React Native vs. Flutter: Comparing Two Cross-Platform Development Tools

Cross-platform app development tools enable developers to create applications that can run on multiple platforms, within less time and budget. A single codebase and the same UI designs work seamlessly across different mobile app platforms.

So here we are comparing two popular cross-platform development frameworks: React Native and Flutter. Let’s check who wins!

Flutter was introduced last year at the Google I/O Developer Conference 2017 while React Native was introduced in the year 2015 at F8 Conference. So, comparatively the developers have just started using Flutter framework but React Native is proudly associated with giants like Facebook, Instagram, Skype and Bloomberg etc.

cross platform mobile application development

With the introduction of Flutter, Google aims to resolve the issue of cross platform mobile app development, which otherwise has always been a great challenge for app developers. This blog is a comparison drawn between the two frameworks that help in creating cross platform apps with native experiences and amazing UIs.

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 highly responsive Android and iOS native apps at the same time.

With increase in demand for mobile apps across various industry verticals, business owners are seeking for a native app on all platforms but at less cost and time. That’s why Flutter and React Native have entered into an open war of traction and mass adoption due to the rise in the cross platform mobile application development market. Let’s compare these two cross-platform frameworks to determine which one is best for your next app project.

  1. Block Development For User Interface – There lies a huge gap between React Native and Flutter when it comes to the creation of blocks for User Interface. While the React Native taps into native Android and iOS components with the help of third party or custom components, Flutter uses proprietary widgets that are 100% customizable. Use Flutter’s proprietary widgets to get comprehensively customized UI designs featuring good interoperability as well as native components. These widgets are both in Material Design for Google and Cupertino for Apple.
  2. Performance Wise, Which is Better – React Native is truly native since it uses JavaScript engine, native widgets, flexbox and abstraction layer called bridge. Building an app with React Native gives users a native experience on both Android and iOS platforms. Talking of app performance, Flutter takes the crown. It is much faster than its React Native Development counterpart. Flutter has the advantage of Dart and also the JavaScript Bridge to connect with the native components. Flutter has set the animation standard at 60fps which is a clear sign of high performance. On the other hand, Flutter encourages the developer to reuse the same existing code. Plus, it is also backed by a powerful C++ Engine. Since flutter is compiled into the native ARM code, performance will never be an issue. Both React Native and Flutter fulfill the three major pillars of user experience (UX) designing: performance, usability and accessibility.
  3. Javascript vs. Dart – The Programming Languages – When we are drawing a comparison between Flutter and React Native, we also need to focus on which programming language is better – JavaScript or Dart. In any mobile app development project, code quality and app performance are important. JavaScript enjoys both in terms of popularity and adoption rates. It is one of the most popular languages on GitHub for the current year. It receives adequate support from the web browser, server and mobile. Since Dart is still new, it hasn’t received as much attention as JavaScript. Its familiarity is restricted to mostly Google. It is easy to learn the language and is expressive so you can try using it.
  4. Documentation and Tooling Process – When it comes to documentation, Flutter has surpassed React Native. It offers a smooth documentation process which simplifies the work of app developers. When it comes to tooling, Flutter is still far behind React Native. But, its tools such as the debugger, Dart linter, auto format, code analyzer, and auto format have received positive feedback. It can also boast its compatibility with Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ idea, and Android Studio.
  5. Which One Takes Less Development Time – The app developers are given a strict time frame for app development. Therefore, they always look for a framework that offers shorter development time. So here, React Native has emerged as the winner as it reduces the time of mobile app development. React Native has ready-to-use components, which enhances the speed of cross platform mobile app development. Flutter has also promised high speed app development in the near future.
  6. Which Has More Clientele Base – Again the winner is React Native due to its popularity amongst the developers. Some of the most popular brands that use React Native for their app platform include Skype, Facebook, Tesla, Airbnb, Instagram, Walmart and many more. Since Flutter is a newbie, it does not have much to showcase from the industry standards. Till date, some of the popular apps made with Flutter include Alibaba, Google Adwords, Hamilton Musical, AppTree, Topline and more. In the near future, many clients will get added into the list for a bright future ahead.
  7. Which Is More Stable – The stability is the most important factor when it comes to the development of a cross-platform app. Earlier Flutter was lacking community support as it had only its alpha version, which was not very suitable for longer projects. But after the introduction of Flutter Beta 3, improved developer tools and asset system have been offered. React Native has always been stable and it also enjoys the support of a large community of contributors.
  8. Lifecycle Management – When it comes to simplifying the app lifecycle handling and optimization, React Native tends to do a much better work. Flutter only gives you the scope of working with widget inheritance that further leads to stateless and stateful conditions.

Well, it is very difficult to pick the winner because both React Native and Flutter have their own pros and cons. Flutter is still new in the market of cross platform mobile application development and React Native made its appearance way before to gain a good audience background. Flutter will also gain the audience in the years to come!

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