Track, Analyze, Succeed - Get Started with Our Free SEO Tool!
Track Rankings for Free!!! FAKE JOBS ALERT !!

React Native vs Flutter: A Developer's Review

Alekh Verma | February 9, 2023
React Native vs Flutter

React Native by Facebook and Flutter by Google are two hot cross-platform app development technologies that are creating a lot of buzz in the mobile app development industry. 

There are plenty of frameworks to build mobile applications but React Native and Flutter have made a great influence on the businesses and developer's community. When it comes to cross-platform app development, app owners find a dilemma in choosing the one between React Native and Flutter.  

To help you make a better decision, our senior app developer at eSearch Logix, who has years of hands-on experience in using many popular frameworks including these two, has created this blog post after reviewing all the elements of React Native and Flutter. 

This post will tell you everything that could help you decide which framework is best for your mobile app development, either React Native or Flutter? 

So, let’s get started. 

What inspired us to create this post?

Business owners are generally looking for technology that not only gives cost-efficient solutions but also high-quality features that make their mobile app superb on all mobile platforms. 

In native app development, you need to create a separate application for each mobile OS platform (Android, iOS, Windows) which costs a lot on the development budget.

Therefore, companies prefer cross-platform development or hybrid app development which uses a single codebase and create a mobile app that runs seamlessly and flawlessly all across OS platforms. 

But businesses find challenges in choosing the best framework for their mobile app project between React Native vs Flutter. 

So, our developer team thought to create a detailed post that helps companies and business owners to determine React Native vs Flutter in what different cases these two platforms stand out perfect.

What is Flutter? -An overview

Flutter is Google's UI SDK and open-source framework which functions with Dart language. This is commonly used as an enhanced UI toolkit to build cross-platform mobile applications with a single codebase.

Why Flutter is used?

Flutter gives accessibility to develop interactive and dynamic UI with native performance. It provides developers an easy way to build and deploy visually attractive and natively-complied applications for mobile (iOS, Android), web, and desktop.

When it comes to creating desktop applications using Flutter, developers can easily compile Flutter source code to a native window, macOS, or Linux desktop app.

Flutter's desktop support extends to plugins as well because developers can install existing plugins which support the macOS, Linux platforms, or windows, or they can develop their own.

Flutter app development also provides the same experience on the web as on mobile. It means you can develop applications for Android, OS, and the browser from the same codebase for Progressive web apps, Single page applications, and existing mobile applications.

This helps especially those businesses who are looking for budget-friendly development. For more insights, you should read our separate post on How Flutter app development can benefit small businesses.

Who created Flutter?

A developer team at Google built Flutter. But now it is an open-source framework, both Google and the Flutter community contribute to its development.

How mature is Flutter?

In February 2018 at Mobile World Congress, the first beta release of Flutter came into the market. 

In December 2018 at Google I/O, Flutter 1.0 released which was considered stable and ready for production. 

Since then with regular updates and development, Google has been releasing its newer versions. Flutter 2.0.0 is the latest version which was released on March 3, 2021. 

You can see Google shifted from the Flutter beta version to the final stages of stabilization for Flutter 1.0 at a faster pace. 

At present, Flutter has 188 active pull requests on GitHub (May 2021), which indicates the developer community uses regularly uses it and constantly contributes to its improvement. 

In summary, Flutter is a fledgling technology.

What famous mobile apps are built with Flutter?

  • Xianyu app-Alibaba
  • Hamilton app-an official app for the Broadway musical
  • eBay Motors app- a powerful application for browsing, purchasing, and selling vehicles directly from customer's phones.
  • Groupon- This app uses Flutter to help thousands of merchants to let them track campaign performance, manage customer satisfaction, and get quick support.
  • Baidu Tieba- an iOS app that is the largest Chinese communication platform hosted by China's search engine company Baidu.
  • Makani app- a revolutionary GPS navigation mobile app set to change the lives of millions in Libya. 

There are still many more but let’s move to the next challenger

What is React Native?-An overview

React Native is an open-source mobile app development framework that uses JavaScript. It primarily focuses on the native rendering of apps which is highly compatible with Android and iOS. 

React Native is written with the combination of XML-Issue markup and JavaScript, also known as JSX. React Native is backed by the social media giant Facebook, with more than 50 dedicated engineers constantly working on the framework at the present. 

Why React Native is used? 

React Native is a useful framework when it comes to:

  • Cross-platform app development
  • Developing mobile applications using JavaScript language
  • Building apps for both Android and iOS using a single codebase.
  • Using the same design as React

But you should also note that in React Native app development, not all apps are mobile web apps. It uses the same fundamental UI building blocks as normal Android and iOS apps. It means instead of building in Java, Kotlin, or Swift, you are putting the same building blocks together, using JavaScript and React. 

Who Created React Native?

Facebook developed React Native. 

How mature is React Native? 

React Native has gained a lot of attention due to its unique development features. Often developers ask What Facebook did in React Native That Made Mobile App Development Easy? But its journey has gone through various ups and downs, which finally resulted in a great solution. 

In 2012, Facebook started to become a mobile-first company and in Facebook Hackathon in the summer of 2013, React Native started as an internal Facebook project. 

Then in January 2015, the React.js conference held, and React Native 1 preview was released.

In March 2015, Facebook declares its official launch of React Native, open for use and available on GitHub.

Looking at this, two things are clear: React Native is older than Flutter, and it boasts of having a larger developer community.

What famous apps are built with React Native?

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Ads Manager
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Skype
  • Tesla
  • Bloomberg
  • Wix.com
  • Skype

and many more..

React Native vs Flutter: Which is best?

There is a hot competition between the two. Both technologies empower app developers to build cross-platform applications faster with a single programming language. React Native is already a mature framework and boasting of a huge community, but Flutter also boomed seeing increased adoption rates since 2017.

So to crack this competition, we have given them points on each following category. The highest scorer will be the winner.

1. Programming language

The primary benefit of utilizing a cross-platform mobile app development framework is the capability to use a single programming language to build mobile app for both Android and iOS.

React Native- JavaScript

React Native uses JavaScript as its language to develop cross-platform mobile apps. JavaScript is widely popular in the developer community because it is easy to learn and is used in many frameworks.

That is why companies prefer React Native as an easy-to-use framework. JavaScript is a dynamically typed language and anything can be implemented easily, which has advantages and disadvantages at the same time.

Flutter-Dart

Flutter has Dart programming language which was introduced by Google in 2011 and is uncommonly used by developers.

Dart syntax is easy to understand for developers who are well-versed in JavaScript because it supports most of the object-oriented concepts. It is easy to get started with Dart as there is helpful and easy-to-follow documentation available on the official Dart.

Outcome:

As JavaScript is mostly used by the developer community, it is easy to adopt the React Native framework. Dart also has a good feature set but it is rarely used and less known among developers. Considering this, it is clear that React Native wins the point in the programming language category.

Point goes to React Native

Score: React Native 1 | Flutter 0

2. Technical architecture

When selecting a cross-platform mobile app development framework, it is important to pay attention to its technical architecture. By understanding the internals of the framework, you can make a better decision and pick up the best one for your project.

React Native- Flux

React Native architecture highly relies on JS runtime environment architecture, which is also known as JavaScript bridge. The JavaScript code is compiled into native code at runtime.

React Native utilizes the Flux architecture from Facebook. In simple words, React Native employs JavaScript Bridge to communicate with the native modules. 

Flutter- Skia

Flutter uses the Dart framework which has mostly in-built components. It makes Flutter bigger in size and often does not require the bridge to communicate with the native modules.

Dart has several frameworks such as Material Design and Cupertino, which give all the required technologies to build mobile apps.

Dart framework uses Skia C++ engine packed with all the protocols, compositions, and channels. So, Flutter has everything that is required for mobile app development in the Flutter engine itself.

Outcome:

Flutter engine has most of the native components in the framework itself and it doesn't always require to communication with the native components. However, React Native uses the JavaScript Bridge to communicate with native modules, which results in low performance.

Point goes to Flutter

Score: React Native 1 | Flutter 1

3. Installation

The installation technique should be straightforward without having too many complicated steps so that it could be easily learned by developers who are just starting with it.

React Native- NPM

The React Native framework can be installed with the Node Package Manager (NPM). It makes the installation process easy for developers who have a JavaScript background.

The developers will need to understand where exactly the binary is located. While installing React Native on macOS, you would need to have the HomeBrew package manager also. In short, you need to run the following commands to install React Native on macOS.

React Native

After running this command, you can access React Native from the command line.

Flutter- Binary download from source

Flutter can be installed by downloading the binary for a certain platform from Github. In the case of macOS, we have to download the Flutter.zip file and add this as a PATH variable. Here is the command line:

React Native

Flutter should improve its installation method by assisting package managers like MacPorts, Homebrew, YUM, APT, etc. so that users wouldn't need to perform these additional steps during installation.

Outcome:

Both React Native and Flutter lack one-liner installation with native package managers for a specific OS, but Flutter installation seems to require additional steps for adding the binary to PATH and downloading it from the source code.

This might be useful for non-JavaScript developers. React Native can be installed by simply using package managers.

Point goes to React Native

Score: React Native 2 | Flutter 1

4. Set up and project configuration

The process of setting up the developer machine to use the new framework requires time. It needs a lot of configuration of software installations. The technology should have accurate documentation to get users up and running. 

React Native

The getting started guide of the React Native project expects that the developer already has all the required setup for creating Android and iOS.

There is a little info on the Xcode command line tools but it won't be enough to get going. The documentation directly jumps to the step of building a new project. A new React Native project can be made and run on iOS simulator by using the following commands:

React Native

There is no setup guide for Android projects in the React Native document.

Flutter

The getting started guide for Flutter has detailed information on IDE setup and platform configuration for both Android and iOS. Flutter has a CLI tool called Flutter doctor that can guide developers through the setup.

It inspects which tools are installed in the local machine and which tools required to be configured. Once all the setup is done, we can create and run a new Flutter app from CLI:

React Native

At this stage, you would have all the setup and configuration for the Flutter project. 

Outcome:

From the above comparison above, it's clear that Flutter provides better documentation and CLI assistance for setup and configuration.

Point goes to Flutter

Score: React Native 2 — Flutter 2 

5. UI component and API development

When building cross-platform mobile apps, support for the native component is extremely important. Without the support of the native component, your app won’t feel like a native app. Therefore, it is highly important that the framework should have API access to the native modules without any pain.

React Native- Fewer components

The core React Native framework offer just UI rendering and device access APIs. In order to access most of the native modules, React Native has to depend on third-party libraries.

Flutter- Rich in components

Flutter framework is bundled with UI rendering components, device API access, testing, stateful management, navigation, and plenty of libraries. This rich set of components eliminates the need to use third-party libraries.

If you are using Flutter, it means you will have everything required for developing mobile apps. Android app development company in India mostly likes this feature of Flutter because it allows them for faster development.

Outcome:

Flutter is rich in API development and UI components, while React Native is highly dependent on third-party libraries.

Point goes to Flutter

Score: React Native 2 | Flutter 3

6. Developer productivity

Developer productivity is the key to creating apps faster and plays an important role to cut down unnecessary development costs.

React Native

If your developer is proficient in JavaScript, it is fairly easy to use those skills in hybrid app development with React Native. It has a hot reload feature that saves a lot of developer’s time while testing the changes in the UI. For IDE support, developers are free to utilize any text editor or IDE of their choice.

Flutter

Flutter has a hot reload feature also which is very easy to get started with the demo app. However, as the complexity of apps grows, developers would need to learn and adopt the new Flutter concepts.

Besides this, Dart is not a popular programming language and there is a lack of support in various IDEs and text editors.

Outcome:

As React Native is a mature framework, it had great developer support in terms of IDEs and language features. Flutter is comparably new at this point but will catch up very soon as the community of Flutter extends.

Point goes to React Native

Score: React Native 3 | Flutter 3

7. Community Support

As soon as developers start using a framework or technology and adopt it in their development process, they establish a community to share knowledge and support each other. A strong community enables developers to learn from each other and resolve the problems they are facing.

React Native

React Native was launched in 2015, almost half a decade ago, and it has gained huge popularity in the present time. There is a developer's community of React Native on Github and loads of meet-ups and conferences happening around the world.

Flutter

Flutter has been running in the market for a while, however, it has achieved a lot of attention when Google promoted this in the Google I/O conference in 2017. The Flutter community is growing significantly nowadays, with meet-ups and conferences are taking place online.

The most popular event was Flutter Live in 2018 when Google announced the release of Flutter 1.0. In Short, the Flutter community is expanding rapidly, still, there are not enough resources for developers to solve common problems.

Outcome:

React Native community and resources have increased in size since the framework was launched. Flutter is still fairly new with growing online community support.

Point goes to React Native

Score: React Native 4 — Flutter 3

8. Testing Support

Testing is a great way to review the performance and get quick feedback on the code. There is always a testing framework associated with every mature technology to enable developers to build unit, integration, and UI tests for the mobile apps.

React Native

Testing frameworks are available in JavaScript. Tools like Jest can be utilized for snapshot testing. However, when it comes to integration or UI level testing, there is no official support from React Native. Developers can use Detox and Appium for testing React Native apps, but they aren't officially supported.

Flutter

Flutter gives a rich set of testing features to perform quality checks of apps at unit, widget, and integration level. Flutter has a cool widget testing feature where you can make widget tests to test the UI and run them at the speed of unit tests.

Outcome:

React Native community has no official support for UI and integration level testing, while Flutter has good documentation and a useful set of testing features.

Point goes to Flutter

Score: React Native 4 — Flutter 4

The competition between React Native vs Flutter is now getting more interesting and now every point will be very important.

9. Build & release automation support

Releasing mobile applications to the Google Play Store or the Apple app store is a painful task. It involves complex work of code signing for all setups. In cross-platform mobile app development, it gets even trickier.

React Native

React Native's official documentation doesn't have any automated steps to deploy the iOS apps to App Store. However, it offers a manual process for deploying the app from Xcode.

In iOS app development, it is often complex and exhaustive process to deploy React Native apps to the App Store. However, developers can use third-party tools such as fastlane to deploy Android and iOS apps built with React Native.

Flutter

Flutter has a solid command line interface. It allows developers to create a binary of the app by utilizing the command line tools and following the instructions in Flutter documentation for making and releasing Android and iOS applications.

Outcome:

Flutter has a better build automation tooling which can be used to deploy apps from the command line. On the other hand, React Native mobile apps lack assistance for the CLI tools which are officially supported for build automation.

Point goes to Flutter

Score: React Native 4 — Flutter 5

10. Mobile performance

Our developer team shared a decent performance study of native and cross-platform approaches in mobile app development.

They conducted multiple tests on real Android and iOS mobile devices and compared the execution time for Pi-digits calculations implemented with Flutter, React Native, and Native programming languages (Java/Kotlin for Android, Swift/Obj-C for Apple).

And this is what they found:

Note: The lower number- the better

React Native

As you can see the highest performance in any programming task, native mobile development has its evergreen advantage. Flutter demonstrated 9-22% lower performance and React Native displayed the lowest performance in all the tests.

Outcome:

Point goes to Flutter

Score: React Native 4 — Flutter 6

11. DevOps and CI/CD support

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery practices are necessary for any mobile application to get regular feedback and avoid releasing buggy code.

React Native

React Native doesn't contain any official documentation on setting up CI/CD. However, there are few articles that describe CI/CD for React Native apps.

Flutter

Flutter has a section on CI and Testing that includes links to external sources. However, Flutter's rich command line interface enables developers to set up CI/CD easily.

Outcome:

Flutter apps are easy and effortless to set up on CI/CD services by using its useful CLI tools. React Native doesn't offer any official instructions for CI/CD practices.

Point goes to Flutter

Score: React Native 4 — Flutter 7

12. Popularity

The developers always want their tools and workflows to be better and faster. Stackoverflow surveyed 65,000 developers, and they found Flutter on 3rd place among the most loved and mobile app development framework, while React Native got 10th position with a slightly lower 58% of preferences.

React Native

Demand creates supply and vice versa. To evaluate this, let's take a look at market statistics provided by major job websites.

React Native

Developer community

React Native

As React Native is older that is why it has a larger community than Flutter Market Share.

React Native

According to the TIOBE index, in terms of adoption rate, React Native currently is the leader. However, Flutter has shown significant growth in a short period of time but still needs more time to overtake React Native in terms of popularity.

Outcome:

Point goes to React Native

Score: React Native 5 — Flutter 7

13. What Google Trends say on React Native vs Flutter

Since Feb 2020, the volume of users searching for Flutter in Google has cross React Native. This trend is an early sign of futuristic growth and market distribution.

React Native

Outcome:

Point goes to Flutter

Final Score: React Native 5 — Flutter 8

So, we have the winner, it’s Flutter.

Conclusion

React Native and Flutter both have their advantages and disadvantages, but Flutter came out the winner in the competition. Some industry experts have even predicted that Flutter is the future of mobile app development.

However, both frameworks give advantages depending on your project and the balance of your developer's skills for example:

  • If your developer knows Dart, then programming with Flutter will be like a morning walk
  • If your developer is proficient in JavaScript, then React Native stands out the logical choice.
  • If you want to build your app's GUI using native UI components, go with React Native
  • If brand-first design is your top priority, we suggest Flutter fits the bill.

Keep in mind that every application is different, so you must consider each one on its own requirements.

And if you still need help or want to build mobile app using Flutter or React Native, our developers at eSearch Logix have expertise in both programming: Dart and JavaScript. Just discuss your project with our team and you will get the perfect solution.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

August 1, 2023
Web App or Website – What Does Your Business Need?
This misunderstanding between a website and a web application is common in the computer industry. And it's quite
July 28, 2023
The Emergence of Voice Assistance: How to Develop the Assistant like Google Assistant  
Voice assistance technology has completely changed how we engage with our gadgets and the digital environment around us.
India Flag

eSearch Logix Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Address (Delhi/NCR): 1st Floor, H-161, Sector 63,
Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

USA Flag

eSearch Logix LLC

Address: 30 N Gould St STE R
Sheridan, WY 82801, USA

SALES+1-(702)-909-2783

SALES (INDIA): +91-836-8198-238

SALES (INT.): +1-(702)-909-2783

HR DEPTT.: +91-977-388-3610

Google Partner
Shopify Experts
Copyscape
AWS Partner Network
BingAds
Hubspot Solution Partners
Top Rated Digital Marketing Company
© 2023 eSearch Logix Technologies Pvt. Ltd. | All Rights Reserved
DMCA Compliant
envelopephone-handsetchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram