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Flutter vs React Native: What to use for Cross-Platform App Development?

  • By admin
  • December 28, 2020
  • 210 Views
Flutter vs React Native: What to use for Cross-Platform App Development?

People now use mobile apps for carrying out a wide number of tasks. This has become possible due to smartphones, which are now available at a reasonable price and offer great performance. However, due to strong, reliable, and better mobile networks, we are connected to the internet 24*7.

This has led to various businesses and brands to launch their mobile apps on native platforms to reach their target audience and increase their ROI.

Earlier, businesses used to develop mobile apps separately for Android and iOS by going with Native App Development.

With the advent of the cross-platform app development, businesses are looking forward to releasing mobile apps on two platforms, Android and iOS at the same time.

Out of various cross-platform frameworks, Flutter vs React Native is much in debate among the developer community.

Are you also looking forward to developing a hybrid app? Are you conceded about which Framework to choose between React Native vs Flutter? If the answer to these questions is yes, then we have got your covered.

In this blog, we will present a detailed comparison between the two most popular frameworks and help you select the best one from them.

What is Flutter?

What is Flutter?

Flutter is one of the prominent open-source & cross-platform app development frameworks available in the industry right now. Google introduced it in 2017 and it’s based on Dart, a compiled programming language.

It enables developers to build highly-intuitive and stunning Android, iOS, desktop, and web apps using a single codebase.

Pros

  • Due to its hot-reloading feature, developers can create highly-dynamic apps, fix errors quickly, and include new features.
  • Great customization offers.
  • It is best suited for creating MVP (Minimal Viable Products).
  • Extensive development ecosystem that offers inbuilt widgets, CLI tools, and APIs.

Cons

  • Community is low as compared to native counterparts; however, it is exponentially growing.
  • Big app size forces the developers to decrease image sizes and compress the size of images.
  • Developers have to depend on third-party packages for creating apps.

What is React Native?

What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source framework built by Facebook and released in the year 2015. It’s the first cross-platform app development technology launched for the market.

It enables developers to use React and JavaScript along with native platform features to create mobile apps.

Pros

  • Implementation of different UI components makes an app look similar to native apps.
  • Developers can build apps for two platforms (Android & iOS) using a single codebase.
  • It offers built-in UI components that help to enhance the development speed.
  • Similar to Flutter, it’s open-source and free.
  • It consists of a huge community of developers and also innumerable tutorials, libraries, and UI Components.

Cons

  • Integration of navigation is tricky.
  • It only consists of some basic components.
  • The size of apps is more prominent as compared to the native ones.
  • Complicated animations and transitions.

Now, we will provide you with an extensive and unbiased comparison between Flutter vs React Native.

So, without further ado, let’s get started:

Flutter vs React Native: Head to Head Comparison

Programming Language

Flutter:
It uses the Dart programming language for mobile app development. Google initially launched it in 2011. Any developer familiar with Java or JavaScript can quickly move ahead with Dart syntax because it supports the majority of the object-oriented concepts.

React Native:
React Native takes the help of JavaScript to develop cross-platform applications. JavaScript is a mainstream language among the developer community.

React Native is commonly used with React & several other leading JavaScript frameworks. Using it, web developers can create attractive and intuitive mobile apps by practicing for a few days.

Winner:
JavaScript is well-known among the developers and it’s quite simple to start the journey with the React Native Framework. Dart consists of some compelling features; however, it’s lesser-known among the developers. Hence, the battle between Flutter vs React Native for programming language goes to React Native.

Architecture

Flutter:
It utilizes the Dart framework that consists of inherent components and it doesn’t need a bridge to interact with the native modules.

Dark consists of several inbuilt frameworks such as Material Design, & Cupertino, that offer all essential technologies needed to create mobile apps.

Dark Framework utilizes the Skia engine that comprises numerous protocols, compositions, and channels.

React Native:
React Native architecture depends strongly on the JS runtime environment architecture, it’s also referred to as JavaScript Bridge. Here, the JavaScript code is assembled in native code during runtime. Here, it accesses Flux architecture released by Facebook.

Winner:
Here, the battle between Flutter vs React Native is won by Flutter because it has the majority of native components and doesn’t need any bridge to communicate with the native components.

Installation

Flutter:
It can be established by downloading a binary for a particular platform from Github. To operate on macOS, one has to download a supplementary file called flutter.zip and include it as a PATH variable.

React Native:
It can be installed with the help of Node Package Manager(npm). Developers who are sound at JavaScript can instantly install the React Native; however, others will find it difficult to install React Native at first instance.

Winner:
Here, both Flutter & React Native require essential steps for installation in addition to native package manager for a specific OS; however, Flutter installation needs some more steps; hence the winner here is React Native.

Setup & Project configuration

Flutter:
It provides in-depth information about both IDE and platform setup for leading mobile operating systems, i.e., Android, and iOS. If you want to install Flutter on mac, you can read how to set up Flutter for iOS by clicking here.

Moreover, Flutter consists of a CLI tool known as a flutter doctor that assists developers over the entire setup process. Here, it checks tools that are installed on the local system and also tools that should be configured. After ultimately setting up Flutter as per the flutter doctor, you can start creating an app.

React Native:
It’s getting started guide doesn’t provide detailed information about the setup and configuration for iOS and Android.

If you want to develop an Android app, then there is not any setup guide. Even for iOS, there is very little information about Xcode command tools; hence, you find it difficult to set up and configure react-native on mac.

Winner:
Based on the above comparison of React Native vs Flutter, it’s absolutely clear that Flutter provides enhanced documentation & CLI support.

Native Appearance

Flutter:
It enables developers to access the device’s core functionalities without any requirement of the third party components. However, developers have to invest enough time to give an app native look and feel.

React Native:
It is also well-known because it promises to provide native appearance in Android and iOS apps. Here, performance is the most essential reason, while React Native App Development is popular.

Winner:
Here, Flutter, and React Native, both the frameworks offer great native appearance in the mobile apps, so here it’s a tie.

User Interface Design

Flutter:
It allows you to build unique apps with an excellent user interface due to its bundle of visual and motion-rich widgets. Overall, they help to enhance the app’s look and also make it more user-friendly.

In Flutter, app developers could update the user interface instantly. They only have to update the variable in the state.

React Native:
It only offers UI rendering and devices need to access APIs. React Native taps into the native modules with the help of custom components and third-party libraries.

Winner:
Here, the winner between Flutter vs React Native is Flutter because it operates well with its own widgets that are 100% customized.

Developer Productivity

Flutter:
It consists of the hot reload feature and a developer can quickly build a demo app. While over time, the complexity of apps increases; hence, developers have to learn and implement the latest Flutter concepts.

Dart is a new programming language, and there is not enough support for text editors and IDEs.
React Native:
If you have a good knowledge of JavaScript, then developing mobile applications using React Native is quick and effective. It consists of hot-reload features that help developers to save their time by testing UI in real-time. Talking about IDE, developers can use any IDE or text editor they want.

Winner:
React Native wins the battle between React Native vs Flutter in terms of productivity as it offers support for different types of IDEs and languages.

Performance

Flutter:
Considering the Flutter vs React Native performance, Flutter offers better performance as compared to the React Native. Dart language compiles code using arm C/C + + libraries; that’s why it’s closer to the machine language and offers better native performance.

Moreover, as it doesn’t consist of any JavaScript Bridge for communication with native components, the development speed, as well as the runtime, is increased amazingly.

React Native:
It mainly consists of two parts, JavaScript and Native. Due to this, it needs a JS bridge to communicate with the native elements. Due to this, React Native becomes robust; however, it is somewhat slower compared to popular native app development tools.

Winner:
Talking about React Native vs Flutter performance, Flutter wins the race because of its ability to code quickly than JavaScipt. Moreover, it can display animations at 60FPS; this indicates that it offers high performance.

Reusability

Flutter:
Code reusability is highly efficient in Flutter. For instance, it enables you to establish a UI widget tree and later reuse the same thing; hence there is no room for changes.

React Native:
It enables you to write code once and then reuse it anywhere, keeping in mind the platform’s dissimilarities. In a nutshell, developers have to check every now and then the platform on which they are working and then include a bundle of parameters suitable for the platform.

Popularity

Flutter:
It has more than 93k stars on the Github. As per the Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2019, Flutter was one of the most loved frameworks with over 75.4% votes.

React Native:
It possesses more than 87k stars on Github. Based on Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2019, around 63.5% of developers are excited about React Native.

Winner:
Talking about the popularity, both Flutter and React Native are widely popular among the developer community worldwide. Hence, it’s a tie.

Community Support

Flutter:
Google released it in 2017. The Fluter community is continually growing in the last few years and they are conducting some conferences, meetings, and events online. Even though the community is growing well, there are fewer resources to solve a developer’s issues.

React Native:
It was released in 2015 and has gained a lot of popularity over the years. The developer community organizes some of the most amazing conferences, meetings, and events in different parts of the world.

Winner:
As there are fewer resources for developers in the Flutter community, React Native is the winner at this point.

Testing Support

Flutter:
It offers a fantastic bundle of testing features to test applications on the unit, widget, and integration level. Flutter also provides detailed documentation for testing all kinds of flutter apps. To check, click here.

It also offers a powerful widget testing feature that enables you to build widget tests to test and operate them at a fast pace of unit tests.

React Native:
Because it’s a JavaScript framework, there are much less unit level testing frameworks.

There are several tools like Jest, which you can leverage for snapshot testing, but if you talk about the integration or UI level testing, there is no official support for React Native.

Apart from this, there are several third-party tools, for instance, Detox and Appium, which you can leverage for testing applications; however, they are not legally supported.

Winner:
The above comparison between Flutter vs React Native reasonably indicates that Flutter offers better testing support than React Native.

Build and Release Automation Support

Flutter:
The primary features of Flutter abide well with the command line interface. It allows you to build a binary of the app with the help of command-line tools and, after that carrying out instructions given in Flutter documentation for creating and launching Android and iOS Apps.

Apart from this, Flutter has legally documented an in-depth process of deployment via Fastlane on this link.

React Native:
It doesn’t offer any automated method to deploy iOS Apps on the App Store. It only states a manual process for deploying apps on the App Store via Xcode. Besides this, it is heavily dependent on the third-party libraries for building and releasing automation.

Winner:
Here, the point goes to Flutter as it consists of an awesome automation tooling that can help deploy apps from CLI. However, React Native doesn’t have CLI tools that support build automation.

CI/CD and DevOps Support

Flutter:
It has a comprehensive section on Continuous Integration and Testing that consists of some external links.

React Native:
It doesn’t possess any official documentation for setting up CI/CD. But, you can easily find several great posts on the web that mention clearly about CI/CD for React native apps. Additionally, its CLI helps you to move ahead with the CI/CS process efficiently.

Winner:
The winner between React Native vs Flutter is Flutter as it offers a streamlined process to set up CI/CD services with the help of strong CLI tools. Moreover, React Native doesn’t offer any legal instructions for CI/CD services.

Conclusion

Here, we conclude our comparison between Flutter vs React Native. Please note that both Flutter and React Native have their pros and cons; therefore, you should think twice before choosing any of the Framework.

Even though Flutter was introduced after React Native, it has gained a respectable position in the market and might also become a leader in mobile app development.

If you possess a unique app idea and want to create a cross-platform app, then approach a leading mobile app development company. We will be more than happy to analyze your idea in detail and provide you a feasible solution.