Flutter? Or React Native? The Dilemma Facing App Developers Everywhere

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The phenomenon of mobile apps has influenced myriad technological advances worldwide. With around 6.5 billion smartphones in use, apps are everywhere influencing everything from life and entertainment to work. In such a scenario, developers are facing the big-time dilemma of choosing the ideal framework for app development. And the Flutter vs. React Native debate finds itself in the thick of this discussion.

Both are cross-platform mobile frameworks with an enormous number of pre-programmed modules, state-of-the-art functionality, and robust user communities that can supercharge development speed. 

Whether you want to develop a medical app, transportation app, or demand delivery app, it is crucial to understand every project detail and choose the framework accordingly. To that end, the key to the next successful app development project is a thorough understanding of Flutter and React Native.

Read on for a comparison of Flutter and React Native.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a leading cross-platform mobile app development framework developed by Google. It comes with an extensive user interface toolkit to create fast and natively compiled applications for desktop, mobile, and web. It is open-source and free. Flutter uses Dart programming language to create the application. 

What is React Native? 

It is an open-source, cross-platform development framework developed by Facebook. It allows developers to use JavaScript and React in addition to the ability of the native platform required to build mobile apps.   

Flutter vs React Native: Pros & Cons

Flutter

Pros:

  • Hot Reload: This feature enables faster application development.
  • Single codebase: Developers can write a single codebase that can cover Android and iOS platforms.
  • Faster performance: The platform uses the Skia Graphics library under which the user interface is redrawn every time the view changes. The user interface of Flutter is very smooth and delivers 60 frames per second (fps).
  • Better quality: The quality assurance process is quicker as the same application can work on multiple platforms.
  • Brilliant design: Flutter offers custom widgets with a user-friendly user interface and attentiveness to visual details.
  • Compiled coding for stable performance: Flutter code is compiled at the time of distribution. 
  • Older devices get a similar user interface: Even new application development looks the same on older Android or iOS systems.

Cons:

  • Flutter needs some catching up to match the counterparts in context to the developer community.
  • Library support is not very rich as compared to native development. The developers need to build custom functionality.
  • The size of written applications is more than native ones.
  • It’s an open-source platform, but it can be disastrous if Google does not support the project.
  • Dart is a relatively new language, and businesses may find it challenging to work through the intricacies.
  • New features of Android and iOS are introduced later in Flutter than native SDKs.

React Native

Pros:

  • Hot Reload and Fast Refresh: It speeds up the development process of the application. The new fast refresh feature added in the recent version blends well with live and hot reloading.
  • Uses JavaScript: The platform uses JavaScript, which is one of the most popular programming languages.
  • Single codebase: The single codebase is written to cover Android and iOS platforms.
  • Freedom of choice: The developers can choose their solutions to use with React Native. They can choose how to select a router library, a global state, and much more.
  • Vast community: The platform enjoys a massive developer community with enormous UI frameworks, libraries, and tutorials.
  • More mature framework: Facebook developed the framework over six years ago.
  • Easy to learn: Users with a web development background can easily grasp the native framework and quickly start working with it.
  • Smaller team requirement: The React Native solution requires smaller development teams. 
  • Reduces testing time: The testing team can create the same tests to run on Android and iOS platforms.

Cons:

  • React Native needs essential out-of-the-box components. The developers need to use outside repositories to use the additional set of components.
  • Developers might face debugging and computability issues. If the developers are not proficient with React Native, they can spend too much time troubleshooting the issues.
  • React Native offers a huge set of libraries, but many of them are abandoned and come with low quality.
  • React Native uses native components, and after every new user interface update, the app components need to be upgraded.
  • The applications are written in JavaScript code, and their size is bigger than their counterparts. 
  • With out-of-the-box support lacking for native app functionalities, you may require help from Android and iOS developers to implement advanced features.

Conclusion: Which is Better?

It’s difficult to single out one as a better cross-platform framework as both development frameworks are good at catering to specific use cases. Many developers will agree that Flutter is the more powerful with respect to flexibility and performance facilitated. But it’s noteworthy that the new architecture of React Native has raised the performance bar to try and catch up. 

So, the choice between Flutter and React Native depends mostly on the developer’s experience. Get a FREE consultation to drive your app development initiatives using the perfect framework.

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