Does Flutter work like a browser? How is it different from a WebView based application?

Flutter does not work like a browser; it is a UI toolkit and framework for building cross-platform applications. While it can create web applications, Flutter itself is not a browser. Let’s explore the differences between Flutter and WebView-based applications:

  1. Flutter:
  • Flutter is a complete UI framework and toolkit that allows developers to build native applications for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, web, and desktop, from a single codebase.
  • It uses the Dart programming language and renders its own UI elements using the Skia graphics engine. This allows Flutter apps to achieve near-native performance on each platform.
  • Flutter applications have their own rendering engine, event handling, and widget system, which ensures consistency and high performance across different platforms.
  • Flutter is not restricted to web-based applications. Developers can create fully native mobile apps, web applications, and even desktop applications using the same codebase.
  1. WebView-based Application:
  • A WebView is a component that allows you to embed web content (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) into a native application, typically for displaying web pages or web-based applications within the app.
  • In WebView-based applications, the user interface is essentially a native app shell that loads and displays web content using a WebView component.
  • WebView-based apps are essentially web applications running inside a native container. They are often used to wrap existing web applications or display web-based content without building a separate native app for each platform.
  • WebView-based applications heavily rely on the device’s web engine to render the content, which may lead to variations in performance and behavior across different devices.

Differences:

  • Flutter is a complete framework for building native cross-platform applications, while WebView-based applications are essentially native containers displaying web-based content.
  • Flutter provides a consistent UI and performance across platforms because it renders its own UI components natively, whereas WebView-based apps rely on the underlying web engine, which may vary from device to device.
  • Flutter allows for a more seamless and integrated user experience because it offers full control over the UI and interactions, whereas WebView-based apps may have limitations in providing a truly native user experience.

In summary, Flutter is a versatile and powerful framework for building native cross-platform applications, while WebView-based applications are useful for displaying web-based content within a native app shell. The choice between using Flutter and a WebView-based approach depends on the specific requirements of the project and the desired level of control and performance.

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