With each and every passing day, thousands of apps are added to the mobile application space. Lots and lots of reports from relevant sources how the app downloads increased by 9% in 2018, smartphone users spent USD 100 billion on apps the same year, and many more similar facts.
Talking about custom app development and cross-platform apps – their market already crossed the USD 7.5 billion mark in 2018. Wait! Why are we focusing so much on the 2018 statistics?
It is because it was in 2018 that Google launched Flutter, an open-source cross-platform development framework which in no time became a stiff competitor for the other existing and popular frameworks like React Native (launched in 2015 by Facebook). At the time of writing this post, Flutter has acquired 137K at Github as compared to 102K stars claimed by React Native.
The competition is indeed tough, and it can be difficult to find out the difference between React Native and Flutter app development. The most obvious way to make a choice is by comparing the two on the basis of the most relevant aspects. This article will help you find out which is better – Flutter or React Native. That’s what you are about to read. But before we go ahead and talk about the actual comparison, you should know that there’s a huge gap between React vs React Native. And here, we are talking about React Native.
Before that, Let’s Just Look at Their Similarities: React Native vs Flutter
While talking about React Native vs Flutter, both are open-source platforms for cross-platform mobile app development and use common features like hot reload (better known as live reload among React Native Developers). What does that mean? Hot Reload allows the developers to instantly see the changes made in the code without requiring renewing the application. It allows faster coding, development, and easy bug-fixing.
Both React Native and Flutter support the concept of one codebase for multiple mobile platforms (Android and iOS), which means exactly similar apps available for the users of each of these platforms. This type of coding also reduces the amount of testing almost by half. It is because of the convenience of writing fewer tests for different mobile platforms.
Talking about Flutter vs React Native popularity, both frameworks empower many well-known apps. While Flutter development is behind the success of Google Ads app, Hamilton Broadway Musical App, and Xianyu by Alibaba, React Native has given the world the Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest apps, among many others. Let’s start with the comparison now!
1. Ease of Learning
When developers consider these languages, they face a question – which language should I learn: Flutter or React Native?
2. Community Support
When pursuing cross-platform development, support from the global development community can be a boon for many developers. Considering that React Native was launched much earlier than Flutter, it can be expected to have a vast online community offering support. You can easily get solutions for the issues and difficulties while developing an app.
Having said that, Flutter, because of the rising star it is, has a continuously-growing community of developers, and it can be expected to become huge in 2020. So, the lower maturity level in terms of community support should not be that big of a reason to not choose Flutter.
4. Widgets vs Third-party Libraries
One of the major contrasts between the two frameworks is the levels up to which they rely on third-party libraries. Google has developed Flutter to contain a number of fantastic widgets and libraries which allow the mobile application development to render identical user interfaces for both Android and iOS. React Native, on the other hand, requires the developers to repeatedly refer to the third-party libraries. Needless to say, the difference makes the development work faster for Flutter developers.
The difference also influences the way testing is done while developing apps using the two frameworks. The widget testing support in Flutter indeed makes the task easier and speedier for the Flutter developer – while the React Native developers again need to rely on third-party tools for testing.
5. Documentation Support
Considering that Flutter has the backing of Google, one can expect its documentation support to be far more comprehensive. It really is! The content that the Flutter framework offers is more informative and detailed and can be a great reference resource for cross-platform development experts. Though React Native doesn’t lack far behind in terms of documentation support, it tends to keep the content more generalized and less to-the-point. Moreover, there is a kind of disorganization in the way the React Native app development guides are offered to the developers.
6. Few Other Points
- Ease of Installation: React Native installation is possible using Node Package Manager, which makes the process faster. The Flutter users, however, must perform some extra tasks to install the development kit.
- CI/CD Support: Flutter boasts of a command-line interface (CLI) that allows setting up continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) easily and with fewer efforts. This is where Reach Native lacks behind as it offers no guidance on setting up CI and CD services. Flutter’s command-line interface also allows automated app deployment, making it easier to release apps on the specific app stores of different mobile platforms. It is an important requirement in the case of cross-platform development, and Flutter fulfills it aptly.
What Should Be Your Choice: Flutter or React Native?
In recent times, cross-platform apps have witnessed much more acceptance. You really need to be competitive in developing a quality app. Now, the question is which among the two frameworks, Flutter and React Native framework, would match your needs and desired results. For this, let’s compare them once again on the basis of the benefits that cross-platform apps offer.
Code Reusability: With the support of widgets, code reusability is much more efficient and result-oriented in the case of Flutter app development.
UI Consistency: Flutter is more acceptable for rendering identical UI designs for the two popular mobile platforms – iOS and Android.
Shorter Time-to-Market: As mentioned earlier, Flutter promises a shorter development time and thus is better than React Native in this regard.
Cost-Effectiveness: The development cost may be the same using any of these frameworks. However, it would depend on how experienced the development team is.
Extended Reach: Cross-platform apps always reach a wider audience as compared to native apps. Again, it would depend on the out-of-box app design you offer.
Choose Flutter, if your app requirements fall into the given criteria:
- If your app doesn’t need any native functionality.
- If you are running out of budget and have a short timeframe to complete a project.
- Need to publish your product soon and write code quickly.
- If you want to have a single codebase with multi-platform support.
- Need an application that executes between 60 FPS and 120 FPS.
- Need a user-friendly and customized UI with widgets
Read the Flutter Installation blog and install Flutter now to offer a seamless user experience to your client.
Choose React Native, if your app requirements fall into the given criteria:
- If you are looking to scale your existing project with cross-platform modules.
- If you are not restricted to timeframe and budget.
- Need to develop simple and lightweight native apps.
- Need to create shared APIs out of the box.
- Want to create an app with an asynchronous build and highly appealing UI.
The Future of Flutter and React Native
In the year 2022, many organizations are adapting Flutter app development for their project requirements. After all, we have seen many improvements, new features, and functionalities in the Flutter SDK as Google evolves and redefines its tool.
Furthermore, recently, with the new release of Flutter 2.10, it has extended its stable support for Windows applications. Flutter for Windows has not just opened doors but windows of every organization. Hence, the popularity of flutter desktop app development is rising quickly.
In a nutshell, many big brands like Alibaba are already using Flutter. Therefore, we can conclude that the future of Flutter looks very promising for the toolkit.
While talking about React Native platform, it is also used by the giant Facebook on a large-scale re-architecture of the technology.
Flutter offers many features like:
- Enhanced memory footprint and Dart Virtual Machine
- Improved tracing feature
- Better ecosystem
- Improved web platforms views and faster performance
- Decreased startup latency (50% for low-end devices and 10% for high-end)
While considering React Native platform, it has many improvements and features, such as:
- Offers Window dimensions hook
- Suitable for frameworks; supports CocoaPods
- Fast Refresh rates, which is a mixture of their hot reloading features
- Offers stable APIs, create a better GitHub Repository, better documentation, and support tools in the open-source community
Head-to-Head Comparison: Flutter vs React Native
Which one is better – React Native or Flutter? While talking about Flutter vs React Native, Flutter is an open-source used to develop cross-platform apps with a single codebase, whereas React Native is an open-source used to build native apps which run on iOS and Android platforms.
- Flutter is compatible with Android 4.1 and iOS 8, while React Native is compatible with Android 4.1 and iOS 10. The difference between Flutter vs React Native is that Flutter includes Google-developed plugins such as geolocation and mapping.
- While considering performance, Flutter runs without the usage of new APIs, and the framework really does all of the work to bridge the gap between the device and the codebase.
Let’s find out in the head-to-head Flutter vs React Native 2022 comparison.
How BerarterHost Can Help You with Flutter or React Native
You should know why Flutter app development is indeed an important part of the future when it comes to cross-platform apps. If you are able to find a team of developers who are well-versed in Dart programming, you can invest in the framework without giving any second thought.
So, both frameworks work better in their own areas. However, the choice of the framework should be based on your requirements and target audience. So, if you are planning to have experienced developers on board, who can help you develop a project from scratch, BerarterHost is the right place to intimate. BerarterHost has built a robust team of developers who can deliver consistent and user-friendly apps in Flutter and React Native.