So what’s the most important decision you have to make while developing an app?

Hands down, it’s choosing the right technology! After all, it is responsible for how your app will look and feel.

Recently, cross-platform apps have gained more popularity and preference for their native-like experience and low-cost development. As a result, Flutter Vs. Kotlin has become a famous debate.

Gone are the times when by reading the word cross-platform, only React Native would come to the readers’ mind. With Google’s & Jetbrains’ backing, Flutter & Kotlin have gained an individual space in the app development market. Both technologies are still young and growing and thus proving to have the potential of ruling the future of mobile app development. This has initiated and also continues to add more fire to the Flutter Vs Kotlin debate.

Flutter Vs Kotlin: Basic Details

Flutter & Kotlin are cross-platform SDKs that allow you to create native-like mobile applications with only one codebase. In simple words, by single coding, you can have an app for iOS and Android.

Flutter 101

Released in December 2018, Flutter is Google’s free and open-source UI SDK.

It’s a specialized software development kit (SDK), which provides a collection of tools for indigenous assistance in app development. It uses the Dart programming language, and there are tools for compiling the source codes into native machine codes. Along with this, it provides a collection of reusable UI elements, including buttons, text inputs, and sliders. It helps in personalizing the app, ensuring that the idea is realized as per the client’s vision.

Kotlin 101

On the other hand, Kotlin Multiplatform, an SDK released in 2020 by Jetbrains (Alpha), leveraged the capabilities of Native Kotlin to build cross-platform apps.

Kotlin is widely regarded as a general-purpose programming language built to be interoperable with Java and the Java Virtual Machine. Then it launched ‘Kotlin for Native’ for native Android and native iOS app development. With Kotin Multiplatform, it has taken a step forward in mobile app development by ensuring that native apps can be turned cross-platform through the new SDK. For this, it compiles the code in the format that the native platform requires. It can compile down JVM bytecode, JavaScript, and native machine codes based on a platform target.

Differences Between Flutter and Kotlin Multiplatform

Differences between flutter and kotlin multiplatform

Various Parameters For Comparing Flutter Vs Kotlin

So by now, you must have the idea of Flutter & Kotlin individually. So it’s time to take a deeper dive into this debate. In this segment, you’ll witness a detailed discussion of diverse parameters.

  • Performance

Flutter provides the option of using the same language in the front-end and backend, which improves the speed and ensures higher performance. This also leads to hot reloading functionality, allowing developers to make changes in the code that are reflected right away in the mobile app, without even reinstalling it.

Whereas Kotlin’s performance is concerned, it organizes the code according to the targeted platform’s format. This sheer fact makes it far easy to customize and provides higher performance.

With both of them having unique advantages, it is understandable why Kotlin Vs Flutter’s performance is always a hot debate.

  • UI Experience

Flutter was primarily formed as an SDK to support UI development, so this is its strongest point. It is also known for providing widgets. These widgets shorten the development time and provide a mobile app solution that’s customized, quick, and efficient.

Whereas Kotlin Multiplatform provides complete freedom to develop a unique and creative app based on developer’s skills. It doesn’t have any restrictions or pre-conceived guidelines. So, developers have complete control over the app’s appearance and conduct.

  • Popularity

Many do not consider popularity as an important parameter. But don’t you agree that popularity speaks about user favourability, developer favourability, and brand preference.

While we are writing this, on Github:

Also, as per research conducted to observe which SDKs software developers used throughout 2019 & 2020, Flutter experienced growth from 30% to 39%. While Kotlin Multiplatform didn’t even reach the alpha stage in 2019, and as it did in 2020, it was used by 2% of software developers throughout the year. Also, as popularity is being discussed, it is to be duly noted that overall Kotlin’s popularity can surpass that of Flutter anyday.

  • Integration of Third-Party Libraries and Tools

Being a cross-platform SDK, Flutter provides easy integration of third-party UI development tools.

While in Kotlin Multiplatform, the development is being done in the native ecosystem. So rather than making a new one, app developers can deploy the same libraries and third-party tools. These include SwiftUI, Jetpack Compose, and all the others used in native development.

  • Scope in Backend Development

Due to the backing of Google, for writing backend codes, Flutter uses firebase. It is an effective BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) platform.

Kotlin Multiplatform allows developers to write backend code, hence providing them with more freedom.

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Advantages Of Using Flutter

With the detailed comparison between Kotlin and. Flutter, now it’s time to have a glance over the salient benefits of Flutter.

  • Hot-Reload

As we mentioned above, this feature allows the developer to make changes in the code which are reflected simultaneously in the mobile app. This helps developers in knowing if a particular change is going well with other app components or not. Also, this is a significant point of difference in comparison for Flutter and Kotlin.

  • Customization

It’s possible because of the widgets discussed above. They make app development a far more creative experience for developers and allow the resultant app to be tailormade. This even fastens the process.

  • MVP and Prototype Development

Being a cross-platform technology for iOS & Android, Flutter app development requires lesser money and time as well. This makes it the best option for MVP & Prototype so the investor can see how the idea will turn out and test it in the market while also using it to attract funding.

  • Fast fluid UI

This point doesn’t make many features in the Flutter versus Kotlin debate but has significant importance. Flutter apps are known to have a fluid and fast UI, which is possible because of Skia Graphics Library. The UI gets redrawn whenever view changes when combined with GPU, Flutter UI gives a smoother and faster experience.

Advantages Of Kotlin Multiplatform

The entire development community knows the benefits of Kotlin (programming language) and Kotlin Native development. But here are the listed benefits of Kotlin Multiplatform development as a cross-platform.

  • Modular integration

This is probably the most important benefit for Kotlin Multiplatform. Unlike its predecessors, it isn’t just a framework but a software development kit (SDK). So in the case of existing apps, the developers need to add a module or migrate a small part to assess the project’s viability. This has helped Kotlin in eliminating the biggest risk concerned while migrating/moving to a new codebase. As the app development can start from a single component, the developer can test the project first on that particular component rather than invest in the entire development and test it later.

  • Easy to Learn

The syntax of Kotlin is similar to other programming languages like Java and Swift. This makes it easier for the developers to adapt to it as they don’t need to learn the same from the start. This point also has significant importance In the debate of these SDKs’ programming language, Dart vs Kotlin.

  • Robust & Reusing Business Logic

We know that Kotlin Multiplatform isn’t the first cross-platform technology to reuse business logic, even Xamarin and React Native do. What makes it better is that it employs the shared logic and libraries below the UI layer. Now, combining this with its feature of compiling code according to the targeted platform. It ensures that the resultant app provides the level of performance close to native app development.

  • Scalability and Flexibility

With Kotlin Multiplatform, developers can scale up the app development without using the VM (Virtual Machine). Thus it offers enhanced scalability and flexibility.

Kotlin vs Flutter: Which One is Right for your Business?

All types of technologies are made for easing the work of developers. Whether it’s React Native, Xamarin, Flutter, or Kotlin Multiplatform. But you have to choose one to move forward with development, don’t you?

So, choose Flutter if you are looking to build MVP for testing your idea and attracting funding. With End-to-end development, it provides the option of cost-effective and short timeline development.

If you are looking for enhanced and tailormade UI, higher adaptability of business logic in apps, and want to mirror experience with native apps, choose Kotlin Multiplatform.

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Final Verdict: Which Is Better Flutter or Kotlin?

The difference between Flutter and Kotlin Multiplatform is wide and somewhat too early to be discussed. Both are relatively new, and the latter is still young and in the alpha stage. But with overall Kotlin’s performance, popularity, framework, and experience, Kotlin Multiplatform can be believed to have the upper hand in terms of potential. While Flutter is being backed by Google and provides a creative development experience, it isn’t too far behind in terms of potential. But both can change the future of cross-platform.

We have in-house experienced developers for Kotlin as well as Flutter, who have assisted several clients in realizing the most innovative, creative, and complex app ideas. So, feel free to contact us for any kind of mobile app consultation or development assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions on Flutter & Kotlin Multiplatform

  1. Which Technology Will Rule the Cross-Platform App Market?

    This is always a hard question to answer, as any market is too dynamic and vast to be ruled by one technology. We all remember the times when React Native was the first and only option in cross-platform. But today, we have ample options with various purposes and advantages.

    Currently, Flutter & Kotin Multiplatform have shown good potential and are growing day by day. This has led to the famous debate of Android Kotlin Vs. Flutter change to the above mentioned in a matter of a year.

    So React Native and Flutter are on top in the cross-platform app market, Kotlin Multiplatform is a strong candidate to share the same position in the future.

  2. Which Is Better, Kotlin Versus Flutter for Android Development?

    This question needs to be seen with a broader lens.

    If the comparison is Flutter Vs Kotlin Native, then surely native development will provide a greater app experience, but you’ll need a greater budget and more time.

    While in the case of Kotlin Multiplatform and Flutter, please refer to our above ‘Kotlin vs Flutter: Which One is Right for your Business?’ section in the last segment of the blog.

  3. In between Flutter & Kotlin Multiplatform, Which Is More Cost-Effective?

    Hands down Flutter is more cost-effective, and that’s why it is highly preferred for MVPs and prototypes. It’s not only true when compared with Kotlin, as it even stands stronger in terms of affordability than other technologies for app development. The reason for this is the time reduction in the development period by hot reload and widgets. They help in spotting inaccuracies quickly while easing the development process as well.