React Native Vs Flutter: Which is Best for Cross-Platform Mobile App

When it is about picking a frontend technology for mobile app development projects, we do not have too many credible choices. When React Native came as a performance-focused JavaScript library allowing maximum reusability of code, it was a landmark moment for developers worldwide. Soon, React Native became the obvious choice for developers because of its unique capability in incorporating native user experience in cross-platform apps. 

After consistent domination of the cross-platform development space for three years, the challenge came from the Flutter. Flutter went one step ahead besides offering the same value propositions, such as native user experience and maximum code reusability. Flutter, unlike React Native, doesn’t need a bridge to collaborate with the native UI layer, which promised a better performance boost. 

The popularity of Flutter can particularly be experienced in countries predominantly boasting startup and small business apps. When you hire Flutter developers in India, you get a cost advantage along with skills that matter for low-budget development. 

While React Native is already established as the most loved framework used by the vast majority of app projects across all niches, Flutter continuously grows its domination as a better alternative to React Native. Naturally, they are frequently compared with one another.  

Let us provide here a comparative analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of these two technologies.

Flutter

Google developed Flutter as a cross-platform development framework for building iOS and Android apps, web apps, and it was launched in 2017. Flutter uses Dart programming language, offers an extensive range of native UI widgets, out-of-the-box Firebase database support and a hot reloading feature to allow instant evaluation.

Pros of Flutter 

  • Flutter is a free and open-source framework that simultaneously enjoys Google support. 
  • It comes with a powerful and rich ecosystem of UI widgets.  
  • Flutter with a modular development approach ensures optimum customization.  
  • Flutter ensures fast-paced code compilation with ease. 
  • Flutterby offering the Hot Reload feature enables instant evaluation of the code. 
  • With the Flutter app, developers have access to everything they need, including tools, key features and UI widgets to deliver the native look and feel across all platforms. 
  • The most advanced and popular apps developed using the Flutter framework include Alibaba, Hookie, OfflinePal, and several others. 
  • Flutter has a very low learning curve. 
  • Dart programming language is known for very clean and lean coding syntax. 
  • Lastly, Flutter offers meticulous documentation addressing every development aspect. 

Cons of Flutter

  • Flutter as an extensive framework consumes a lot of memory footprint across devices. 
  • Flutter came as a comparatively new framework and had a smaller community compared to React and other frameworks. 
  • Flutter framework, as of now, has not been tested across too many successful and leading apps across all niches.  

Why do Developers Increasingly Prefer the Flutter Framework? 

In spite of being a late entrant in the cross-platform app development scene, Flutter quickly became popular and is now widely embraced across app projects across all niches. Let’s understand the key reasons behind the popularity of the Flutter framework for cross-platform app projects. 

  • Flutter is an ideal framework for all small business app projects and startups. 
  • Flutter enjoys Google support and is held as the frontline Google offering for cross-platform app projects. 
  • Flutter has the fastest-growing community of app developers.

React Native 

React Native is the leading cross-platform app development framework launched by Facebook back in 2014. It continued to rise in popularity because of its versatility and capability to incorporate native user experience into apps while allowing maximum code reusability.

The length of native UI development capability offered by React Native was unique for a cross-platform framework, and hence it became instantly popular. 

Pros of React Native 

┬ĚCapability to deliver a native look and feel with ease of accessing Native UI components. 

  • React Native allows reusing more than 85% of the code. 
  • React Native offers a lot of ready-to-use code and components. 
  • Hot reload feature ensuring instant evaluation. 
  • React Native is a completely open-source and free library. 
  • React Native enjoys the backing of Facebook’s development team. 
  • React Native, besides helping to build mobile apps, also offers support for web app development. 
  • Many of the leading apps are built using React Native, including Facebook, Skype, Instagram, Tesla, Bloomberg, and many others. 

Cons of React Native

  • To connect with the native UI layer, React Native needs a bridge, and this involves performance issues. 
  • React Native comes with navigation issues negatively impacting the user experience. 
  • According to many developers, React Native UI is considerably complex. 

Why Do Developers Prefer React Native for Cross-Platform Projects?

There are many reasons for app developers to prefer React Native for cross-platform app projects. Let’s have a look at some of these reasons. 

  • React Native is a robust library with a multitude of reusable and ready to use components and easy access to a lot of third-party libraries.  
  • React Native offers the Node Package manager to deal with packages. 
  • React Native has the backing of a huge and unparalleled developer community. 

Programming Language

  • Flutter uses Dart programming language, an object-oriented language, dynamic in nature and offers a clean syntax.
  • React Native uses time-tested JavaScript along with reusable components offered through React Library. Dart has comparatively less exposure than JavaScript. 

Community

  • Flutter, as a new framework, enjoys very limited community support as of now.  
  • React Native, thanks to its unparalleled popularity, enjoys the support of the largest community of developers. 

Performance

  • Flutter has an edge in terms of performance as it does not need to use a bridge to connect to the Native UI layer.
  • React Native apps needing third-party support for bridging the Native UI layer can have performance issues. 

Speed of Development 

This is where both Flutter and React Native stand neck to neck. Flutter is new and comparatively offers fewer reusable components, while React Native offers the broadest range of ready-to-use components. 

App stability

The Dart language of Flutter is already proved to be highly stable and reliable. The JavaScript library and React components are also time tested for stability. As a competitive edge, Flutter offers ready to use testing tools, 

Conclusion

Both React Native and Flutter come with their specific value propositions. While React Native is already established, Flutter is fast becoming the fastest growing cross-platform development technology. 


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