In this era of mobile app development, there are a variety of technologies that you can choose to build a successful app, but React Native and Flutter have become the top app development frameworks used today.
Are you choosing between React Native or Flutter? This article will provide you with insights and clarity about which framework is best to use for your mobile app.
What is React Native?
React Native is an open-source UI software framework created by Meta Platforms, Inc. It is used to develop applications for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows and UWP by enabling developers to use the React framework along with native platform capabilities. React Native was released in March 2015.
Advantages of React Native
Here are some important advantages of React Native that will allow you to understand and compare it with Flutter:
- Cost-Saving. It is a cost-efficient platform for app development.
- Smooth User Experience. The user interface is quite flexible and easily navigable or learned.
- Code Reusability. You can use the code again. It saves a lot of time when building an app for different platforms. The code reusability allows you to make an app once for both iOS and Android. You don’t have to build two separate apps for both.
- Rapid Development. You get an extensive library of different pre-developed components that you can easily use. It makes the developing process a lot more efficient. Some of the components include Enzymes, Mocha, Linting process, Flow and props, etc.
- Live Reloading. It allows you to see live changes as you work on it. It saves the code and keeps on refreshing it with every update or edit.
- Large Community. React Native was developed by Facebook. The community environment of React Native enables you to socialize with experts to learn and understand more about the framework. It helps you to develop a better app and solve any kind of problem in your development process.
- Third-Party Plugins. Their shared plugins like UI designs, libraries, documentation, and videos help developers build faster while also saving costs.
- Development Freedom. Developers have complete creative freedom in the app development process.
- Easy Testing. The testing phase is not tedious. You can test it once for every platform. It can detect any error or loophole in any of the platforms through single testing. Detection becomes easy and hence the rectification enables you to solve problems faster.
Disadvantages of React Native
It’s up to you to decide which drawback is significant for your app, but these are the disadvantages.
- Slower performance than Native. React Native is not able to use all the components of the mobile device. It also has limited compatibility of components such as GPS, Accelerometer, FaceID, Barometer, Proximity Sensor, etc. If your app needs access to all the phone’s components or is resource-intensive, like for example a game or AR/VR, it is better to go Native.
- Not efficient for complex interfaces. There is still room for a lot of improvements in the components provided in the framework. You feel some features in it need further customization or upgrade or removal due to redundancy.
- Difficult to debug and update. It is sometimes a complicated process for debugging. You also need to keep a constant check on the updates of React Native throughout the app development process to ensure there are no errors or outdated plugins.
Companies that use React Native
- Facebook Messenger
- Uber Eats
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit created by Google. It is used to develop cross-platform applications for Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the Web from a single codebase. Flutter was released in May 2017.
Advantages of Flutter
Here are some important advantages of Flutter that will allow you to understand and compare it to React Native:
- Cost Effective. Flutter is more cost-effective than most other frameworks. As it requires only one codebase for all platforms, it quickens the time of development.
- Beautiful User Interface. Flutter has an amazing and dynamic user interface that is always upgrading and improving. It allows you to design beautiful and useful widgets and other components in the library. It eliminates the worry about the UI being inconsistent on different platforms.
- Fast Development Time. The development is fast in Flutter. You do not have to wait for the code to be generated and updated, the Hot Reload feature of Flutter enables you to see the results instantly. Thus, it allows a single team to work in sync and produce better results and faster processing. Moreover, they have strong documentation as well.
- Rich Libraries. The Flutter libraries and components include ready-to-use widgets. It also enables you to use animation flexibly by being incredibly customizable, thus saving you time.
- Large community support. Flutter was developed by Google. Flutter also has a big community that keeps growing over time. The Flutter community has a hub of users and experts meeting on one platform and discussing and educating each other about Flutter. It increases the collective knowledge of the community for whoever comes across the knowledge shared in the community. Google also helps them to set events that are more discussed globally.
- Increased Time-to-Market for MVP. Flutter is the most efficient in marketing. As they work cross-platform with iOS and Android, there is no delay in awareness or gaining reach among the audience of any update or information about the framework.
- Similar to Native Apps. When building an app that requires a lot of the phone’s resources and components, we would always recommend going with Native programming like Swift or Kotlin, but if you still decide to use Flutter know that it will work quite well and it is fast. The reason is that Flutter doesn’t rely on code representations, instead Flutter is built directly into the machine code, which eliminates any performance discrepancies.
Disadvantages of Flutter
The following are some drawbacks or disadvantages that one must consider before trying Flutter:
- Limited Third-Party Libraries. If you use Flutter there will be limitations in the libraries’ access compared to React Native. It also requires continuous support using script maintenance.
- Not TV-Supported. Not all Flutter mobile apps allow you to access them through Smart TVs.
- Application File Size. Flutter’s app size is very big for even a simple application, the minimum app size is 4 MB, so if you want your app file size to be very small, don’t use Flutter.
Companies that use Flutter
Which framework is better for your app?
React Native is better for you if you need the following:
- Compatibility on all platforms.
- Large library of integrations.
Flutter is better for you if you need the following:
- Beautiful Design.
- Heavy Animations.
- DART programming language.
If we were to choose between both frameworks, we would go with React Native, but it also depends on the business and the app’s needs. We hope that this article helped you see the differences between React Native and Flutter and led you to a final decision.
If you are ready and interested in developing an app, you can always contact us to help you build it.