Flutter Vs React Native: Which One To Choose?

  • By Rajamanickam Rajan
  • 22-03-2021
  • Technology
flutter vs react native

React Native and Flutter are the two most popularly used technologies for developing cross-platform software. Using these technologies, a developer can create a single code base that works well on both Android and IOS devices. Thus, there is less requirement for coding, meaning an app can be released in the market at a minimum cost.

Because of these technologies, cross-platform programming languages have gained extreme popularity, and their adoption rate is increasing exponentially. But the real question is — which between these is the better development framework? Flutter or React Native?

Here’s a quick comparison of Flutter and React Native

Let’s explore the top 6 key points that will offer you an insight into their architecture and performance.

Programming language
React Native uses JavaScript, which makes it easy for web developers to work. Further, as JavaScript is the most common programming language used for the last eight years, it is relatively easy to train and assemble a development team for React Native.

Flutter, on the other side, uses Dart, which is Google’s programming language. The technology also resembles other popular OOP languages, including C++ and Java. So, if you are familiar with any of these, you can efficiently use Flutter to achieve your goals.

However, when it comes to the programming language, React Native scores over Flutter.

Architecture
React Native uses a JavaScript bridge for efficient communication between the native language and JavaScript. For this, both sides use JSON messages for communication. These messages are asynchronous, meaning the UI of the application must be smooth. But still, there is scope of lagging issues as the bridge impacts the application's speed.

While in Flutter, there is no requirement of a communication bridge with native components. The technology comes packed with all prerequisites, including frameworks like material design and Cupertino. It is with this advantage that the apps are more predictable and stable on various platforms.

Installation and initial configuration
The configuration process for React Native is super simple and easy. All you need to do is use the command line to install React Native CLI globally. However, you will also need Yarn and NodeJS installation for the package manager.

For Flutter, you need to download the binary for a specific mobile platform. In the next step, you add your PATH variable, which is easily done using the command line. However, the installation of Flutter isn’t as simple, so here, it loses a point to React Native.

Developmental tools and documentation
React Native is shipped with all required documentations, but the technology is designed for mature web developers who have adequate knowledge of JavaScript. In contrast, Flutter provides documentation support with a detailed guide, video tutorials, and graphics for better understanding. With all the tools available, developers can benefit from this assistance in app development.

User interface
It is because of the Javascript bridge that React Native has native components for each platform. This feature of the technology allows developers to create the desired look of native Android or iOS applications. Further, React Native is packed with a wide range of readymade components that find direct use in building blocks. But there are various drawbacks, too, like it is quite difficult to replicate the complicated UI of React Native.

Flutter, on the other side, comes loaded with UI widget packages within itself, meaning using the technology to develop native-like applications is super easy and convenient. There is no need to look for third-party libraries, as the framework of the technology is enough.

Developer’s productivity
React Native allows code reusability across various platforms. In fact, there are loads of libraries developed by its community of developers which are super useful for building code blocks to speed up app development. Further, React Native comes with a hot reload feature that allows developers to view app changes before finalizing them.

Like React Native, Flutter comes with hot reload features, meaning the developers can easily make integrations and receive the feedback fast. Additionally, Flutter has a fast app compilation.

When to use React Native?
React native is an exceptional choice for developing cross-platform applications that are complex in nature. In case your project is large and deep-rooted, using React Native can be highly beneficial as it comes loaded with extensive documentation and stronger support. Also, if you are planning to reuse algorithms across web and desktop applications, React Native is the ideal choice.

When to use Flutter?
Flutter comprises built-in native components and hot-reload features which make it a perfect platform for iteration purposes. In case you need to develop an MVP quickly, Flutter will serve you brilliantly. Also, the framework is most applicable when your application needs to be UI-centred.

Final Verdict
Choosing the right framework isn’t easy. Despite their many differences, there isn't a significant factor that can point towards an answer in the React Native vs Flutter debate. This is because both frameworks come with their respective pros and cons, and each of these offers effective solutions to app development.

The onus is on the developers who would eventually use them to develop native apps, which will be faster and more responsive. The choice of your development framework should depend on the requirements of your business and personal preferences regarding programming languages.

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Author

Rajamanickam Rajan

Rajamanickam Rajan is the director of Skein Technologies, a leading software development company in India. He also has a strong grip in developing, testing, and designing Hybrid & Native applications.

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