Flutter vs Kotlin Multiplatform: A Comparison in 2024

- Andrés Cruz

En español

In application development, there is always a technology that can facilitate development, in mobile development everything is complicated since the entire process works in a single layer or with the same technology, in addition to dealing with a device with reduced capabilities. . Both in terms of screen and autonomy, if we add to this the large number of device variants, development can become complicated. and that's why we have ways to abstract and simplify the app building process without sacrificing quality. Two options that have gained popularity in recent years are Flutter and Kotlin Multiplatform (KMP). Both promise efficient coding and building cross-platform applications, but which is the best option? In this article we will try to shed some light and opinions on this topic.

Flutter: Google's Bet

Flutter is a mobile development framework that in recent releases can also be used not only to develop on Android and iOS, but also for Windows, MacOS, Linux and Web.

Flutter is a reactive framework created by Google. It uses the Dart programming language which is also created by Google therefore the integration between the two is perfect.

Flutter has become a popular choice for developing cross-platform applications. Flutter allows you to write a single code base that can run on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, web, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Its most notable feature is Hot Reload, which allows you to make changes to the code and see the results immediately without restarting the application. This significantly speeds up the development process and improves developer productivity.

With Flutter, it is also possible to write platform-specific code.

Advantages of Flutter

  1. Hot Reload: Hot Reload feature is a boon for developers. It allows you to make changes to the code and see the results in real time, which speeds up the development process and makes it easier to fix errors.
  2. Cross-Platform Development from a Single Code Base: With Flutter, writing a single code base can support multiple platforms. The same code base can also be used for the web. Additionally, Flutter has its own set of widgets and layouts, allowing you to build the exact same app on both platforms or customize it to your needs.
  3. Near-native performance: Flutter apps are compiled into C/C++ libraries, providing near-native performance. The UI is smooth and fast, every graphical interface element, every pixel is controlled by Flutter, which makes its performance extremely good.
  4. Provides a set of customizable widgets to create attractive and fluid user interfaces, each graphical interface element corresponds to a widget, which is nothing more than a class with properties to customize it, each graphical interface element such as text, images or form fields, it is a widget.
  5. It has a large community of developers and a wide range of packages available to facilitate application development.
  6. It is considered one of the most popular frameworks for developing cross-platform applications.

Disadvantages of using Flutter

  • The main drawback of using Flutter is also its best advantage, which is Dart, as it is a language created to be used with Flutter, it is possible that the work team does not master it and must first learn Dart to be able to develop in Flutter.
  • The executable file size in Flutter tends to be larger than other technologies such as KMP or native Android/iOS.
  • It is not possible to access native APIs for each platform.

Multiplatform Kotlin: JetBrains' Bet

What is cross-platform Kotlin?

Kotlin Multiplatform (KMP) is a cross-platform development solution created by JetBrains. It uses the Kotlin programming language and allows business logic to be shared across platforms, while platform-specific parts are implemented separately. KMP is compiled to native code, offering near-native performance.

Advantages of KMP

  1. Code Sharing: KMP allows you to share business logic between Android, iOS and other platforms. If you already have Android projects written in Kotlin, you can easily integrate KMP, KMP focuses on sharing the application logic layer, allowing code to be reused on different platforms.
  2. Native Performance: By compiling to native code, KMP offers performance similar to native applications.
  3. Integration with Existing Projects: You can use KMP together with existing Android projects written in Kotlin. This makes it easier to transition and reuse code.
  4. Cross-platform Kotlin achieves performance similar to native applications by using platform-specific UI components. This feature is especially important for resource-intensive applications.
  5. Access to native APIs: Developers using Kotlin Multiplatform can easily access platform-specific features and APIs.

Disadvantages of using cross-platform Kotlin

Like any technology, KMP also has some drawbacks or limitations, such as a more complex project configuration than in the case of Flutter.

It is also necessary to create specific code for each platform, since the business logic is the common implementation for each platform; this raises the problem that we must invest more time and resources to develop the same application.

Being a more recent technology than Flutter, the community and documentation in general is still small.

Which to choose?

The choice between Flutter and Kotlin Multiplatform will depend on your specific needs It also depends on the skills your team has If your team already knows how to use Kotlin KMP may be a good option but if they are closer to Dart Flutter will surely be the best candidate Both languages are excellent both languages have similar syntaxes and are close to JavaKotlin and Switch therefore using any of them should not pose a major problem Flutter

  1. Ideal for MVP or projects with an emphasis on development speed.
  2. Good support from Google and a great community.
  3. Requires learning Dart.
  4. If you want to scale your project to other platforms such as Web or Desktop, Flutter will surely be a great candidate for your project.

Kotlin Multiplatform:

  1. Good option if you need to share business logic with existing Android projects.
  2. It offers close to native performance.
  3. Requires knowledge of Kotlin.
  4. KMP also allows you to develop on other platforms such as the web or MacOS and since it is specific code, you must consider, depending on the project to be implemented, which is more effective.
Andrés Cruz

Desarrollo con Laravel, Django, Flask, CodeIgniter, HTML5, CSS3, MySQL, JavaScript, Vue, Android, iOS, Flutter

Andrés Cruz en Udemy

Acepto recibir anuncios de interes sobre este Blog.