible for Android to be replaced by Fuchsia won’t come until we’re well into the next decade. But if you’re a developer, it’s wise to at least consider preparing for what that transition might look like. To start, you’ll need to know how to make your existing apps work on an entirely new platform. And if Fuchsia is offering an even better promise of Android — a sort of one-size-fits-all, write-once-run-everywhere platform that’s comparable with an entire future ecosystem of devices — getting in on the ground floor of development is a pretty savvy move.

Google Fuchsia

The Changing Face of  App Development With Google Flutter

Today, it’s actually possible to get a jump on Fuchsia development with Google Flutter. Flutter is Google’s open source cross-platform mobile development framework used to build Fuchsia apps. Its first alpha (v0.0.6) version was released in May 2017 and currently the latest version is beta (v0.11.7).  Flutter also happens to be the framework used to create apps that are native for both Android and iOS. Flutter’s single codebase works with native APIs and services, and its mobile UI framework creates animations with the same performance found on each native platform. No guesswork here, check out the proof: Flutter aims to provide 60 frames per second (fps) performance, or 120 fps performance on devices capable of 120Hz updates. Though the framework is young, it’s easy to see how cross-platform and future-thinking app development will take off, making Flutter the new black for Android developers.

Building apps in Flutter today prepares developers to build the apps of tomorrow. By working in a framework that’s already looking toward the future, developers will get experience learning the capabilities of the software. When Fuchsia is ready to debut, developers who have taken the time to learn Flutter will be able to seamlessly move their existing apps over to the new platform in no time. For the billions of Android and iOS apps in existence, this means being able to compile a new version of an existing app for an entirely new platform with relative ease. Having a robust library of apps can help a new platform truly take off, and Flutter will greatly help developers make the transition to Fuchsia.

Flutter

But before you can begin developing for Fuchsia, you’ll need to learn Dart, Google’s programming language of choice for the development framework. It may be frustrating to have to learn yet another programming language. But considering Dart can effectively handle the programming needs for all mobile platforms, it’s an investment worth making. By learning Dart and developing in Flutter, development teams will effectively be able to build apps that run on all mobile platforms — and future platforms to come. This can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for an app to go to market and helps ensure feature parity among apps on all platforms.

Moving billions of users to an entirely new operating system is no easy feat. But by building development tools for Fuchsia into the same tools used to build Android and iOS, developers won’t be left scrambling to put together new apps in some unusual new language. And with Fuchsia’s emphasis on moving beyond the smartphone to IoT devices like smart speakers, developers will know they’ll be using the tools and speaking the language of the next generation of devices. It may be hard to predict whether it’s possible to replace a beloved operating system used by over three-fourths of mobile devices — but if anybody can pull it off, it’s Google.

Need to choose the best mobile technology to develop your app? Check out Ciklum app development services that can help you build the eye candy app backed by high-quality code. Already have a project in mind? Drop us a line into Ciklum contact form.

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