How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Flutter App?
12 Apr 2022
Flutter is one of the two most popular open-source cross-platform app development frameworks in the world. Developed and maintained by Google Flutter came into existence back in 2015 and within just a couple of years became the leading technology for versatile and feature-rich mobile app projects across the niches. Flutter app development cost remains competitively lower as it allows reusing the same code not just for iOS and Android app projects, but also for desktop and web app projects.
Over the years, Flutter gained popularity because of its faster development capability and low-cost advantages involving fewer resources and complexity. The modular widget-based development approach of Flutter also allows startups and small business app projects to embrace incremental development approaches like MVP to keep control of the initial app development cost and ensure feedback-based value additions and updates. The modular development approach of Flutter also helps developers to keep the app maintenance cost to a minimum.
Here throughout this blog post, we are going to explain the key cost advantages offered by Flutter, the principal factors affecting the Flutter app cost and the actual cost of building a Flutter app based on several factors. But before explaining them let us have a quick look at the present state of Flutter app development in 2022.
The present state of Flutter app development in 2022
It is already well known that React Native made cross-platform development more popular than native platform-specific development. The revolution of cross-platform development now has been taken its shoulder by the Flutter development framework. Ever since it came in 2015, Flutter continued to rise in popularity and became the most successful development technology covering not just mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android but also desktop platforms such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and the web.
According to a Statista report, Flutter enjoys the highest popularity for building cross-platform apps followed by native Android apps. According to the report, among all the Flutter apps 45% of apps are cross-platform in character while 41% of Flutter apps are native Android apps. There are also 11% of Flutter apps that are developed specifically for native iOS platforms. This shows the increasing dominance of Flutter for mobile app development projects.
As for market popularity among developers, Flutter is already one of the favourite technologies for developers across any platform and software project. According to the above-mentioned Statista report, Flutter until 2019 was used by 30% of developers which increased to 42% by the end of 2021. Expectedly, Flutter will continue to rise in popularity and leave behind the earlier popularity benchmarks.
Now, let’s come to what the experts say on Flutter development cost in 2022. According to a Clutch estimation, the cost of building apps by using Flutter varies from $25 000 to $700 000 on average. Naturally, the range is huge to get a precise idea of what would be the development cost for your Flutter app. Well, this is why you need to go into the details of cost factors.
Why is Flutter a top choice for reduced app development costs?
Flutter app development is popular particularly among startups and small business app projects because of several cost advantages offered by this awesome app development framework. Let’s have a quick look at these cost advantages of Flutter.
- Flutter SDK is free and open-source: Flutter SDK has been created by Google and launched as a free and open-source platform requiring zero cost for using it for app development projects.
- Awesome code portability: Flutter offers fully portable code across multiple platforms including iOS, Android, web, and desktop. Unlike other cross-platform app development technologies, Flutter allows reusing the same code for web and desktop as well.
- Fast and modular design & development: In Flutter all native and platform-specific UI elements and features are presented as compatible widgets to shape the native user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of the app with ease. This ensures faster Flutter app design, development, and ease of maintenance resulting in distinct cost advantages.
- Out-of-the-box backend support: Flutter offering out-of-the-box access to Google Firebase ensures smooth backend development and maintenance. With Flutter, you can reduce back-end development costs to a minimum.
- Easier app maintenance and updates: Flutter apps are easier to maintain primarily because of the simple code of Dart programming language. Secondly, making value additions and changes becomes easier because of the modularity of widgets.
Key factors impacting the Flutter app development cost
Determining Flutter development cost is difficult without going deeper into several aspects of an app project. From a feature set to app complexity to chosen platforms to the development approach to updates and maintenance needs, there are several factors impacting the development cost of a Flutter app.
Let’s have a quick look at these key cost factors.
Features & Functionalities
The biggest factor impacting the cost to build a Flutter app is the choice of features and functionalities. While simple features may reduce development costs they won’t help your app to stand out from the competition. On the other hand, advanced app features will help your app to stay competitively ahead or at par with the competition.
The choice of features also depends largely upon the app niche and the type of app you are developing. While certain features such as search function, push notifications, user authentication and several others will remain common, the choice of advanced features such as GPS location, chatbot support, recommendation engine, etc will depend upon the app's objective.
Another major cost factor for Flutter application development depends upon the complexity of the app project. The large and complex app projects involving multiple layers generally cost much higher than the simple app projects focused on just one or two functions.
Based upon the complexity and depth of app features and layers, the development time increases resulting in more development cost. For example, e-commerce apps or video streaming apps because of their complicated feature set and multiple layers involve more development time and cost than a simple calendar or notebook app.
User Interface (UI) and design layout
Another crucial cost factor for Flutter application development is the complexity of the user interface (UI) and the design layout of the app. An attractive and engaging user interface and easy-to-use app layout are crucial aspects of a successful app project.
Now if you just use the market-available design themes and templates to shape the user interface (UI) and layout of the app, the cost can be much lower. But for most ambitious app projects, creating custom UI design and layout is the standard practice. The cost of custom UI design and layout depends upon the design complexity. Interactive and graphic elements and the use of animation can add substantial costs.
For every app project, maintaining a robust and scalable storage space is extremely important. The cost of maintaining the server depends upon whether you choose an on-premise setup or a cloud-based server. Whatever server choice you choose, make sure you don’t compromise on the quality just to reduce cost.
Integrating third-party APIs and plugins is the standard practice to extend the features and functionalities of an app project. The Flutter app price depends largely on the number of third-party integrations the app depends upon. Relying on third-party integrations is common among apps involving 3D visuals, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), payment gateways, geolocation-based features, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), etc.
App maintenance and updates
If you are asking how much does it cost to make a Flutter app, you should not only keep into consideration the cost of development and releasing the app, but also the cost of maintenance and rolling out the updates. The cost of maintenance, support, and updates should particularly be considered well in advance in the case of incremental app projects where a lot of value additions and changes are in the pipelines, waiting for user feedback.
What does the average Flutter app development cost?
Now, let’s face the final question, what does the average Flutter app development cost? Well, now that we have considered all the major cost factors for a Flutter app project, it is time to come up with some approximate cost figures. Globally, building a cross-platform app based upon Flutter will cost between $25,000 to $170,000 and the cost may reach up to $500,000, based on the project size and various factors we have already explained.
For your ambitious app project, you can also hire a Flutter developer with medium-level experience and skills by paying as low as $25 per hour. The rate of developers largely varies based on their experience, track record, and domain expertise. To reduce development costs, never consider hiring freelancers for your app project unless you are not sure of their credibility.
As we have already mentioned Flutter developer hourly rates largely vary based on experience, skills, and credibility. An experienced Flutter app developer having loads of project exposure and experience in challenging projects may charge up to $100 per hour or more.
Flutter is the ideal technology to keep your app development cost under control without really compromising on the app performance and user experience. Now having chosen this cost-efficient technology for your next app project, you can further plan various development attributes to reduce the development cost.
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