React Native Vs. Flutter – Which one will be the best choice for Mobile App Development

React Native Vs. Flutter – Which one will be the best choice for Mobile App Development?

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

React Native- React Native builds cross-platform apps with JavaScript, which is a highly popular language in the community. For building mobile apps with React Native, web developers will just need a tiny bit of training.

This is why React Native has become a no-brainer for companies looking to build mobile apps. JavaScript is highly dynamic and you can do anything with JavaScript. Businesses hire react native app development companies without a second thought.

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.

Conclusion- Most web developers use JavaScript because it is easy to adopt the React Native framework. On the contrary, Dart is not as popular among the developer community. Even though Dart is not a tough nut to crack, it simply failed to gain prominence. React Native clearly wins the battle here.

2. Technical Structure

React Native- React Native extensively relies on JS runtime environment architecture, which is also known as the JavaScript Bridge. The native code at runtime is compiled with JavaScript. React Native works with the Flux architecture from Facebook.

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.

Conclusion- Flutter has almost all of the native components within the framework itself, and moreover, it does not always need a bridge to facilitate communication with the native components. Whereas, React Native needs to use the JavaScript bridge for communicating with native modules, which actually results into poor performance. Flutter emerges as the winner based on the technical aspect.

3. Installation

React Native- You can install the React Native Framework using the Node Package Manager. Developers with a JavaScript background will easily be able to install React Native.

But, the developers who are not well-equipped with JavaScript will have to learn the code package manager. The node package manager can install the packages locally or globally, if the developers understand the exact location os the binary. Also, while installing React Native on macOS, you will need the HomeBrew package manager.

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

React Native- It will be easier for a developer skilled in JavaScript to use his skills for cross-platform app development easily. Developers get to save a lot of their time while testing the changes in the UI, because of the reload feature. Also, developers can freely use any text editor or IDE of their choice.

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.

React Native Vs. Flutter

Read Also: How To Choose Between Native, Hybrid or Web App For Your Business

Read Also: Angular vs ReactJS : Which one is Most In-Demand Frontend Development Framework

Wrap Up:

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.

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