Are you confused about whether to choose Flutter or React Native for your mobile app development? Read this article to explore a detailed comparison of the two cross-platform technologies based on programming language, key features, advantages, disadvantages, and commercial use, and make an informed decision that suits your business goals and project requirements.
How to choose the best cross-platform technology? Flutter vs React Native
A summary of the current use of each platform reflects that there are two important competitors to consider in 2023. Most of the developer choices on the market are split between those open-source UI development platforms that are most suitable in terms of specific technical requirements.
Among the different open-source frameworks, we can refer to Flutter and React Native, which has been quite popular in recent years. Looking at the statistics from the different social platforms for developers, we can see that Stack Overflow has noticed almost every year 1% more queries are posted about the use of each of these two frameworks. This trend continues until 2020 when Flutter starts to be quoted more often by the Stack Overflow community. Despite this, Stack share's data places React Native with 24K active followers, significantly more than Flutter with only 12K. Such results give more reasons to consider which platform we should choose.
A comprehensive evaluation is the best approach to see the key differences between the two platforms.
What are the key differences between Flutter and React Native?
Many preconditions are important to consider before choosing a framework by going through the mechanism of each technology, we can highlight certain properties that distinguish one from the other. The importance of these aspects can relate to the advantages of using each one.
At the very beginning, we can agree that Flutter and React Native have good command interfaces for app developers and proven interoperability for each platform. Nevertheless, there are significant differences that separate them from each other. When evaluating the cross-platforms, we have chosen several criteria to give a sense of competitive advantage and boundaries for developers:
· Programming language
· Key features
· Commercial use
Flutter was launched by Google in May 2017 for users who want to deliver cross-platform apps for Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Google Fuchsia, and Windows. The Flutter engine comes with a Foundation library with ready-to-use designed widgets and dedicated DevTools.
· Flutter deployed Dart language as its basis for developers.
· Can be implemented on a wide variety of devices from a single code base: mobile, web, and desktop to embedded devices.
· Parallel development of more responsive and adaptive applications gives developers more flexibility when a project has higher or lower technical requirements.
· Technological features of the platform include hot reload and IDE support, allowing Flutter's command-line tools to be combined with editor plug-ins.
· Decreased code development duration visible through smoother and faster performance with ready-to-use widgets allows for faster go-to-market. Simple logic implementation in Flutter with established data exchange through platform channels with platform-native code and Dart makes the process more seamless for developers.
· Application packages require higher hardware requirements from end users, which can cause more problems in terms of long-term performance.
· Reduced outside support with a lack of access to third-party libraries and still a smaller community of involved developers makes it less efficient for its users. The reason for this is that Flutter has been implemented using the Dart programming language, which makes it even less attractive to its users.
· Flutter has been used for app development by several global brands, including eBay, Alibaba, Google Pay, and others. The choice of brands suggests where Flutter fits best as a cross-platform in-app development mode.
Released two years earlier than Flutter, in March 2015 by MetaPlatforms, Inc (originally Facebook). It is dedicated to developing apps for iOS, Android, macOS, Web, UWP, and Windows. Cross Native React platform and its technology provide a core set of platform-independent components that directly match the native UI building blocks of the platform.
· Support for multiple platforms with dedicated components and 3rd-party libraries with compatible NPM access.
· Empower the development of native applications forAndroid, and iOS with fast refresh mode during coding.
· Using the same code for Android and iOS saves time and money, which puts this platform at the top of the development process when it comes to creating a complex application in a short time available to multiple users simultaneously.
· The large community of supporting developers gives users a free-open, broad source for the exchange of solutions to issues that may be considered difficult to solve alone in the development process.
· Different APIs in iOS and Android cause UI difficulties when creating a transition between multiple screens within the platform.
· Native React was developed by Facebook and is today supported by META inc. Therefore, it is easy to verify that it is a proven and trusted platform that can be much more useful for social media applications. This conclusion has been confirmed as the platform has been deployed in their apps by Instagram, Skype, Bloomberg, Shopify, etc.
Flutter or React Native - which technology to choose and why?
When deciding between both cross-platforms, we can consider the most important parameters mentioned above. A very selective and generalized presentation of a few elementary points can help in the final decision between each platform.
Looking at the comparison between Flutter and React Native over the last few years, the retention rate is now firmly close to Native React. This could have significant implications for developers who have more confidence in the solutions provided by META inc. However, Google is very powerful in the market and its solutions with Flutter can also reach a wide range of users.
What are the crucial differences and similarities between the two frameworks?
· Widgets in Flutter are packaged in software and are firmly dedicated to user experience, making the app much easier to create as it does not require such extensive programming skills. Unlike React Native, where users must choose from pre-built code components to build blocks.
· Flutter has more resistance to system updates, and those made in React Native do not go smoothly and can partially corrupt code from the version before the update.
· The performance of apps made in Flutter is similar on iOS and Android devices, but if the project is larger and users expect more complex cross-platform apps, then React Native is a better choice as it has more flexible and extensive options with its libraries.
· React Native's longer presence on the market has made it more accessible for some time, and developer choice seemed to be ensured by the many projects with extensive queries available to evaluate future solutions. The size of the Flutter community is slightly smaller, but this does not completely minimize its comprehensive support for current programming queries. This topic's choice can depend on the project requirements and personal preferences.
An important conclusion regarding the choice of developer has to do with the financial implications, which make Flutter at this point more affordable for companies and more efficient in the different phases of a project with a low budget, but in contrast, to React Native, it will not guarantee effective coverage of a more demanding project, which may also have its security concerns.
Considering applications for more than one platform, getting advice from developers with a track record of successful projects is recommended.
Professional approach in app development.
You may be very uncertain about the right choice of cross-platform when many more requirements than just those listed above may come to light. Everything will depend strictly on your business goals.
To better define your goals, it is worth reaching out to a digital agency that can help you evaluate and develop your future project. Score Digital has experience with many projects across a variety of platforms. If you are planning to develop your app, we have the right skill set and experience at this point. Contact us today and see how we can support your project.