React Native and Flutter are both mobile app development technologies. They help build interactive applications for Android and iOS. Since they both serve the same purpose, it is crucial to understand the differences between them and choose the right one for you. This article on Flutter vs. React Native will help you with it. Now that you know what’s in store for you, let’s begin.
What is React Native?
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.
Now that you know what the two frameworks are, look at some of the differences between the two.
History of Flutter and React Native
Flutter and React Native are developers’ most popular cross-platform development frameworks for building mobile applications. Both frameworks have revolutionized the mobile app development industry by allowing developers to create high-performance, visually appealing, and fully-functional applications that work seamlessly across various platforms.
- Google developed Flutter in 2017, and since then, it has become a popular choice for developers due to its high performance, ease of use, and extensive library of pre-built widgets. Flutter uses the Dart programming language, designed to be easy to learn and use. Additionally, Flutter’s hot reload feature allows developers to make changes to the code and immediately see the changes in the app, making the development process faster and more efficient.
Regarding which framework is better, it ultimately depends on the project’s specific needs.
For example, Flutter is known for its high performance and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for building complex applications. React Native, on the other hand, provides a more native experience to users and is a perfect choice for building applications that require a lot of animations and complex interactions.
Both Flutter and React Native have unique strengths and have played a significant role in the evolution of mobile app development. As technology evolves, it will be interesting to see how these frameworks continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible in mobile app development.
How do Cross-Platform Development Frameworks Work?
Cross-platform development frameworks are software tools that allow developers to create applications that can run seamlessly across multiple operating systems and platforms.
- These frameworks enable developers to write code once and deploy it across different platforms, such as iOS, Android, and Windows. And this approach saves time and resources, eliminating the need to write other codes for each platform.
- Then, these frameworks also work by using a set of libraries and tools that abstract away the differences between platforms. These libraries allow developers to write platform-agnostic code, meaning it can run on any platform without modification.
One of the main advantages of cross-platform development frameworks is that they provide a consistent user experience across different devices and platforms. They also make it easier for developers to maintain and update their applications, as they only need to make changes in one codebase.
Several cross-platform development frameworks are available, including React Native, Xamarin, Flutter, and Ionic. Each framework has its features and benefits, and developers must choose the one that best fits their needs.
So, cross-platform development frameworks are a valuable tool for developers looking to create applications that can run across multiple platforms. They provide a cost-effective and efficient way to develop applications, reduce development time, and improve user experience.
Flutter vs. React Native
- Flutter: Flutter is written using a language called Dart. Dart is a programming language introduced by Google in 2011 and rarely used by developers.
- React Native: React Native is based more on native components for both Android and iOS devices. It offers an extensive collection of external UI kits that helps in creating beautiful user interfaces for your applications.
- Flutter: Flutter uses proprietary visual, structural, platform, and interactive widgets. These widgets are built-in UI components that replace native platform components.
- Flutter: There is no interconnecting bridge for initiating interactions with the device’s native components. Hence, interactions with native components are faster, improving the overall performance of the application.
- React Native: React Native offers general documentation. The framework depends on external dev kits extensively. The documentation is not as straightforward as that of Flutters.
- Flutter: It provides documentation that is easy to read, thanks to its format and detailed content. The documentation is also more streamlined and straightforward.
- React Native: React Native is widely adopted and is a more popular app development framework than Flutter. React developers can quickly develop react native mobile apps, which encourages more developers to use this framework.
- Flutter: Flutter is relatively new, and though it has gained some attention lately, it is still way behind in developer count. Since Dart is a new language, the adoption rate among developers is slightly lower.
- React Native: React Native, released as open-source on GitHub in 2015, is the most popular framework on Stack Overflow and is backed by a vast community with over 310,507 tagged questions.
- Flutter: Flutter is a relatively new framework that has a smaller community. However, more and more developers are adopting it slowly. It has over 89,638 questions on Stack Overflow.
- Flutter: Flutter ranked higher with 65.4%. Flutter is comparatively new and is used less by companies. This leads to fewer job opportunities. However, this may not be the case a few years from now.
Pros and Cons of Flutter and React Native Apps
Flutter is built using native C/C++ and Dart, which makes it suitable for creating high-performance apps.
Flutter also supports many hardware acceleration features, such as Skia, which improve the app’s performance.
React Native apps have native performance and are very fast and responsive. React Native uses native components (UI) to create the app’s user interface, providing more speed. And this UI ensures that the app performs smoothly and quickly.
Flutter is still relatively new, and its performance is not as good as other native platforms. As with any cross-platform app, the performance may not be on par with a fully native app.
Although React Native apps are fast and responsive, they are still not as fast and responsive as native apps. This is because React Native doesn’t always use native components, so they can’t fully use the device’s hardware.
Flutter apps are relatively large compared to other cross-platform frameworks. And flutter apps use a single code base, saving space and making it easy to maintain.
Flutter apps are still relatively large compared to fully native apps.
While React Native apps are usually much smaller than native apps, they can still be prominent.
Minimal Required SDK Version:
Flutter has a minimum required SDK version of 16 and can be compiled into Android 4.1, making it compatible with many devices.
React Native apps often require a lower minimum SDK version than others. As a result, react Native apps are usually more lightweight and need less code than others.
The flutter minimum SDK version is lower than other mobile development platforms, making it less suitable for older or low-end devices.
React Native requires a minimum SDK version of 21, which means it will not work on older versions of Android.
Flutter is based on the reactive programming paradigm, which is simpler and more efficient than traditional approaches. Additionally, Flutter provides various UI components and tools, making creating beautiful, interactive, dynamic user interfaces easy.
React Native often allows for better UI development than other types of apps. This better UI development is because React Native uses a declarative programming style, making creating responsive UIs that look great on different devices easier.
Flutter’s UI components must be more well-documented and supported than other mobile development platforms, making creating complex or custom UI elements more difficult.
React Native’s UI development can be more complex and time-consuming than other frameworks, requiring knowledge of React and native UI components.
Flutter supports a hot reload feature that lets developers quickly iterate on their code, making debugging much more effortless. And also, flutter has a built-in debugging environment, making identifying and fixing performance issues easy.
React Native apps are more accessible than traditional native apps since the code is more visible.
Flutter’s debugging environment can be tricky to get used to, as it can be quite different from other platforms.
React Native can be more difficult to debug than other apps. And also, react Native can be slower than native apps, and some features may not be available on all platforms.
Code Reuse Between Mobile Platforms
Flutter allows developers to write their code in a single language (Dart) and then compile it to native Android and iOS. And this makes reusing code between the two platforms much more accessible, saving time and development resources.
React Native allows for code reuse between platforms, saving time and effort in the development process.
Flutter is still a relatively new technology; in some areas, code reuse could be improved.
While with React Native, experienced developers and support resources are lacking while reusing the codes between mobile platforms.
Here are some of the companies using React Native.