As the world becomes increasingly mobile-driven, businesses are always on the lookout for the best platform to build their apps. Two of the most popular choices for mobile app development are Flutter and React Native. These cross-platform frameworks have gained immense popularity and continuously evolve with new updates & features.
React Native is a well-known framework due to its quick development process, leading to a 38% market share. Whereas 42% of the software developers used the Flutter framework in 2021. [Source]
The figure above proves that both these frameworks are widely popular. As a result, business owners often find themselves in a difficult situation when picking a framework between these two.
Flutter is known for its exceptional performance, ease of use, and high-quality graphics.
React Native, on the other hand, is a more mature framework with a large community and a wide range of libraries & plugins.
Overall, both these frameworks have revolutionized the app industry and can help you develop a high-performing mobile app. Read this blog to learn which framework between Flutter vs. React Native can meet your business expectations.
Overview of Flutter and React Native Framework
Flutter is an open-source framework created by Google and uses Dart programming language to create natively compiled high-performing mobile apps. It can easily develop applications for both Android and iOS using a single codebase.
The framework has a hot reload feature, letting developers view real-time changes made in the code without restarting the app development. As a result, you can expect a speedy app development process with better innovations.
React Native Framework
React Native has a wide range of pre-built components that are optimized for mobile devices. It can provide a consistent look & feel across different platforms, saving a lot of time & effort in designing and developing the app’s UI.
Features of Flutter Framework:
- Customizable Widgets
Flutter is integrated with various customizable widgets to build an aesthetically pleasing and responsive mobile app. The widgets in the Flutter framework are highly customizable. They can be used to create complex animations & effects that can make your app interactive.
The Reactive programming model of Flutter and the rendering engine make it a high-performing framework. It can easily handle complex applications and also supports hardware-accelerated graphics. In the end, it ensures a smooth and convenient user experience.
- Cross-Platform Development
Flutter is a cross-platform framework that lets developers write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, and desktop. It reduces the development time & cost and allows for greater code reuse.
[Check out the Guide to Flutter App Development to know more about this framework.]
Features of React Native Framework:
- Native Performance
React Native uses native components to build highly interactive applications, resulting in faster performance & a more responsive user interface. With the help of native components, React Native can take advantage of the platform’s hardware capabilities. It results in a more fluid and responsive user experience.
- Hot Reloading
It is a powerful feature of React Native that allows developers to change the code and see the changes instantly. Hot reloading works by injecting the updated code into the running app. This feature is also context-aware, which means it will only reload the parts of the app that have been changed. Consequently, it will save you time, making the development process faster and more efficient.
- Component-Based Architecture
React Native follows a component-based architecture, which makes it easier to reuse code and build complex user interfaces. In React Native, developers create reusable building blocks called components. It can be combined to create complex user interfaces. This architecture makes it easier to maintain and update the codebase, as changes to a component can be propagated throughout the app.
Popular Apps Made With
It is one of the popular apps that is made with the Flutter framework. The purpose of creating this app is to let business owners manage their campaigns on the go. The app allows users to create and edit ads and set budgets & bids. They can also view the performance metrics.
With the help of Flutter, Google Ads was able to deliver a consistent experience across iOS and Android platforms. As a result, the app has over 10 million downloads.
Alibaba is a leading eCommerce platform connecting buyers and sellers worldwide. The Alibaba app was built using the Flutter framework in order to provide a fast, responsive, and visually appealing user interface.
The app includes easy product search, secure payment options, and order tracking features. Due to these feature integration, people prefer using this app, leading to 100M+ downloads.
Reflectly is a journaling mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to help users reflect on their daily thoughts and emotions. It was also built using Flutter to create a user-friendly interface that is both fast and responsive.
The app has been highly rated on Google Play Store and App Store, all thanks to its valuable features and smooth performance. For instance, the app has more than 1 million downloads on Google Play Store.
It is no surprise that Facebook, the company that developed React Native, used the framework to build its mobile app. The app is available on iOS and Android platforms and is one of the most popular apps in the world.
The app is highly responsive, where users can easily browse the news feed, share the update, and connect with their family & friends. Facebook has over 5 billion downloads.
Instagram is another world famous social media app with more than 1 billion downloads. The app is highly responsive with a smooth & sleek interface. Instagram’s use of React Native has helped the company deliver a highly efficient and user-friendly mobile application.
The most popular video & audio communication platform that connects users with their family & friends. Skype is also built using React Native, making this app more responsive with an interactive UI and features. Skype’s use of React Native allowed this app to deliver a highly efficient & reliable communication platform.
Comparison Factors of Flutter and React Native
React Native also has a command-line interface (CLI) for setting up a new project, running a local server, and compiling the app for deployment. It also supports debugging and testing tools like React Native Debugger and Jest.
Flutter also provides a command-line interface (CLI) for creating, running, and testing apps. Flutter also has debugging and testing tools, such as the Flutter DevTools and Flutter Test.
User Interface Development
React Native provides a set of pre-built UI components that you can use to build your user interface quickly. Examples include buttons, text inputs, and scroll views. By using these pre-built components, you can ensure that your user interface is consistent and looks native to each platform.
For the app’s layout, React Native uses Flexbox, which is a powerful & flexible way to arrange elements on the screen. You can use Flexbox to position & size elements easily and create responsive layouts that adapt to different screen sizes.
Flutter provides two pre-built widgets: Material Design widgets (for Android-style UI) and Cupertino widgets (for iOS-style UI). These widgets provide a consistent and native look & feel on each platform.
The user interface development in Flutter is based on a widget tree, where each widget represents a visual component of the app’s user interface. Widgets can be arranged in a hierarchical structure, forming a tree that represents the entire user interface of the app.
Moreover, React Native has significantly improved this area over the years. It can now provide a smooth & responsive experience for most applications. To optimize rendering performance, developers can use tools like FlatList or VirtualizedList to generate large data sets efficiently.
Flutter is a high-performance mobile application development framework that uses the Dart programming language. The language offers features such as the Ahead of Time (AOT) compilation and the Just in Time (JIT) compilation. It helps to improve the startup time and reduce the application’s size.
Flutter uses the Skia Graphics Engine, a high-performance 2D graphics library. It allows for the smooth rendering of UI components & animations. With the help of the distinct features of Flutter, developers can create fast & responsive mobile apps.
React Native has been around since 2015 and has a large and active community of developers. There are numerous third-party libraries & components available that can be easily integrated into React Native apps. It makes development faster and more efficient.
The React Native community is also very active in developing new features and improving the framework. The community constantly releases new updates & patches. Whereas developers contribute to the framework’s development through GitHub.
Flutter is a new framework, having been introduced by Google in 2017. However, it has been increasing in popularity and has an active community of developers. It strongly focuses on open-source development, and the community is actively developing new packages, plugins, and tools for the framework.
Despite being a new framework, Flutter’s community support is growing rapidly, and it has already established itself as a popular choice for cross-platform app development.
Both Flutter and React Native have their unique advantages & limitations when it comes to mobile app development. Choosing the right one for your project depends on your specific requirements, budget, and timeline.
While Flutter is known for its impressive performance and cross-platform capabilities. React Developers favor native for its ease of use and the ability to reuse code. If the project requires high performance & fast rendering of UI elements, Flutter would be the best choice. In contrast, if a large or active community of developers is important, you can go with React Native.
It is reasonable to assume that Flutter and React Native will continue to be popular choices for mobile app development in the foreseeable future. [Based on the stats mentioned at the top.]