Flutter Vs. React Native: The Right Platform to Choose for Your Business

Mobile apps have transformed the way businesses work these days. Developing apps and launching it for users is all the rage nowadays. Budgeting, however, is usually an issue if entrepreneurs opt for native apps, and this is one of the main reasons why cross-platform app development has emerged as the unrivaled choice for businesses that aim for a presence on both Android and iOS platforms. 

Cross-platform app development allows developers to create mobile applications, which are compatible with more than one operating system. There are a plethora of cross-platform app frameworks available in the market, but if we talk about the most famous and widely used frameworks, Google’s Flutter and Facebook’s React Native tops the charts. In the following excerpt, we will compare two such app development frameworks Flutter and React Native, so that you can make the right decision for your next mobile app development project.

Introduction to React Native

React Native is an open-source app development framework created by Facebook to develop native apps based on React. It came into the scene in 2015. It is JavaScript-based and used by the developers to build Android, iOS, Web, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. It runs a background process - a JavaScript thread - to communicate with the native platform via a serialized, asynchronous and batched Bridge. React Native is also known as the Future of Hybrid Apps. Few of the popular apps developed in this framework are:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Skype
  • Pinterest
  • Tesla
  • Bloomberg

Introduction to Flutter

Flutter is a newbie in the mobile application world. Developers create beautiful native applications, and this framework helps them in building cross-platform apps with ease. You need to know the Dart programming language to use Flutter. It was first released back in 2017 by Google, who is using the framework for some of its biggest app development projects and is continuously pushing this framework towards becoming the ultimate solution for creating cross-platform apps. Hence, it is much younger to React Native. Some popular apps created using Flutter framework are as follows:

  • Google Ads
  • Hamilton App for Hamilton Musical
  • Alibaba
  • Hookle

Now that we know about both of these frameworks, let us discuss the main difference among them so that it is easier for you to choose any one of them for your app development project. 

Flutter vs. React Native: A Detailed Comparison

As per Statista, "React Native is the most popular cross-platform mobile framework used by global developers, according to a 2020 developer survey. According to the survey, around 42 percent of software developers are using React Native, followed by Flutter, which approximately 39 percent of developers love using for their cross-platform app development. Roughly one-third of mobile app developers use cross-platform technologies or frameworks; the rest of mobile developers use native tools." 

Flutter vs. React Native: A Detailed Comparison

Here are the following factors, based on which we are going to compare these two frameworks:

  • Performance
  • User Interface
  • Development Time
  • Customer Base
  • Languages Used
  • Stability
  • Documentation Support

Let's begin with discussing each of these factors in detail: 

Performance

Performance is one of the most prominent factors, which is considered while choosing the app development framework. Though to have a definitive winner in the performance game is quite tricky, as there are many factors involved in determining it. JavaScript is the bridge for the interactions initiated in React Native whereas Flutter does not feature any such bridge, as it uses a streamlined process to interact with the native components. 

Sometimes, mobile app developers may face some issues while developing apps with React Native, and on the other hand, with Flutter, it is much easier as compared to React Native as they can rerun the code. The C ++ engine works flawlessly and supports the language, and hence, Flutter gains appreciation here. Flutter is known to achieve an animation runtime speed of 60 frames per second. 

User Interface

There is a huge gap between React Native and Flutter when we talk about the user interface of an app. React Native allows creating different interfaces for different platforms by tapping into native components. Flutter follows an entirely different approach while building UI elements, which is using customizable proprietary widgets. React native is the most dynamic framework that enhances the user experience.

Development Time

The efficiency of React Native and the less time it takes to develop the project makes it the most reliable framework. Flutter promises high-quality usability however, this framework demands more recognition over React Native app development. Expo integration in React Native also makes it pretty easy to get started by just scanning a QR code that appears on the console. 

"Hot Reload" is another feature of Flutter that enables the developers to save time, especially while testing the changes made in UI. Flutter with Dart frame is comparatively less popular in comparison with React Native and takes more time in development.

Customer Base

React Native has been in the market for a much longer time than Flutter. Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, Skype, Walmart, etc. are some of the popular projects that have been developed using this framework. 

On the other side, Flutter is young and is still struggling to make its space in the world of mobile app development. So, React Native has a much larger and stronger user base as compared to Flutter, but the Flutter user base is also increasing at an accelerated speed.

Languages

React Native works on JavaScript, one of the most popular programming languages, whereas Flutter works on Dart, a completely different yet easy to learn programming language. Dart is powerful yet less popular. You can get a crowd of JavaScript developers out there in the market, but it may be quite a challenge to find developers that are ready to start using Flutter right away.

Stability

React Native is an already established cross-platform app development framework. There are a lot of contributors who support React Native because of the reliability it provides. But with a stable version released by Flutter in July 2019, Flutter is the clear winner. Flutter has brought impressive features with the updated version.

Documentation Support

Documentation is always time-taking. For new technologies, having sound documentation is necessary. React Native’s documentation is user-friendly. It includes popular topics in cross-platform development like how to install and use native modules or create platform-specific components.

On the other side, Flutter’s documentation is detailed and has instant documentation support for every issue encountered. It has good compatibility with visual studio, and this adds value to the framework. It is also well connected with Environment (IDEs) and tools, hence it is far comprehensive. React Native’s documentation is a bit generalized.

Final Word

We hope that this detailed comparison of Flutter and React Native, based on performance, documentation, stability, development time, and the user interface has helped you. However, it is extremely difficult to pick one as a clear winner. Hence, your choice depends on the specific requirements of your projects. 

React Native is already a big name in this market and has achieved a lot of appreciations and is one of the most searched terms on the internet. Flutter, because of the rising star it is, has a continuously-growing community of developers, and it can be expected to become huge in the coming future. There are a lot of app development companies in the market that are working on both of these technologies. The competition is indeed tough, and it can be difficult to choose between React Native and Flutter app development. Hence, let’s not predict, but wait and watch.

 

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