11 Ways to Optimize the Performance of Your Flutter Application

Looking to expand your business’s reach in the target market? Whether you’re a startup, small business, or enterprise launching a new product, your goal is to increase visibility and reach a wider audience.

Choosing the right approach is crucial, and cross-platform mobile development can help you achieve that by making your app available on both iOS and Android platforms. However, selecting the development framework can be daunting.

Globally, Flutter stands out as one of the most popular frameworks, with its usage increasing from 39% to 42% in just two years (Statista). Dart, the programming language behind Flutter, has earned the 16th rank on GitHub. The Stackoverflow community has seen almost 0.1 million questions about Flutter, highlighting its popularity.

While Flutter is among the best frameworks for cross-platform app development, you might encounter performance issues when using it.

This guide will delve into the top reasons for performance issues in Flutter apps and provide optimization tips.

What are the performance issues in Flutter?

  • Layering and Learning Curve

Flutter doesn’t separate business and interface layers, so you need to understand Flutter’s layering and coding to bridge any knowledge gaps.

  • CPU Usage

Flutter apps can be CPU-intensive, impacting performance. It’s crucial to optimize your code and minimize unnecessary overhead, such as Dart Engine usage and excessive calculations.

  • APK Size

Flutter app APKs tend to be larger than those developed with other approaches. This can consume more CPU and memory resources, potentially slowing down your device.

  • CPU Performance

Flutter may exhibit slower performance compared to native languages like Swift and Objective-C, particularly in CPU-intensive tasks.

  • Widget Usage

Using multiple widgets, especially with features like animation builders, can lower performance. Identifying and optimizing widget usage is essential.

  • UI Lags

Flutter interfaces with Skia through Dart Engine, which can lead to UI lags and slower performance, especially in graphics-intensive applications.

  • Image Assets

Graphics and image assets can also impact your app’s performance. Proper optimization of these assets is essential.

  • OS Version Support

Flutter’s support for changes in OS versions may vary. For instance, it doesn’t support Metal API, which can affect performance on Apple devices as OpenGL is no longer supported.

Being aware of these performance considerations and implementing best practices can help you optimize your Flutter app for better overall performance.

Tips to optimize the performance of your Flutter app

  1. Building your app with Stateless widgets

When you’re working on building something in Flutter and it has different levels of nesting, it’s a good idea to break down the widget into smaller parts using multiple methods. This can have a big impact on your device’s performance because Flutter has to recreate all these smaller parts, even the ones that don’t change, every time it updates the main widget. To keep your device running smoothly, it’s better to use stateless widgets whenever possible.

  1. Implement the Const keyword in your code

The `const` keyword in Flutter serves as a way to create constants, which are a type of Flutter widget that’s used during compilation to save resources. When you use `const`, you can use multiple widgets without causing a performance drop. Another advantage of using `const` is that it prevents unnecessary rebuilding when you use different widgets.

Use case of Const keyword:

const EdgeInsets.fromLTRB(16, 4, 16, 8);

const Color lightGray = Color(0xFFFEFEFE);

const Text(‘This is a static text’)

  1. Use list items properly

When you’re creating the interface or business layer for your Flutter app, you might have lots of items in a list. Sometimes, it takes a while to show them all because of how they’re loaded.

This can get messy, especially with big and complicated lists. The reason is that each item is slowly loaded and displayed one by one.

To make things faster and improve performance, you can use the `ListView()` function. It loads the list more efficiently and speeds up the display. It’s a good idea to avoid using widgets like `SingleChildScrollView()` or `Column()` in such cases.

  1. Avoid using opacity widgets

A lot of developers use the Opacity Widget when they’re building their business apps. It’s often used to hide another widget. While this is a common practice in languages like Objective-C, using it in Flutter app development can sometimes lead to performance problems.

A better approach is to reconstruct the widget in a way that hides it without using Opacity. You can use the Visibility Widget if you want it to appear or disappear on the screen. This can help improve performance in your Flutter app.

  1. Determine if the code runs sync/async

Before you proceed with compiling your code, it’s crucial to decide whether you want to run the code asynchronously or synchronously.

Keep in mind that async code can be more challenging to debug, which may affect your testing and launch times. However, using async code can enhance code readability and execution speed, ultimately impacting your application’s long-term performance.

To make the best choice, pinpoint the specific areas where you intend to use async code and integrate it thoughtfully into your project.

  1. Use operators wisely

Using operators tailored to your programming language can significantly boost your application’s performance when applied effectively. Incorporating null-check and nullable operators can streamline your coding process, saving you time and enhancing code robustness and readability.

These operators can also prove invaluable for error logging and creating an impactful coding solution. By leveraging them appropriately, you can optimize your mobile app development and produce a more efficient and reliable software product.

  1. Don’t use the Build keyword

Using the Build() method frequently in your code to create interface elements or widgets can consume a significant amount of memory and CPU power, leading to performance issues. If this method is used repetitively in your code, it can further slow down your app.

To optimize performance, consider breaking down your code into smaller iterations rather than relying on the Build() method extensively. This approach reduces the need for frequent use of the method, resulting in smoother rendering and improved overall app performance.

  1. Reduce app size

Using various packages, scripts, and widgets in your Flutter app development can be straightforward, but it can lead to significant memory consumption, impacting the app’s performance.

One recommended best practice in Flutter is to utilize Google’s app bundling solution, especially for bundling Android apps. This approach offers several advantages, such as accessing the original code directly from the Play Store. Consider partnering with amobile app development company to effectively implement this strategy and optimize your app’s performance.

  1. Develop and display frames within 16ms

When it comes to rendering a 60Hz display, developers have a total of 16ms available, which is divided into two parts: 8ms for structure and 8ms for the picture.

To optimize Flutter performance in your application, it’s advisable to evenly allocate the 16ms between structure and picture rendering. You might be concerned that allocating 16ms could lower display quality, but there’s no need to worry. This allocation doesn’t compromise display quality; instead, it enhances the system’s battery life. Additionally, it can lead to better performance on smaller devices.

  1. Ignore rebuilding of widget in AnimatedBuilder

Animation is a captivating feature in web and mobile applications, but it can sometimes impact the app’s performance. Developers often use AnimationController, which rebuilds multiple widgets within AnimatedBuilder, leading to potential performance issues in Flutter.

To mitigate these performance concerns, you can opt for CounterWidget, a solution that allows you to create animations without the need to rebuild multiple widgets. This can help maintain smooth Flutter performance while incorporating engaging animations in your app.

  1. Hire a Flutter App Developer

One of the most effective ways to enhance Flutter’s performance is to hire a dedicated team of Flutter developers. These skilled teams typically operate in efficient, compact groups capable of delivering solutions across various platforms. This approach eliminates the need to hire separate teams for each platform, saving both time and money.

By hiring Flutter app developers, you can dedicate more time and resources to ensuring high-quality app development, resulting in native apps with superior user experiences. Additionally, the consolidated team structure provides greater flexibility, enabling swift adjustments to the user interface and code as needed.

That’s a wrap!

The performance of your Flutter app can significantly impact its downloads and user engagement. If the app is slow, takes up too much space, or consumes excessive memory, it may discourage users from using it, ultimately affecting your business’s bottom line. An app that lacks performance optimization can be detrimental to your business.

Identifying and addressing these issues proactively, before they become problematic for users, is crucial for delivering top-notch quality. By implementing these straightforward strategies and maintaining a comprehensive performance monitoring system, you can ensure that your app meets the quality and performance standards necessary for success.

However, achieving this level of excellence may require a certain level of experience, expertise, and infrastructure that your current system may lack. That’s why we recommend considering outsourcing to a reputable Flutter app development company that aligns with your specific needs and budget.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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