Flutter vs. React Native – An in-depth comparison
Do you plan on using React Native or Flutter?
With over 7.5 billion mobile users worldwide, creating mobile apps requires new solutions that are less time-consuming and effort-consuming. As Tech Crunch reports, smartphone users in the US spend approximately 4 hours a day on apps, which is more than the average American who watches live TV.
Regardless of the industry, every business needs a mobile app offering customized services to clients within a limited budget and a quick go-to-market time – something that cross-platform frameworks can help with.
The two main cross-platform frameworks for app development are Flutter and React Native, with the popularity of both increasing steadily with each day.
Statista reports that Flutter is the most popular cross-platform mobile framework used by global developers for mobile app development, closely followed by React Native. Over 2 million developers are using Flutter, with over 500,000 people using it monthly, as per reports by Google.
The numbers are impressive and mostly depend on the popularity of mobile apps among users. Before we dive into Flutter vs React Native, let us know what React Native and Flutter are in detail.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a cross-platform framework developed by Google and released in 2017 to build natively compiled applications for mobile, web, desktop, and embedded devices from a single codebase. It continues its rapid growth and has become the most popular among developers.
Why use Flutter?
- Flutter helps businesses create beautiful apps within a single codebase without compromising on speed, quality, or performance.
- Flutter is based on a fast object-oriented programming language called Dart, a new, easy-to-learn language for flutter developers familiar with Java and C#.
- Flutter is known for perfectly structured documentation available at docs.flutter.dev with answers to all the questions.
Who uses Flutter?
Let’s look at some of the best Flutter apps that have used the framework to build their success.
Flutter has a layered architecture that comes with a wide array of built-in components. It enables easy and quick UI customizations giving control over a single pixel on the screen.
Flutter comprises the following layers
- Flutter engine
- Dart framework
Recommended Article:- Pros and Cons of flutter app development
What is React Native?
React Native, another popular cross-platform framework for iOS app development and android app development was developed by Facebook in 2015.
React Native documentation, compared to Flutter, is not that impressive, but many developers find it more user-friendly.
Why use React Native?
React Native can offer you many solutions that other frameworks can’t.
- React Native apps are easy to write, save time for developers and cut the cost of developing one for businesses.
- React Native apps lower your development and maintenance costs because companies need not deal with two separate codebases for iOS and Android.
Who uses React Native?
So now let’s have a look at the top 12 best react native apps that have been built using the technology.
Recommended Article :- Pros And Cons of React Native Development
React Native is based on Facebook’s Flux architecture focused on the unidirectional data flow. The architecture consists of
- React Code
- The bridge
- Native side
Advantages of Flutter over React Native
Flutter was designed to address fundamental pain points that emerged due to developing apps in React Native.
Here are some significant improvements of Flutter over React Native for cross-development in depth.
1. Consistent, Pixel-perfect UI.
Compared to React Native, Flutter takes a different approach to render the UI and draws the same graphics library that renders websites in Chrome, which is amazingly fast. Furthermore, since the iOS and Android Versions of Flutter have the same rendering engine, the UI is predictable and perfect across multiple devices and OS.
2. It frees the UI/UX designers to experiment and innovate.
Flutter app designers have more freedom to design and develop innovative UI’s without being constrained by the limitations of native components.
3. Compiles faster than Native Code.
Though Flutter apps are more significant compared to native apps, they are comparable in speed. Flutter compiles the controlling code directly in native mode.
This can better the smooth experience owing to the speed and responsiveness of the app. For example, if the apps perform many calculations, Flutter may be faster when compared to React Native.
4. Third-Party React Native Packages can break.
Since essential components in React Native may be limited and simple, more complex UI components are implemented through 3rd party packages. Any updates to the device OS can lead these packages to break. With Flutter the rendering engine remains constant despite device OS updates.
5. Flutter Apps may require 50% less testing than React Native
The rendering engine is consistent, and fewer bugs are likely to occur in Android and iOS. Testers need not worry much about the behavior and rendering of the UI as it will be consistent and there is no need to extensively test the UI on both devices.
6. Popularity and ecosystem are growing fast
Flutter is a new framework; its ecosystem is healthy and growing nicely. Moreover, it is a popular and widely talked-about framework, which has a promising outlook at the back of its massive open-source contributor community.
Advantages of React Native over Flutter
1. Rich components library
2. Fast Refresh
React Native’s latest version Live and Hot reloading features are combined into a new feature called “Fast Refresh” which fixes all the issues faced by the Hot Reloading feature. It also speeds up both bug fixing and the development of new features thus providing a great developer experience.
3. Declarative UI
Due to declarative programming, React Native eliminates the need to create a sequence of actions, thus making it easier to spot bugs on the developer’s path.
4. Strong community support
One of the most significant advantages is the vast community support for React Native. Any issue that a developer faces can be solved easily by falling back on the community for support.
As you can see, Flutter and React Native may have many things in common; both are open-source frameworks developed by leading companies and are easy to use.
When you come to the differences between Flutter and React Native, however, Flutter is easier to use as it is more resistant to system updates, meaning the app will automatically update on every device. On the contrary, React Native depends on native elements which means some problems may appear on the launch of the app.
React Native can be a perfect fit for apps that have basic functionality and comparable entities such as social media, events, and e-commerce. On the other hand, flutter can be ideal for projects involving native-looking features with sophisticated computations, animations, etc.
Flutter or React Native can be an excellent choice to save time and money on mobile hybrid app development. However, the framework you choose may depend on the developer’s preferences and your hybrid app development company.
If you are considering the development of mobile or web apps for many platforms, we can help. Ailoitte has developers who work with both Flutter and React Native frameworks, and you can contact us for more details.
In the Flutter vs React Native performance comparison, the former is easier to use, offers better UI customization, requires less development experience, and works on several native-specific widgets.
React Native is great for mobile app development. It provides a slick, smooth, and responsive user interface by significantly reducing load time. It’s also much faster and cheaper to build apps in React Native when compared to Native.
Flutter is one of the best solutions to developing android apps and iOS apps, without having to write in a different codebase for each platform.
Flutter is Google’s portable UI toolkit for crafting natively compiled mobile, web, and desktop applications from a single codebase.
Flutter is better than React Native, but we can not say it will replace it as both frameworks come with their own set of benefits and are constantly improving.
When it comes to Flutter vs. React Native speed comparison, Flutter’s hot reload usually works better than React Native’s quick refresh, thus making it faster than the latter.
Pradeepa P V
October 21, 2022
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