The new kids on the block: Flutter vs React Native

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., 

Flutter is built around Google’s trusted programming language – Dart. Thus, it allows flutter developers to communicate with the portal without using JavaScript. It has improved the Flutter app development time and performance a lot. There’s no confusion that Flutter is a powerful, object-oriented, and fast development language, but is it a perfect cross-platform app development solution? 

Pros

  • 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. 

Cons

Amateur 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
  • 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?

React Native is a shining mobile app development platform introduced by Facebook. It is an attractive, popular, and fast cross-platform app development solution. Some mobile developers have dubbed React Native the preferred framework in the app development industry. Though React Native is not as old as Objective-C/Swift or Java, it has quickly been adopted by a myriad of companies which include: UberEats, Air BnB, Instagram, Bloomberg, Walmart, Tesla, and many many more!,. React Native apps are rooted in javascript making it easier to find fullstack devs that are able to work on a Node.JS/React Native software stack with great ease and continuity. L

Pros

  • Highly Secure – It is a much evolved and mature app development technology, so React Native is way ahead of its competitors with the security system. Native use the full hardware system 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.

Cons 

  • Expensive Development – React Native app development isn’t a solution for junior devs . To develop Native iOS and Android app in Objective-C/Swift or Java  means creating two different dedicated teams and tech stack, which can be very costly. 
  • Chaotic Development – When two different teams are simultaneously working on a project, project management can become tricky. Most companies, nowadays, prefer an agile environment, which requires a client’s collaboration. This collaboration and project management becomes a lot more challenging, when working with two different front end teams.
  • Time Consuming to Maintain – Android and iOS are two completely different code bases requiring more time to debug and making it more challenging for developers to maintain the code. 

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 
  • Enhanced  your dev/product team 
  • Vast community support enables developers to find solutions easily 

 

Conclusion 

In comparison between Flutter vs. 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 a simple native app and have a limited budget, you should go with Flutter. On the contrary, when your goal is to create a native feeling mobile app and budget is less of an issue, React Native is the best framework to go with.