Cross-platform development became one of the most appreciated technologies when it comes to building mobile apps. Flutter and React Native constantly compete against each other to become the leading framework. Let’s see what are the main differences between them. Is there any clear winner?
What is cross-platform development?
Before we start, we should explain how cross-platform development works. You might have heard about it before but maybe you wonder what it exactly means. Simply put, cross-platform applications are pieces of software that work on multiple operating systems but share one codebase. In native development, iOS and Android apps are created separately, using their respective language. Cross-platform allows developers to code both products at once.
Why is cross-platform development so popular?
Making apps for many platforms with just one code means you only need one team of developers to complete the project. It can save some time and be more budget-efficient. Cross-platform technologies like Flutter and React Native might offer slightly fewer functions than native programming languages, but they have great capabilities for UI design. It means that they work and look quite similar to native products.
Flutter vs. React Native – basic info
React Native used to be a market leader when it comes to application development for multiple platforms, but when Flutter came, it started to become developers’ favorite. Each of these technologies has its own devoted community that is always helpful. Support from digital giants that created them is also undeniable.
Right now, established digital agencies offer cross-platform development services that include both frameworks, but usually prefer to code in Flutter. Our goal in this article is to compare React Native and Flutter to determine what are the main differences between them and which one is suitable for your next app development project.
Flutter vs. React Native – comparison
We will take a couple of criteria that are the most important factors for both developers and clients and see how Flutter and React Native manage them.
When it comes to performance rates, Flutter slightly outrivals React Native. Mostly because Dart, Flutter’s programming language, compiles directly to native code which positively influences the performance. React Native, on the other hand, requires a special bridge for interacting with native components. Although Flutter optimizes the resources better and rocks in animations, too, most of their performance results are comparable.
Again, Flutter offers shorter time-to-market thanks to the fact that it can compile to native. React Native might need a longer time for optimization that will be required for each platform to make it work. Of course, if you hire a skilled React Native team, that might not necessarily be true, but Flutter is overall better for fast prototyping and general app development.
Both frameworks use a similar method when it comes to user interfaces. In Flutter, they are built with widgets, and in React Native – with components. React Native needs additional libraries to make its UI work the same way on different operating system versions, while Flutter does that automatically – which makes it slightly better when it comes to UI. Also, Flutter is well-known for its stunning visuals that work very smoothly.
Cross-platform means that the final app should be available on more systems. Right now, Flutter allows building software only for iOS and Android, but there’s a plan for expanding the framework so it can be used also for web and desktop apps. React Native can do more with third-party libraries that make it capable of developing products for Windows and web.
Easiness of learning
Community and support
React Native is around for a longer time, so it had time to build its community. Does that mean it’s better than Flutter’s? Not necessarily! Flutter’s supporters are growing each year, too. Both technologies are constantly updated by their creators which are big digital corporations like Facebook and Google, so developers can be sure that they will work splendidly at all times.
React Native vs. Flutter – when to use?
If you are hiring a digital agency to develop your app, don’t worry. At iteo, we recommend the best technology that will match your product’s requirements and the budget you have. We have React Native and Flutter specialists on board. It is important to remember that there is no perfect technology that should be applied to all mobile app development projects. We always need to take individual details into consideration and compose such a team that will be able to deliver extraordinary results.
To sum it up
You know now that picking one or another cross-platform technology is impossible. They both have pros and cons and are great in various projects. React Native and Flutter are still widely used by experienced developers and IT companies. That’s because they are both trustworthy frameworks with many possibilities and a lot of support.
Contact us and tell us about your mobile app idea. We will discuss it and find the best way to execute it. This way, you will be able to incorporate a software product into your business operations in no time!