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Thomas Wilfred
Thomas Wilfred

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Flutter vs React Native

Flutter and React Native- Which one of them is the best? This has been one of the hottest cross-platform app debate that has been going on ever since its arrival in December 2018.

Ever since the number of smartphones has increased, the demand for apps has also observed a rise in demand. Since we have Android and iOS as the primary OS, building apps individually for them is expensive and time-consuming.

Taking notice of that, developers started to opt for cross-platform solutions over the native solutions to build apps for iOS and Android together with lesser time and money.

To solve this problem and capitalize on it, Facebook released React Native in 2015. It was the only software for cross-platform app development at the time and made its name in the market.

Flutter arrived in the market when React Native had almost taken the entire market in its stronghold. It also provides the same set of features with few additions.

Now, let us look at both Flutter and React Native

Flutter

Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit created by Google. It is used to develop applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Google Fuchsia, and the web.

It allows the developers to create a native mobile application with only one codebase. In short, you can create applications for two different operating systems by using one programming language.

It is Google's UI toolkit for crafting beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. It develops beautiful

Programming of Flutter is done in a programming language known as Dart, a quick, object-oriented programming language. It is new compared to other programming languages and easy to learn, specifically for those who have programming knowledge of C# and Java.

React Native

React is an open-source mobile application framework developed by Facebook. It is used to build applications for Android, iOS, and UWP by allowing its native capabilities.

React Native helps developers use the same code across the web and the mobile. And the specialty feature is that there is very little difference between a finished app built in Objective-C or Java and one built using React Native.

Advantages of Flutter

  1. Beautiful Design - Flutter has its own widgets that are managed by its graphics engine. It has a beautiful UI which is good for viewing experience. Due to this, it makes beautiful looking designs.

  2. Same UI across all devices - The UI of Flutter is the same on all devices, irrespective of their mobile version. In other words, a 3-year old phone will have the same experience for Flutter as a modern phone.

  3. Productivity - With the help of Flutter, you can change the code and see the changes in real-time.

  4. Less Testing - Flutter requires almost half the testing of the applications developed using it compared to the application developed by other frameworks.

Advantages of React Native

  1. Community - React Native enjoys a large community support thanks to being the oldest cross-platform framework available in the market and the backing of Facebook. It gets timely updates and fixes.

  2. Performance - Performance of React Native is very fast and gives a fluid feel thanks to its UI.

  3. Cross-Platform Capabilities - App development in React Native is fast because it uses a single code to develop apps for different platforms.

  4. Easy to Use - React Native is programmed in Javascript, a popular language for framework programming. Also, React Native is very similar to React. Therefore, anyone who has worked on React won't face any difficulties working with React Native.

Disadvantage of Flutter

  1. App Size - The size of the app developed in Flutter is quite large compared to the native ones.

  2. Community - The developer community for Flutter is very small when compared with other frameworks. This is mainly because of its arrival not being very old.

  3. Libraries and Development - Flutter is full of components and Google's support for Flutter is impressive. However, as it is very new, there are a lot of functionalities you wouldn't find in its libraries.

Disadvantages of React Native

  1. Debugging - React Native introduces another layer to the project. This makes the debugging of the project difficult.

  2. Abandoned Packages - React Native boasts of a large number of libraries. However, most of these libraries are either of low quality or have been completely abandoned.

  3. Low Security - Since React Native is a Javascript-based library, it requires a little bit more attention when it comes to security. Javascript is famous for its fragility so you would need to be extra careful.

  4. Memory Management - It is not very suitable for computation-intensive apps. The performance and speed of the app are degraded in such a case.

With all that done, let us look at the differences.

Comparison between Flutter and React Native

  1. Learning Curve - Learning required to be done for Flutter is more than React because you need to learn Dart which is not a frequently used programming language. React Native requires less learning thanks to its similarity with React.

  2. Components Library - React has an extensive library which has a lot of functionalities. On the other hand, Flutter doesn't have such a library.

  3. UI Components - Flutter is very rich in components. It doesn't need to use 3rd party components. React isn't that much rich in components. To make the use of its core UI components, it requires the use of the 3rd party library.

  4. Maturity - React Native seemingly has more maturity than Flutter. It has seen many changes over the years whereas Flutter is relatively new and requires many changes.

  5. Applications - React Native is used by companies like Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, and PayPal while Flutter is used by companies such as GeekyAnts, Appinventiv, and BrainMobi.

Conclusion

To summarise this, it is very difficult to say which one is the best of the two. Both of them have their own set of pros and cons. Some things are better in React Native while some are better in Flutter. So it comes down to your preferences. So choose what's best for you and begin your app development.

Thanks for Reading.

Top comments (2)

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joe_victor_7b8646a5d03476 profile image
Joe Victor

Flutter is the shortest path in my view, Basically there is nothing special about dart if you know any language like java or c# or even swift , a 20 minutes syntax intro is all you need, for someone who has never done web development react native is an uphill battle, first you need to know react which requires to know JavaScript and for a good measure html and css to complete the menu.

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ggrassiant profile image
Guillaume Grassiant

Great article! To the point.

So far I have been only toying with Flutter as opposed to working within a team using React Native.
I am a React fanboy for sure and when it comes to the web I would not consider anything else than React.
For mobile development, I am not fluent enough in Flutter but I could totally see this technology take over the hybrid mobile development game. From a UI perspective, the only thing that annoys me a bit is the fact it seems to be working 'automagically' a bit too much which also means if there is a bug, I am not sure how I could fix it.

From a language perspective, I try to do RN+TS which can be a bit verbose when Darts ships with type checking out of the box.

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