Anand Kumar Mishra
10 Mins to Read
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You’ve got your app idea sorted, and now it’s time to move on to the next stage of your app or project development. What’s confusing is deciding which one to use: Flutter or React Native.
You’ve probably heard that both of these cross-platform application development tools are impressive. But do you need to choose between them? Or do you have other reasons for choosing native app development over cross-platform frameworks?
In this article, we’ll look closely at Flutter vs. React Native. We’ll analyze each tool’s capabilities, advantages, and disadvantages to help you make the best decision for your app development.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source UI (User Interface) software development kit (SDK) created by Google. It allows developers to build high-performance, cross-platform mobile applications using a single codebase. Flutter enables the development of apps for Android, iOS, web, desktop, and even embedded devices from a single codebase, which means that developers can write code once and deploy it on multiple platforms.
Flutter uses Dart, a programming language developed by Google, as its primary language. Dart is an object-oriented language with features that make it suitable for building mobile and web applications. Flutter provides a rich set of pre-designed widgets and tools that help developers create beautiful and highly responsive user interfaces. These widgets can be customized and combined to create complex UI elements and layouts.
Pros and Cons of using Flutter
One Codebase: Flutter makes it easy for developers to get everything up and running in one place since it does all the rendering for you. It works on all the major platforms, like Android, iOS, web, and desktop.
Faster Development & Hot-reloading: Hot-reloading enables developers to make real-time changes during the development process without losing the application’s state. This significantly accelerates the development process.
Seamless Integration: With Flutter, developers don’t have to worry about re-writing code because it integrates seamlessly with Android’s Java language and iOS’s Swift language or Objective C.
Pixel Rendering: Flutter manages every pixel of the screen. This means that the widgets created by the developers will be the same on all devices.
This eliminates any potential problems with device support. Consequently, developers can design user interfaces that are identical across Android and iOS.
Rich Widgets: Flutter offers rich widgets that follow Material Design guidelines for Android and Cupertino guidelines for iOS.
Quick Shipping: Flutter provides fast iteration cycles and reduces the build time since only one codebase needs to be tested.
User Interface: Flutter’s vector and animation support isn’t always able to render plugins promptly.
Operating Platform: The operating system has restrictions on how it renders the user interface on native systems. It’s not possible to create apps for Android or Apple TV.
Updates: Flutter can’t just drop patches and updates right into your apps without going through the normal release process first.
Tools and Plugins: However, Flutter’s libraries and tools are less comprehensive than React Native’s.
Late Features: New features added to Android and iOS native apps appear later in Flutter than in their native apps.
Famous Apps Created with Flutter
What is React Native?
It was first developed by the Facebook engineering team back in 2013. In 2015, React Native was launched (also by the same team). React Native enables developers to use a collection of UI components to compile and run iOS and Android apps quickly.
It is important to note that React Native isn’t an updated version of React library, even though it uses the same library as the base framework.
Pros and Cons of using React Native
Cost efficiency: React Native provides a cost-effective way to create cross-platform applications using code reuse. An application can work effectively across multiple platforms. This is something that product owners value highly. Instead of building two apps for each platform (Android and iOS), developers can reuse up to 90 per cent of the code for both. This reduces development costs and makes React Native easier to maintain.
Modular design: React Native uses a modular programming approach, which means functions are implemented as chunks of code called modules. This creates a more flexible app development environment and helps developers collaborate better. It also makes app updates easier to create and integrate.
Fast time to market: One of the most impressive features of React Native is its ability to build apps faster. Developers can use various pre-built components to create application functionalities faster. Because React Native is simpler to write than other platforms, building and running React Native apps requires less effort.
Hot reload: This is one of the best and most attractive features for developers. It enables them to make real-time changes to the code. Therefore, you can update an application that is running. All you need to do is to edit the source code. The update will run immediately after saving the file. So you can release updates without any downtime.
Excellent performance: While native app development guarantees better performance, React Native-based apps also perform at a comparable level to native applications. This is thanks to native controls, which use native OS APIs to write native APIs smoothly.
Large and active community: React Native is open source, which means any developer can use it. If you run into any issues while building the app, you can reach out to the community for help.
Complex User Interface: If you want to develop a mobile application consisting of numerous transitions, animations, and interactions, React Native is not the right option. Having a gesture responder won’t help eliminate the problem, as Android and iOS touch subsystems have unified APIs and are pretty different.
Immature framework: As React Native’s app development keeps getting better and better, it’s getting harder and harder for developers to keep up. React Native was built to be faster, but in the process, it lost its credibility and ended up being too mature for the Android and iOS markets. Plus, the app’s flexibility isn’t as great as native apps.
Harder to build a cross-platform team: Due to its cross-platform nature, the React Native team must be well-versed in web technologies such as Java and React and native technologies such as CI and UX.
Popular Apps Created with React Native
Major differences between Flutter and React Native
When to Use Flutter?
Flutter is a better choice if:
- You are working with a smaller budget.
- You have to release your product faster.
- You prioritize a great UI and pixel-perfect designs.
When to Use React Native?
Choose React Native if:
- You have an existing website or a desktop app and can use their components for a mobile app.
Both React Native and Flutter are excellent cross-platform app development tools. While there are some similarities between them, there are also some important differences that you need to consider before making a decision. The point is that both are up-to-date, highly popular, and suitable for high-quality cross-platform applications.
Before making a decision, you need to analyze your project needs and consider the advantages and disadvantages. Our experts at Apponward can help you in this regard. Contact us today and see your ideas turning into reality.