React Native vs Flutter: Which to choose for cross-platform app development?

It’s time when we move forward and embrace the cross-platform app development to keep up-to-date with the trend of hybrid applications. Now this is the part where the question of the best cross-platform mobile app development framework arises. React Native and Flutter are two of the most popular cross-platform development platforms for iOS as well as Android. Keep on reading to know which framework should you choose for your cross-platform project along with the advantages and disadvantages of each framework.

In this thriving world of Web and Mobile App Development, we have witnessed tremendous growth in mobile as well as web applications. Over the course of the past decade, the motives, priorities, and objectives of the app have changed constantly. And now the ultimate goal of app developers to find an efficient cross-platform framework that will allow them to write a single codebase that can be deployed across various platforms. With this aim, we will not only save time but also several other resources like money.

Need for Cross-Platform App Development

Mobility has now become an inextricable element of the digital world which is further redirected towards different industry verticals including Education, Travel, Banking, Entertainment and many more. Choosing cross-platform app development from the early stages, now seems like a valid decision. This is because it helps to overcome one of the biggest challenges of addressing the ever-changing need of end-users.

With a cross-platform application, the user is able to gain more clients with a very low investment cost. These hybrid mobile apps can also be upgraded or even switched over to different platforms; respective to the demand of the audience. Other than that, cross-platform mobile app development also ensures that the overlook of the mobile app is maintained across different platforms as the same code is being utilized.

Getting to know: React Native and Flutter

The React Native is an open-source mobile app development framework that was first released on GitHub which further leads the way to combine the native APIs of both platforms i.e. Android and iOS. With React, you can develop Android and iOS mobile applications using JavaScript and few essential native components of APIs.

Unlike React Native, Flutter made its debut last year during the Developer Conference 2017 of Google’s annual event. Even though React has been ahead of the Flutter framework for a few years. Still, Flutter has managed to make a steady ground for itself by enabling its users to build highly responsive native applications for both iOS and Android.

Flutter was created by Google as a mobile software development kit (SDK) to allow app developers to make apps with high fidelity and better performance. According to many developers, Flutter is considered to be a more powerful tool than React Native because its systems are mainly implemented in DART programming language. With just a thin layer of C++ code, developers get a great deal of control over the system to easily perform operations like read, replace and remove.

Feature Comparison: Flutter vs React Native

Below are some of the most important features with a short comparison of features between React Native and Flutter:

  1. Structure of Code: A huge difference noticed in the code structure between these two cross-platform development frameworks is the absence of separation between the style, data, and templates. In Flutter, the need for separation is eliminated with the help of Google’s programming language ‘DART’. Due to this separation in React, the process took an extra amount of time to go through every division created by the separation.
  2. User Interface (UI/UX): During the React Native App Development, we require third-party libraries as React does not have its own library of UI components. Few React libraries are Shoutem, React Native Elements, and React Native Material Design. Whereas Flutter has its own UI components with Material Design and Adaptable Widget sets for Android and iOS platforms.
  3. Unit Testing: In React Native, there is no clear picture regarding the automation and UI testing even after various third-party libraries. In the case of flutter, the unity testing done by DART programming language is very effective. Flutter also allows the user to test the widgets on a head-less run time.
  4. Documentation: Google is well-known to provide in-depth and detailed documentation of its products and Flutter is no exception to this rule. Flutter’s framework offers a smooth and efficient documentation to simplify the app developer’s job. In comparison to Flutter, the documentation of React Native comes across as ineffective and disorganized.

Pros and Cons of Flutter and React Native

Pros of React Native:

  • Easy to build
  • Stable Platform
  • More productivity with less human resources

Cons of React Native:

  • Lack of Smooth
  • Boundations by Facebook
  • Difficulties in renewing a license

Pros of Flutter:

  • It is a reactive framework
  • Utilizing DART programming language
  • Consists of Widgets

Cons of Flutter:

  • Still in initial stages (the final developer preview was released just a few days back)
  • Require additional time to learn
  • Comparatively larger APK size

When to Use React Native?

Choosing React Native will be a great option when you are in need of a stable time-tested development tool. With the React Native framework, the user can easily develop an app that would run on both platforms i.e. Android and iOS with elements like intuitive UIs and per-platform native APIs.

When to Use Flutter?

Flutter App Development for building applications  when you are in need of an ‘Everything is a Widget’ framework. By combining the capabilities of this framework with the visual appeal of Material Design, developers can create highly interactive Android and iOS applications that offer surreal digital experiences.

Final Verdict

As both of these cross-platform development platforms use declarative programming, thus making it easier to switch from React Native to Flutter is not a that difficult task. It’s true that the Flutter framework is a great replacement for the React framework, but there are still many aspects of Flutter along with DART that are still undiscovered or are being tested. But in the coming future, Flutter is likely to immensely progress in the field of hybrid applications!

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