React Native is a project started by Facebook internally that they open-sourced in 2015. On the other side is Flutter, a project started by Google which they have been heavily promoting since I/O 2017. Both of these technologies help app developers build cross-platform apps faster by using a single programming language.
React Native is already a mature tool and has a huge community. At the same time, Flutter has also started seeing huge adoption rates since 2017.
In this post, we will compare each of them using ten criteria:
- Programming language
- Technical architecture
- Setup and project configuration
- UI components and development API
- Developer productivity
- Community support
- Testing support
- Build & release automation support
- DevOps and CI/CD support
Now that we have defined all our criteria, let us start exploring each of them in detail.
#2. Flutter — Dart
Quick Comparison: Flutter vs React Native
|Different Aspects||Flutter||React Native|
|Free and Open Source||Yes||Yes|
|Official Release||December 2018||March 2015|
|User Interface||Flutter App looks and feels natural on every platform.||Not as great as Flutter|
|Sharing Code||One code for both desktop and mobile and for the web.||Selected libraries that allow the same code.|
- Complete development ecosystem: Flutter offers APIs, pre-built widgets, CLI tools, and pretty much all the tools needed for cross-platform mobile app development.
- Customizable: While it offers an extensive library of pre-built widgets, you can also create your own or customize pre-existing ones.<
- Reliability: Developed and supported by Google
- Hot reload: Allows developers to fix bugs faster through faster code implementation<
- Free: Open-source platform
Flutter poses a few challenges, especially because it is a new framework:
- Large app size: Flutter apps can be quite large compared to other frameworks that can force developers to reduce the libraries and packages used, compress images, and even steer away from using animation altogether in favor of reducing their app’s size.
- Native APIs: Flutter does not expose many native APIs for you to use. That is why, for many purposes, you will need third-party packages, which means that you will have to depend on the ecosystem.
However, you can always write your native code that accesses the required feature. And, Flutter will give you a bridge to use that feature from within your Dart code.
Apps Built Using Flutter
Google AdWords, Google Greentea, Alibaba. AppTree, Reflectly, Hookle, Topline, Birch Finance, OffilinePal, Hamilton (musical), and BetaBubs.
Flutter Development Tools
Flutter Development Language:
|Android Studio||IntelliJ Idea||Visual Studio Code|
|Flutter SDK||DevTools||Hot Reload|
#3. React Native
React Native Advantages
Some of the pros of React Native:
- User Interface: Implements native UI components, allowing apps to look like native apps, and therefore, providing a high-quality user interface.
- Ready-made components: Offers a vast library of UI components, allowing for faster development time.
- Access to native functionalities: Like camera, accelerometer, etc.
- Platform-specific code: Allows you to further optimize your separate native apps by using native code.
- Hot reload: Allows developers to apply changes to the apps right away without having to recompile the apps.
- Reliability: Developed and supported by Facebook.
- Free: Open-source platform.
- Navigation: Navigation built in React Native is not seamless and not comparable with native navigation.
- Complex UI: React Native struggles with building complex animation and transitions.
React Native Development Tools
React Native Development Language:
React Native IDEs:
|Atom||Nuclide||Visual Studio Code|
React Native Tools:
React-Native UI components:
React Native Testing Tools:
Apps Built Using React Native
Facebook, Facebook Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram, Uber Eats, Tesla, Skype, Pinterest, SoundCloud Pulse, Walmart, Bloomberg, Discord, Myntra, Gyroscope, Chop, Vogue, Artsy and F8.
Main Points of Comparison Between Flutter and React Native
Whenever studying about the near-native app performances the React Native Frameworks happens to meet the design expectations, while Flutter’s performance is excellent because of its Dart code compiled above the C library making it closer to native code. It results in enhancing the speed of interactions and displays a high level of performance.
Benchmarking cross-platform apps performances is highly indiscernible since there are plenty of factors that influence it including devices, code, app, and features added.
The successive popularity ranking goes to the React Native Framework with its steady increase in the user base over the years. However, Flutter is definitely user friendly and amongst the most preferred framework with 75.4% of users, React Native engaging up to 62.5% of users.
Code reuse is the most important factor accentuating App Developers into building Android and iOS Apps. It is highly inquisitive to comprehend the code reusability of each framework to select it for the mobile app development environment.
React Native empowers ‘write the code once and ship it anywhere’ policy despite its inherent differences shown in embracing multiple platforms. Moreover, code reusability is a cumbersome process of keeping in mind the current platform that you had worked on and then recollect the required set of components.
Flutter provides a maximum reusable codebase that can be effectively utilized for developing a unique UI Widget allowing the reusability of already defined logic. It is best suited for cross platforms that offer consistency in User Experiences.
Basically, both cross-platform frameworks are free.
Support and Ecosystem
Finally, developers favor the cross-platform frameworks that possess a bigger community base represented by forums, documentation, and tutorials. React Native offers sufficient learning materials, developers, and designers for documentation purposes and provides help.
Flutter has just begun to form the community base with Google offering reliable support for promoting it towards cross-platform app development. It is expected to grow exponentially and build into a stronger ecosystem.