Quick Summary: A comparison of the two most widely used cross platform frameworks to build both iOS and Android mobile applications: React Native vs Flutter. Know the difference between Flutter vs React Native in terms of architecture, performance, community support, learning curve, use cases and many other aspects.
Flutter and React Native are the two widely used frameworks for cross-platform app development for two years in a row, according to a Statista report. Their adoption rate is growing, and it will overtake the competition.
Both cross platform development frameworks help developers reduce the time to market (TTM) assisting them in delivering interactive business applications to clients, and hence improving productivity.
This article will help decision-makers choose the right tech stack for their project. Here we compare React Native and Flutter with each other so that you can understand the critical differences between them.
Before starting with a detailed comparison, let us first overview both the frameworks React Native and Flutter.
First off, let’s start with a basic introduction to React Native and Flutter.
It primarily focuses on the native rendering of android and iOS compatible apps. The social media titan Facebook backed up the react native framework, with almost 50 dedicated skilled developers working on the framework at present.
Here are some statistics for the market usage of React Native framework:
Flutter is a cross-platform, open-source framework that functions with a programming language called Dart, developed by Google in 2011.
Its first release was in May 2017 and was rarely used by developers, but it continues its speedy growth and becomes more and more popular in the developer community.
Flutter is generally referred to as an improved UI toolkit that programmers use to create cross-platform apps with a single codebase. It offers tools to build expressive and flexible user interfaces with native performance.
On comparing Flutter and React Native 2021 statistics, we find that Flutter has become a more popular framework among developers.
Here are some casual statistics for the market usage of Flutter:
The number of frames reported in a simple React Native app for each interval is much higher than that developed using Flutter
In some cases, the app took more than 16 milliseconds to render the program forming the application stammer. Some third-party libraries like Proguard can be used to improve your application performance that further optimizes bytecodes.
Similarly, components like SLowdog help set performance timers, which may help track performance issues and resolve them.
Application developed using Flutter is a lot more performant in comparison to react Native. There is no need for any bridge for communication between the native modules of the app as a result of native components.
The performance check showed that the primary straightforward app continuously performed at 60 FPS, and therefore the rendering time taken for each frame doesn’t take quite 16 milliseconds. The number of frames that got dropped was a bit lower.
As stated, Flutter uses the SKia graphics library, which supports the UI to be redrawn anytime with every update within the application view. No doubt that Flutter will perform proficiently even at 60 FPS.
While this would probably improve the native functionality, it also increases the application size, leading to performance problems or device delay.
Flutter’s architecture is layered. The hierarchy of a simple application designed on this framework begins with top-level root function or, in different words, platform-specific widgets.
It’s followed by basic widgets that interact with the platform and rendering layers. Basically, on the remote side the rendering layer exists, the animation gestures which will do transmission of API calls to the foundation of the application.
It’s also referred to as a scaffold run by a C/C++ engine and a platform-specific embedder. If you wish to separate the presentation layer from business logic, you’ll need to take into account implementing the Flutter bloc.
Architecture of Flutter makes it easier for senior as well as junior Flutter developers when it comes to building advanced applications with small and straightforward elements.
Yes, we are able to leverage React Native to develop advanced native apps. Still, it’s essential to notice that this will be possible only if you comprise native app development in combination with React Native.
Previously, Flutter was not suitable for handling very complicated apps. But, start-ups still have a chance to use Flutter as an excellent solution to develop minimal valuable projects (MVP).
It can be assumed to be a superb choice to build faster prototypes. The concept here is to create two completely different prototypes of iOS and Android with the Flutter framework and analyse the outcomes in the market.
After that, additional resources can be invested to create a comprehensive and user-centric plan.
Flutter offers in-depth support for automated testing since it functions with a dart. It offers several varieties of testing possibilities to test applications at the widget, unit, and integration level, and it also boasts thorough documentation related to it.
What’s more, Flutter provides robust documentation to make and unleash android and iOS apps on the Play Store and App Store respectively. Additionally, its deployment process is well documented.
React Native claims of no approved support for UI level testing and Integration testing. Moreover, there are only a couple of unit-level testing frameworks offered to test RN apps.
Because of no official support, developers have to adopt third-party tools like Appium and detox and unearth bugs with their help. Moreover, third-party libraries used widely for build and release automation.
Compactly placed, the whole framework doesn’t provide any automated steps to deploy iOS apps to the App Store. As an alternative, React Native advises developers to define the manual process of deploying the application through Xcode.
Since 2017, Flutter Launched, its community has gained a bit more traction than React Native.
However, the number of skilled contributors is 662+ only, which is way below React Native. Yet, the github repository has more than 132k stars. Some widespread platforms for connecting with the worldwide community of Flutter:
React Native was launched in 2015, the increasing number of contributors to the framework on GitHub is proof that its community has been growing fast.
Currently, there are over 2,207+ skilled developers who actively share their experiences. Even a novice will get help in developing React Native applications.
There are over 19.8k live projects for developers to look at to resolve existing problems.
A number of the common platforms wherever you’ll be able to notice alternative React Native developers, projects, conferences, and live events are:
Flutter isn’t that tough to learn. Writing code with Dart can be a bit uncommon; however, developing with Flutter makes learning this framework easier.
All learners require a few basic abilities of native Android or iOS development. Additionally, developers have reported that documentation in Flutter could be a ton smoother than React Native.
But, web development is different from mobile app development, so mobile developers realize it is comparatively tough to learn and implement the framework.
Over time, React Native has free libraries, intensive documents, and tutorials that improve the learning curve over time.
Maintaining a Flutter application is simple. The simplicity of code helps developers spot problems, supply external tools, and support third-party libraries. Moreover, the stateful Hot Reloading feature now resolves the issues at hand.
The time taken for releasing quality updates and implementing immediate changes within the application are thought-about to be better than the capability of React Native.
In React Native, upgrading and debugging the code may be a pain, perhaps. Once you split the code to suit your application, it interferes with the framework’s logic, reducing the development process.
Additionally, most of the native elements might need a third-party library dependency. Usually, these libraries are out-of-date and can’t be maintained properly because of the issues that run alongside it.
Flutter proposes an expensive user experience with basic tools, elements, and even custom-built widgets. The generational garbage collection feature is also a part of Dart programming language that helps make UI frames for object code that may be provisional.
This feature of Dart allocates objects inside one pointer bump which circumvents UI clutter, junk, and shutter of animation lag during the development process.
Android’s Material Design and style design in iOS are being updated day by day, and it’s relevant for React Native to stay up with the constant modifications.
And also, in addition to that, ready-made React Native UI tools such as Shoutem, React Virgin, and ANT design, make it even tougher to create reliable NATIVE designs across platforms.
However, valuable elements like ScrollView fastened header, Modal parts, Activity indicators, Snap carousels, and pagination components significantly improve the UX across multiple platforms.
Flutter is superior in performance, engineering expense, app compatibility, and future market trends. Once it involves hiring software developers, however, React Native is superior.
The availability of qualified developers has a direct impact on time to market. It can be important for several businesses to select the right technology for application development.
React Native may be a suitable application with basic functionality and plenty of comparable entities, like social media, eCommerce, events, and loyalty programs. If you’re a well-established company with a large client base and a mobile app isn’t your main product, React Native may be a wise choice. As a result, it allows you to sell native-looking applications much faster.
Flutter is suitable for interesting new projects involving subtle computations and animations, as the functional aspect is more necessary than the aesthetics. It’s a sensible plan for early-stage software companies to construct a visually appealing proof-of-concept with the clean minimum of essential functionality on a shoestring budget, realize a product-market match, and then scale.
Flutter and React Native are both cross-platform app development solutions designed to contain today’s business’s necessities. Selecting any of it’ll guarantee:
Both cross-platform frameworks, React Native and Flutter, are the product of two technology titans, i.e., Google and Facebook. Furthermore, regular updates provided for each platform to adapt to changes make it future-oriented and are about to be the favorites among developers within the long-standing time.
The Flutter framework comprises of native UI elements, device access APIs, navigation, and testing, whereas React Native has a vast number of third-party libraries to access most native modules. Therefore, in Flutter vs React native war, for a better user interface, one must choose Flutter.
Both flutter and React native have their pros and cons. React Native is an excellent framework to develop native and cross-platform apps. Flutter is better at making multiple iterations and MVP applications.
A number of industry experts believe that Flutter is the way forward for both android and iOS mobile app development. We’ve created a checklist that ought to assist you in choosing that one of these technologies should it make to your tech stack.