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Users access applications on PCs and mobile devices today. There are two obvious ways to build front-ends for these devices: Web applications and native applications. Cross-platform UI frameworks combine advantages from both approaches. Examples are Google’s Flutter, JavaFX, Facebook’s React Native, and Microsoft's Xamarin. Important web application frameworks are Google's Angular, Facebook's React, and Vue.js. I will look at all these toolkits from the perspective of a Java developer and suggest which one to use in three common scenarios: New web application, new native iOS & Android apps, and what to do on the desktop when we have a web application.
In 2019, I developed a mobile app prototype with Flutter and a progressive web application prototype. I then decided to use Flutter for native mobile apps in my SaaS start-up. Based on my experiences, I will highlight what's good about Flutter and what's not.