Flutter Vs React Native: What New-age App Entrepreneurs Must Choose

01 June 2021

It has been three years, and the Flutter versus React Native battle is just getting fiercer. The privilege that React Native shared as the preferred cross-development framework sometime back is now almost equally shared by Flutter. And the question that becomes more prominent for app entrepreneurs is – ‘Flutter vs. React Native: What should I choose for mobile app development in 2021?’

So, here we bring a series of factors that can help you draw a definite conclusion on the Flutter vs. React Native 2021 battle.

What is Flutter?

It is a portable UI toolkit that leverages Dart’s programming language and helps developers craft cross-platform applications using a single codebase. Its applications are natively compiled and feature impressive UI on both iOS and Android platforms.

We will talk about Flutter’s popularity in detail later. But let us take a look at some of the popular applications built on Flutter SDK:

1. Google Ads App

2. Xianyu App from Alibaba

3. Hamilton Mobile App and Website

4. JD Finance App

5. eBay

6. BMW

What is React Native?

It is a leading cross-platform app development framework that enables developers to make native apps using React. React Native JavaScript framework works using reusable components. So, React Native requires a bridge to connect the Native API with its JavaScript code.

Some popular apps built on React Native include:

1. Facebook App

2. Instagram

3. Wix

4. Skype

5. Tesla

6. Walmart

Flutter vs. React Native 2021 Battle

1. The User Interface Stability and Support over Different Device Versions

Flutter offers a stable UI owing to its custom widgets that are processed by Flutter’s GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). Flutter app’s UI does not rely on native components. And therefore, developers can craft expressive user experiences for their apps. Moreover, Flutter apps feature almost an identical look & feel for the updated and older OS versions.

While for React Native, the UI is a little fragile. React Native utilizes native UI components, and when there is a version update, the app components automatically upgrade. However, it can make unwanted changes in the app’s UI, but its probability is very low.  

So, if you are planning to implement expressive UI for your cross-platform mobile apps, Flutter can be a preferable choice.

2. Out of Box Components

Flutter supports Material Design widgets out of the box that allows Flutter app developers to make innovative user interfaces and experiences.

While React Native only extends support for some of the basic components out of the box. For the additional components, a React Native developer can search in the React repository, but it increases the development time.

When app entrepreneurs are trying to dominate with disruptive applications, out-of-box components will play an important role.

3. Popularity and Developer Community as of 2021

Flutter was launched in December 2018, while React Native marked its debut in March 2015. The latter boasts 5+ years of industry experience, while Flutter is relatively new.

React Native leads with a massive developer community, and it has a better resource library and tutorial count than Flutter. On the other end, the Flutter community is surging exponentially. Flutter is growing as a popular mobile app development technology according to the Stack overflow tag trends.

Flutter boasts more GitHub stars than its older brother (React Native). And there are already 50+ Flutter courses on Udemy with over 213,000 people who signed up for these courses.

Though the number of courses and participants to React Native are significantly higher than Flutter, the latter is also gaining stellar attention.  

And we cannot foresee any possibilities where Google is abandoning Flutter in the years to come. Both React Native and Flutter promise a stable future in the long run.

4. Gearing-up for Impressive App Performance

Neither the users nor the app entrepreneurs are settling down for a lag in an app’s performance. So, let us see Flutter vs. React Native performance comparison.

Flutter delivers an unmatched performance owing to the Skia Graphics Library. It redraws the UI every time some view elements change. And as it uses the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), the UI delivers 60fps. It is just that the developer needs to make sure that the UI is only redrawn for the view elements whose data changes.

React Native’s performance is not as impressive as Flutter’s. It wraps a JavaScript layer over native languages. So, several native calls are happening, which slows down the application’s speed.

In 2021, your app’s performance will play a crucial role in deciding its user experience.

5. Ease of Learning in 2021

So, it is a crucial factor that supports React Native over Flutter. React Native uses JavaScript language, which is more popular than Dart (Flutter’s priority programming language). Dart is relatively new to JavaScript, and developers have to learn it from scratch.

However, if a developer is familiar with C#, C++, Java, and Kotlin, he can learn Dart within a few days. Moreover, Dart has been around for almost three years now, and it has hundreds of resources available online. And once you learn Dart, learning Flutter becomes a cakewalk.

6. Time-to-market

Flutter apps generally feature a lower time-to-market than React to Native apps. Flutter employs widgets, and most of them are adaptive, so these can work seamlessly on both OS platforms. Therefore, there is no extra effort required in styling widgets according to different platforms.

Owing to the use of the bridge and native elements, React Native developers may need to create different optimizations for different platforms.  

7. Documentation and Bug Fixes

Flutter has excellent documentation that makes it easy for developers to locate bugs while testing. The documentation supports integration, widget, and unit-level testing. Plus, when developers use the Android Studio code editor, they can easily use its familiar tools for debugging the code.

Developers generally find it harder to employ debugging for React Native apps. It has no detailed documentation for integration testing or UI-level testing. However, developers can utilize Apium, unearth bugs, etc., as React Native testing tools by deploying them.

Drawing the Conclusion

Flutter and React Native both are the leading cross-platform app development technologies. Both of these technologies can help app entrepreneurs build superior mobile applications in 2021. And they can save up to 50% of their budget in making multi-platform applications. 

Moreover, using a single code for multiple platforms means reduced development time and reduced testing time.

Now, when the app entrepreneurs focus on their specific requirements, they have different Flutter vs React Native factors like:

-> Flutter is ideal for building multi-platform MVP app solutions as it has a faster time-to-market than React Native. React Native, on the other hand, is the right choice for developing more native-like UI and functionality than Flutter.

-> Flutter can help you make expressive UI for your applications as it renders everything by itself and has no platform constraints. React Native depends on native components, plus it lacks out-of-box components, and only a few components are adaptive to both iOS and Android platforms.

-> If your developers know Dart or are willing to learn it, then Flutter helps you develop cross-platform apps with much ease. On the other end, if your developers are familiar with JavaScript (which is more popular), choose React Native for cross-platform mobile app development.

-> Flutter apps can help you deliver higher performance than React Native applications. However, React Native is older and has a massive community, resource library, and popularity. So, that can mean more community support.

-> Both Flutter and React Native allow easy iteration-based development with the feature of hot-reloading. It helps the developer view the changes as soon as they make modifications to an app’s code. React Native has further revamped for the fast-refresh feature that blends hot reloading with the live refresh feature. However, when the Flutter developers use Visual Studio code editor, they can employ command-line tools to code and view the application simultaneously on iOS and Android platforms.

Remember that both React Native and Flutter have established dependable stability. And both are almost equally capable of meeting your cross-platform app development requirements. However, each app’s scope is different, and the above factors will help you decide the right choice for your business.

Moreover, if you need an expert consultation on Flutter and React Native app development, you can contact Adorebits Technology.