In recent years, I have attended a couple of mobile development conferences where cross-platform development was always present. With every new conference, the topic got even more exciting, so we at Parkside decided to re-evaluate the latest available options. Many clients are asking for a cross-platform approach to cut costs and still serve their product to a vast amount of users.
Let’s see if the assumption ‘Code once — serve all‘ can be proven as correct.
Cross-platform development is meant to be the rising star of development — especially mobile development. The community behind cross-platform mobile development has grown and many new options have emerged which outperform the simple outdated HTML approach. In this article, I compare the relatively new Flutter framework with the big contender React Native. Why am I just covering those two? Talking to developers and judging from what’s being published in articles lately, those received more acceptance by the community than others and I had the feeling that they outperform others in several areas.
Each framework has its unique architecture to build apps, so they each have their pros and cons. While native apps offer superior user experience and performance, cross-platform frameworks are designed to save costs and speed up the development. Let’s take a closer look at them.
What is Flutter?
Flutter is Google’s open-source development kit to create 2D cross-platform apps. It’s based on the programming language Dart, also developed by Google. The application is compiled ahead-of-time into native ARM code which results in a better performance. Flutter is not supposed to be a wrapper on top of iOS/Android but draws the UI from scratch using a C++ Library called Skia (https://skia.org). The Flutter team promotes it as an efficient tool for prototyping because of its hot-reload functionality. If you are already familiar with object-oriented concepts, you can quickly adapt to Dart/Flutter without much mobile experience.
What is React Native?
From an outside perspective, cross-platform (mobile) development sounds like a great solution to lower development costs by saving time. In the case of iOS & Android, you could theoretically be twice as fast and cut the budget in half. Let’s see how these frameworks…
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