February 24, 2021 Last updated February 24th, 2021 432 Reads share

Flutter vs. React Native: Which One To Choose and Why?

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The world has been stormed by the growing popularity of mobile apps, it seems everything could be managed and operated by an application these days. Every organization needs a mobile app or apps to remain competitive in the market and more or less, to remain relevant in the cut throat competition amongst in their specific line of business. Organizations are eagerly looking for an option to build mobile apps, especially for iOS and Android, which takes less time to develop and fewer resources coupled with an adequate budget.

There are millions of mobile applications are available on the digital marketplace, however, this is an interesting fact that very few applications can make the cut, as far as their usage, popularity, utility, and cost-effectiveness is concerned. Here, an important question is why these applications are so popular? Is it because of their User Interface, functionality, skills of developers, or after-sales support and maintenance services? Apart from all above, there is another important aspect behind the popularity of an application, what tool or framework has been used to develop that specific application.

The market leaders like Microsoft, Apple, and Google offer their native technologies and tools, which help developers to built applications with ease. An iOS application could be developed using Swift and XCode, whereas for the Android platform one can use Kotlin/Java or Android Studio for application development. However, this poses a challenge for the organizations, as they need their resources to learn two separate frameworks and associated applications and software development tools and technologies. Considering this challenge, Organizations have started moving towards adopting cross-platform solutions against the traditional native solutions to develop the applications for iOS and Android, that too without compromising on development speed, resources engagement, and product quality. Such solutions are developed in a single language, however, they can execute as a platform-independent entity.

Flutter is been taken by software developers as one of the powerful and highly used tools to complete the tasks related to software designing and development, Mobile Applications, Desktop computing, and Website and Portals. Google developed Flutter and it’s an open-source tool similar to React Native. Flutter framework offers developers and designers to create cross-platform applications that have similar look on new versions and older versions respectively and the user enjoys a different level of fun while working on various platforms as it offers a wide series of attractive and effective widgets which enhances the interaction between the of the user and the machine by the lucrative interface. Flutter has reduced the development time to build software or application which is a boon for the developers, they can develop applications in very little time.

React Native framework was developed by the most popular social media platform Facebook for cross-platform mobile applications and development. It facilitates various platforms like Android and iOS operating systems, Web services, and Universal Windows Platform. By using React Native the developers can include and use react native in joining the several features and functionalities of every platform and they can integrate the desired and required functions with ease. React Native as a framework allows designers to develop and build separate and individual user interfaces along with elements that look additionally makes it possible for designers to generate individual interfaces with elements that provide a native feel to each platform.

We know that increment in tremendous sales of mobile phones has set new technology trends and nowadays every smartphone has various types of applications that allow a user to perform basic tasks to complicated banking transactions. Well, many players in the market, who write and develop the operating systems of smartphones and the software developer have to build an application that should be compatible with this variety of smartphone operating systems i.e. Android, iOS, or Windows.

In this article, we have included a comparison of both the frameworks and on the basis of the below parameters.

  1. Scripts & programming languages
  2. Interactive User Interface
  3. Performance and ability
  4. Coding and framework
  5. Documentation
  6. Time investment & Development
  7. API Capabilities
  8. Hot Reload
  9. Community Support
  10. Testing, deployment & implementation

1. Scripts & Programming Languages

React Native is a JavaScript-based framework that is best in the class. Here we would refer to a survey report which says that approx. 71.5% associated with designers that can be professional are cross-trained and using JavaScript. JavaScript is now more popular than ever and it’s an advantage for the professionals and developers who have expertise in Java scripting. when you look at the language along with entrepreneurs and chief technology officers trying to employ designers for cross-platform application development projects. Moving towards the Flutter, which works on a new programming language which is derived by a new name “Dart”. It is a lesser-known programming language and currently not widely used as well.

Although the presence of Dart is not widespread in the market, the section of this developer association which has expertise as they have been working for long and Dart has been appreciated them, Initially, Dart was designed and developed to make it easier to customize and personalize widgets, so it helps in faster code compilation. While on the single hand JavaScript is now commonly acquired and embraced after several years of usage, Dart is exceptionally an easy task to write rules in and thus has a low understanding bend. So it all comes down seriously to personal choice. Then React Native can be a perfect option for creating and developing your hybrid software if your team is versed in establishing & utilizing JavaScript. The lesser learning overheads, as far as learning Dart makes flutter a financially rewarding option for you, if you or your group have no prior technical expertise.

Opinion: React Native would be a sure-shot winner of this race and people have a perception that JavaScript surpasses Dart in the terms of appeal and promotion rates.

2. Interactive User Interface

React Native uses native components for iOS and Android, which defines that the people could have similar knowledge making use of the Android and hybrid iOS application and they will have in the indigenous software. The widgets, buttons, etc. all come in as local elements giving it a very look that is a native-like experience for the individual. The app components also have been updated simultaneously the moment any enhancement is implemented to OS User Interface.

React Native provides an option that is substantial of User Interface kits that works way better than Flutter, such as React Native Elements, React Native Material Kit, and Native Base. It supports elements that can be iOS-style. This will make it simple to select the User Interface kit that lets developers create a user that is powerful for your application.

Whereas, the Flutter employs it is a proprietary structural system, visual, and widgets that are interactive. These widgets are built-in elements that are UI substitute indigenous elements. The UI is flexible by way of its design this is certainly layered allows you to take photos quickly and personalize the widgets. Two of its widgets designs help developers to imitate platform-specific components that are local as well. Its material design widget, which imitates and inspired from Google, whereas the Cupertino design widget is highly inspired by iOS design philosophy. Additionally, Flutter offers pixel rendering meaning that it handles every pixel regarding the display screen ensuring that the User Interface seems the irrespective this is certainly the same of the unit the application is installed on, decreasing the assistance woes.

Flutter vs React Native popular opinion: React Native supplies a more user that is native-like for the application while Flutter provides you with more versatility in UI design.

3. Performance and Ability

Flutter is considerably faster than React Native when it comes to performance. React Native supports JavaScript for connecting the dots and make a structure of the components that are relevant and native via a bridge. Flutter efficiently handles this procedure by preventing the dependence on a passage to exchange information between the local elements.

In flutter, the speed of development and the overall run time is accelerated up to great extent. For example, you’ll achieve animation runtime rates of 60 fps when working with Flutter. It’s beneficial for assisting in the recycling of existing code. Although it’s very easy to share the code while using React native, whether your developer is designing, writing, or developing the code for any type of platforms like Android or Apple iOS and making use of a wide range of available libraries that would help you in running animated graphics at 60 F/ps. React native can be utilized for Hybrid or composite applications but it makes it’s a bit complicated and tedious task to execute the Library and the Architect.

Flutter, having said that, makes it easy for developers to reuse the existing code for further usage. Its C++ Engine also supports several programming languages and proved to be extremely beneficial. Since Flutter is put together into the ARM that is indigenous for both Android and iOS, performance could be the one concern that it would not face.

Opinion: Flutter is an outright winner when we talk about performance.

flutter vs react native development

4. Coding and Framework

Flutter furnishes the need for the separation of information, templates, theme, and style or data. Alternatively, it enforces the designers to write a suitable code that covers the central area which produces the approach to most of the required tools. But, code exchanging of applications based on Flutter that is using is restricted only to iOS and Android. Well, we know that the code structure of React native is more complicated than flutter. Nevertheless, there exist 3rd party libraries that allow software developers to share the code not only with iOS, Android, iOS, and Windows OS but also with web apps.

Opinion: Flutter includes a well-orchestrated and structured code that is simplified but React Native offers wider code sharing abilities that allow app developers to pay attention only towards writing the code, rather than thinking about several compatibility challenges.

5. Documentation

React Native provides basic documentation for use. Nevertheless, the framework additionally depends on external development kits or packages thoroughly. On the other hand, Flutter offers standard and easy to understood documentation. Flutter supplies controlled and organized documentation that is effortlessly smooth which certainly simplifies the work for the software developers. So, we can say that flutter works way better than React Native in the documentation. The documentation of React Native is somewhat clumsy and disorganized to the contrary.
Flutter’s developer community is not as strong as React Native is. But it enjoys dedicated support from Google, which serves the purpose well. Their documentation is thorough and detailed enough to assist the software developer and their support team offers quick support on the given support forums, where they address the concerns posted by the end-users within a given timeframe.

Opinion: Flutter could be the obvious champion because it provides smooth and detailed documentation here.

6. Development Time

A group of mobile application development organizations that have made an appearance these days has demonstrated their particular superiority in product delivery, and here React Native wins the race hands down, and it is being used by various top-shots in the Tech world. React Native is known for its exceptional ability to lower the mobile app development time.
In the contrast the Flutter is brand new and requires lots of time to build up tasks, hence increases the development time. React Native offers ready-to-use components that help speed up the development of mobile application development without producing many problems for application developers. Flutter also guarantees top-notch functionality and usability, and we hope it will get more recognition in the time to come.

Opinion: React native is a clear winner here, as it reduces the development time up to great extent.

7. API Capabilities

The React Native is the defacto framework to use if one needs native interfaces for Wi-Fi, NFC repayments, biometrics, or statistics. There comes many APIs that support Bluetooth, geolocation, and several other advanced features. However, when it comes to make changes in the interfaces or implement any sort of customization then React Native fails big time, as it doesn’t have a dedicated drawer tool and capability. On the contrary, the Flutter comes with Dart, which makes it easy to work with several APIs. It comes with a Skia graphic library, which ensures the redrawing of UI whenever any view is changed. Flutter’s graphic processing unit offers unmatched flexibility and the ability to load the applications at blazing fast speed.

Opinion: Flutter is certainly the champion in the matter of API capabilities because it proposes more personalization.

8. Hot Reload

Hot reload is certainly one of the biggest buzzwords these days, the concept of Hot reloading is quite simple but it is complex at the same time. Hot reload means an ability to keep the application running and inject the fresh versions of the files, that are being edited during the run time. Hot reload helps us to keep the track of all the states and it is very helpful while designing and tweaking the User Interfaces.

Both Flutter & React Native support Hot reloading, which ensures their applications comply at blazing fast speed if we compare them with the compilation of Native application in XCode and Android Studio. It gives unmatched error tracking and fixing capabilities to mobile application developers.
Even in Flutter, any changes could be implemented in the code during run-time and it will let us reload the code that has changed and continue from the point we let it off. React Native also offers Hot reload, but that is not much effective and responsive as Flutter.

Opinion: Flutter is a conqueror here due to its faster hot reloading capabilities.

9. Community Support

It is extremely important to check if a specific cross-platform framework has robust community and IDE support in place, before making any business decision. While using React Native, the help feature is available for almost every Integrated Development Environment. Nevertheless, this isn’t the case with Flutter considering that the framework is quite new and is still evolving. Flutter’s IDE support is limited to Android studio, VS Code, and IntelliJ IDEA only.

On the other hand, React Native released its open-source code on GitHub in 2015, and since then it has attained the position of the most popular framework on Stack Overflow, where it enjoys a huge backing from its dedicated and enthusiastic community. It enjoys unparalleled support from its huge community which is going from strength to strength since its launch. Flutter is a relatively new competitor in the market, but it is gaining ground gradually with increasing community footprint and support apparatus.

Opinion: Here React Native takes the lead, as it is in the market for a while, it has established its name and more organizations are preferring it because of its robust community support availability. React Native can be a currently established system with assistance from a community that is huge. Flutter needs time and energy to attain that level, however; it has a bright future and it will give a tough fight to React Native in time to come.

10. Testing, Deployment & Implementation

React Native is a completely JavaScript-based framework, that comes along with a few unit-level testing tools and utilities. However, it lacks the capabilities of Integration and UI level unit testing. We have to utilize 3rd Party testing tools like Detox or Appium to perform unit testing on React Native applications but these tools are not yet officially supported by React Native.
React Native, needs to rely on 3rd party libraries for all sorts of build, release, and deployment processes. The React Native official documentation doesn’t include automated steps to deploy and implement the iOS applications to the Apple i-store, instead, it has documented a manual process to deploy the iOS applications to the App Store via XCode.

On the other hand, Flutter offers a diverse and extremely rich set of testing tools, which helps us to perform integration, unit, and widget testing. It also offers extensive and detailed documentation on Testing for Flutter applications, which make the work for app developers easy. Furthermore, Flutter has officially documented the implementation and deployment process, which gives it a niche edge if we compare that with its competitors.

Flutter vs React Native popular opinion: Here the Flutter wins, without doubt, as it comes with strong documentation and tools for all the processes like Testing, Deployment, and Implementation.

When To Choose React Native?

React Native is the right framework to develop wonderful and complex cross-platform apps. It offers stronger community support and documentation, which help app developers. Also, if you plan to reuse the code for the progressive web application as well as a desktop app, choose to React Native.

When You Should Select Flutter?

It offers some internal tools, along with superb documentation and Testing capabilities, apart from its biggest advantage, which is Hot reload. If you want to develop an MVP within a very short period of time, then please choose Flutter. In addition to that, it is a defacto option if your proposed software is UI-centered.

Flutter or React Native: What Type Should You Select?

If you or your development team has prior experience in JavaScript, then React Native could be the framework of choice for you. With over 5 years of availability in the market, It has attained stability as a renowned cross-platform development, couple with exceptional developer community support, React Native is certainly one of the strongest competitors for developing mobile applications. If you want to share the existing code of a web app and develop the application in a faster time-to-market, React Native can serve the just purpose.

Flutter should be your framework of choice if you want a powerful cross-platform mobile app framework, coupled with a beautiful and highly customizable User interface with robust documentation. Flutter provides a widget-powered highly customizable User Interface, along with blazing-fast development and best-in-class performance makes it a great framework for developing mobile apps. Flutter is also a fantastic option if you are planning to create an MVP (minimal viable item).

Conclusion

While wrapping up this article, we would like to say that our objective was not to announce a winner of the mobile application development framework here. Our aim was to provide you a holistic view of the advantages-disadvantages and features of both the Flutter and React Native, which may help you understand the utility of either of them for your project, and you may make an informed decision while choosing a suitable tool for your application development.

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Satyam Chaturvedi

Satyam Chaturvedi

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