Kotlin vs Flutter: The Best Guide to Choose Between Them

The market is becoming more and more focused on using mobile applications to run a business. It has become one of the most fundamental parts of all businesses. Kotlin language and Flutter SDK are widely used for mobile app development purposes, and they are very well suited for developing high-performance applications. In this tutorial on Kotlin vs. Flutter, you will learn about Kotlin and Flutter and compare them.

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What Is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a general-purpose statically typed programming language developed by Jet brains that first appeared in 2011 and was released in 2016. It can support the object-oriented and procedural programming paradigm. The word statically typed means the type checking, and the type of the variable is known at the compile time.

Kotlin is interoperable with Java, which means both languages can share and use the information, in other words, you can use Kotlin side by side with Java. Just like the compiler of Java, the Kotlin compiler also generates the byte code, which can run on JVM. Kotlin is developed by selecting all the good features of different languages like Java, JavaScript, Scala, C#, etc., which is why it is a friendly and easy language to learn.

So now that you learned about Kotlin, move on and understand what Flutter is.

What Is Flutter?

Flutter is a user interface toolkit that Google developed in 2017. It is an open-source framework and offers a complete package of widgets, tools, etc., for development purposes. It is used to develop mobile applications, web applications, desktop applications, and some embedded devices as well.

Flutter is not a language but a development kit that contains all the necessary libraries, tools, documentation, etc., to build the software. Dart is the programming language that is used in Flutter. Dart was developed by Google in 2011 and is very suitable for mobile and web applications.

Now, go ahead and compare both Kotlin and Flutter in terms of different aspects.

So you will first start with Performance.

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Kotlin vs. Flutter Comparison

Performance

Kotlin

Flutter

The reason Kotlin applications run faster than the Flutter applications is that the Kotlin apps can directly interact with the device. Moreover, Kotlin code compiles in the same format as the platform, which makes it more suitable for cross-platform mobile app development and a robust platform.

Flutter has a faster debugging and development process because of the fact it has a hot reload and hot restart feature. This feature provides the developers with the opportunity to update the code instantly and see its effects at a faster rate, which helps speed up the complete development process much faster.

Ease of Learning

Kotlin

Flutter

The reason Kotlin applications run faster than the Flutter applications is that the Kotlin apps can directly interact with the device. Moreover, Kotlin code compiles in the same format as the platform, which makes it more suitable for cross-platform mobile app development and a robust platform.

Flutter has a faster debugging and development process because of the fact it has a hot reload and hot restart feature. This feature provides the developers with the opportunity to update the code instantly and see its effects at a faster rate, which helps speed up the complete development process much faster.

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Popularity

Kotlin

Flutter

Kotlin’s popularity on Github is 40k stars which is quite less than Flutter’s. As per google trends, the popularity of Kotlin language lies at 72 out of 100, and according to StackOverflow, the percentage of StackOverflow questions for Kotlin is 1.17%.

Flutter's popularity on GitHub is 98.9k stars since its 1.0 release, which is quite good. As per google trends, Flutter language lies at 76 in terms of average popularity out of 100, and according to StackOverflow, the percentage of StackOverflow questions for Flutter is approx 2.50%.

Integration of Third-Party Libraries

Kotlin

Flutter

Kotlin language does not need a set of specific libraries and tools for making a connection as it works with the native platform ecosystem. 

Flutter is a user interface development tool due to which it requires third-party libraries and tools in order to make connections with the native environment.

Apps Developed

Kotlin

Flutter

Some of the apps developed using Kotlin are VMware, Coursera, Zomato, Netflix, Pinterest, Uber.

Some of the apps developed using Flutter are Cryptograph, Postmuse, Hamilton, Apptree, Google ads.

Moving on to the advantages of Kotlin.

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Advantages of Kotlin

  • Null safety: Null safety is one of the most innovative features that come with the Kotlin language. This feature eliminates the risk of null pointer exceptions by differentiating between nullable and non-nullable references, and Kotlin doesn’t compile the code which tries to return null.
  • Robust performance: In Kotlin language, the code you write is compiled in the same format as the platform it is planned; this feature provides the performance to the native app development, making Kotlin language a robust platform.
  • Easy to learn: Kotlin language is inspired by other languages like Java, C#, etc. The syntax of the Kotlin language is also quite similar and less strict to Java. The users who already know Java find the Kotlin language very familiar and easy to understand. Also, because of its interoperable nature with Java, both languages can co-exist, making things easier for developers.
  • Concise and easy to maintain: In Kotlin language, you don’t have to write the entire code; unlike Java, you can simply write the same code with fewer lines.

Also, Koltin has a single codebase that makes it a stable language for development, and you can easily detect errors before running the code.

Advantages of Flutter

  • Hot reload: This feature allows you to see the changes that you have created, like fixing bugs, building the user interface, etc., and those changes are then reflected instantly. It helps you to write code faster with ease.
  • Less development cost: In Flutter, you can use the same code because of native app development, which allows you to reuse most parts of the code. This helps cut the development time and resources, which helps reduce the budget by up to 30-40%.
  • Widgets: Flutter SDK comes with numerous widgets that offer many capabilities and make the app attractive and is also used for displaying, designing, and handling interaction.
  • MVP and Prototype development: MVP (minimum viable product) is a simpler version of the app or software that solves the problem statement. It helps to give the true potential of the idea. It helps attract the interest of the users in the product that you are planning to launch. Flutter is a cross-platform development tool, so minimum time and resources are needed and can be assessed if the idea is good or not.
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Conclusion

In this tutorial on Kotlin vs Flutter, you learned many things, including what exactly is Kotlin and Flutter.  You compared them in terms of performance, ease of learning, popularity, integration of third-party libraries, and the apps developed by them. Then, you also learned about the advantages of Kotlin language and Flutter (SDK).

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Do you have any questions regarding this tutorial on Kotlin vs Flutter? If you do, then put them in the comments section. We’ll help you solve your queries. To learn more about Kotlin vs Flutter, click on the following link: Kotlin vs Flutter

About the Author

Harsh BhardwajHarsh Bhardwaj

Harsh is a Research Analyst at Simplilearn. He has a good hand at C++, Java, CSS, SQL, and a good grasp of Kotlin language. Harsh is quite interested in traveling, spirituality, and playing football.

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