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Flutter vs React Native: Which One To Choose For Mobile App Development?

By Guest Contributor on February 4, 2020

Nowadays, mobile is transforming business operations and marketplaces at a great pace. Now things have enhanced exponentially with the rise of smartphone technology. Smartphones have become an essential part of our life, and this has given the opportunity to business owners to make their products available over smartphones so that they can improve their customer base. No doubt, the mobile application is a crucial medium to connect businesses through the smartphone of their users.

As per the latest study of SensorTower, “Apple’s App Store is going to hit 5 million mobile apps by the year 2020, which is more than doubling its current size”. Also, according to Statista “The total number of apps in the Google Play Store was placed at 2.6 million apps in December 2018”.

In this scenario, businesses would not risk missing their presence on either of these platforms. However, budgeting is a general issue if businesses go for native mobile app development. This is why cross-platform mobile app development has emerged as the unrivaled choice of businesses that aim at the presence of the mobile apps on Android as well as iOS.

Nowadays, convenience is key to maximum customer contentment; the faster and easier it is for your clients to avail of your services, the more likely they will patronize your company. And, the best way to do this is to make your goods and services available on mobile. Having your own mobile applications will enhance your market reach to a younger and more tech-savvy crowd.

Although availing the best software development services is typically a complicated and long process, requiring resources, time, and effort in order to find the right mobile app developers, its benefits far outweigh its demanding nature. It may be quite challenging, but in the modern business environment, the latest technologies are actually on your side. You have a plethora of options to simplify the development process through cross-platform mobile apps.

Why Choose Cross-platform Applications?

There are 4 big benefits of cross-platform mobile applications development:

Optimized development

It is possible to share just about all your code to different mobile app platforms, which dramatically reduces the overall development time, as you only need to develop a single mobile application and the code is shared between different operating systems. which allows you to make various adjustments.

This saves money

As you need fewer app developers for fewer hours, you will definitely save a lot of money. For many startups and small businesses, this is a crucial factor.

Only one team is required

There is no need to hire mobile app developers teams separately for the development of Android and iOS mobile apps, respectively.

Easier Testing Process

Because your codebase is pretty small, you do not need a lot of software testing, and you can use the time you save on testing in order to focus more on each individual piece of the mobile application.

Now that we have seen all the benefits offered by cross-platform mobile application development, let us compare the three main technologies used in creating these kinds of apps: React Native and Flutter. Here you can get knowledge of pros and cons of flutter, pros and cons of react native, flutter advantages and disadvantages and react native advantages and disadvantages. So, let’s begin:

Introduction of React Native & Flutter

React Native

React Native is an open-source (free) mobile application development framework for cross-platform mobile app development. It lets you create iOS & Android mobile apps with JS and a handful of native component APIs.

Flutter

Flutter is considered the best multi-platform mobile app development tool. It was supported and developed by Google. Flutter uses Dart and a collection of native widgets to create beautiful hybrid mobile applications.

Technical Comparison of React Native & Flutter in the tabular form:

 

REACT NATIVE

FLUTTER

Language

JavaScript

Dart

Supported platforms

iOS, Android, Web Apps

iOS, Android

IDE support

Almost all available editors + IDE’s for JS development or with JS support

Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, Visual Studio Code

Hot reload

Yes

Yes

Architecture patterns

MVP, MVC, MVVM, Redux

MVP, MVC, MVI, MVVM, Redux

Application performance

5/ 10

9/ 10

Libraries and tooling

7/ 10

5/ 10

Third-party support

9/ 10

5/ 10

UI

7/ 10

9/ 10

Documentation

10/ 10

10/ 10

Community

8/ 10

8/ 10

Maturity

9/10

5/ 10

Flutter & React Native Comparison on Different Parameters

Flutter vs React Native Performance Comparison

While building applications with Flutter, you don’t have to care about the speed because the framework will give you maximum performance that will make your app users happy. Widgets include platform differences like navigation, scrolling, as well as fonts, therefore, you will have a good performance in iOS and Android.

React Native provides you native-like performances, therefore if you are creating a mobile app with this app development framework, your app will be quick and give you native-like performance. Also, you can build a part of your mobile app in React Native while the other part can be built in the Native coding.

Flutter vs React Native: Community Support

Flutter has good community support. On GitHub, it has approximately 33,248 stars and 223 contributors which make this framework better.

React Native has the strongest community support. On GitHub, it has about 66,693 stars and about 1,692 contributors.

Flutter vs React Native: Graphical User Interface

React Native modules are associated with native user interface controllers that provide an amazing experience to the users which is close to native apps. In addition to this, it utilizes the React library with extensive user interface elements and streamlines user interface development.

Flutter offers the best UI. No doubt another cross-platform Xamarin gives you cross-platform apps but their performance and efficiency can’t beat Flutter and React Native.

Flutter vs React Native: Ease of Learning

If you know Dart (Google’s object-oriented programming language) very well, you won’t find learning Flutter difficult. Also, if you know other languages such as JavaScript it will be easy to learn dart.

If you are an expert JavaScript developer, learning the concepts of React Native is easy. This app development framework is easy to learn but does need knowledge of core JavaScript.

Therefore, all these platforms are easy to learn that means finding developers for your app development projects won’t be difficult. Among all three, Flutter is new so you may face finding flutter developers difficult.

Popular Apps

React Native: Facebook, Airbnb, Instagram, UberEats

Flutter: Hamilton

Pricing

React Native and Flutter are completely open-source mobile app development frameworks.

Strengths of React Native & Flutter

Strengths of React Natives

1. Native user interface. Unlike other hybrid app development infrastructures, React Native implements a selection of native user interface components. This means that mobile applications will look like native applications. If it is done correctly, a React Native application can hardly be distinguished from a native mobile application.

2. Simplified development. React Native app development implements the imperative programming approach, in which app developers must strictly define a sequence of actions describing the operation of the mobile application to create a user interface.

With React Native, mobile app developers can use declarative programming, describing only what the program should you do, not how. The declarative programming technique simplifies coding, which also means that the final product will be quite easier to manage.

3. Modular architecture. React Native supports the modularity of the architecture that allows the mobile application code to be separated into several blocks. This translates into flexible mobile app development that makes it easy to update and upgrade the end product.

4. Solutions and libraries ready to use. Since React Native has been around for some time, app developers have had time to create various libraries and tools to automate and help most routine processes. There are tools for type checking, test frameworks, technologies for workflow configuration, and many more. This means that app developers will find it easier to solve thorny or trivial problems and that they will have even more time to devote to the app development.

5. Third-party support. As the development community validated the React Native benefits, many 3rd party services have created plug-ins and APIs for React Native mobile applications. Third-party support for payment systems, cards, graphics, etc.

6. Hot reloading. When developing a mobile application, it is useful to consult the application often (possibly after each code modification). Hot Reload, which is a feature found in React Native, allows app developers to immediately see changes to the code each time they are backed up.

7. Great community and ecosystem. React Native, an open source (free) platform, is an important community. A good community is a great advantage because it means that app developers are less likely to get stuck as there is always someone to ask for help.

Strengths of Flutter

1. Performance of the application. As mentioned, Flutter uses Dart, a pre-compiled language (AOT) which allows the mobile application to communicate directly with the native platform despite going through a JS bridge, as in React Native. This allows app developers to build complex mobile applications without affecting performance and startup times.

2. Hot refill. This feature allows android or iphone app developer to rebuild the mobile application instantly as if it were a web app page. In addition to this, Flutter’s hot reload is dynamic in nature, which means that mobile app developers do not need to restart the application every time they change something, it just picks up where it left off. This makes the flutter hybrid app design visible immediately.

3. A complete set of unique widgets. Flutter does not rely on platform-specific user interface components. It has its own widgets. This hybrid app development framework implements Cupertino widgets for iOS and offers Material Design widgets for Android, but you do not have to be strict about what’s going on: Cupertino widgets will look & work great on Android and vice versa.

4. Flutter also implements Skia, an open-source 2D graphics library, in order to render the component library of the framework’s built-in user interface.

5. Everything is a widget. In Flutter, each screen element is a widget, which greatly simplifies the presentation of the mobile application. Each separate widget specifies its own layout template, as opposed to a single set of rules for all widgets. The layout of flutter is relatively small, it is easier to optimize as well as each element of the user interface is a widget, the layout of the entire mobile application becomes user-friendly and easy.

6. A large number of packages are available. Although Flutter is young, hybrid app developers around the world have been very excited about what it brings to the table. Due to this result, many packages are already available for Flutter, including HTTP requests, image processing tools, WebSocket connections, different network protocol clients, embedded databases and push notifications, as well as access to sensors and camera cameras.

7. Compatibility of the device. The native widgets of Flutter allow applications to remain compatible with operating system versions from Android Jelly Bean and iOS 8.0. Whenever Google or Apple offers a new widget, your mobile app will not be broken from the outside because Flutter does not touch native platform widgets.

Weaknesses of React Native & Flutter

React Native:

1. Performance of the application. Do you know, your site or mobile app has approximately 10 or fewer seconds to leave an impression on the users. Because hybrid applications are not fully aligned with the device hardware, their performance is worse than native mobile applications. The reason is that there is a JS bridge between the React Native mobile application layer and the hardware components, and each interaction with the device must pass through that bridge.

The higher the total number of interactions, the poorer the performances of the mobile applications. In order to maintain mobile application performance, app developers must minimize device interactions, which means the mobile application must remain as simple as possible without excessive hardware interactivity.

2. The possible need for native app developers. React Native is an excellent multi-platform hybrid app development framework, but it has its limits. When you encounter one of these limitations and there is no React Native app development solution yet, it is necessary to involve native app developers, sometimes to such an extent that it becomes impossible to justify the use of the React native app.

3. Inability to manage complexity. React Native is useful for simple mobile applications, but not for mobile applications with many interactions, screens, transitions, and complex animations.

Initialization of React native mobile applications takes longer, even with high-end devices, because it generally takes time to initialize the JS bridge.

4. Aboriginal understanding. When you search for the best cross platform app development company in India, you should also look for someone experienced in native app development. Otherwise, the already limited capabilities of React Native will become more obvious as the team will not be able to comprehend complex solutions to native hardware issues already created by other app developers.

5. Updates of the native platform. In order to stay relevant, Apple and Google must constantly add new features to their platforms. Although React Native developers’ team has done its best to keep up with the new hardware features, developing a React native application takes much longer than developing a native mobile application. Thus, your React Native application will probably be late for each new hardware update.

Flutter

1. Immaturity. The first & most important drawback is its age. Although Flutter was announced ready for production use in May 2018, it still needs to evolve a lot. There is no way to know for sure whether this hybrid app development framework will succeed, and therefore no way to know where the mobile applications developed with the Flutter today will be in five years.

2. Third party support. We already mentioned that Flutter has an impressive collection of framework-based libraries and tools. However, many 3rd party services still have not started to support the Flutter, including tax automation software, payment systems, and even Apple and Android TVs. Many such tools are in development and many others have not been, but it’ll certainly take some time before the Flutter framework catches React Native in terms of package availability and tooling.

3. Size of the application. Since there is no bridge between the Flutter application & device, and all the UI components belong directly to the mobile application, the Flutter applications end up being quite large in size. The average Flutter mobile app weighs about 4.7 MB, which is significantly larger than most of the native applications. For instance, native apps start at 1 MB.

Let’s Wrap Up:

I hope you get a clear idea about the three most popular hybrid mobile app development frameworks, their pros, and cons as well as their comparison chart in this flutter vs react native in 2020. Hybrid mobile applications are in great demand these days and this flutter vs react native comparison can help you in finding the right platform for your business. Nowadays, react native app development services are high in demand. Flutter is comparatively new in this race, but its demand will definitely be on the rise after some time. You can use these frameworks to create scalable, secure and feature-packed cross-platform applications. If you want to add some points in this article, feel free to comment in the box.

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