Flutter vs React Native: Which is better for mobile app development in 2021?


By Md Ifran

Executive, Business Development

Date: August 12, 2021

covid 19

We are living in an era of smartphones. Mobile applications control most of our lives. Have you ever wondered how these applications are developed? What are the tools used to build these sophisticated apps? Flutter & React native are the most popular stacks for building mobile apps and there are few differences between Flutter & React native. In this article we will have a general comparison on Flutter vs React native and which is better for building mobile applications in 2021.

What is Flutter

What is Flutter 

Flutter is a Google-developed open-source UI application kit. To create cross-platform applications from a single codebase for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the web, Flutter can be used. Flutter was first released under the codename “Sky” and ran on the Android os.

Google released Flutter Update Preview 2, the final major release before Flutter 1.0, during the keynote of Google Developer Days in Shanghai. At the Flutter Live event on December 4, 2018, Flutter 1.0 was released, marking the first “stable” version of the framework.

Why Flutter is used 

Flutter is not very old, it’s been just around three years and it’s already got the deserved attention it deserves. It’s becoming the number one choice for building cross-platform applications not for just mobile devices but also for desktop applications.

This makes it easy for programmers to graphically develop and deploy native compiled mobile (iOS, Android), web, and desktop applications – all using one single system. By using Flutter you can develop the following:

1. Mobile applications for both Android & IOS
2. Desktop applications
3. PWA (Progressive Web Apps)
4. SPA (Single Page Applications)

It offers its very own widgets with a high-performance engine that is quick, appealing, and customizable. Thanks to this, the Flutter apps look and feel great due to the readily responsible UI elements that follow specific platform guidelines, you can still create your own custom app design.

Advantages of using Flutter 

The ability to develop cross-platform applications for both mobile, desktop & web is not enough to describe the advantages of Flutter. In terms of advantages, it goes beyond cross-platform development. Here are few more advantages of using Flutter:

1. Budget & Time:
Flutter-developed applications take little time & money to develop, so they’re not as costly as native ones. It’s great if you want to test your business strategy quickly for an MVP startup company. The development costs of flutter apps will be lower than the costs of native apps as you do not need to code for two separate platforms.

2. Hot Reload Function: 
Flutter provides more versatile and quicker application development from the developer’s point of view. Flutter is one of the best things every mobile app developer app company appreciates nowadays. Programmers can modify the source code on the fly and see it displayed in the application immediately. This is the Hot reload function of Flutter, and changes can be viewed under seconds.

3. Performance: 
When it comes to performance Flutter is equal to native apps. For good UI & UX, application performance is vital. Although it isn’t easy to tell the exact stats, it’s safe to say that in most cases Flutter app performance won’t differ from the native app, and in complex UI animation scenarios even better.

4. Rendering: 
Flutter enables you to do a lot of things that are not possible on other platforms. Flutter utilizes Skia to make itself available on a platform. The UI built-in Flutter can be launched on almost any platform thanks to the engine.

If you change it, you no longer need to adjust the user interface to transfer it to a platform that makes the development process extremely simple.

5. Customizability: 
Flutter’s biggest benefit is its ability, irrespective of how complex the UI id is. Without adding a huge amount of teaching load Flutter simplifies the system which is adaptable and flexible. Shared transitions of elements, manipulations of form, color/shadow, clipping, transitions Flutter allows all to be done easily.

What is React native 

React native is developed by Facebook. Though Facebook is a social media giant, this open-source mobile application framework was developed to ensure the better performance of Facebook mobile apps. But now it has become one of the most popular frameworks for mobile applications. React native uses javascript and both IOS & Android applications can be developed using this framework.

Why React native is used

React Native has been considered commercially untenable for a long time. It has not been sufficiently developed or supported to make “native” apps.

The times, however, have changed. React Native becomes increasingly popular, gains support from the communities, and gains more market share. Writing brilliant applications with React Native is becoming simpler and easier and the world is noticing. It is used to develop applications for
1. Android
2.  Android TV
3.  iOS
4. macOS
5. tvOS
6. Web
7. Windows
8. UWP

The greatest mistake we made as a company, Mark Zuckerberg commented in 2012, was playing too much HTML against native. Using HTML5 for the mobile version of Facebook led to an unbalanced application, which slowly collected data. He promised to provide a better mobile experience for Facebook soon & that’s how react was developed. 

Advantages of using react native 

Just like Flutter, react native also has some advantages which ensures that app developers enjoy a pleasant coding experience. Here are few mentionable ones

1. Community support: 
As an open-source platform, React Native lets the developer community analyze and make a significant contribution to any documentation relating to that technology, free of charge. With React Native you could always find the instruction of other programmers, seek relevant advice and resources from other developers. The react native framework is totally community-oriented.

2. Reuse code: 
One of the most important benefits of using react is the ability to resume codes. The developers basically can reuse 90% of React Native scripts on iOS and Android rather than building separate iOS and Android applications..

3. Modular Architecture: 
Modular programming guarantees that program operations are separated into freely interchanging pieces called modules. A common software design method. It helps developers utilize each other’s projects when they need the application building process to be more adaptable. It also enhances teamwork to produce and give feedback.

4. Premade solutions:
React Native offers a number of preconfigured solutions and frameworks for developers to use for free. The solutions not only facilitate app creation but enable developers to concentrate on producing more bug-free programs.

5. Strong performance:
Mobile devices are particularly well suited to React Native’s architecture. It uses the GPU, whereas the native platforms are more CPU intensive. React Native is faster compared to hybrid technology, the only alternative for cross-platform technology in the past.

Flutter vs React native: Which is better for mobile app development

You have already realized the advantages of working with both frameworks. But when it comes to choosing any one of the frameworks for your development it becomes a bit tricky. So we have decided to make a head-to-head comparison of both frameworks.

1. Performance
As you already know React uses Java and Flutter uses Dart as a programming language. If you test both the languages head to head in terms of performance and memory consumption you will find different results for mobile, desktop & web. While the web is a better choice but for only mobile Flutter is a better option compared to react.

2. Design
As for the design, both frameworks offer great visual graphics and design elements. One noticeable difference is that using react you might see a few different outcomes on Android and IOS but both will look the same when you are using Flutter.

Time to market is one of the most important factors of mobile app development. Both are cross-platform frameworks so you can reuse codes and no longer need to code for separate platforms. But in recent years you will see that Flutter is gaining popularity among the developer’s community.

So when you need some support it’s fair enough to say that you will get better support as a Flutter developer. This can be a tie-breaker when you are dealing with a complex issue.

4. Reliability
Flutter is easier and more resistant to operating system upgrades modifications. In the event of system updates, React Native depends on the native parts of the device which require further tailoring for both iOS and Android apps. This is not a disadvantage for Reaction Native, only a compromise that needs to be made in return for the app’s native experience.

5. Features
When it comes to features like location, maps, camera, video chat both the frameworks support and provide excellent performance. Both the frameworks have built-in widgets & libraries which can be used to make any development process quicker. But if you use Flutter you will have a lower learning curve compared to React. Developing complex features using react can be time-consuming sometimes.

Final Verdict 

React Native is an excellent solution for small projects with many comparable entities such as events, social networking, e-commerce, and loyalty applications for customers. If you are a well-established company with a reasonable number of consumers and the mobile app is not a major product, pick React Native since it helps to sell apps that appear native.

Flutter is fantastic for stunning new projects, with good computations, sophisticated animations, and functional aspects which are more essential than beautiful design. For early-stage tech start-ups, it is a smart choice to develop an appealing demonstration idea with minimum necessary functionality on a cheap budget.

So both the framework has its advantages and disadvantages. If you have any issues with any of the platforms or want to build a mobile application you can get in touch with us.

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