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Flutter apps in 2022, who uses Flutter?
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Flutter apps in 2022, who uses Flutter?

I have already described why Flutter is great for creating an MVP. In this article, you can find a few examples of significant companies that have decided to use Flutter to develop their mature products.


5. Nubank


Nubank, a neobank from Brazil, opens our list. Neobanks are banks that, unlike traditional physical branches, offer their services exclusively online. With 52.4 million customers in Brazil and 1.51 million in Mexico and Colombia, Nubank was the highest-rated independent neobank in the world, and their mobile app boasts 100 million+ downloads on the Google Play Store.


Nubank.com

The Nubank mobile application was developed in the classic model of two independent teams: IOS and Android. The bank’s dynamic development generated the need to provide new functionalities. Unfortunately, they were unable to source and train new developers on all platforms at the same pace. It translated into constant fluctuations and disproportion between the creative possibilities of each of the teams. No wonder, new functionalities were released at different times for each version, which hurt customer experience. Moreover, such duplication of work seemed to be an unnecessary waste of time for the company.

To meet the challenges, Nubank decided to move its application to a cross-platform solution. They appointed a special team, whose task was to analyze the tools available on the market and recommend one that best suits their needs. The result of this analysis was the choice of Flutter as the technology to which they transferred further development of their applications.

As the main reasons for their choice, they pointed out:

  • Qualitative documentation and community support.
  • Productivity-enhancing features like hot-reload.
  • Extensive test support.

They started the migration process by creating all the new functionalities directly in Flutter and implementing them into the current native applications. At the same time, they worked on rewriting the old functionalities to Flutter to be able to combine the entire application into one project.

Additionally, the Nubank team noted several other positive effects of the Flutter implementation, among others:

  • Communication between different teams, for example, design and UX, has improved significantly. 
  • Using a single library of components allowed them to fully focus their energy and creativity on its development.

Remaining in the world of finance, Crédit Agricole Poland is also worth mentioning.
They migrated its mobile  application to Flutter in 2022.

4. BMW


The My BMW application from the Bavarian automotive giant facilitates many options in everyday use of this brand’s vehicles. Users can not only remotely control the car’s systems (e.g. start the air conditioning), but also arrange a service visit or plan a route.

Unfortunately, the application required numerous changes before it was introduced to a new market. This translated into the greatest difficulty the BMW development team had to face: maintaining Android and IOS applications across 45 countries.

To be able to maintain the current quality, they needed a new tool that would enable the simultaneous publication of new functionalities for all 90 variants of the application. Moreover, to meet their business ambitions, they needed to shorten the time required to implement the application in the new market.


BMW Group

Similarly to Nubank, BMW started by creating a team to research the available cross-platform tools. The result of the analysis was the choice of a solution based on web technologies. Unfortunately, after several attempts to transfer the application, the new tool turned out to be too limited. At that moment, the developers decided to test Flutter.

After the migration began, they found out that working with Flutter was much less labor-intensive. As a result, some teams were delegated to more important areas. The programmers could focus on the stability of the connection between the user’s phone and his car, and on the development of new functionalities.

The new version of the My BMW application was made available in 47 countries within less than a year from the start of working with Flutter. Additionally, the BMW team has significantly improved its release cycle with the creation of the CI/CD process. It enables automatic testing, implementation, and publication of all 94 variants of the application to both platforms at the same time.


It is worth mentioning that BMW is not the only automotive giant benefiting from Flutter. Toyota uses it to create and develop systems for its cars.

3. Alibaba


The Alibaba Group is a Chinese technology company with a rich and diversified portfolio of investments. It is best known for its activities in the field of e-commerce, being the second-highest-valued e-commerce company in the world. Their app for selling used products, Xianyu, is China’s largest second-hand market and boasts 200 million registered users.

Thanks to Xianyu, private individuals and small businesses sell used products. The preview photos published there were of varying quality and size, which harmed the overall performance of the application. The development team was looking for a solution that would speed up Xianyu, especially on pages with a large number of responsive elements and graphics.


Shutterstock

The developers decided to combine their native application with Flutter while keeping the existing functionalities unchanged. They implemented all the new ones directly with Flutter.

The biggest step was to implement the new product details page. That is the most visited and most complex screen in the entire application. At the same time, this page had many performance problems caused by displaying many graphics and responsive parts of the interface.

The Xianyu team shared that, thanks to the implementation of Flutter, they improved the screen rendering time in the application by as much as 30%.


In the e-commerce industry, Groupon also deserves attention, which, already in 2018, started integrating Flutter in its application for sellers.

2. Tencent


Tencent is another technology giant from China on this list. They own Riot Games and are a major shareholder in Epic Games, Tesla, Spotify, and hundreds of others. Their roots are in the production of video games and they excel the most in the electronic entertainment industry.

Stock market valuation ranks the company as the eighth technology company in the world, and its revenue from electronic entertainment alone makes it the world’s largest producer of video games.

However, in the Chinese market, they are known primarily as the owner of WeChat. An application that is used by 1.2 billion Chinese and over 100 million people worldwide every day.

Tencent is making good use of Flutter, both moving current apps and also creating them from scratch. Developers shared their experience using Flutter for various Tencent applications: English AI Teacher, Now Live, K-12, Mr. Translator, Qidian, and DingDang.

According to the developers from Tencent, Flutter’s biggest advantages are:

  • Low entry threshold. Developers in Tencent were able to learn Dart (the programming language of Flutter) in 1-2 weeks.
  • One code base for several platforms.
  • Adaptation of the easily created interfaces to many different screens.
  • Smooth animations, rendered at 60 frames per second.
  • Accelerated debugging by as much as 80% and reduction in developer’s effort by 33%.
  • General stability and failure-free operation of the created applications.

The games created in Flutter are also worth mentioning. It seems that the 4 Pics 1 Word quiz game, whose creator boasts over 250 million users, was the most successful. However, to see more possibilities of Flutter in game development, I recommend the demonstration pinball created by Google.

1.  Google


The number one of this ranking couldn’t be anybody else than the creator of Flutter – Google – the world’s third largest tech company, following Apple and Microsoft.

Google created Flutter in 2017 and since then it has not only been constantly improving it but also using it for its own applications. Thanks to this, the developers in Google responsible for the development of Flutter can get first-hand feedback from their colleagues, who deal with creating apps. Google used Flutter in three of its high-profile products: Google Pay, Google Ads, and Stadia (the last one is however already canceled). 

Google Pay seems to be the most spectacular example.

The starting point was the implementation of Google Pay, which had 100 million active users and 1.7 million lines of code. The plan was to scale the application to the new markets. Aside from the size of the app, the greatest difficulty was the fact that most of the current users used Android, while new countries, where Google wanted to expand, were dominated by iOS.

Initially, they didn’t plan to change the implementation of the existing functionalities, but only to add new ones using Flutter. However, this approach didn’t solve the problem of scalability to new countries because with each new location, numerous changes to the native code had to be made. Therefore, the developers decided to investigate the possibility of rewriting the entire application. They estimated that development for both platforms requires doubled amount of work. With Flutter though, it only required 1.2 times more work compared to working on one platform.


Unsplash

They started the process of rewriting the application by blazing the trail with three senior developers. Their task was to rewrite the vertical cross-section of the application (home page, chat, and payments) and share feedback from the process with the rest of the team.

The feedback from the research team was so positive that Google decided to rewrite the entire application from scratch using Flutter. Fifty developers were transferred to the project. Their task was to learn Dart and Flutter and then rewrite the application for beta launch in six months.

When beta turned out to be successful, another hundred engineers were involved in the project. They started rewriting the entire application while maintaining the native code. All that with almost 300 functionalities and 100 million active users monthly.

The rewritten application, despite adding new functionalities, was 35% smaller. 1.7 million lines of code got reduced to 1.1 million. The development team estimated that using Flutter saved 60-70% of their time because the Flutter app is much easier to maintain.


For more examples of apps developed in Flutter by companies like Philips, iRobot, and eBay, go to https://flutter.dev/showcase.

 

Stanisław Nagórski
Stanisław NagórskiFlutter developer

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