An overview: Flutter vs React Native

Flutter-vs-React-Native-Important-considerations

There is no shred of doubt that the internet has grown in complexity and our development choosing options has grown with it. The web is increasingly relied upon as a key channel for mission-critical applications around the planet. Considering this factor, it should come as no surprise that our tools and frameworks have gotten bigger, and our choices numerous. As the app development ecosystem grows and scales and so do our options.

Thus, choosing the right framework for your mobile app development can be daunting. Choosing to hire React Native developers or Flutter developers for your mobile app development helps you in paving your way to transforming the face of your business. We have evaluated Flutter vs React Native against a few different dimensions, providing you with some insight as to which framework is the right choice for your business.

Cross-platform and Native app development

We often hear speculations about which side will take over the major part of the mobile app development market: native or cross-platform. Native development involves technologies that are focused on a specific platform. For instance, the Java programming language is aimed at developing applications for Android, the brainchild of Apple – Swift for iOS.

Technologies taking aim at multiple platforms are used for cross platform app development. . Among them, two of the most promising can be identified: React Native (based on JS) from Facebook and Flutter which is based on the language Dart from Google. The cross-platform app development approach enables developers to implement the app using a single codebase that can run on multiple platforms. The cost of mobile app development is often reduced. It even offers other benefits such as faster development and released overheads.

Overview on Flutter

In simple words, Flutter is a set of tools that allows us to create beautiful apps that run on Android, iOS, web and desktop. Flutter is a free and open-source app development framework, backed and originated by Google. It is being maintained and enhanced by a team of developers at Google and hundreds of contributors around the globe.

Flutter made its first public appearance in 2017 with version 0.0.6. With a host of added features and improvements, it is now improving at an alarming rate.
Flutter, which is a mobile application SDK (Software Development Kit). Hire Flutter developers with the ability to build native applications on iOS and Android that achieve native performance.

What’s Flutter used for?

Google’s sole mission with Flutter is ‘To build a better way to develop for mobile’. Now you may have noticed that there’s no mention of Android, neither of iOS nor of the web.Flutter simply aims at creating a better way to develop for multiple devices.

Flutter is one of the latest cross-platform technology promising high-performance apps that give a natural feel on different platforms. It provides widgets for Android and iOS that deliver a highly native experience. Flutter could therefore be a good candidate to create cross-platform apps that provide high user satisfaction. Flutter is unreliably fast because it compiles to truly native apps that don’t use crutches like WebViews and JavaScript bridges.

Application architecture-Skia

Flutter is designed as a layered and extensible system. The dart code that paints Flutter’s visuals is compiled into native code that uses Skia for rendering. It uses the Skia c++ engine that comes along with all the compositions, channels and protocols. Skia is an open-source graphics library. It provides common APIs and serves as a graphics engine for Chrome OS and Google Chrome, Android, Mozilla Firefox and Firefox OS and many other platforms.

Overview on React Native

React took web development by storm when first introduced in 2014 and its popularity has been increasing among the developer community ever since. React Native took this one step further when first introduced in 2015 and helped build Native iOS apps with common knowledge of web technologies like JavaScript. In just a few years, React Native became an important player in mobile app development, extending its support for both iOS and Android.

React Native is an open-source platform for developing mobile applications, developed largely by a team at Facebook. The best part of working with React Native is that your program uses standard web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

What is React Native used for?

React Native is a powerful library for developing mobile applications. It uses familiar web technologies without sacrificing performance or the look that is typically associated with fully native applications. It is built on top of Facebook’s open-source JavaScript library, React. The best part about React Native is that one does not need to learn new languages, ecosystems and practices for each platform.

React Native aims to bring the power of React to mobile app development. In the words of the React Native team, ’Learn once, write anywhere.’ React Native is used for building fast and smooth web applications. Moreover, it does not compromise in terms of performance and overall experience.

Application architecture-Flux

The React Native architecture hugely depends on JavaScript runtime environment architecture that is also known as Javascript bridge. Initially, the JavaScript code is compiled into native code at runtime. React Native uses the Flux architecture to communicate with the native modules and the JavaScript bridge.

Flutter vs React Native: Advantages and Disadvantages

While Flutter is a full software development kit, React Native comes along with an effective environment for mobile app development. The below mentioned detailed diversification between the advantages and disadvantages of Flutter vs React Native will help you in your quest of choosing the best framework for your mobile app development.

Pros of Flutter:

Here are the pros of using Flutter for cross-platform app development:

Accessibility
Google offers integrated opportunities to develop applications that can be easily accessed by a broad spectrum of users. Usually, when you need your app to operate smoothly in different languages and be accessible in various regions, you have to get it ready for localized content. This phenomenon is known as internationalization.

Flutter comes along with a huge variety of widgets that are based on its language Dart, making the accessibility process more straightforward. It supports around 24 languages, dates, currencies, units of measure and even layout options.

Updates

Flutter has a robust architecture that is engraved with a hot reload function allowing instant updates without the need for plugins. You can view updates in real-time with hot reloading. The framework allows you to fix any error immediately at the time you find it and carry on without any hassle.

Hot reload not only improves productivity but also allows experimentation without long delays and further assists with fast iterations. Therefore, returning to normal programming where it takes many minutes for deployment is not a problem with Flutter.

Mild learning curve

If learning Dart is simple, then familiarizing yourself with Flutter will be easier. Many people with very minimal coding knowledge can develop apps and prototypes with the framework. Furthermore, you don’t need any mobile development experience to use it.

Moreover, Google is popular for developing detailed and well-structured documentation, which is something that React Native has an issue doing. One can go through these documents as well as video lessons and practical lessons available online.

Ready-made widgets

With the building blocks in Flutter, it assists you in creating a user interface. While many approaches utilize different objects like views, controllers and layout, this framework features a consistent and unified object model. Every object in Flutter is a widget, including buttons, paddings and fonts. One can combine these readymade widgets to form layouts, and you can decide to utilize widgets on any customization level.

Widgets in Flutter are arranged in trees that adds abatement in rendering. Although, they can lead to redundant sophistication of the complete structure. Huge applications can need as many as ten layers of code to form a basic object. Therefore, commensurate planning of the structure is needed beforehand.

Cons of Flutter:

Here are the cons of using Flutter for mobile app development:

Issues with iOS

Developers are often in anguish about iOS implementations. As Google has a direct interest in the quick fixing of bugs, creating Android apps on the framework is enjoyable and fast. The latest update to the tool includes a pixel-perfect iOS appearance.

iPhone settings were assembled on Flutter to allow for possibilities of Cupertino widgets. But these and other design features were updated later and were based on initial versions of iOS. Hence it is not clear if the updates will continue to be released as quickly as those of the Android version after the tool leaves the beta phase.

Large file size

Developers go through massive lengths to reduce an app’s initial size. As the users have restricted phone storage, it is better to release an app that will prevent them from deleting it in favor of their favorite songs and images. Normally, programmers avoid animations, compress images, and reduce the number of packages and libraries to minimize the size of the code.

The framework has massively disappointed developers after the Hello world app got to 6.7 MB. Even when it was dropped to 4.7 MB, it remained significantly bigger than Kotlin (550 KB) and native Java (539 KB).

Third-party libraries

Third-party libraries and packages have a compelling role in automating software development for developers. It helps in relieving the requirement to program everything from the start. These libraries are normally pre-tested, open-source and easily available. For most popular and older technologies, getting the required package is easy.

However, with Flutter, it is not easy to find such free packages and libraries. Flutter’s tool list is still experiencing growth with its official resource of free packages. Therefore, you will need to wait before deciding to use it for long-term development.

Dart

Dart, the underlying programming language, is used for Flutter’s development and has both benefits and drawbacks. It is a programming language and is object-oriented as well as fast. However, it is not as great as programming languages such as JavaScript, Objective-C, Java and C#.

Not many novice developers will come across Dart on their learning journey, and it can be challenging to get new developers for your team. This is also an essential factor to keep in mind when going for a cross-platform approach.

Pros of React Native:

Here are the pros of developing with React Native:

Code Reuse
Working with React Native can dramatically shrink the resources required to build mobile applications. Any programmer that is well versed with React code can now target the Web, iOS, and Android, all with the similar skill set.

By removing the need to “silo” developers based on their target platform, React Native lets your team iterate more quickly, and share knowledge and resources more effectively.

Knowledge sharing

Besides shared knowledge, much of your code can be shared, too. Not all the code your programmer writes will be cross-platform. You may occasionally need to dip into Objective-C or Java spending on what functionalities your project demands.

But reusing code across platforms is surprisingly easy with React Native. For example, the Facebook Ads Manager application for Android shares 87% of its codebase with the iOS version.

Handling and Debugging

Directly tied to the Hot Reloading feature in React Native is easy to error handling & debugging. On a non-standard action that occurs within the application, a developer is promptly provided with an error screen displayed as a full-screen report with both the error message and the relevant stack trace.

These features include viewing current values of variables, utilizing break-points to pause the application at critical points, or stepping through a method’s execution line-by-line.

Large community

React Native boasts a very large, ever-growing, community compared to the other mentioned frameworks. This results in more contributors, more relevant questions with proper answers on Stack Overflow, and more open-source libraries to simplify the development process.

Cons of React Native:

Here are the cons of using React Native for businesses that look for mobile app development:

Compatibility

Although React Native is used by top tech players, it’s still in beta version.Your programmers might come across various issues with debugging tools or compatibility packages.If they aren’t on the beam with React Native, this might negatively impact your development as they spend most of their time on troubleshooting.

SDK updates

React Native often drags its feet when either Android or iOS updates their SDKs. Despite the fact that the code library in React Native works briskly, they cannot update every part of the APIs at once. The reason being the full synchronization between React Native and new SDKs is gruesome and often takes too long to function.

Third-party components

React Native has a number of native modules for iOS and Android but the number of third-party components is still limited. Moreover, we can’t know for sure that the community-built modules will be supported by the next releases of the framework.

The lack of third-party components remains a disadvantage because React Native doesn’t offer a wide spectrum of possible features that developers may want to implement in their apps.

Custom modules

React Native still lacks some components, despite its maturity, and the others are underdeveloped. The chances are you won’t have a problem with that, as the majority of custom modules you need are available, well-documented, and working properly.

However, it might happen that you will have to build your solution from scratch or try to hack an existing one. When developing your custom modules, you could end up with various codebases for a component instead of only one. In each of those codebases, there can be differences in appearance and behavior.

Important considerations: Which is better – Flutter vs React Native

Both, React Native and Flutter sustain the same niche in application development and share a lot of general features. Both play a huge role in reducing project expenditures and time to market for developing applications on multiple platforms. Both, Flutter and React Native, are good options to develop an app with the possibility to reuse the code and extend it with the community. The propitious benefits make it hard to differ between both platforms and consider one for your app development. Here are some of the notable comparisons that will help you choose between Flutter and React Native.

Performance comparison between Flutter vs React Native

A lot of factors impact the performance of an app, including frame number per second, average response time, request number per second and CPU usage. Flutter offers a consistent speed of 60fps at which contemporary application screens display a clear and smooth picture. Mobile app developers attempt to keep motion at this level as any lag in this frame rate can be easily identified by the human eye. When compared to React Native, Flutter is ahead with 58fps.

One of React Native’s prominent features is Hot Reloading, a way to reload the application quickly while retaining the application’s state. This benefits the React Native developers by allowing them much faster interaction with the developed application, which in turn results in a faster production cycle and smooth performance. You can simply speed up your development time by having your app reload automatically any time your code changes.

Suitability for building complex apps- Flutter vs React Native

Comparing React Native and Flutter, startups and budding entrepreneurs can take Flutter as a great solution for developing MVP (Minimum Valuable Product). In React Native vs Flutter, it builds prototypes faster especially when you are more in the experimental phase to see your idea coming into action.

On the other hand, in Flutter vs React Native difference is that one can leverage React Native to build complex native apps especially at a stage where only native app development is involved along with React Native. The process of developing complex React Native applications involves the utilization of JavaScript as well as native development skills.

Community support – React Native vs Flutter

Large community plays a crucial role in the overall process of app development whether it is Flutter or React Native. This means that many of the problems that arise during the development can be solved or are already solved. New developers have good support in finding solutions to grueling problems.

Flutter is managed by the Google team and has a huge open source community. Whereas, React Native is maintained by Facebook and is older by three years and has a huge source of JavaScript developers from React web framework. Although, they are not as active as Flutter in terms of popularity and number of commits on social platforms such as Github and Stack Overflow.

Modularity comparison between Flutter vs React Native

With its pub package system, Flutter offers accessibility as well as the division of project codes into various modules. Your development team can construct these different modules with add or change codebase and plug-in ability. React Native offers the possibility of combining simple native elements for various OS platforms to work together.

When compared to Flutter, React Native offers less modularity support as iOS, Android and React developers might find it hard to correlate with each other. Different development teams may also have code fragmentation in React Native without expertise.

Future of Flutter and React Native

React Native, with its path breaking work, has actively impacted the followers to a certain extent.Pioneering concepts from React, such as JSK and one-directional dataflow are well adopted and infused in React Native. With its strong and loyal community, React Native is no doubt the best choice to start a cross-platform application from scratch.

On the other hand, Flutter has a bright future too. Sophisticated designs from React Native are well preserved with Flutter’s own evolution. The consistency and tidiness in syntax and SDK level do bring joy to developers. Rendering widgets through a dedicated engine boosts the performance and eliminates pollution from the OEMs.

Choose Flutter in React Native vs Flutter, if:

The continuous growth in Flutter app development demonstrates high performance in cross-platform applications. The hot reload feature and built-in native components make Flutter a perfect tool for iteration.

  •  If you need to create an MVP, Flutter is the best choice for you
  •  If you have a short timeline and a tight budget
  •  If your app is UI-centered, go with Flutter
  •  If you plan deploying your codes into the market swiftly

Choose React Native in Flutter vs React Native, if:

With extensive documentation and strong community support, it is a great tool for creating cross platforms applications. React Native is your way to go if you expect your project to be deeply rooted and large.

  •  If you plan reusing your code time and again
  •  If you have adequate time and sufficient resources
  •  If you are planning to scale your applications with cross-platform modules
  •  If you are looking for extraordinary shared APIs

Winding-up
To conclude, both React Native and Flutter have greatly proven the value of a cross-platform mobile application framework. The efficiency and convenience regarding development can surely boost the speed of product to the market. With these technologies and tools, producing high-quality and user-friendly applications for all mobile platforms has never been easy before.

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