Flutter vs React Native App Development: The PROs and CONs
With Flutter 2.0’s arrival, the competition is rising between Flutter experts and React Native app developers. Want to choose the right technology to build iOS and Android apps in 2021? Here’s a detailed excerpt on Flutter app development vs React Native app development!
Let’s cover the basics for starters, Shall we?
Flutter was released in December 2018 by Google. It’s a portable UI toolkit that helps Flutter app developers build natively compiled apps using a single codebase. It’s a free open-source SDK that runs on Dart – an easy and fast programming language.
Which one’s more popular – Flutter or React Native?
If GitHub stars are anything to go by, Flutter boasts a whopping 120K stars whereas React Native lags behind with 95.3K stars. Many popular apps like Instagram, Skype, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. have been built with React Native. On the other hand, Flutter is responsible for the development of apps like Google Ads, Xianyu by Alibaba, Hamilton, Philips Hue, etc.
PROs and CONs
The HOT RELOAD Feature
Every top mobile app development company is aware of Flutter’s USP – its dynamic app development process! Flutter developers can alter the codebase on the go and see the changes made in the app in real-time.
This is possible with Flutter’s HOT RELOAD feature. It’s just a matter of a few milliseconds for the changes to appear. This feature paves the way for a Flutter app development company to instantly introduce new app features and resolve bug issues.
Single Codebase for Multiple Platforms
Flutter developers find it easy to deliver their Flutter app development services, thanks to its common codebase feature. In fact, the best Flutter app development services for Android and iOS can be provided using this feature. Being platform-agnostic, Flutter has inbuilt widgets and designs. This makes it possible to build an app with the same architecture and designs on two different platforms.
Better App Speed & Performance
You’d never experience lag or glitches when using Flutter apps. All because of the Skia Graphics Library, the UI is redrawn whenever a view changes. The majority of the process takes place on GPU which results in a smooth UI. Flutter’s UI ensures a lightning-fast delivery of 60fps.
Flutter has no dependence on native system attributes. It carries its own widgets controlled by Flutter’s graphics engine. Flutter developers can also create or customize their own widgets. Flutter apps have a sure-shot advantage over React Native apps when it comes to user-friendly interfaces. There’s a strong emphasis laid upon the visual details, making the apps appear aesthetic and easy to use.
Consistent UI on older devices
Compatibility is never an issue with Flutter apps as far as older devices are concerned. The apps are built to achieve a consistent appearance and design across all kinds of Android and iOS devices.
A Modest Developers’ Community
Despite Google’s extensive support for Flutter, it’s a no-brainer that Flutter is relatively new in the arena. Hence, developers could be unable to fetch the functionalities they need because of its limited libraries. As an alternate solution, developers might have to develop custom functionality, resulting in increased time consumption
The dearth of Support for Continuous Integration
At the time of writing, Flutter lacks support for CI platforms like Travis or Jenkins. So, to achieve automatic building, testing, and deployment, the developers need to use and maintain custom scripts such as this.
Larger App Sizes
Flutter applications are larger in size as compared to the native ones. Google is working on improving the same in the near future.
React Native’s PROs
The FAST REFRESH Feature
Basically, functioning the same as the HOT RELOAD feature, React Native’s fast refresh allows developers to feed in new code into running applications. Without the need to rewrite the app code, React Native developers can easily see the changes implemented.
One Codebase for Two Platforms
Freedom of Choice for the React Native Developers
As React Native enables the developers to develop cross-platform applications, it also allows them to choose from various solutions and methodologies. React Native developers can simply make a decision based on the project’s requisites and their own preferences.
A popular, vast, and proactive developers’ community
React Native over the years has attained a huge following amongst developer communities. Out in the open, there are a plethora of tutorials, tools, libraries, and supportive UI frameworks that make things easy. When we compare different sources for accumulating articles, tools, and materials meant for specific frameworks, React Native has an upper hand over Xamarin, Flutter, and Ionic.
React Native’s CONs
Not so native but native-enough
As known with any of the cross-platform solutions, no UI experience or performance can replicate the native apps. These can be just as similar as possible. With that being said, it’s still easier to accomplish a native design and appearance with React Native as compared to Flutter.
Limited support for components out of the box
Just some of the basic components out of the box get React Native’s support. React Native however has many exterior options in the form of resourceful components. Using them is fine but developers need to invest more time and effort for the same. Exactly contrary to this, Flutter is built with a concept of supporting innovative designs. Hence, Flutter as a framework provides customizable widgets which can be directly used without having to shell out extra time to look out of the box.
Myriads of abandoned packages
No doubt React Native’s multitudes of libraries offer greater options. However, many of these are abandoned packages and are of no use to the developers.
Larger App Sizes
After closely assessing the PROs and CONs of Flutter and React Native, it’s imperatively evident how Flutter has the last laugh. With Google’s consistent and futuristic updates in line, it’s only going to be better for Flutter developers from here onwards. Flutter’s comprehensive benefits and optimum user experience globally makes it the most pioneering option for mobile app development in 2021.
Coming right from Ishaan Bahal, the Co-founder of Meeve, his experience with React Native was inclusive of some issues. “React Native is just a wrapper over native methods, so it requires a bridge to translate those calls into a native API”, he says. Of course, he knows there are methods to tackle this, but using Flutter, such an issue would never bother him.
According to him, React Native’s bugs take longer times to be fixed. Most of the react native app development companies use a custom fork to fix bugs that can’t be fixed upstream. The Flutter developers, on the other hand, are too proactive to consume longer bug-fixing times.
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