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Not a criticism, Why didn't you use Xamarin?
Question asked by Jeremy Wesley - 2/11/2022 at 11:45 AM
Answered
I've been toying with building some new apps and every time I evaluate "dev once deploy everywhere" platforms, I come back to Xamarin because I know .net and C#. With the SmarterTools products being built on top of .net, I'm curious why you chose flutter.  I haven't actually built anything with xamarin, but every project seems to get me close to it. I have no experience with flutter either.

In all serious, this is not a criticism, I would love to hear more about why you chose flutter over xamarin. As one Dev to another, What did you see that I haven't yet?

Thanks
Jeremy

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viv burrows Replied
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Jeremy Wesley Replied

"surf.dev refused to connect."

is that a legit response.. ?

I can google VS but I was curious more of the .net developer choosing not to use xamarin.
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viv burrows Replied
We use flutter over here
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echoDreamz Replied
The link loads fine for me... Also, used Flutter myself, no complaints. The main winner for us choosing it was that it is open source and free.
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Employee Replied
Employee Post
Hello Jeremy.

Great question! Ultimately, our decision to use Flutter over other multi-platform technologies came down to a few factors.

1 - Ease of use / learning curve: - The Dart and Flutter languages were actually very easy for us to pick up as C# developers. The language feels a lot like C# or Java. so that made development time very quick and simple. Documentation is plentiful and even our interns picked it up within a few weeks.

2 - Support in the community - Though Flutter is a relatively new technology, the support and road map for it is incredible online. It's open-source, and many major companies are using it. Google itself uses Flutter for a ton of their applications, which is not something Microsoft can say about Xamerin.

3 - Speed and Efficiency - Flutter's compile time is incredibly fast and supports "hot reloading" which has made testing and debugging a breeze. Their debug tools while running have been extremely helpful.

Lastly, we feel confident that Flutter isn't going to change dramatically in the next few years and will continue to grow. Flutter has been a pleasure to write in and has done an incredible job handling a lot of the issues you see commonly with multi-platform languages.
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Jeremy Wesley Replied
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I really do appreciate the time that you took to respond to my question with details from your experience. 
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Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
Appreciate my son Justin jumping in on the topic. He was one of the developers for SmarterTrack Mobile.

Long story short about Xamarin (and Microsoft's entire mobile strategy).... they are still finding their way and will go through many changes and not something a company like SmarterTools should invest in at the moment. 

Microsoft has at least released an overall strategy for mobile (only about five months ago) which is to adapt Xamrin into .NET MAUI and it should have a long term future but its just taking shape. Blazor (server side and client side) and the use of web assemblies could be fantastic but Microsoft just decided last year it was something they would support long term.

Flutter, on the other hand, is mature and works incredible on mobile and won't be going through dramatic changes requiring months, if not years, of changes as the technology improves, unlike Xarmin, Blazor, .NET MAUI, etc.

Flutter is making incredible strides in desktop and PWA which is but again, not something I would jump on right now.  Flutter for mobile is solid.  Flutter's release for Windows is almost there.  Flutter needs work on MacOS. 

If you guys have technical questions or want to have discussions about projects you are doing and what technologies might be best, we would love to have them with you in this thread. We are geeks and we consider it fun :)

Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Grady Werner Replied
Employee Post
To add to this, for anyone interested, we had discussed early on trying out MAUI, figuring that it would be ready for prime time by the time we were done with development. I really feel like we dodged a bullet with it, especially when I regularly see comments like the ones in this thread on Reddit from yesterday

I WANT Microsoft to make something good. I want them to beat out everyone else and win the mobile / cross-platform war. C# and .Net are SO good on the server, but MS seems so spread thin that it's impossible for them to make one good interface platform that works well.

Ask me in a year and I may be giving a different answer about it, saying how Microsoft pulled it together and turned out a best of class system. But for now I'm having Silverlight flashbacks.

Flutter has its share of issues too, but for the most part it's quick and it works and it's easy to code to.
Grady Werner
SmarterTools Inc.
www.smartertools.com

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