- May 18, 2022 by Sakshi Aggarwal
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The two hottest frameworks in the mobile app development world are Flutter and React Native. They’re both cross-platform solutions that allow you to write code once and deploy it to Android and iOS. However, which one should you pick for your project?
In this article, we’ll make a comprehensive comparison of Flutter vs. React Native. But, let us start with a brief overview of these two frameworks.
Table of Contents
- 1. What is Flutter?
- 2. What is React Native?
- 3. React Native vs. Flutter in Development
- 4. Flutter and React Native - Pros and Cons
- 5. Is Flutter faster than React Native?
- 6. Will Flutter replace React Native?
- 7. Conclusion
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit built by Google. It’s used for developing natively compiled cross-platform applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Flutter apps are written in Dart language and run on the Flutter framework.
What is React Native?
React Native vs. Flutter in Development-Factors for Comparison
To help you make an informed decision, we've compared Flutter and React Native on several key factors. They are:
1. Programming Language: Flutter vs. React Native
Winner: React Native
2. Architecture: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter uses a reactive framework, meaning Flutter apps are built upon the Widget class. All Flutter apps are made up of Widgets, and each Widget can be composed of other Widgets. This widget-based approach makes Flutter apps easy to build and maintain.
3. Installation and Initial Configuration: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter has a comprehensive installation guide that walks you through the process step-by-step. Once Flutter is installed, you can use their command-line interface (CLI) tool to create a new project.
React Native also has a detailed installation guide. They provide separate instructions for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Once you have React Native installed, you can use the create-react-native-app CLI tool to generate a new project.
4. Development Tools and Documentation: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter ships with an excellent set of tools that help you develop your app and take advantage of Flutter's features. For example, the Flutter Inspector tool allows you to inspect the widget tree, see performance statistics, and more. And the Flutter DevTools extension for VS Code provides Flutter-specific features such as a Flutter outline view, widget creation templates, etc.
React Native also has a great set of tools available. The React Native Debugger is a standalone app that allows you to debug your React Native code. And the React Developer Tools browser extension enables you to inspect the React component tree, view PropTypes, and more.
Read More: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Flutter Mobile Application?
5. User Interface: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter uses its own high-performance rendering engine to draw widgets. This gives Flutter apps a smooth and responsive user interface. Flutter also has a rich set of Material Design and Cupertino (iOS-style) widgets that allow you to build beautiful apps with a native look and feel.
React Native uses the React framework to render UI components. This gives React Native apps a smooth, responsive, and native-like user interface. React Native also has a great set of material Design and Cupertino (iOS-style) components that you can use to build beautiful apps.
6. Community Support: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter has strong support from Google, as well as a large and growing community of developers. Many resources are available for learning Flutter, and developers can find help on Flutter's official website, forums, and chat rooms.
React Native also has a large community of developers, as well as support from Facebook. However, React Native is not as well-documented as Flutter, and there are fewer resources available for learning React Native.
7. CI/CD Support: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter has good support for CI/CD from various providers such as Travis CI, AppVeyor, and CircleCI. Additionally, Flutter ships with a CLI tool called Flutter Drive that integrates with the provider of your choice.
React Native, on the other hand, has CI/CD support from various providers such as CircleCI, Travis CI, and AppVeyor. It also has a CLI tool called React Native CLI that integrates with these providers.
8. Application Size: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter apps have a smaller size than React Native apps. This is because Flutter uses Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation, which compiles the Dart code to native code ahead of time. This results in a smaller app size.
9. Learning Curve: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter has a smaller learning curve than React Native. This is because Flutter uses Dart, which is an easy-to-learn language. Additionally, Flutter has good documentation and many resources that can help you get started quickly.
10. Performance Comparison: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter apps have better performance than React Native apps because it uses AOT compilation, which results in faster start-up times and reduced memory usage. Additionally, Flutter uses the Skia graphics library, which provides high-performance 2D and 3D rendering.
React Native, on the other hand, uses JIT compilation, which can result in slower start-up times and increased memory usage. Also, React Native uses the OpenGL graphics library, which is less performant than Skia.
Also Read: Guide to Design Mobile App in 2022
Flutter and React Native - Pros and Cons
Just like any other tools and technologies, React Native and Flutter also come with their own set of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Pros of Flutter
1. Flutter is very easy to learn- If you are new to mobile app development, Flutter is a great choice. The learning curve is not steep, and you can quickly get started with developing apps.
2. Flutter is extremely fast-It uses the Dart programming language designed specifically for high-performance apps. Flutter apps are also known for their smooth animations and transitions.
3. Flutter is very versatile-It can be used for developing cross-platform apps, as well as for creating apps for specific platforms such as Android or iOS.
Cons of Flutter
1. Flutter is still in its early stages of development, and it is not as stable as React Native. This means that some bugs and glitches still need to be ironed out.
2. Flutter does not have as many libraries and plugins as React Native. This can make it more challenging to find the right tool for the job when developing a Flutter app.
Pros of React Native
1. React Native is very popular. It is used by some of the biggest companies globally, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb. This means that there is a large community of developers who are able to help out if you run into any problems.
2. React Native is very stable. Since it is more mature than Flutter, it has fewer bugs and glitches. This makes it a more reliable platform for developing apps.
3. React Native has a large number of libraries and plugins. This makes it easier to find the right tool for the job, as there is likely to be something out there that meets your needs.
Cons of React Native
1. React Native is not as easy to learn as Flutter. The learning curve is steeper, and it may take you longer to get up to speed with developing apps.
Is Flutter Faster than React Native?
Flutter is faster than React Native because it uses Dart, a compiled language. This means that the Flutter code is compiled to native ARM or x86 code before running on a device. Dart is also an Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compiled language, so Flutter apps start quickly and respond fast.
Will Flutter Replace React Native?
So, now you must be thinking, what is the future of Flutter and React Native? The answer is Flutter is not going to replace React Native. Flutter was developed by Google, and it has already been adopted by some big companies, such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Google itself.
React Native is developed by Facebook, and it is widely used by companies like Skype, Walmart, Instagram, and Airbnb.
Both Flutter and React Native are here to stay, and they are both excellent choices for cross-platform mobile app development.
Conclusion: Flutter vs. React Native
Flutter and React Native are both great choices for mobile app development. Flutter has a steep learning curve, resulting in larger app size. React Native has a shallower learning curve and a smaller app size.
Choose Flutter if you want to develop cross-platform apps quickly. Choose React Native if you are more concerned with app size and performance.
Besides, always hire a trusted Flutter or React Native app development company to complete your project as per your business requirements.
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