React Native and Flutter are two hot cross-platform app development technologies, by Facebook and Google respectively. Every business requires a mobile app to be able to compete in the market.
Hence, more companies are looking to build mobile apps, especially for Android and iOS. There are native tools and technologies provided by Apple and Google for building apps.
Xcode and Swift allow iOS app developers to build apps. And, there is Android Studio and Kotlin/Java for Android developers. React Native app development services are also something you could opt for.
But this arrangement of developing app requires engineers to thoroughly learn two completely different technologies, which becomes quite time-consuming and hectic. Hence, engineers and companies have now opted for cross-platform solutions over native solutions so that they can build user-friendly mobile apps for both iOS and Android in lesser time using a single language.
React Native and Flutter:
React Native was internally started by Facebook. They open-sourced it back in 2015. Flutter was started by Google which they have been actively promoting since 2017.
Both these technologies are designed to help app developers build cross-platform apps fast and easy by just using a single programming language in the mobile app development process.
React Native already has a vast community by now, and Flutter to has experienced a high adoption rate since 2017.
We will now get on with the detailed comparison based on the most important factors of differentiation.
Flutter vs. React Native performance comparison stands as follows:
1. Programming Language
Flutter- Flutter uses the Dart programming language that Google introduced back in 2011. Developers rarely use this language. The Dart syntax is actually very easy to comprehend for Java developers because it supports almost all the object-oriented concepts. Also, Dart comes with an easy-to-follow documentation that gives instructions about how you must do it.
2. Technical Structure
Flutter- Flutter totally relies on the Dart framework. The Dart framework has most of the components inbuilt; hence it is bigger in size. Most of the times, it does not need the bridge for communicating with the native modules.
Dart has several frameworks like Material Design and Cupertino, that provide all the technologies developers need for developing mobile apps. Also, Dart uses Skia C++ engine which has all the necessary protocols, compositions and channels.
Flutter- You can install Flutter by downloading the binary for a particular platform form GitHub. For macOS, you have to download the flutter.zip file and add it as a PATH variable.
Flutter still has a lot of room for improving the installation process by supporting package managers, for e.g. Homebrew, YUM, MacPorts, APT, etc. This will save users time and effort spent on the unnecessary additional steps.
Conclusion- The Flutter installation process involves a lot more additional steps to add the binary to the PATH and download it from the source code. But, developers can easily install React Native by just adopting to use a few package managers, eliminating the trouble of downloading the binary from the source. Hence, React Native takes a step ahead in this context.
4. Setup & Project-Configuration
React Native- The React Native ‘getting started guide’ assumes that the developer coming to read it already is done with the necessary setup for developing iOS and Android apps. The document does not give you sufficient information on the Xcode command line tools, and instead directly jumps into the steps to create a new project. The React Native document does not provide any setup guide for Android projects.
Flutter- Flutter comes with a detailed information of IDE setup and platform both for Android and iOS. Also, it has a CLI tool named the Flutter doctor which guides developers through the setup. It also identifies the tools that are installed in the local machine and which tools you still need to configure. You can continue with creating a new Flutter app once the Flutter doctor command is happy. It also has a separate page on how to configure the editors get on with Flutter.
Conclusion- The above-mentioned points clearly establish that Flutter offers a far better documentation and CLI support for setup and configuration.
5. UI Component and Development API
React Native- The core Reactive Framework comes with only UI rendering and device access APIs and it has to rely on third-party libraries for accessing most of the native modules.
Flutter- The Flutter Framework comes with UI rendering components, navigation, device API access, testing, stateful management, and volumes of libraries. It does not need to rely on third-party libraries whatsoever. Flutter even offers widgets for Material Designing and Cupertino.
Conclusion- Flutter is independently rich in development APIs and UI components while React Native is excessively dependent on third-party libraries, which is a huge setback.
6. Developer Productivity
Flutter- Flutter also comes with a hot reload feature and you can easily get started with the demo app. But, with the increase in complexity of the apps, developers will have to learn the new Flutter concepts. Also, Dart is not a programming language and hence, many IDEs and text editors do not have any support to offer for it.
Conclusion- React Native comes with a great developer support in terms of language features and IDEs, but Flutter falls behind a bit in this aspect. We expect that it will soon catch up when the Flutter community matures as much as that of React Native.
7. Clientele Support
React Native- React Native is backed by a vast community support of more than 9,000 users, 68,000 stars on GitHub, 14,500 users on subreddit and has more third-party plugins and libraries than Flutter could have till date.
Flutter- Clientele support for Flutter is not as available and established as React Native. Flutter has more than 30,000 stars on Github, more than 740 users in a Google Group, 4,500 users on subreddit and on Stack Overlow. Hence, the numbers clearly show that Flutter is far behind.
Conclusion- Clearly, Flutter is not half as vast as React Native.
The above points clearly show that Flutter loses the game by one point! This does show that React Native is always a better choice, but also shows that Flutter is not hugely far behind. A React Native Development Company could always help you on how to get about it.