Top reasons to choose Flutter for creating AR apps

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Augmented reality (AR) apps are becoming increasingly popular as AR technology advances and become more accessible. AR overlays digital information and objects onto the real world, creating an immersive augmented experience for users. Creating engaging AR apps requires choosing the right tools and framework. Flutter has emerged as one of the best options for building cross-platform AR apps. 

Here are the top reasons to choose Flutter for AR apps:

Cross-platform development

One of the biggest advantages of Flutter is its cross-platform capabilities. Flutter apps can be compiled to run natively on both iOS and Android from a single codebase. This allows you to develop an AR app once and deploy it to both major mobile platforms without having to rewrite it twice. 

Porting the app to different platforms also becomes faster and easier. Considering most developers want their AR apps to be available on both iOS and Android to maximize reach, Flutter is the perfect cross-platform solution.

Native performance

Flutter uses native UI components rather than emulating them in code like other cross-platform frameworks. This allows Flutter apps to achieve nearly the same level of performance and capability as native iOS and Android apps. 

AR apps require smooth graphics rendering and stable performance for the best user experience. Flutter’s native compilation helps deliver the speed and fluidity needed for AR to work well.

Easy access to native features

While Flutter provides powerful widget sets and UI elements, you can also access native platform features and SDKs when required. This enables Flutter to leverage capabilities of the underlying hardware and software, which is crucial for AR apps. 

Accessing features like the camera, GPS, accelerometers, and gyroscopes becomes easy with Flutter. You can build a fully-featured AR app with Flutter that takes advantage of native device hardware.

Customizable widgets

Flutter comes with a rich set of customizable UI widgets that allow you to craft immersive AR experiences. You can tweak widgets like overlays, buttons, sliders to create beautiful AR interfaces. 

Flutter’s reactive framework makes it simple to update UI in real-time as the user interacts with augmented objects and information. The customizable widgets make it easy to build cool AR UIs without having to code everything from scratch.

Seamless integration with ARCore and ARKit

To create augmented reality experiences on Android and iOS, Flutter integrates smoothly with the ARCore and ARKit SDKs. These SDKs provide the underlying AR capabilities that are then exposed via Flutter libraries and plugins. 

So you can tap into advanced AR features like plane detection, environmental understanding and light estimation through Flutter code. The easy integration with native AR SDKs saves a lot of development effort.

Reduced time to market

With features like customizable widgets, hot reload, and native performance, Flutter allows developers to build full-featured AR apps much faster compared to native development. You can see changes reflected instantly without recompiling the app which accelerates the development process. Faster development translates directly into reduced time taken to get the AR app from ideation to launch on app stores.

Skill set

Flutter’s growing community and abundance of learning resources allows developers to easily skill up. The language Dart is easy to learn for those with OOP experience. Developers familiar with reactive UIs and declarative programming like in React can quickly grasp Flutter’s declarative composable widget style. 

There is transferable native platform knowledge like Android SDK, iOS Cocoa that developers can bring over. Individual developers and agencies are actively building their Flutter expertise driven by its rising popularity. 

Training or hiring Flutter developers teams is straightforward. Flutter being free and open source allows more developers to try it out, increasing talent availability. Demand motivates more developers to proactively skill up in Flutter. 

Because Flutter uses a portable codebase, teams can collaborate efficiently instead of being siloed by platforms. Expertise is shared across iOS and Android. The expanding pool of skilled developers and the ability to build teams using transferable skills makes Flutter highly appealing for AR app development.

Single codebase for companion apps

Often AR apps come with companion mobile apps to provide additional functionality, content and controls. With Flutter, you can use the same Dart codebase to share business logic, models, and data between the AR experience and companion mobile app. 

Having a single shared codebase significantly reduces overhead of maintaining two separate codebases. Pushing updates also gets easier when changes have to be reflected across both apps.

Supports both marker-based and location-based AR

Flutter plugins like ARCore and ARKit allow you to create both types of AR apps: marker-based that use trackable images and location-based using GPS and maps. You can choose to create an AR app optimized for either type of usage without being constrained by Flutter’s capabilities. 

Marker-based apps can detect certain images or objects and overlay AR content on them when viewed through the camera. Location-based apps overlay content on real-world locations and spaces.

Large Flutter community

As the popularity of Flutter grows, so does its active developer community. There is ample learning material and samples for Flutter AR development that you can leverage. The community provides help on various forums if you are stuck while developing your AR app. 

Continuous improvement of Flutter frameworks and tooling also gains momentum through an engaged community. Staying on top of the latest best practices for Flutter development becomes easier.

Backed by Google

Google backs the Flutter project and uses it internally for many of its native apps. Their investment ensures Flutter will continue to receive updates, security patches, robust documentation and integration support for emerging technologies like AR. 

Considering the rapid pace of AR innovation, having strong corporate backing provides long-term stability for using Flutter as the development framework.

In summary, Flutter makes an excellent choice as the cross-platform development framework for building AR experiences. It delivers native-like performance while maximizing developer productivity. 

Integrations with ARCore and ARKit allow Flutter apps to leverage the full capabilities of mobile AR. As AR gains wider adoption, the case for using Flutter to build AR apps gets stronger. Its cross-platform capabilities, customizable widgets and fast development cycle enable creators to quickly turn AR app ideas into reality.

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