Flutter VS PWA: Which is Better for Mobile App Development?

When it comes to choosing the right technology for mobile app development, are you having a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? The digital transformation has brought across a storm of innovation, where gazillions of technologies are bubbling out of the incubator.

With the evolution of multi & cross platforms, businesses are attempting to develop a single app that is technologically advanced and renders seamlessly across all digital platforms.

Also, with the increasing adoption of AI/ML, entrepreneurs are moving towards a sustainable app development approach, that offers feasible, viable, automated, and cost-effective solutions.

Choosing from the best options might be a bit overwhelming. However, we have come up with two highly trending technologies that are going parallel and are giving edge-to-edge competition in the app development ecosystem. These are Flutter and PWA.

Let us give you a brief introduction to Flutter and PWA.

What is Flutter?

Flutter by Google is an open-source UI SDK (Software Development Kit). It is used for building natively compiled cross-platform applications from a single code base.

What makes flutter unique?

·         Flutter is powered by Google. This makes flutter applications perform smooth and fast on all platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, and others).

·         With Flutter, you can build fully featured apps that perform effortlessly on all the search engines.

·         Flutter offers readymade widgets and provides several options to test and integrate APIs.

Some of the best examples of Flutter apps are Google Ads, Alibaba, Dream11, Cryptograph, and My Leaf (for Nissan Cars).

Some Flutter usage statistics are:

·         Currently, there are 500,000 apps built with Flutter.

·         91% of the developers claim that with Flutter they can develop and publish mobile apps faster.

·         85% claim that Flutter makes aesthetically appealing mobile apps.

What is PWA?

Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a web application software which works on all platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, etc.) and all devices (mobile, desktop, tablet) within a standard compliant browser.

Simply put, PWA is a website or a webpage that performs like a web application, so there is no need for building or distributing a separate application.

What makes PWA unique?

·         PWA opens online/offline (its home page pulls up instead of ‘No Internet’ in offline mode)

·         You can open PWA from shortcut icons

·         PWA loads is own window

·         It has a pleasant UI on all devices.

Some of the best examples of PWA apps are Twitter lite, Starbucks, Forbes, Pinterest, BMW, 2048 Game, MakeMyTrip, and AliExpress

Some PWA usage statistics are:

·         Implementing PWA on a regular site can improve its performance speed by 63%.

·         Webpages tend to load 2 to 4 times faster with PWA, with an average speed of 2.75s.

·         PWA increases user engagement by 68.8% and the bounce rate drops by 37.6%.

·         Also, with PWA mobile traffic increased by over 65%

Flutter v/s PWA: Gauging the parameters, features, and Uniqueness.

You have the best two. But how will you choose the best of the two? Let us have a Flutter v/s PWA SHOWDOWN!

Language:

Flutter is written in Dart language which is known to optimize native applications faster on multiple platforms. Dart language is completely object-oriented and has a C-based Syntax style, making it simple & easy to learn.

PWA apps are web apps. Hence, they have no strict rules in choosing a programming language for development. PWA can be built with common programming languages like HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and others. Yet, JavaScript-based dialects are fundamental to PWA development.

Performance:

JavaScript being a language veteran has a better understanding of the multicore nature of modern CPUs. Despite the nature of its language being single-threaded, it distributes the workload evenly.

However, its latest ‘worker threads’ module (introduced by Node JS) enables parallel execution of the JS process and can handle CPU-intensive workloads better. Thereby giving tough competition to the Dart language.

Whereas Flutter, written in Dart language is kind of a newbie in the app market. It can be easily compiled into x86 code and ARM. For the code to run faster and effectively on the web, Dart can also be trans compiled to JS.

Space complexity:

The size of Flutter apps is considerably larger as compared to PWA apps. Where PWA apps never exceed the 1MB mark, Flutter apps can exceed 7MB in size.

Feature Support:

Flutter is an SDK. It is designed for developing cross-platform mobile apps. It is fully featureful as compared to PWA. Flutter apps have profound access to hardware features of the device like Bluetooth, camera, location, and others. These features are partial/not accessible to PWA. Hence, with flutter complex apps work effortlessly.

User Interface:

Unlike many frameworks that use components of the destined platform, Flutter executes its own components.

Flutter’s pixel-perfect outlook renders the applications consistently across all device screens. Fully featured Flutter provides the best user experience, gearing up the user engagement rate.

On the other hand, PWA is lite, quick, and does not drain data. This compromises on detailed User Interface.

Speed:

The major point of consideration while developing a PWA app is that it loads faster on the web and other platforms. PWA has a comparatively faster loading speed as compared to Flutter. This in turn boosts the conversion rate of PWA apps.

Development factors:

Flutter needs a single codebase for deployment on all platforms. Features like ready-to-use widgets and hot reloading, positively impact the development speed. Yet, third-party packages are a major drawback when it comes to app development with Flutter.

PWA offers more code reusability opportunities. Besides, in PWA a website is the same as a web application, so there is no need to build separate apps. This factor boosts its development speed. PWA apps are developed faster as compared to Flutter apps.

Connectivity & data usage:

PWA enable users to browse through applications even with poor or no network connections. This is not possible with Flutter apps.

The size of PWA apps is comparatively very small than Flutter apps. Due to its small size, PWA apps load quickly and are not data-draining.

Device compatibility:

PWA apps are browser dependent. So, they are compatible with devices that support JavaScript, HTML, and CSS programming languages.

Many PWA apps are not supported in WebView. Also, some of the trusted web activities are not supported on Android TV.

Flutter is designed to render native apps seamlessly on cross-platforms. So, Flutter is compatible with almost all platforms and all devices. Flutter is highly compatible as compared to PWA.

Updating apps:

Users are often uninterested in updating their mobile apps. With this automated apps are gaining traction. Where Flutter apps get auto-updated as soon as their newer version is launched in the app store. PWA apps to get auto-updated by enabling auto-update account settings.

Search Engine aspect:

Flutter performs incredibly well on the web too. Its dynamic technical architecture allows it to perform consistently across all search engines. Its pixel-perfect outlook renders aesthetically appealing web layouts, on all search engines.

PWA again depends on which programming language is supported by the respective search engine. To illustrate, the least supporting search engine for PWA is Safari for iOS.

Summing up!

ParametersFlutterPWA
Created byGoogle in 2017Google in 2015
Programming LanguageDart languageJavaScript, HTML, CSS
Performancemoderatehigh
Space complexityconsumes more spaceconsumes less space
Feature supportFully featuredPartial/not accessible hardware feature
User interfacePixel perfect outlook renders the best UXCompromise on detailed UX as it is lite in size and consumes less data.
SpeedFast loadingSupersonic loading
Development factorThird-party packages are a major drawbackFaster development due to code reusability
Connectivity & data usageRequires network connection. Data draining.Works in low/no network connection. Uses less data.
Device compatibilityCompatible with all devices renders seamlessly on all platformsCompatible only with devices supporting respective programming languages (JavaScript, HTML, CSS)
Updating appsAutomated updateAutomated update
Search engine outputPerforms exceptionally on all search enginesPerformance depends on the respective search engine. Safari is the least supportive.
Top examplesGoogle Ads, Alibaba, Dream11Twitter lite, Forbes, Pinterest

So, who is winning here? You are the Judge and the Jury to decide!

PWA and Flutter both are highly popular and are performing incredibly well in their field of expertise. Which one to choose depends on the needs of the mobile app development.

We can solve this for you. We at Cubet Techno Labs are a mobile app development company, leading the market for over a decade. We have been building some outstanding native apps for cross-platforms and web browsers, using the latest technology and tools. Once the apps are developed & published, we also offer maintenance, update, and support services.

If you are looking for a superior quality mobile app that performs effortlessly on all platforms and all search engines; that too at a reasonable price range, then we are here for you. Count on us for empowering your business to new heights in the digital ecosystem. 

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