Flutter Vs React Native For Mobile App Development
According to a 2020 Statista report, 42% of developers prefer React, while Flutter is the choice framework for 39% of developers. Irrespective of their mutual rivalry and competition, it is extremely important to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons, and particular features that app developers may find helpful.
Flutter and React Native are two of the most popular frameworks that received widespread acclaim for their capabilities in building powerful native-looking and native-feeling cross-platform apps. No wonder, they are also subjected to frequent comparison and evaluation. Whether you should go for a React Native or Flutter app development company, for your next app project, needs meticulous consideration of several aspects.
According to a 2020 Statista report, 42% of developers prefer React, while Flutter is the choice framework for 39% of developers. Irrespective of their mutual rivalry and competition, it is extremely important to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons, and particular features that app developers may find helpful. Let us begin by introducing each framework and their key attributes.
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What is Flutter?
Flutter comes as a robust and comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK) furnished with UI widgets and tools. When it comes to the cost of app development, Futter offers a better value proposition as you need to rely less on third-party tools and APIs. Flutter is regarded to be one of the leading cross-platform frameworks used for developing powerful and natively compiled apps that can run simultaneously on iOS, Android, web, and desktop.
Pros of Flutter
- The hot-reloading feature immediately reflects changes in app code while the app is still running
- Comes with rich UI widgets to help developers follow design guidelines and the latest design principles of both iOS and Android platforms
- Flutter code helps easy integration with Java for the Android platform and Objective C or Swift for the iOS platform
- Known for fast-paced iteration cycles to save development time by restricting the testing needs to just one codebase
- Allows easy and fast sharing of code across multiple platforms, making Flutter ideal for MVP app development
Cons of Flutter
- Offers a fairly robust range of libraries and tools, though in comparison, far less than React Native
- Doesn’t offer compatibility for emerging platforms such as tvOS, watchOS, Android Auto, CarPlay, and a few others
- Needs to depend on standard releases and cannot offer instant updates and patches for apps
What is React Native?
Pros of React Native
- Allows nativel rendering of the APIs without involving HTML or CSS markup
- In spite of creating authentic UI, ensures optimum app performance
- Comes with a robust ecosystem of UI libraries to ensure smooth re-rendering of the app look and feel as per the target platform
- Comes loaded with a rich set of debugging and error reporting tools.
- Offers hot reloading features to help add codes directly into a new app while without interfering with the running app state.
Cons of React Native
- In some cases, the native rendering of APIs in React Native projects may not offer comprehensive support to some native UI elements
- React Native projects often do not support many third-party libraries for smooth implementation
- Doesn’t offer support for parallel threading and multi-processing, causing a little slower performance for some apps
- The debugging tool, Chrome debugger, is not convenient for many developers for editing, code inspecting, etc.
Evaluating Flutter Vs React Native across key criteria
Let us now review the two frameworks, Flutter and React Native across the top parameters and criteria.
Flutter offers all the UI components out of the box and doesn’t require a bridge for connecting with the native UI layer. By using the Skia engine, Flutter incorporates platform-specific Cupertino and Material Design UI elements. This ensures optimum stability for Flutter apps.
Installation & Setup
UI components and API
When it comes to UI development, Flutter has an edge. It offers a robust repository of API tools, and a lot of ready-to-use User Interface components. On top of all these, Flutter also offers UI rendering widgets for both Android and iOS.
In spite of connecting the Native environments of Android and iOS through JS bridge, React Native depends too much on the third-party libraries. React Native components, on the other hand, behave inconsistently across different platforms.
Flutter started its journey only in 2017 and naturally, it has a relatively smaller community as of now. But since Flutter is increasingly becoming popular, it also has the fastest-growing community. On GitHub, it has 81,200 Stars, while React Native has 83,200 stars.
Flutter offers a broad array of testing features. The best thing is, each of the Flutter testing features comes with proper documentation and out-of-the-box support. Flutter also offers a widget testing feature to facilitate unit testing for checking UIs.
Flutter vs React Native: What type of app projects are suitable for which framework?
As of now, we have understood that both frameworks have their own strengths and weaknesses for specific app projects. Flutter is mostly preferred for app projects with more focus on user interface and limited feature set. For typical, limited budget app projects that need to ensure consistent UI across the web and mobile platforms, you will find that Flutter is a more ideal framework.
Both Flutter and React Native are equally robust, useful, and high-performance frameworks used across all types of mobile app projects. You can only make the right choice by carefully evaluating the necessities of your app project and the corresponding features and capabilities of these two platforms.