Flutter vs React Native – What’s Best for You?

Introduction

Mobile App development is booming in the last decades and there is no stopping it. The number of mobile devices will increase in the coming years. This made it fascinating for developing mobile applications due to the large market.

I tried to learn Mobile App development many times in the past but didn’t succeed.

Problems I faced while learning it:

  • Language: I am a web developer, so I know JavaScript well. But for the android app, you need to know either Java or Kotlin. I know Java but not that much. Same in iOS, you need to learn Swift. The platform specific code creates complexity.
  • Android Studio: I felt Android Studio is more complicated. Hard to Understand.
Mobile Development

Recently, once again I decided to learn mobile app development but with a twist. I was not going to use a native development platform but a cross-development platform for both Android and iOS.

After so much research and reading articles, there are two main cross-platform frameworks for developing a mobile application. One is React Native and the other is Flutter. Today, we are going to dissect both of them to know which suits you best.

So let’s start the ultimate battle of Flutter vs React Native.

What is Cross Mobile App Development?

Let’s first clear the Cross mobile app development question.

The term Cross Mobile App Development implies that the developer can run their program on the various mobile platform in our case, Android and iOS, simultaneously with a single code base.

You do not need to write separate code for a separate platform. This saves time and costs to hire two sets of developers for the same application.

So now move to the introduction of our two frameworks.

What is React Native?

React native is an Open Source cross-platform mobile app development framework developed by Facebook in 2015. It can be used to develop an application for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, TVs, Web, Windows, and UWP by enabling developers to use React’s framework along with native platform capabilities.
-Wikipedia

React Native

React Native uses JavaScript, which makes it simple for web developers to develop mobile applications. If you are familiar with React framework. The Concept for React-Native is almost similar to React.

It will be easier to understand and develop programs for web developers. As the concept is related to React framework, which is used for building the frontend for a web application. This is the same for React Native. It will be used to create the front end of your mobile application.

As the name suggests, it will use the native platform for the development of an application. Applications developed with React Native are native apps. Native Apps meaning it will use the native code to create UI components. This will lead to having a different style of button for iOS and Android.

Buttons with React Native in iOS and Android

All these factors led to more popularity of React Native in the community.

Some React Native app

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • UberEATS
  • Pinterest
  • Discord
  • Skype
  • And Many More

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, Mac, Windows, Google Fuchsia, and the web from a single codebase. First described in 2015, Flutter was released in May 2017.
-Wikipedia

Flutter

The biggest competitor for React Native is Flutter. Recently, flutter is gaining a lot of popularity. Google Trends shows more searches for Flutter than React Native in recent times.

Flutter uses the Dart programming language. It is developed by Google.

FLutter vs React Native

Some Flutter apps

  • Google PlayStore
  • eBay
  • Tencents
  • Dream11
  • ByteDance
  • Google Ads
  • And Many More

Difference between

Let’s find out which framework is superior in the following concept. This will also serve as a pro and cons list for both frameworks.

ConceptDescriptionWinner
PerformanceJS is faster than Dart. But Flutter is way faster on Android and iOS than React Native.Flutter
DesignReact Native has Native Components look for both Android and iOS by default. Flutter uses the custom widget.React Native
Developer CommunityReact Native has a bigger community than flutter but the flutter community is growing at a faster pace.React Native
Build & Release Automation SupportFlutter has development support through CLI and deployment with Fastlane which is missing in React Native.Flutter
Third-Party LibrariesReact Native supports many libraries, it supports most of the React-based libraries too. Flutter has few third-party libraries.React Native
TestingIn flutter, you can perform unit testing, integration testing, and widget testing. In React Native you depend on third-party tools.Flutter
Number of Appsmore than 30K apps are built using React Native and only more than 12K using Flutter. Also, top apps use React Native than flutterReact Native

Learning Path

Flutter

Flutter uses Dart. Dart is developed by google which is an Object-Oriented Programming Language. For an absolute beginner, learning Dart and then Flutter will be easier.

Dart -> Flutter

So for a beginner who wants to learn cross mobile app development framework, Flutter will be ideal.

React Native

React Native’s learning path consists of learning JavaScript as the primary programming language, having knowledge of React, and then you can learn React Native.

JavaScript -> React -> React Native

To learn React Native you should know JavaScript and React. This makes it a little longer learning path as compared to flutter for a beginner.

Conclusion

Both frameworks are capable of building beautiful and useable apps for both Android and iOS. You can choose what’s the best fit for your requirement.

I choose React Native for its learning path. As I know React and JavaScript, React Native is easier to learn.

So I will upload lots of content regarding React Native in the upcoming days. Make sure to follow me for that content.

Thanks for reading the blog post.

4 thoughts on “Flutter vs React Native – What’s Best for You?

  1. Coming from c++ it made more sense to use Flutter. It takes away all the pain of HTML CSS and JavaScript and compiles to web, Android, iOS and even native. I think that it is only a matter of years before Flutter is more in demand than React. But both platforms are great, no doubt about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a senior software engineer with 12 years of experience in software development. First year as a mobile developer I had worked with React Native. It was a pain for all members of my team. Slow build times (20 minutes after the project got big), no debugging tools, use console.log but every time it got an error, the entire build crashes so need to rebuild. No null safety, alambicated navigator system, bad 3rd party libraries. Very hard to understand and maintain your code.
    So, we decided to convert our project to Flutter, great tooling, instant hot reload, no crashes, customizable widgets, awesome navigator and 3rd party libraries. Write less code, do more. The same project 70.000 lines of code less, 12 seconds build time. Null safety keeps your project away from bugs and you have plenty state management libraries.
    I am sorry but I do not agree with your article:
    – Dart is (VM on debug) and (LLVM on release), Javascript is interpreted. So which is faster? Of course, Dart.
    – React Native forces you use the OS widgets. Disadvantage (maybe around 20 noncustomizable widgests. Flutter gives you hundred of customizable widgets with no restrictions and maximum flexibility. I think Flutter wins here too.
    – Flutter has much more libraries and it is easy to you to build a new one or understand an existing one. React Native is pain.
    – Flutter community is bigger. Check Flutter’s stars on github and also check ReactNative’s stars on github. And btw I cannot find the official React Native’s discord channel, but Flutter ones has lot of people and it is very useful.
    – Also you can compile Flutter to WebAssembly, Windows Desktop, Windows UWP, Linux and Fuchsia. You cannot do that with React Native.
    I DO RECOMMEND FLUTTER 2.8+

    Liked by 1 person

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