Due to the digitization of the services, businesses has been capable to reach new heights, and this has created a noteworthy steep spike in the demand of mobile applications in the last few years. With the great demand in the Mobile Application Development, more developers are satisfying this need of Mobile Application than ever before which leads to continuous up-gradations in the technical world. As per the trends, it is more desirable to get more in less effort and this applies to the mobile application development as well.

For this, we have a topic to discuss today about 2 leading cross platforms in the mobile application world that are seen competing like anything i.e. Flutter and React Native. There is great confusion among developers in choosing the platform to learn and develop mobile applications using a cross-platform framework. For real guidance, we are going to compare these two prominent platforms in technical terms so that, at the end of this blog, you might be able to judge and choose the best one among both.

Flutter vs React Native

Programming Language & Learning Curve

Dart programming language was rarely used by developers but it is easy to learn because of good documentation. More developers inclined toward Flutter adoption.

React Native

React Native is easy to learn if the developer is indulged in JavaScript development.

Conclude: Though people have started adopting the Dart, JavaScript is widely accepted and more used so people are more inclined to move towards it.

Winner: React Native

Installations

Can be downloaded from the GitHub and need to add as a path variable.

React Native

Can be easily installed by Node Package Manager (NPM). Most developers from the java-script background are familiar with NPM.

Conclude: Both need to have some simple one-liner installation with a native package manager for a specific OS. Here Flutter requires extra steps to be performed to be installed whereas React Native uses NPM that is easier for developers.

Winner: React Native

Documentation

Getting started guide has detailed information on IDE Setup and platform set for both iOS and Android. Also, Flutter has a flutter-doctor command line that guides developers to set up that inspect which tools are already installed and which need to configure.

React Native

Getting started guide assumes that all the tools are already set up. Not enough documentation for going on and directly jumping on creating a new project.

Conclude: Flutter provides good documentation and better command line support for setup and configurations.

Winner: Flutter

Architecture

Flutter uses a dart framework which has most of the components inbuilt. It is bigger in size and does not need the bridge to communicate with modules. Multiple frameworks like material designs and Cupertino. Uses SKia C++ engine which has all protocols compositions and channels.The flutter engine is in detail on Github. It has everything for app development in the flutter engine itself.

React Native

It heavily depends on the JavaScript runtime environment architecture also known as JavaScript batch. JavaScript code is compiled in native code in runtime. Uses flux architecture from Facebook. React native uses a JavaScript bridge to communicate with react native modules.

Conclude: As the Flutter engine has most of the native components in its framework itself and it always doesn’t need to communicate with native components. React native however uses bridges to communicate which results in poor performance.

Winner: Flutter

Features & API

The rich set of components eliminates the need of 3rd Party libraries. Flutter is bundled with various components i.e. UI Rendering, Navigation, Device API Access, and stateful management.

React Native

Need to rely more on 3rd party libraries as the framework just provides device access APIs and UI rendering.

Conclude: Flutter is rich in API and UI components whereas React depends much on 3rd Party Libraries.

Winner: Flutter.

IDE Supports

A hot reload feature helps better. Fewer IDEs that support Dart Programming Language.

React Native

If the developer is skilled in JavaScript it is fairly easy to use it for cross-platform application development. It has a hot reload feature that helps to test the changes. In the case of IDE, support developers are free to choose any text editor or IDE as most support it.

Conclusion: As react native being more mature, it has more developer support in IDE and language features. Flutter is fairly new and has less support of IDE and language features.

Winner: React Native

Community Support

The Flutter community is growing at a high rate as it’s been promoted by Google in it’s I/O conference 2017.

React Native

Has gained popularity and has good support.

Conclusion: As react native being more mature, it has more developers in the community support on the other hand Flutter’s community is rapidly growing.

Winner: Tie

Testing

Provide a rich set of testing features to test application UI and Integrations through Unit Testing. Moreover, it provides a widget testing feature to test the UI of the widgets.

React Native

There are few unit level testing frameworks in JavaScript. The tools like jest can be used for snapshot testing. Whereas, there is no official support for UI and integration. There are 3rd Party tools that can be used for testing.

Conclusion: Flutter provides better testing options.

Winner: Flutter

Automation Support

Flutter has a command-line interface to create a binary of app and also the documentation for building and releasing the application. It has officially documented the deployment through Fastlane in their documentation too.

React Native

React Native doesn’t have any documentation for iOS Apps to the app store. However, it provides a manual process to deploy from Xcode. React Native needs to rely on 3rd Parties such as Fastlane for build and release.

Conclusion: Flutter has great automation tooling through the command line whereas React Native is missing the command line tooling for automated build and release.

Winner: Flutter

CI/CD Support

Flutter does have a section of CI and Testing in their documentation. Flutter’s command-line interface allows us to set up CI/CD very easily.

React Native

React Native doesn’t have any official documentation in setting up CI/CD.

Conclusion: Flutter provides easy and painless to set up CI/CD by using it’s CLI Tool, whereas React Native doesn’t have any official documentation for CI/CD.

Winner: Flutter

Conclusion

I am a Sr. Business Analyst at Mindinventory who worked on many innovative products and have provided the best and valuable solutions to the business problems.