Migrating from Native iOS/Android Apps to Flutter
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Migrating from Native iOS/Android Apps to Flutter


In the dynamic world of mobile app development, businesses are always on the lookout for efficient ways to deliver high-quality apps. One such strategy that has gained significant attention is the migration from native iOS/Android apps to Flutter. This article explores the benefits of such a transition and provides a comprehensive guide to facilitate this migration process.

The Benefits of Using Flutter

The decision to migrate from native iOS/Android apps to Flutter is a strategic one. It involves a shift in development paradigms and requires a careful evaluation of the potential benefits. Here are some compelling reasons to consider this transition:

A. Single Codebase: One of the most significant advantages of Flutter is its ability to maintain a single codebase for both iOS and Android platforms. This means you write the code once and run it on multiple platforms, saving considerable development time and effort.

B. Faster and Easier Updates: With a single codebase, updates and bug fixes become a lot simpler. You no longer need to write separate patches for iOS and Android, which can significantly speed up the update process and ensure consistency across all platforms.

C. Improved App Performance: Flutter’s unique architecture and the Dart language’s efficiency result in fast, responsive apps that provide a smooth user experience, rivaling the performance of native apps.

D. Reduced Amount of Code and Testing: The single codebase approach means less code, which in turn means less testing. This not only speeds up the development process but also reduces the chances of bugs slipping through.

E. Fast Time-to-Market: All these benefits contribute to a faster development cycle, allowing you to bring your app to market quicker than traditional native app development.

F. Cost-Effectiveness: By reducing the development time and resources, Flutter can significantly cut down the cost of app development, making it an attractive option for businesses on a tight budget.

G. UI Consistency Across Platforms: Flutter allows developers to create a uniform user interface across iOS and Android, ensuring a consistent user experience on all platforms.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the process of migrating from a native iOS app to Flutter, providing a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this transition.

How to Migrate from Native iOS/Android Apps to Flutter

Transitioning from native iOS/Android apps to Flutter is a journey that requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this process:

A. Evaluating Your Current App: The first step in this migration journey is to conduct a thorough evaluation of your existing app. Understand the intricacies of its architecture, the functionalities it offers, and its performance metrics. This deep dive into your app will help you identify the areas that can significantly benefit from Flutter’s capabilities.

B. Planning Your Migration: Once you have a clear understanding of your current app, the next step is to chalk out a detailed migration plan. This plan should encompass a realistic timeline, resource allocation, and a contingency plan to tackle potential challenges that might crop up during the migration process.

C. Setting Up Your Development Environment: Before you start the migration, you need to set up your development environment. This involves installing Flutter and Dart on your development machine and getting comfortable with the Flutter framework’s nuances.

D. Migrating Your Code: Now comes the most critical part – migrating your code to Flutter. This process can be carried out incrementally, allowing you to test and validate each part of your app as you progress. This iterative approach ensures that any issues are identified and addressed promptly, ensuring a smooth migration.

E. Testing Your App: After the migration, it’s time to put your Flutter app to the test. Conduct thorough testing on multiple devices and platforms to ensure your app performs as expected and offers a seamless user experience.

F. Launching Your App: Once you’re satisfied with your app’s performance and functionality, you can launch it on the App Store and Google Play Store. Remember, post-launch support is crucial to address any user feedback and make necessary improvements.

Case Studies: Successful Migrations to Flutter

A. Philips Hue: Philips Hue, a leader in smart lighting solutions, migrated their native apps to Flutter to unify their codebase and enhance their app’s performance. The result was a faster, more responsive app that offers a consistent user experience across iOS and Android platforms.

B. Groupon Merchant: Groupon Merchant turned to Flutter to expedite their development process and reduce their maintenance costs. The transition resulted in a staggering 95% code reuse and a significant reduction in bug rates, demonstrating the efficiency of Flutter.

C. Alibaba Group: Alibaba Group, a global powerhouse in e-commerce, migrated their app to Flutter to leverage its fast development cycle and high performance. The move resulted in a significant improvement in their app’s performance and user experience, underscoring Flutter’s capabilities.

These case studies highlight the potential benefits of migrating from native iOS/Android apps to Flutter. However, it’s important to remember that each app is unique, and the migration process should be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

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Potential Challenges and Solutions When Migrating to Flutter

Migrating an existing application to Flutter can be a challenging task, but it’s not without its rewards. The process can be complex, and it requires careful planning and execution. However, the benefits of a successful migration, such as improved performance, faster development time, and increased scalability, can far outweigh the challenges. Here are some potential challenges you might face and how to overcome them:

1. Compatibility Issues with Existing Code and Third-Party Integrations

When migrating an existing app to Flutter, one of the main challenges is ensuring compatibility with the existing code and third-party integrations. This can be particularly challenging if the existing app was developed using a different programming language or framework.

Solution: Flutter and Dart allows integration with popular programming languages such as Java, Kotlin, and Swift. Additionally, Flutter’s library comes equipped with a range of widgets and libraries for creating custom user interfaces and integrating with third-party APIs and libraries. If any compatibility issue arises, it can be resolved by working with an experienced Flutter development team.

2. Maintaining the Look and Feel of the Existing App

Another challenge when migrating an existing app to Flutter is maintaining the look and feel of the existing app. This is important because users are accustomed to the existing user interface and any significant changes could potentially disrupt the user experience.

Solution: Developers can create custom widgets in Flutter that mimic the look and feel of the existing app. These widgets can make the app look and perform exactly or even better than the original app. Since Flutter is optimized for performance, the apps built with Flutter run faster and smoother than their native counterparts.

3. Keeping Up with Future Platform Updates and Changes

Ensuring that the migrated app can keep up with future platform updates and changes is another challenge. This is important because platforms like Android and iOS are constantly evolving, and apps need to be updated regularly to stay compatible with the latest platform changes.

Solution: Flutter is designed to be future-proof, with a strong focus on maintaining backward compatibility and staying up-to-date with the latest platform changes. Above all, Flutter provides a hot-reload feature that allows developers to quickly test and iterate changes, ensuring that the app stays up-to-date and performs well over time.

4. Minimizing Disruption to the Existing User Base

Migrating an existing app to Flutter can potentially disrupt the existing user base, especially if the migration process is not handled properly. This can result in a loss of users, which can negatively impact the app’s success.

Solution: Migrating an existing app to Flutter can be done seamlessly, with minimal disruption to the existing user base. In fact, the improved performance and functionality of the app in Flutter can attract new users and retain existing ones, providing a better user experience overall. It’s crucial to work with experienced Flutter developers to ensure that the migration process is done efficiently and with minimal impact on users.

Issues with animations and how to overcome them

Animations are a crucial part of modern mobile apps, providing a more engaging and interactive user experience. However, creating animations in Flutter can be challenging, especially for developers who are new to the framework. Here are some common issues with animations in Flutter and how to overcome them:

1. Performance Issues with Animations

One of the main challenges with animations in Flutter is ensuring that they run smoothly and efficiently. Poorly optimized animations can lead to performance issues, such as slow rendering times and dropped frames, which can negatively impact the user experience.

Solution: Flutter provides a range of tools and techniques for optimizing animations. For example, you can use the Flutter Inspector to diagnose and fix performance issues. Additionally, you can use the shouldRepaint method in custom painter classes to control when the UI should be updated, which can help improve rendering performance.

2. Complexity of Creating Custom Animations

Creating custom animations in Flutter can be complex, especially for developers who are not familiar with the framework’s animation system. This can make it difficult to create complex animations that match the design specifications.

Solution: Flutter provides a powerful and flexible animation system that allows developers to create complex animations with ease. The framework provides a range of pre-built animation widgets, such as AnimatedContainer and AnimatedOpacity, which can be used to create common animation effects. For more complex animations, you can use the AnimationController class to create custom animation sequences.

3. Ensuring Consistency Across Different Platforms

Ensuring that animations look and behave consistently across different platforms and devices can be challenging. This is because different devices have different screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware capabilities, which can affect how animations are rendered.

Solution: Flutter’s animation system is designed to be platform-agnostic, which means that animations should look and behave consistently across different platforms and devices. However, it’s still important to test your animations on a range of different devices to ensure that they work as expected. You can also use Flutter’s device-independent pixel (logical pixel) system to ensure that your animations scale correctly on different screen sizes.

While migrating to Flutter and creating animations in the framework can present challenges, these can be overcome with careful planning, testing, and the use of Flutter’s robust set of tools and features. The result is a high-performance, cross-platform app that provides a superior user experience.


Migrating from native iOS/Android apps to Flutter is a strategic decision that can bring substantial benefits. The advantages of Flutter, such as cost-effectiveness, faster development times, a unified codebase, and a rich set of UI components, make it a compelling choice for businesses and developers.

However, this transition is not without challenges. From compatibility issues and maintaining the existing app’s look and feel, to keeping up with future platform updates and minimizing disruption to the user base, each aspect requires careful consideration. Creating animations in Flutter, while offering a powerful and flexible system, can also present its own set of challenges.

With careful planning, a thorough understanding of Flutter’s capabilities, and a focus on superior user experience, these challenges can be effectively managed. The outcome is a high-performance, visually appealing, feature-rich app that can reach a wider audience on multiple platforms.

The journey from native iOS/Android apps to Flutter requires careful navigation. But with the right approach and resources, it can lead to a more efficient, scalable, and successful mobile app. Whether you’re a business aiming to expand your reach or a developer seeking to streamline your workflow, the transition to Flutter could be a significant step in your mobile app development journey.

Are you looking for a Flutter development company?

receive your first working demo within 14 days from the project kick-off

Or just write an email
Maksym Kulicki
Maksym KulickiProduct owner, Flutter developer


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