You are viewing the article: Which One To Choose For Mobile App Development?

When it comes to developing a futuristic cross-platform app, two platforms have created a buzz among developers and entrepreneurs alike. One of them is supported by Facebook and the other is backed by Google. Yes, they are React Native and Flutter platforms, which have changed the face of mobile app development.

If you are confused between these two highly sought-after technologies and have no idea about which platform is more suitable for your upcoming app project, then this blog is for you. Here we are going to compare Flutter and React Native to find a more plausible cross-platform mobile app development framework. As both these platforms have gained enough fame, they no longer need any introduction. So, we will start their comparison by listing some salient features.

What is Flutter

Flutter is a cross-platform mobile app development framework developed by Google. It gives developers an easy way to build and deploy visually attractive, natively compiled applications for mobile (iOS, Android), web, and desktop, all using a single code base.

Developed by Google in 2017, the framework is designed to work across platforms, so it can be expressed on any mobile device, or tie into your existing web applications. Thanks in large part to Google’s influence, It is considered one of the leading open-source frameworks available today.

What is React Native

React Native is a framework that combines the best parts of native development with React to build user interfaces. It lets you build mobile apps using only JavaScript. These mobile applications are downloadable on Google Play Store and Apple Store.

Developed by Facebook in 2015, this framework is a well-used, well-loved cross-platform app development technology that at present, is one of the most popular frameworks in the world. Why is it so popular? The answer is mainly it’s flexibility – because it allows developers to use React and JavaScript side by side with many other native platform abilities to build mobile apps.

Flutter Vs. React Native: General statistics & insights

Flutter and React Native showed an increasing volume of search

The popularity of Flutter vs React Native among developers 2022

Flutter Vs. React Native: Deeper comparison and analysis

Background

 

Performance

Runtime execution

React Native

React Native creates a true-blue native app on iOS and Android … structurally. But the behavior is kind of faked. React Native has the application use the device’s JavaScript interpreter to execute the code that runs on startup, in response to button clicks, and so forth. This is why developers can write using modern JavaScript. The code that they write is sent unadulterated to the device where it is interpreted. This is both good news and bad news.

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The good news is that developers can write using a language that is wildly popular and one that your organization likely already knows. If not, there are tons of developers who know JavaScript and are interested in working with you. Also, it opens us up to the possibility of using popular and proven open-source JavaScript libraries like Redux, Axios, Flow, Lodash, Moment, and essentially any JavaScript Library that doesn’t address HTML or CSS. That is a huge advantage.

The bad news though is that React Native pays a performance penalty for using this JavaScript bridge.

Flutter

Flutter doesn’t suffer from the performance penalty of using the JavaScript bridge because it doesn’t use JavaScript. Flutter uses Dart.

The Dart language was invented by Google in 2011 as a potential replacement for JavaScript on the web. That never caught on. JavaScript improved and got more and more popular. But the thing that makes JavaScript so powerful — its dynamic nature — is the very thing that traditional object-oriented developers hate. OO devs who love Java, C#, Objective-C, C++ and the like hate the fact that JavaScript is loosely typed and comparatively unstructured.

Dart “fixes” those problems. We put “fixes” in quotes because for every OO developer who hates JavaScript’s dynamic nature, there is a functional programming developer who loves it and thus turns up his/her nose at Dart.

Dart has historically been a solution in search of a problem. And Google finally has their opportunity to inject Dart into the conversation as a serious contender. Whether or not you like Dart, Flutter is amazing. In order to use Flutter, we have no choice but to use Dart as the language. Google is forcing developers to look seriously at Dart.

To reiterate, some people will love Dart right out of the chute. But even those who don’t love it will quickly see its advantages. Once you get past the angst of having to learn yet another language, you will see that Dart is elegant in its own way with many of the advantages of a strongly-typed language like Java/C# and many of the flexibility features of a loosely-typed language like JavaScript. It may be unpopular now, but experienced OO devs have found it extremely easy to pick up.

Regardless of your love or disdain for the Dart language, it allows us to compile ahead-of-time (AOT) to native instructions tuned for the arm64 chip and therefore running right in the CPU rather than an expensive just-in-time (JIT) compile like React Native is forced to do. Flutter is truly native. You will see this pay off a little at runtime but hugely at app startup.

Speaking of truly native vs. clever facades, let’s discuss how these frameworks handle rendering the UI.

UI

Flutter

This is a framework that relies primarily on its own customized development language. And that creates a stark difference in The UI development experience between Flutter or React Native.

It is 100 percent customized, using its own widgets. And this may very well be the framework’s key advantage over React Native because the widgets are automatically consistent with Material Design for Google and Cupertino for Apple.

No third-party apps or custom components required. When people ask the question will Flutter replace React Native, its hand-in-glove compatibility with Google is one of the biggest reasons why.

React Native

React Native uses a third party or custom components. The result can often be a patchwork effect in the code. However, it’s important not to make too much of this, because React’s JavaScript development language does offer its own set of advantages. However, in a comparison of which is better, Flutter or React Native, Flutter definitely wins the day.

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Developer experience

Language

Cross-platform development

Final thoughts Flutter vs. React Native – Which one is better?

Successful case studies using Flutter and React Native

About InApps

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Major Features of Flutter App Development

Here are the key features of the Flutter framework for developing cross-platform apps.

– Minimal, reusable code
– Hot Reload
– Widgets-based development
– Easy-to-integrate native features
– Single codebase
– Higher customization

Major Features of React Native App Development

Here are the special features of the React Native framework to build cross-platform apps.

– UI focus
– Third-party library support
– Code reuse
– Live Reload
– NPM Package Manager

Listing of top features may not help you find the right platform for your cross-platform app development project. Let’s have a head-to-head comparison between Flutter and React Native from the developer’s perspective. React Native has gained ground since its launch and Flutter has started getting popularity in a short time of arrival. Android app development companies have started adopting the Flutter framework swiftly across the world.

As per a Stackoverflow survey in 2019, React Native has got a 62.5% preference score whereas Flutter has a 75.4% preference score as the Most Loved and Wanted Framework. Let’s go through a detailed comparison between them. We will compare them in four important aspects- development method, architecture, UI components, and performance.

Flutter vs React Native App Development

When it comes to developing cross-platform apps, time plays a crucial role. The mobile app developer wants to build the app as soon as possible. React Native app development, thanks to ready-to-use components, takes lesser development time as compared to Flutter.

Another reason is the programming languages used by these frameworks. React Native is based on the widely used JavaScript language, but Flutter uses somewhat complicated and relatively new Dart language. Flutter also lacks support for many IDEs and Text editors.

When you hire dedicated app developers for developing an app using React Native framework, make sure that they have hands-on experience in JavaScript language.

Flutter and React Native Architecture

Flutter uses the Dart framework with many inbuilt components. It is bigger in size and does not need the bridge to communicate with the native modules. The Dart framework uses Skia C++ engine with many native components.

React Native architecture relies heavily on JS runtime environment also known as JavaScript bridge. React Native uses the Flux architecture developed by Facebook. In a nutshell, the dependency of React Native on JavaScript bridge results in a somewhat poor performance of the app.

Also Read- Complete Guide for Flutter Application Development

Flutter and React Native UI Components

Flutter is equipped with UI rendering components, device API access, widgets, stateful management, and a number of libraries. Simply put, Flutter is rich in components and eliminates any requirement to use third-party libraries. The latest version Flutter 1.12 has also brought many enhancements and new features for customized animations.

React Native possesses native components. It remains the most dynamic framework for UI design but the lack of a few components is visible in its apps. Also, the React Native framework has to rely on third-party libraries for native support. It clearly gives Flutter an edge in building excellent UI designs.

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Flutter vs. React Native Performance

A lot depends on the app’s performance. The ideal framework can be selected on the basis of app performance. Now, Flutter is ahead of other frameworks because of Dart language. The reason is simple- Dart-based code can be compiled to native machine code, and Flutter also enables mobile app developers to reuse the existing code.

You can get an excellent app performance when the React Native app development process is done in a native environment. However, performance-related issues do exist while building an app in a hybrid app architecture. Also, Flutter does not depend on JavaScript bridge while React Native uses it, therefore, Flutter apps perform better as compared to React Native apps.

Other parameters are DevOps and Community Support.

DevOps

The React Native framework lacks official documentation on establishing Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) practices. Though it has some articles about CI/CD for apps, the material is not sufficient for setting up both CI and CD. Flutter vs React Native, on the other hand, has a separate section on Continuous Integration and Testing that has many links to external sources.

Flutter has a rich command-line interface (CLI) that enables developers to set up CI/CD with ease. Nevercode also offers in-built support for CI/CD for Flutter-based apps. From DevOps viewpoint, Flutter apps are easy-to-build thanks to strong CLI tools and React Native has no official instructions for CI/CD practices.

Community Support

Community support is very important during mobile app development. Talking about React Native, it was launched back in 2015 and has started gaining popularity since then. A dedicated React Native community on GitHub is very much active. Globally, React Native app developers also arrange a lot of meetups and conferences.

Flutter is relatively a newer framework as Google introduced it in the I/O conference in the year 2017. Though the Flutter community grows rapidly these days and flutter Interact viewing parties have been organized across the world, Flutter developers are yet to get enough resources to solve common issues related to the development process.

Future of Mobile App Development- Flutter or React Native?

Hope these points of comparison will clear your doubts. Still, if you are confused in selecting the most suitable framework for cross-platform apps, let’s discuss the role of both the platforms in mobile app development.

It is fair to mention that you should select the technology for developing a cross-platform app by considering the use case, market trends, user expectations, and your business model. Though both these frameworks are robust enough to build, it is interesting to see which one of them is more capable to become a future of mobile app development.

These days, many established companies and even startups are showing interest in flutter app development. Google also comes up with regular improvements and new features in this framework. What’s more, Google’s ambitious and eagerly-awaited Fuchsia OS is also said to support the Flutter framework.

Flutter will grow in the coming time as more app developers will switch to this framework. We can certainly expect that Flutter will be the future of mobile app development.

React Native also offers many pros and Facebook strives to rebuild the architecture of this framework. App developers who have hands-on experience in JavaScript language prefer React Native framework to develop cross-platform apps. But, when a robust mobile app is all you need for your business, Flutter should be your choice.

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