Using Flutter for Embedded Systems Development is a Game-changer

How Embedded Systems Development with Flutter help unlock its potential?

Flutter for Embedded Systems Development

Quick summary: Flutter is well-known for code portability, layered architecture, and the capability to leverage the Dart interface for different platforms. Using Flutter for embedded systems development is a perfect option. Explore why and how Embedded software development with Flutter revolutionizes the whole process of system integration, followed by uses cases of tech giants- Toyota and BMW that are using Flutter infrastructure to cherish outstanding results.

Flutter- the dart-based cross-platform framework is a well-known UI framework for mobile, web, and desktop application development. Since its initial release in 2017, Flutter has gained significant popularity among developers for several reasons- hot reload, rendering engine, seamless integrations, and single codebase. The apps made using Flutter are a real-life example of their popularity and usage at scale.

The next step forward that has added more gems to the Flutter framework is its ability to build embedded systems. Not only startups but leading players opt to hire Flutter developers and gain a range of benefits. Before digging further to know the benefits of using Flutter for embedded system development, let us understand embedded systems in brief.

What are embedded systems?

Embedded systems are designed to perform specific tasks within larger systems or devices. They are embedded into other devices, such as appliances, automobiles, medical equipment, and industrial machinery to execute specific functions and are optimized for efficiency, reliability, and real-time response.

They consist of hardware components, including a microcontroller or microprocessor, memory, input/output interfaces, and sometimes additional peripherals. Embedded systems often have limited resources such as processing power, memory, and storage capacity. It mandates the need for efficient software design and optimization to meet the system’s requirements.

As developing Embedded systems requires integrating with larger systems or devices, working in conjunction with other components. The interaction with external sensors, actuators, and interfaces to gather data, control operations, or communicate with other devices or networks in real-time creates complexity. The complexity increases in proportion to the tasks’ complexity.

All of the challenges that pops-up with embedded software development are not only brilliantly addressed with the Flutter framework but it also helps add system stability.

We will understand how Flutter ecosystem manages to edge past others for Embedded development. Let’s dive in!

Why use Flutter for embedded systems development?

Though, Flutter has emerged as a secondary choice for embedded system integration and development – it is an ideal solution in certain cases. Here, we will see the scenarios where selecting Flutter for embedded system development can be a wise decision;.

Support various environments with embedded API

AGL-powered infotainment systems can use Flutter technology by embedding API. Flutter’s engine architecture supports different environments by engine cross-compiling and encasing in an embedder. The embedded API allows the Flutter app to seamlessly integrate with the in-vehicle system and enable using UI for a range of devices such as smart refrigerators, IoT, washing machines, and more.

Unmatched Community Support

The Flutter team is continuously working on enhancing Flutter’s capability for embedded systems. The vibrant community of Flutter provides a sense of accomplishment for the team. It signals the future of embedding the embedded systems with Flutter is bright.

Cross-Platform Capability

Flutter allows developers to create a single codebase that can be deployed on multiple platforms, including mobile, web, and desktop. If embedded software requires a user interface that can be easily adapted to different platforms, Flutter’s multi-platform capability can be advantageous especially when you get experienced experts in cross-platform development to help you in every way.

Rapid Prototyping and Iteration

Flutter’s ability to quickly iterate and visualize UI changes through hot reload makes it valuable for rapid prototyping in embedded system development. It allows experimenting with different designs and user interactions efficiently, enabling faster proof-of-concept development.

Consistent UI/UX Across Platforms

Flutter provides a rich set of customizable UI widgets and follows platform-specific design guidelines (Material Design for Android and Cupertino style for iOS). This allows the creation of a consistent user interface and user experience across different platforms, which can be beneficial if the embedded system interacts with multiple devices.

Third-Party Plugin Support

The growing ecosystem of third-party plugins and packages of Flutter helps in extending the app’s functionality. If an embedded system requires integration with specific hardware components or external services, the existing Flutter plugins facilitate the integration process.

Developer Productivity

Flutter’s declarative UI approach and the availability of ready-to-use widgets simplify the development process and can potentially increase productivity. Additionally, Flutter’s Dart programming language provides a modern and expressive syntax, which can contribute to faster development cycles.

Visual and Interactive UI

Flutter’s rendering engine, based on Skia, provides excellent performance and enables smooth animations. It’s advantageous if the embedded system development requires a visually appealing and interactive user interface.

Simulators and Emulators

Flutter provides simulators and emulators that allow testing and visualizing the UI without deploying it on the actual embedded system. This can help in the early stages of development, allowing for faster iterations, debugging, and validation of the UI design.

All of these benefits indicate that using Flutter for embedded software development, wherein the hardware is low-powered, a new operating system, or a new platform- is a good move. A comprehensive guide on Flutter app development for entrepreneurs provides extensive details that help businesses know about the nitty-gritty and how to plan and get everything done perfectly as required.

In the event, you are not convinced by Flutter’s leverage for embedded systems, the case studies of Toyota and BMW will certainly convince you.

Use cases on using Flutter for embedded systems development

Breaking thresholds, automotive manufacturers have complex and specialized embedded systems which require real-time operations, integration with hardware components, and adherence to specific industry standards. These systems often involve a combination of low-level programming, real-time operating systems, and proprietary software stacks that are tailored to the automotive industry’s requirements. Toyota and BMW meet the need for embedded systems using Flutter’s versatility and cross-platform capabilities. Take a look at the potential use cases for Flutter embedded systems.

Embedded systems developed by Toyota

Toyota stand ahead in the competition because they value their customers and continuously work hard to transform the driving experience with the best on-screen infotainment system. The extended capabilities of Flutter for embedded systems are a bliss for the Toyota company which makes them partner with Flutter.

  • Great performance: Flutter’s AOT compilation and rendering engine enables the creation of UI/UX design of embedded systems like a mobile app that improves the on-screen experience of Toyota users.
  • Improved touchscreen interactions: When users buy a new smartphone, they have zero tolerance for poor touchscreen interactions. The case is no different from the in-car user experience. Flutter’s touch mechanics did a great job of making touch mechanics on par with smartphone touchscreen interactions. Flutter support Wayland and X11 display server protocols to transmit touch gestures from the in-vehicle screen to the application.
  • Add consistency into development for various devices and OSs: Flutter’s multi-platform capability allows the creation of apps for mobile, tablet, and desktop despite using the same codebase from design to release. That’s why testing the apps for different target devices and environments.
  • Iterate faster: Flutter’s byproduct- accelerated development has made Toyota use Flutter for building in-vehicle software that delivers the best experience. The framework also facilitates considering users’ feedback for design and functionality and enhancing them accordingly in subsequent iterations. It enables Toyota to ensure a user-centric experience delivery forever.

Embedded systems developed by BMW

The well-renowned automotive manufacturer is planning to create an interface between a smartphone and BMW cars. It requires a scalable architecture that facilitates the My BMW app’s content enhancements. BMW brand opted for Flutter to deliver the best in-car user experience. Amazon Alexa integration facilitates voice services for BMW.

Flutter has helped a ton in syncing hardware and software functionalities to better serve modern, tech-savvy users. There are two ways that tech giants can consider- Flutter web support and Flutter for embedded system support to create Flutter embedded solutions.

Maximize the potential of embedded systems with Flutter expertise

What the future holds for an embedded system?

Embedded systems play a vital role in various domains, including automotive, aerospace, healthcare, industrial automation, consumer electronics, and more. They enable the automation, control, and monitoring of numerous processes, enhancing functionality and performance in a wide range of applications. The limitations of embedded systems and their capabilities are improved with Flutter utilization for embedded system development.

The possibilities discovered by Toyota and BMW showcase that more brands will adopt Flutter for embedded software development in the future. However, building an embedded system often involves considerations such as resource constraints, real-time operations, low-level hardware interactions, and specific domain requirements. These factors should be carefully evaluated before deciding to use Flutter in an embedded system development context.

Still, if you are unsure of whether to opt for Flutter as an ideal choice to develop an embedded system or not, then get in touch with the best mobile app development company to help you with all the required consulting to clear up the confusion and get guidance on how to go ahead with Flutter embedded system.

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