Are you trying to decide between React Native and Flutter for your next mobile app development project? Both frameworks have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll compare React Native and Flutter and help you decide which one is best for your needs
Mobile app development is one of the fastest-growing areas in the app development world. During and post-COVID-19, the demand for different apps has grown fast, like online ordering, healthcare, lifestyle, and more.
But building mobile apps takes lots of effort for both iOS and Android. If you are creating different apps for different platforms, you need different skill sets.
This is where cross-platform mobile application solutions like Facebook’s React Native and Google’s Flutter become handy. But which one is better: Flutter or React Native?
In this post, we will compare both platforms and their features so that you’ll have a solid understanding of Flutter vs. React Native questions, including their pros and cons.
But first, get a quick overview of both solutions to understand the main differences between Flutter and React Native.
Cross-platform mobile frameworks
Statista simply puts, cross-platform mobile frameworks are used to generate an app that is accessible through a large number of various end devices. A single code is used across multiple platforms for easy portability, and in the end the cost of software development is kept low. With cross-platform mobile frameworks, there is the possibility of maximum exposure to the target audience. For example, a single app can target both iOS and Android platforms, which maximizes the app’s reach.
- Developed by Facebook, React Native is a cross-platform framework for building native mobile applications.
- This framework uses a single codebase for Android and iOS app development, making the process of creating your app more accessible and faster than ever before.
Flutter is Google’s open-source mobile app SDK for crafting high-quality native experiences on iOS and Android in record time. Flutter works with existing code, is used by developers and organizations around the world, and is free and open source. It has been in use since 2016, and it is being used by many famous apps like Twitter, Tesla, Lyft, and many more.
Flutter is built on Dart, which makes it easier to develop apps with a single language. Flutter is an open-source mobile application development platform with a high-performance rendering engine. It’s also famous for its ease of use, which enables developers to get up and run quickly.
Some of the benefits of Flutter are:
- Open source: Flutter is an open-source mobile application development platform that offers a high-performance rendering engine. This means there is no licensing fee, and developers have full access to the codebase.
- Performance: Flutter has a high-performance rendering engine that offers smooth animations, fast scrolling, and low memory usage. This means that apps built with Flutter will be more responsive than those built with other frameworks.
- Ease of use: Flutter is easy to learn, making it popular among new developers looking to build their first app without spending much time learning the framework’s complex codebase.
- Extensibility: The framework has been designed from the ground up to build apps.
The Flutter mobile app SDK gives developers access to a single codebase for iOS and Android, which makes it possible for developers to build apps with a native look and feel. The framework includes Google’s Material Design, making it easy for designers to create beautiful apps without having to learn different UI frameworks. Flutter is a new platform designed to make the app development process easy and fast.
Key Difference Between React Native and Flutter
The biggest benefit of React Native is the ability to use one codebase for both iOS and Android apps, which saves time and money when developing an app. In addition, React Native allows you to use the same skillset as you would for web development – without having to learn a new programming language or framework – which makes it easy to hire developers with web programming experience who may not be familiar with native app development languages like Objective-C or Java.
- React Native saves time and money with the use of one code base for both Android and iOS apps, which means less time spent on development and less money spent on hiring developers to build two separate versions of an app.
- The React Native app loads faster than an app built using other frameworks because it does not require a browser to load the content before it can be displayed on the user’s device, as needed in native iOS or Android development.
The architecture of React Native is based on a virtual DOM, which means that its performance is very fast. It also has a modular architecture, making it easier to maintain and develop the app.
Flutter is a framework for building high-quality native apps on iOS and Android in record time. Flutter is an open-source mobile app SDK that helps developers create high-quality native interfaces on both iOS and Android. It is Google’s response to the challenge of developing apps for both platforms. Flutter does this by using one codebase, which makes it easier for developers to build apps with a consistent experience across all devices.
UI component is something that can be separated from other elements, and you can reuse it as per your need. It is believed that React Native doesn’t have as rich UI components as compared to Flutter, and in fact, it provides a set of ready-made interface elements.
React Native only provides UI rendering, relying on third-party libraries to access native modules.
When it comes to performance, React Native’s approach is separate and distinct from Flutter’s.
The complete mobile app isn’t compiled into C/C++ or a native language. Rather, the UI components are compiled to their native counterparts, with the JavaSript code running in a different thread and communicating with native modules for any execution required through a bridge.
The documentation of React Native is general in nature. The framework relies extensively on external development kits, and the documentation can be simpler than other frameworks.
Flutter’s documentation is easy to read and understand. The nice part is its format and detailed content. The documentation is more streamlined and straightforward.
- Flutter – Flutter ranked higher with 65.4%. Flutter is comparatively new and used less by companies, leading to fewer job opportunities. However, this may not be the case a few years from now.
- StackOverFlow’s 2020 Developer Survey highlights that among developers currently using Flutter and React Native, more using the former (68.8% to React Native’s 57.9%) would like to continue doing so.
The latest research from Statista places Flutter as the leading cross-platform mobile development framework in 2021. Flutter surpasses React Native by 4% (42% for Flutter against 38% for React Native).
|Flux and Redux
|Large inclusive library
|Some are adaptive automatically
|Components aren’t adaptive. Need to be configured manually
|Components aren’t adaptive. Need to be configured manually
|Quite mature, used in production in many big companies around the world, many packages available
|Not yet mature, a fewer number of packages
|Instagram, Facebook, Tesla
|Google Ads, Philips Hue, Postmuse
When to use Flutter
Flutter offers a great development experience for users as it has a simple yet powerful language. It also has a fast release cycle, which means you can get new features in the app with less waiting time.
- Small budgets
- Short development timeline
- UI-centered apps
- Iteration (Hot Reload)
When to Use React Native
React Native is a good solution for those who want to develop an app with a single codebase and a minimal learning curve. It can also be used when you need to have an app that works well both on Android and iOS.
- Big budgets and complex projects
- Complicated cross-platform apps
- Reusing code for mobile and desktop apps
- Less experienced developers because of extensive documentation support
The React Native vs. Flutter debate is a never-ending process. But you can draw parallels considering the pros and cons of both platforms. The idea is to choose the platform that fills can gap in your business need.
Some industry experts predict Flutter will take center stage in the future of mobile app development. But React Native still rules the roost with some of the most fantastic apps on today’s market.
The bottom line is that each platform serves different purposes, so you should consider your needs before committing to one.
Both Flutter and React Native have pros and cons. Flutter could be a better option if you are planning to build a small application with moderate budgets and value a rich component set. React Native can also provide greater flexibility as well as efficiency.
With the tremendous growth in the mobile app development industry, the demand for Flutter and React Native will only accelerate in the future of mobile app development. It is predicted that Flutter might now have a slight edge over React Native in the coming years.
React Native provides greater flexibility to developers while building mobile apps of any type and size. Flutter is good in terms of performance, development cost, compatibility and app features.