Nowadays, the cross platform app development has gained popularity as it enables you to develop mobile apps that can be used on multiple mobile platforms. There are numbers of cross platform available today, which are worth comparing.
Previously, we had React Native introduced by Facebook. It got an overwhelming response from the app developers.
However, last year, Google has also launched its SDK (Software Development Kit) – Google Flutter that helps to create cross platform apps with ease.
By introducing Flutter, Google literally tried to resolve the issue of cross platform app development, which otherwise has always been a major challenge for the app developers.
However, if we look at the current statistics, the market related to cross platform app development is expected to reach at $7.5 billion by this year.
However, the focal point of today’s discussion is making a very crucial comparison between two frameworks that help in creating cross platform apps. The opponents are Google Flutter on one hand and React Native on the other.
Flutter has been introduced last year only at the Google I/O Developer Conference 2017, while React Native has been there from 2015.
Therefore, comparatively, the developers have just commenced using Flutter but React Native is proudly associated with giants like Facebook, Instagram, Skype and Bloomberg etc.
React Native is an open source framework released on GitHub that paved the way for uniting both iOS and Android platform’s native APIs.
However, Google’s Flutter has been a revolutionary move, which allows you to create Android and iOS highly responsive native apps at the same time.
What’s interesting to note is that you can use the same code. But Flutter is still new in the arena of mobile app development industry and has a long way to go ahead. Still starting with the basics will help you with a detailed understanding of both concepts:
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit developed by Google. Its enhanced UI toolkit is used to create cross-platform applications with a single codebase. So developers can create natively compiled apps for mobile (iOS and Android), desktop, and web.
According to market research, Flutter is an ideal choice for creating cross-platform applications, 42% of developers are using the same in 2022. As per Google, more than half a million developers do use Flutter every month.
What Will You See New in Flutter?
Flutter has released its latest version Flutter 3 of late. This version of Flutter is pretty much improved and scalable for the developers. Here are the key features of the same:
- Firebase Support in Flutter
- Flutter Casual Games Toolkit
- macOS and Linux Support
- Dart 2.17
- iOS Variable Refresh Rate Support
- Streamlined iOS Releases
- Foldable Phone Support
- Web app lifecycle
- Image decoding
Pros of Flutter:
- Decreased code development time
- Own rendering engine
- Easy platform-specific logic implementation
- Capable of going beyond mobile
- Embedded application builder
- Codebase sharing
Cons of Flutter:
- Its library support is not as good as native development
- Apps created with Flutter are heavier
- Dart programming language is relatively new
- The risk of the platform, Flutter is an open-source framework; it could be risky to use if Google abandons it
What is React Native?
What Will You See New in React Native?
React Native has come up with its latest version React Native 0.69. This version of React Native is more improved in terms of new architecture and other technicalities. Here are certain features of React Native 0.69:
- Bundled Hermes
- Deprecating support for iOS/tvOS SDK 11.0
- Support for C++17
- Addition of the new. xcode
Pros of React Native:
- Code reusability
- Native look and feel
- Large community support
- Cost efficiency
- Third-party plugins
- Live reload
Cons of React Native:
- Not pretty efficient in terms of design
- Custom modules
- Updating errors
- Difficult to debug
- Framework is immature
The Quick Comparison Between Flutter and React Native
Flutter Vs. React Native – Performance Wise
When one compares both React Native as well as Google Flutter on the basis of their performance, it is the Flutter that has an edge over its competitor.
However, the problem with React Native is visible when the app developers are building the hybrid apps, but as far as native apps are concerned, you won’t face any performance related issues. It offers seamless performance in all standard cases and is highly reliable.
However, when developing the hybrid apps using React Native, one has to face issues related to its architecture, libraries and native components.
On the other hand, flutter encourages the app developers to reuse the same existing code. Plus, it is also backed by a powerful C++ engine.
Developing the Blocks for UI
One of the key aspects where we find a huge gap between React Native and Flutter is regarding the creation of blocks for User Interface. React Native is based more on the native components both for Android and iOS.
At times, you may also need the support of additional third-party or custom components too. However, flutter prefers to work with the sets of Proprietary Widgets.
- Material Widgets that are copying the UI elements on iOS and Android-styled Cupertino Widgets.
- For the layout designs, texts, and styling, animations etc. Flutter makes use of platform agnostic widgets.
By making use of the Flutter’s proprietary widgets, you can get comprehensively customized UI designs with good interoperability as well as native components.
But it also poses some drawbacks as well. For instance, talking about Cupertino library it lacks iOS-styled form components and other important elements.
Also, the React Native offers a better User Experience (UX) when a user taps into the Operating System. Therefore, React Native is victorious here.
Comparison on the Basis of Documentation and Tooling
On the third round of dual, we are comparing both Google Flutter and React Native on the basis of documentation and tooling.
Flutter offers a regimented and efficiently smooth documentation, which indeed simplifies the job of the app developers. So, undoubtedly, it proves better than React Native in documentation.
On the contrary, the documentation of React Native is somewhat disorganized and clumsy. Moreover, React Native has missed a lot of things as far as documentation is concerned. For details, you can check the documentation of React Native.
Now focusing on the tooling, we can see a stiff competition between the two frameworks. Flutter comprises of wide range of IDEs and tools that support React Native. It is known for its compatibility with Visual Studio Code, Android Studio etc.
The Tussle of the Programming Languages
Who Takes Less Development Time
The app developers work on very strict deadlines nowadays. Therefore, it becomes a bonus if they opt for a framework that offers shorter development time.
So here, React Native has emerged as the winner as it reduces the time of app development. This is one of this biggest USPs.
And how does it provide that comfort to the developers? It has ready-to-use components, which upsurges the speed of cross platform app development. Although Flutter has also promised of high speed app development but it is still to be tried properly.
Who has More Clientele
Of course, the winner is React Native because of its tremendous popularity amongst the global industry. Some of the most popular clients include Skype, Facebook, Tesla, Airbnb, Instagram, Walmart and many more.
Since Flutter has just made its appearance a year ago, it does not have much to showcase from the industry standards. At present, only a Hamilton app is what it has in its bank. However, as time progresses, many more will surely be added into that list as it as a bright future.
Which is More Stable in 2022: Flutter or React Native?
The stability becomes an important factor when you are developing a cross platform app. And yet again, we have a tough competition here.
At first, Flutter was lacking behind since it had only its alpha version, which was not very suitable for longer projects.
However, last month Google has announced the Flutter Beta 2, which offers improved developer tools and asset system.
React Native was quite stable from earlier and it also enjoys the support of large community of contributors.
Possibility of Validating Changes
Well, this is one of the important criteria for the app developers today as they have to make possible changes in app specifically if developing cross platform app.
However, it’s a huge sigh of relief that both flutters and react native have the support of Hot Reload Feature, using which you can check as well validate the changes immediately. This makes the job of the developers very easy.
Check our infographic : Flutter Vs. React Native – Which of This Will Triumphs?
Who Has a Strong Community?
Flutter launched back in 2018. When it comes to the community around Flutter vs React Native, flutter will fail at it as React Native has been launched before Flutter. Not that Flutter’s community is not good; it’s growing at a good speedy rate.
Also, it has a great database of online tutorials so that if any developer is stuck in the middle, he can refer to these online tutorials immediately.
Which is More Compatible for Creating Complex Apps?
If we talk about Flutter handling complex projects, the results would be unfavorable as Flutter cannot handle complex projects. However, startups can still think of considering flutter for complex projects in order to create MVP (minimal viable product).
As mentioned above, Flutter is best for creating faster prototypes just to put your idea into practice with minimal costs to see if it works.
Yes, React Native is useful for creating complex applications, but, at the same time, you need to take care of one thing: creating complex apps will be easier when you will involve native app development with React Native.
Size of the Application in Flutter and React Native
The size of a simple application created with Flutter is around 7.5 MB. Apart from Flutter, the virtual machine of Dart and the C/C++ engine also influence the size of your app. The best part is that Flutter has its own codes and assets to avoid issues related to size.
The size of applications created with React Native is about 7 MB before native dependencies are added, the size goes up to 14 MB after native dependencies.
React native is good at iterating applications when it comes to speed with minimalistic size, unlike flutter.
Flutter uses Skia, a graphics rendering library, and the Dart language VM in a platform-specific shell. It compiles Dart’s source code by creating native code. Its code is an ultimate solution as it integrates seamlessly with both Android and iOS.
React native uses Flux architecture introduced by Facebook, it requires JS bridge to be integrated. This drawback automatically makes people choose the former one in terms of good architecture.
Which Framework has a Stronger DevOps Support?
When it comes to having robust DevOps support, React native will get the majority of votes as Flutter lacks good community support, unlike React Native.
React native is linked with Facebook, due to which it has massive third-party libraries, third-party support, guides, and a lot more. So, React Native is a clear winner here.
The Process of Installation
To install Flutter, you will require to download the binary for every particular platform from Github. If the installation is for mac, then there is one more step to be followed; you’ll need to download the additional zip file and add it as a path variable.
Well, it can be said that it is extremely difficult to pick the winner at the end, more so because both React Native and Flutter has their own set of pros and cons.
One must not forget that Flutter is still new in the hub of app development industry and React Native made its inception way before to gain a good audience ground.
Although Native passes the edge over Flutter after an honest comparison but the later has bright future. The final choice has to be made by the developers based on their specific requirements.
FAQs About Flutter Vs React Native
It is hard to pick the winner at the end, as Flutter and React Native both have their own set of pros and cons. React Native is a more mature framework where Flutter is also getting positive feedback from the developers.
It is wrong to predict the future, but Flutter has the potential to cross all the boundaries. Flutter makes a way to the bright future.
Flutter is easier to deploy because of its resistance to system updates. This means that when iOS or Android update the operating system, the app will remain the same. On the other hand, React Native depends on native elements, so when the update is launched, some issues may appear in the launch app.