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Flutter or PWA – Which Is Best For Your App Development Project

PWA or Flutter


The digital transformation has unleashed a torrent of invention, with billions of technologies emerging from the incubator.

With the advent of multi- and cross-platforms, companies are aiming to create a single app that is technologically advanced and renders flawlessly across all digital platforms.

Though several frameworks for developing cross-platform applications exist, Flutter and PWA are the finest. And this is where most business owners become confused.

Therefore, using my years of experience as a web developer, I will assist you in clearing up this confusion. In this article, we will analyze both Flutter and PWA to draw a conclusion.

However, before we begin the comparison, let us first understand the fundamentals of both frameworks.

What is Flutter App Development Framework?

Flutter is an open-source framework developed by Google in 2017 that enables developers to develop efficient, natively built, cross-platform apps from just a single codebase. Flutter apps are created in the Dart language, which can be converted to ARM or Intel machine code, as well as JavaScript, for quick performance on any platform. The single codebase is easily deployable across Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, Web, and Embedded platforms.

What is the PWA Development Framework?

Progressive web apps are referred to as PWA. A progressive web app is an application that delivers an app-like experience to users through a web browser using contemporary web methods and capabilities. A PWA is a type of application created with common web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It is designed to function on any platform that uses a common browser, including desktop and mobile devices.

Now, we will compare the PWA with Flutter to know which is better for your business.

Comparison of Flutter and PWA

Comparing Flutter and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to determine which is better for a business requires a comprehensive evaluation of various factors, such as development time, cross-platform development, performance, user experience, and cost.

1. Development Language

  • Flutter uses Dart programming language.
  • PWA (Progressive Web App) uses web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

2. Cross-Platform Development

  • Flutter allows developers to build apps for Android and iOS platforms using the same codebase, saving time and resources.
  • PWAs, on the other hand, are designed to be accessible from any device with a web browser, providing a more comprehensive cross-platform solution. However, this also means that they may require more effort to optimize for different devices and screen sizes.

3. Performance

  • Flutter is known for its smooth and fast app performance, even on older devices, thanks to its use of Dart, a quick and efficient programming language, and its lightweight, reactive architecture.
  • PWAs can also provide a good user experience, as they can be optimized for various devices and browsers. However, their performance may not be as fast as native apps or apps built with Flutter.

4. User Experience

  • Flutter provides a rich set of pre-designed widgets and tools for building beautiful, custom user interfaces, making it an attractive option for businesses that want to create a visually appealing app.
  • PWAs can also provide a good user experience, especially when designed to work offline or with limited connectivity. However, their user experience may not be as polished as native apps or apps built with Flutter.

5. Device Compatibility

  • Flutter apps can run on both Android and iOS devices, as well as other platforms such as desktops and the web.
  • PWAs can run on multiple devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablet, but their compatibility with some older devices may be limited.

6. Security

  • Flutter apps are stored on the device, making them less vulnerable to hacking and security breaches compared to web-based apps.
  • PWAs, on the other hand, run in a web browser and can be vulnerable to hacking and security breaches, making it important for businesses to implement robust security measures to protect their app and user data.

7. Development Time

  • Flutter can significantly reduce development time compared to native app development, as it allows for the creation of high-quality apps for multiple platforms with a single codebase.
  • PWAs can also reduce development time compared to native app development, as they don’t require separate development efforts for multiple platforms, but their development time may be longer compared to Flutter, as they don’t have the same level of access to native features and functionality.

8. Accessibility

  • Flutter provides various accessibility features that can be incorporated into the app, such as screen readers, high-contrast mode, and font size customization.
  • PWAs also support accessibility features, but the level of accessibility support may vary depending on the browser being used and the features supported by the device.

9. Push Notifications

  • Flutter provides built-in support for push notifications, allowing businesses to send notifications directly to their users’ devices.
  • PWAs also support push notifications, but the implementation may require additional development effort compared to Flutter, as it relies on browser support.

10. Offline Capabilities

  • Flutter apps can provide offline capabilities, allowing users to access and use the app even when they don’t have an internet connection.
  • PWAs can also provide offline capabilities, but the level of offline functionality may be limited compared to native apps and Flutter apps, as it relies on browser support.

11. Cost

  • Flutter app development can be more expensive than developing a PWA, as it requires specialized skills and resources.
  • PWAs are often less expensive to develop and maintain compared to native mobile apps, as they don’t require separate development efforts for multiple platforms. However, their cost can still be high, especially when designed for various devices and screen sizes.

12. App Store Distribution

  • Flutter apps can be distributed through app stores such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, providing businesses with a well-established distribution channel for their app.
  • PWAs, on the other hand, are not currently listed in the app stores, and users must access them through a web browser. This can make it more challenging for businesses to reach their target audience, as users may not be as likely to discover their PWA compared to a native app.

13. Native Functionality

  • Flutter provides access to native features, such as camera, geolocation, and push notifications, providing businesses with the ability to build rich, native apps.
  • PWAs can also provide access to some native features, such as geolocation, but their access to other features, such as camera and push notifications, may be limited.

14. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • PWAs can benefit from better SEO compared to native apps, as they can be indexed by search engines and easily found by users searching for relevant content.
  • Flutter apps, on the other hand, are not easily indexed by search engines, making it more challenging for businesses to attract organic traffic from search engines.

15. Development Community

  • Flutter has a growing and active development community, providing businesses with a wealth of resources and support for building and maintaining their app.
  • PWAs also have a growing development community, but their resources and support may not be as extensive as those available for Flutter.

16. App Maintenance and Upgrades

  • Flutter apps require regular maintenance and upgrades to ensure they remain functional and secure, which can add to the cost of owning and operating the app.
  • PWAs can also require regular maintenance and upgrades, but their maintenance and upgrade costs may be lower compared to Flutter apps, as they don’t need separate development efforts for multiple platforms.

17. Future

  • Flutter is a relatively new technology that is rapidly growing in popularity and has a bright future ahead, with regular updates and improvements from the development community.
  • PWAs are also a relatively new technology that is gaining popularity. Still, the future of PWAs may be influenced by advances in web technology, such as web assembly and web components.

Flutter or PWA – Conclusion

After understanding all the points mentioned above, it’s important to note that Flutter and PWA have both benefits and drawbacks.

Flutter is a powerful and versatile app development platform that provides high-quality user experiences, fast app performance, and robust security features. Flutter is ideal for businesses that require complex and feature-rich apps and must provide a high-quality user experience across multiple platforms.

PWAs, on the other hand, are web-based apps that can run on multiple devices and provide a cost-effective solution for businesses that want to reach a wider audience without having to invest in native app development. PWAs are a good choice for companies that want to provide a fast, accessible, and responsive app experience without the need for complex features and functionality.

Ultimately, the choice between Flutter and PWA will depend on your specific business needs and requirements, such as your target audience, the type of app you want to create, and your budget and resources. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the best solution for your business.

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