Flutter vs React Native
Or do you?
Cross Platform Development
Enter cross platform software development — a way of developing software that can work on several platforms without having to learn multiple languages. It helps because it saves you from completely redeveloping an already established app for a new platform. This can save you a lot of time and money.
There are many ways to develop a cross platform application. However, the most popular method is to use either Flutter or React Native. I know you’re curious about which is better, as software developers only work with the best and the answer is… it depends. So instead of telling you, we’ll just compare the two and you can decide for yourself because honestly, neither one is going anywhere anytime soon.
What are Flutter and React Native?
Let’s begin with Flutter. This is a tool kit developed by Google, used to design interfaces for different screens and devices. It works by giving developers access to pre-built widgets that can be added to the code and customized to fit the application. This makes development feel like putting Legos together on a screen. Flutter also uses a new programming language called Dart. Dart is relatively new, so the development community is smaller than React Native but growing. It is an easy language to learn and has most of its support coming from Google.
How Effective Are They?
Let’s start with installation. In order to use Flutter you need to jump a couple more hurdles than with React Native. First, you need to download the package, then create a directory for your projects. After that, you have to create an export path and finally, you need to check for other dependencies. Only after you’ve been given the “ok”, can you start playing with Flutter. With React Native, all you need is node.js and then you can install React Native using the command line.
In terms of speed, Flutter has a faster performance time than React Native. This is because Flutter does not need interconnecting bridges to the native components of a device. The components are already in the Flutter tool kit. This means less time for loading because less resources are needed. React Native requires the interconnecting bridges for its mobile interactions because it’s a library that calls the native components on the devices to build what is necessary.
Flutter’s interface tends to be easier since it comes with rich and interactive widgets that can be added and customized using the Dart language. There is no need to download any third-party applications. React Native needs to design interfaces based on the native components. While it does have a tool kit to design a rich and interactive interface, it relies on third party applications to do so. The drawbacks to relying on third party applications is that if some go unfinished or have problems, your application may also have problems.
Flutter’s code tends to be easier to read than React Native since it does not rely on external kits. This means that the Flutter code can be streamlined in a simpler way than React Native.
Since it has been around since 2015, the number of applications developed with React Native are quite mature. Flutter was established in 2018 and is still growing. Therefore, you may find more job postings asking for React Native over Flutter. If you have a project, it would also be easier to find a React Native developer over a Flutter developer.
Here are a few applications that have used Flutter:
Reflectly — an AI powered personal journal that is designed to help with meditation and combat daily stress. It currently has millions of downloads with 4-star ratings in both the Google Play Store and the Apple store.
Groupon — an application designed to provide 50 to 90 percent deals on activities, destinations and food in over 500 cities. It currently has over 100 million downloads and an over 4-star rating on both the Google and Apple stores.
New York Times — Flutter can also be used to integrate applications. KENKEN is a puzzle game that has been added to the New York Times.
All these applications added to those created by Google themselves have contributed to the use of Flutter.
React Native also has a large range of applications. Apart from use by its parent company Facebook, it has been used in other applications like:
Walmart — Their ecommerce app has over 50 million downloads and an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 for both Android and Apple users.
Bloomberg — A company that brings news on stock market information worldwide. Its app has over 10 million users and has an overall rating over 4.4 out of 5 for both Apple and Android users.
Flutter and React Native are great tools for cross platform development because they save the developers a lot of time and money. The framework you choose is dependent on preference, either yours, for personal projects, or the preferences of the company you are working with. Let us know in the comments which one you rather work with and why.
Originally posted on our home base at unpluggddigital.co. Check it out to see more of what we do and how we can work with you.
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