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Flutter vs. React Native: Which Platform is Better for Mobile App Development

by Rita Roy
Flutter vs React Native

With the advent of multiple frameworks that can create native applications without Java for Android or swift of iOS, building cross-platform mobile applications is trending nowadays.

Among all, Flutter and React Native are the two admired cross-platform app development frameworks that are being utilized to develop thousands of applications.

But, you must have seen a lot of queries like “Flutter vs React Native: Which is better?” In case you need to pick any of them, what will you do?

Well, the answer isn’t simple. It wholly depends on your business requirements, as well as use-cases.

Believe it or not, both Flutter and React Native are influential contenders with their set of pros and cons.

Are you getting confused?

Let’s dig deeper and acquire complete information about both the frameworks.

What is Flutter?

Flutter

Developed by Google in 2017, Flutter is one of the admired open-source cross-platform app development frameworks. It utilizes the Dart language. Presently, Flutter is new and merely experienced programmers use the framework for developing mobile apps.

A lot of known organizations, including OfflinePal, Hookle, Hamilton, Alibaba, Topline, and more, have utilized the Flutter framework.

Let’s view the two sides of the coin, i.e., Flutter’s pros and cons to having a definite idea about it.

Pros

  • Extremely customizable
  • Trusted and effortless to Use
  • Open-source and free to use
  • Hot Reload functionality
  • An absolute development ecosystem

Cons

  • Huge application size
  • Dependence on native technologies and tools to develop apps

What is React Native?

React Native

Built by Facebook in 2015, React Native is an open-source framework. It is a cross-platform application development technology allowing developers to use JavaScript and React with native platform competencies needed to develop mobile apps.

By using React Native, you can build applications from native apps with Swift, Java, or Objective C. It is already an old tool and has an extensive community.

The applications made with React Native include Artsy, Vogue, Tesla, Facebook, Bloomberg, Skype, and more.

Pros

  • Hot Reload and Open-Source
  • Extremely trustworthy
  • Ready-made elements
  • Effortlessly accessible to native functionalities
  • Execution of native UI elements

Cons

  • Complicated UI
  • Non-friendly navigation

React Native vs. Flutter: Market Share

In its 2019 report, Global Digital unveils that the internet users are mounting by a rate of over 1 million new users daily. On average, internet users spend 6 hours & 42 minutes online daily.

Besides, the existing mobile phone users are 4.78 billion, which builds 61.51% of the world’s population in 2020.

Moreover, in a study by GlobalWebIndex, folks are utilizing the applications to systemize approximately every factor of their lives, from handling their finances to getting food online to even figuring out soulmates.

Are you thinking why I am paying attention to these statistics? How are they associated with Google Flutter vs. React Native? The reasons are many:

  • The truth is that the enhancement of apps has taken the globe in just some years, particularly after 2018.
  • Similarly, Google Trends display that Flutter is becoming equally significant and popular as React Native.

Google Trends

Google Trends Report: Top 4 Development Platforms

The growth of React Native and Flutter has been at the cost of the formerly famous Xamarin and Cordova. It’s a two-horse race amid the innovative competitors- Facebook’s React Native and Google’s Flutter.

Graph

Image Source

React Native has 83,200 on Github, while Flutter has 81,200. Also, Statista illustrates that Flutter is preferred by 39% of programmers and React Native by 42% of software programmers.

Flutter vs. React Native: A Detailed Depiction

1. Framework Maturity

React Native was initially introduced in 2015, whereas Flutter’s original Beta launch was done in the MWC (Mobile World Congress), held from February 26th to March 1st.

Hence, talking of development, Flutter is newer to the market as compared to React Native. Since it’s in its infancy phase, Flutter app development will take a few periods before it gets mature.

  • React Native- 1
  • Flutter- 0

2. Programming Language

React Native uses JavaScript for building cross-platform applications. It is commonly used with Reach with additional famous JavaScript frameworks and makes it extremely simple for web programmers to get begun with their app journey.

In contrast, Flutter utilizes the Dart programming language. Google launched Flutter in the year 2011. Flutter uses several object-oriented concepts that are quite simple to learn and grab. However, viewing how JavaScript is a programming language that programmers being their journey with gives React Native an extra point.

  • React Native-1
  • Flutter- 0

3. Installation

React Native is established via NPM (Node Package Manager). Developers who have JavaScript acquaintance can effortlessly perform the process of installation.

Flutter is installed via downloading binary for a particular platform from Github. If you are using macOS, an extra flutter.zip data file has been installed and inserted as a PATH variable.

Though both React Native and Flutter don’t have a one-line installation with their native package for an operating system, Flutter installation asks for one extra step. Due to this, the react-native again gets the point.

  • React Native-1
  • Flutter-0

4. Configuration & Setup

The setup process of Flutter is much more direct when it is compared to React Native. It brings forth the stipulation of programmed checkup of devices’ issues, something which React Native doesn’t have to a great range.

  • Flutter – 1
  • React Native – 0

5. Technical Architecture

React Native architecture depends upon the JS runtime situation architecture, called JavaScript bridge. This framework utilizes Flux design from Facebook.

On the other hand, Flutter utilizes the Dart framework, which doesn’t essentially need a bridge for interacting with native modules.

Since the Flutter engine introduces several native elements in the framework itself, as well as doesn’t require a bridge for conversing with native elements, the point goes to Flutter.

  • Flutter – 0
  • React Native – 1

6. User Interface

Flutter app development solutions, as well as React Native counterparts, are quite diverse in the way they build blocks when it comes to UI development.

While React Native functions with native iOS and Android elements by custom components or third-party, Flutter taps into proprietary widgets, which are wholly customized.

The widgets are both Cupertino for Apple and Material Design for Google building UI one of the feasible aspects for Flutter to restore React Native.

  • React Native – 0
  • Flutter – 1

7. Tooling

Flutter is not equivalent to React Native when it comes to tooling. As Flutter is around three years old, the variety of tools and IDEs supporting it are higher in quantity.

But then, it can boast of its suitability with the IntelliJ idea, Android Studio, and Visual Studio Code. Besides, the Data linter, code analyzer, the debugger, auto-format, and auto format utilities for Flutter.

Moreover, the debugger, Dart linter, auto-format, code analyzer, and auto format tools of Flutter have got a few favorable reviews.

  • React Native – 1
  • Flutter – 0

8. Productivity of Developers

For a programmer who has a proficiency in JavaScript language, React Native is effortless. This framework introduces a hot reload feature that stores programmers’ time to an immense amount.

Besides, the programmers are free to utilize any text editor or IDE of their preference. Flutter also has a hot reload attribute; however, the understanding curve is a bit greater when programmers have to understand and utilize the latest

9. Flutter concepts.

Moreover, Dart, being new, doesn’t have the support of IDEs and multiple text editors, which lessens the productivity of developers.

  • React Native – 1
  • Flutter – 0

10. Documentation

Google is recognized for its clear, comprehensive, and well-devised certification, and with the Flutter framework, it has sustained the anticipation.

Looking at the present comparison of React Native vs Flutter in 2020, it is visible that this Flutter framework is lagging. However, the condition is going to change soon.

Flutter, in a short period, has begun attaining a precise grip from organizations. When you see their Showcase page, you are going to figure out that the applications that have been developed with Flutter belong to the complicated type, which is being utilized by several folks at the same time.

  • React Native-1
  • Flutter-0

Flutter and React Native: What’s the Future?

Flutter has grabbed the attention of a lot of organizations because of the monthly enhancements in the Flutter SDK since Google persists in reforming its tool. Besides, the community is useful and passionate.

Flutter will soon allow you to build not merely mobile apps but even applications for desktop and web.

If I put it all together and understand that enterprises like Alibaba are already using it, the future looks hopeful for the toolkit.

On the other hand, for React Native, Facebook is currently paying attention to a big-scale restructuring of the technology.

The experts are putting their heart and soul to boost support for React Native users, as well as the wider community.

Given React Native framework has such a steady place in the market – and is on a path of constant development – it’s undeniable that the toolkit has a long way to go.

Flutter vs React Native: Overall Comparison

Flutter vs React Native Comparison in Tabular form

Conclusion

React Native is a reliable framework to develop effortless native, as well as cross-platform apps, and Flutter does an astonishing job at building several iterations and MVP apps. React Native vs. Flutter is a hot topic to discuss; hence, to aid you further, we have built a checklist that will make your choice easier:

Pick React Native, if:

  • You wish to scale your current apps with cross-platform components.
  • You want to build to create lightweight native apps.
  • You are searching for possibilities to develop shared APIs.
  • Your objective is to build an app with an extremely responsive UI.
  • You have enough time and money to spend on the project.

Pick Flutter, if:

  • Your idea doesn’t demand inclusive native functionality.
  • You don’t have much budget and delivery timeline.
  • You wish to write and deploy codes faster.
  • You are looking for creating apps that perform quickly.
  • Your need is to customize User-Interface with widgets.

Do you know the top 10 React Native App Development Companies in India?

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