Flutter vs. React Native – What is best for Cross-Platform Development?
Today, iOS and Android are the two mainstream mobile app development platforms. In 2019, Google announced in I/O developer confidence that there are presently 2.5 billion active Android devices, and Apple has 1.4 billion active users. Since both platforms are blooming, the need to create cross-platform mobile apps has become more imperative now than ever before.
To accommodate the need for cross-platform mobile apps, numerous new technologies and platforms are being developed. Flutter by Google and React Native by Facebook are the two prominent cross-platform app development technologies in the hands of developers. However, iOS mobile app developers have Xcode and Swift, where Android developers can use Android Studio and Java/Kotlin to develop mobile apps – this requires developers to learn two different sets of technologies.
Thus, Flutter and React Native is preferred by developers to create dynamic, cross-platform apps. But, it doesn’t mean that debate between Flutter vs. Reacts Native isn’t worth exploring.
What is Flutter?
Flutter was introduced in 2015 by Google, but it remained in the beta version until late 2018, and since then, the popularity graph of Flutter has grown. Initially, it started as an open-source mobile UI framework to encourage developers to build native Android and iOS apps. Shortly thereafter, Flutter started to support desktop development, embedding web and mobile apps from the same codebase, etc.,
- Fast Development – Flutter developers can use the same codebase for iOS and Android apps, which means they can save much time, money, and effort on development.
- Easily Fix Bugs – Using the “hot reload” in the app preview, developers can easily fix bugs without the need to recompile the codebase.
- Fully Customizable – Flutter’s layered architecture gives developers full control over every graphics, text, videos, and other components without any limits, so creating fully customizable apps is easy.
- Web Applications – Flutter works well with the web and comes with well-structured documentations to smooth the web app development process.
Young Platform – Flutter is like a new kid on the block; that’s why it’s still not a stable development option yet. When comparingFlutter to other frameworks, it becomes apparent, there are many other frameworks which are more stable and have a longer track record of success.
- Dart is Unstable – In the comparison of Swift and Kotlin, Dart is a less functional and less sophisticated language.
- Bulky Apps – Flutter apps occupy a lot more space and consume longer data bandwidth to download.
- Not 100% Native – Flutter can’t actually portray the right native components and merely just copy the Android’s Material Design and iOS-specific components with its Cupertino library.
Why Use Flutter?
If you are wondering why Flutter developers opting this platform, there are numerous reasons including –
- Flutter app development is a lot cheaper than more conventional frameworks such as swift or java.
- Provides native-like performance
- The development cycle is faster
- The hot reload feature is a value add that appeals to many devs
What is React Native?
- Highly Secure – It is a much more evolved and mature app development technology, so React Native is way ahead of its competitors with system security. React Native uses the hardware system’s to provide reliable data protection.
- Easy Codebase – React Native app development is more frictionless for developers as the debugging process is a lot more seamless, allowing devs to easily analyze, root cause, and repair the issue.
- High Performance – React Native developers have the advantage of high speed in their hands. With the Native framework, developers can fully utilize the device and system capabilities. They are able to tap into the powerful framerate, computing power, graphics, and many other aspects of the device’s OS .
- Matured Platform – React Native has a widespread community, which can help developers anytime. Furthermore, there is more and more relevant information on React Native posted everyday via documentation, research papers, and blogs.
- Development Talent Pool – React Native is a hot framework and quickly growing in popularity, so this can create supply constraints in terms of finding competent or more senior developers to maintain or build React Native apps.
- Component Libraries and Limitations – Since React Native is newer than Swift and Java, there are not as many readily available components which help speed up development and make it easier for developers to implement certain features such as animations.
Why use React Native?
You should work with the React Native platform because:
- It is a mature programming language
- Its architecture is well defined
- UI components and APIs are seamless
- It will help enhance your dev/product team
- The vast community enables developers to find solutions easily
When comparing Flutter and React Native, we have concluded that both the platforms have their own set of pros and cons, so it completely depends upon the use case and overall requirements of a given project. For instance, if you want to develop more of an MVP and will not be tapping into much of the native functionality of the smartphone, you should go with Flutter. On the contrary, when your goal is to create a native, high performing cross-platform mobile app, React Native is the best framework to go with.