The high demand for cross-platform applications led to the advent of many frameworks that helped in creating native-like apps for android and iOS. However, the main competition remains to be React Native vs Flutter as both of them follow the best practices in software development. Thousands of mobile apps are being made today using these two frameworks and developers are often found questioning the “right choice” among them. The truth is that there is no clear winner because the choice completely depends upon the business requirements and use-cases.
To determine the right framework for specific tasks, one may have to thoroughly analyze the pros and cons of both. Moreover, there are specific tools and features required to make an app that runs on multiple platforms. The developer has to be sure if their choice is allowing such abilities. Both can be similar in many ways like offering to build a cross-platform app by using a single code, pleasant and user-friendly interface, hot reloading, and native tools, but they have their disadvantages too.
React Native Pros
React Native vs Flutter is not only a matter of two frameworks but also the companies responsible for maintaining both.
Starting with the advantages of React Native, it is crucial to mention the giant behind this framework. React native was released by Facebook in 2015 and has been popular among developers since. As indicated on its official site, huge companies like Skype, Tesla, Wallmart, and Bloomberg use RN for their programming. Its biggest strength is its ability to facilitate effective development for multiple platforms at the same time. Using the single code base, it can make the process faster and dramatically reduce the app’s time to market.
In Native development, it takes time for the developer to go through a lengthy recompiling process after making changes. RN includes a Hot Reload feature which lets the developer tee the result of their coding by just refreshing the page. Live Reload dramatically speeds up the software development process, allowing programmers to see how the changes are holding up as they go.
React Native Cons
Another disadvantage of using RN is its dependency on third-party libraries. By default, the framework only includes components for updating UIs and APIs. Recreating complexities in RN could prove to be difficult as many components can change whenever the OS updates. Moreover, RN components also tend to behave differently on different platforms. So, there might be a need to hire a native developer to create the required components depending on the project. This results in the allocation of more resources to manage different codebases.
There are many reports of some companies leaving RN for native development as it did not fit with their business. One example can be AirBnB, which started with RN but later chose to make native apps.
Flutter on the other hand is also backed by a tech giant but is fairly new in the market. Google first introduced its cross-platform framework in 2015 but remained in beta until the release of Flutter 1.0 in 2018. Reportedly, more than 100,000 apps have been designed in Flutter by now including Google Assistant, eBay, Alibaba, and Groupon. Just like RN, Flutter also uses a single-code base for multiple operating systems and features a Hot Reload function. However, Flutter’s software development process is significantly faster than RN. It saves time and resources considerably as compared to its competitors.
The entire app made in Flutter is based on widgets, which are building blocks ready-made for dragging and dropping. Developers can also customize the widgets according to the application’s requirements. Due to these widgets, the app is finished in much less time than other frameworks and also has fewer compatibility issues of different operating systems.
Despite being rich, Flutter is still not as popular as React Native. It also means that its developer community is still growing and may not have solutions for every issue. Most developers have been creating apps on their own without much community support. It can be observed from the implementation issues in iOS. Flutter apps do not work properly on iOS and behave weirdly when playing animations for the first time. Page transitions also lag in the beginning, raising concern among developers whether they should release Flutter apps or not yet.
Another problem is that even a simple app made in Flutter ends up being dramatically larger. They are above the average size that is produced in other frameworks like React Native. It is more likely to cause disappointment in users if they have to sacrifice more storage space than necessary.
The major issue with Flutter is that it uses Dart language which is not yet popular among developers. If somebody needs to work on Flutter then they must be fluent in Dart. The first version of the language was released in 2013 and received a mixed reception from the community who felt that this language was breaking the internet into parts. However, the language developed over time and its latest stable release was launched in September 2021. Arguably it can still be hard for most companies to hire a programmer with good command of Dart. It is because the developers face issues in finding solutions to certain problems that may arise while creating an app with Dart.
How We Tackle Cross-Platform Development
Evolverstech chooses an unbiased approach to cross-platform software development. We focus on mobile-first solutions regardless of the frameworks in question. However, we cannot deny the fact how React Native has helped in our development processes. Developers simply love RN because of its flexibility and ability to meet the majority of corporate standards. It can easily transform a web-based project into a mobile application, which has amazed our clients. Devs also have the freedom to integrate different styles from the server by segregating all codes.
It is also cost-effective for us and our clients as it can release the app in the market as soon as possible without spending too much money. We are also grateful for the huge community of RN developers who are always there to answer timely whenever an issue comes up. However, the winner between React Native vs Flutter will always depend on the task at hand and what kind of features the app may require.