The need to achieve a competitive advantage in the market pushes modern businesses to adopt cutting-edge technologies to provide customers with the best possible experience and improve the overall business performance. Everything moves so fast that no one will be surprised that the use of such complex technologies as artificial intelligence and machine learning can be a fairly common phenomenon, even for small online stores. As a result, besides the need to produce outstanding products and services, one must also have a finger on the pulse of life in terms of the latest technology.
Cross-platform mobile solutions have been around for a while, and it’s hard to impress someone by telling them that your business relies on one of those. However, the variability of approaches to development can confuse a person without a technical background. If you try to do a little research on your own, you run the risk of getting bogged down in the abundance of terms describing a particular technology from a developer’s standpoint. But you, as a business owner, are most probably more interested in such aspects as fast time-to-market, app stability, the time required for testing, or user-friendliness rather than in the peculiarities of architecture. If so, today’s your lucky day since we’re going to shed some light on such subjects as a comparison between Flutter and React Native mobile frameworks without going into purely technical aspects.
Flutter and React Native: A Brief Overview
Before we start comparing Flutter and React Native frameworks, let’s make a brief overview of both these technologies.
Flutter is a portable SDK equipped with some extra tools that are pretty helpful for developers who build applications for web, mobile platforms, or even desktops. Flutter (as well as many other similar development tools) can become irreplaceable for any entrepreneur seeking for new abilities that wants to adopt a mobile app for relatively low costs. Today, Flutter’s popularity among devs is not in doubt due to its ability to build full-featured and natively compiled apps that look attractive and run flawlessly on all mobile devices.
As its developers claim, Flutter is most helpful in building Progressive Web Apps (PWA), Single Page Applications (SPA), and cross-platform mobile apps. Companies that rely on this framework create their code using the Dart programming language, which is relatively new, so don’t worry if you hear about it for the first time. What you’ve definitely heard about is the company that developed it. Flutter was released by Google in December 2018. If you are thinking about winning the hearts of your customers with a great-looking mobile app, Flutter can be a decent choice. Flutter mobile apps work pretty much the same on iOS and Android devices and share one codebase, which means that you can roughly speaking, pay once to get on two of the most popular mobile platforms. Such an app will have a natural look and feel on both platforms and won’t cause any users’ dissatisfaction. Another advantage of such an approach is much faster time-to-market than when you have to invest in native development for each target platform. Flutter was used to develop such apps as Xianyu by Alibaba and Google Ads.
This mobile framework was initially launched by Facebook in March 2015. One of the main advantages of React Native is its possibility to provide end-users with the same experience as if they were using native applications for Android or iOS. Among the most popular apps built with this framework, you can find Instagram, Facebook, and Skype.
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Battle of The Giants: React Native vs Flutter
Despite the title of this chapter, there will be no winners or losers in this battle. The thing is, both these frameworks are tools, no more, no less. Like any other tool, they have their field of application, strong and weak sides. When you cooperate with a reliable company that provides cross-platform mobile app development services and uses Flutter or React Native as a part of its tech stack, you can be sure that the final product won’t disappoint you. However, both mobile frameworks have their advantages and flaws that we’ll consider right now.
One of the features of Flutter that both developers and their clients will appreciate is its ability to build apps faster and add changes on the fly if there’s the need to test some new functionality. Hot Reload is a feature that enables developers to change the source code of the application and see changes in no time. With its help, Flutter based apps can be changed pretty quickly to test how a new feature will affect it or how a new bright idea of a designer will change the overall look-and-feel and make bug fixes if needed.
Every hour of developer’s working time will cost you money, so the fewer working hours spent on development, the more you can save. As we mentioned earlier, with Flutter, a single code base can be used for creating mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. Besides, both versions of the application will look the same and provide the same user experience, so none of the users will think that you care less about them. Software testing is another crucial issue. Most likely, you do not want your users to experience application lags or crashes. On the other hand, the Quality Assurance process takes time and money, and its reduction would be highly desirable by any client of a software development company. With Flutter, the QA team can spend less time testing since it can run the same (more or less) tests for both target platforms.
The performance of the Flutter application will also not cause any complaints from your users. This framework uses the Skia Graphics Library that redraws the user interface when a specific action changes the view. This Flutter library uses the GPU of the mobile device, which allows achieving outstanding frame rates. Let’s admit we all love beautiful things, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, even if the mobile app is as fast as a shark, most users won’t enjoy using it if the design is ugly. In the case of Flutter, there’s nothing to worry about. It provides developers with a set of its own widgets, and the designers paid due attention to the visual aspect. Moreover, these widgets are customizable, which allows developing a unique design that matches your brand. Last but not least, Flutter is an ideal tool for building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), so it can be a good tool if you want to create applications with basic functionality in order to get feedback from users or potential investors quickly.
Read Also Top List of Mistakes to Avoid During MVP Development
Flutter mobile framework is also a relatively new technology, which means that there’s the probability that developers won’t find the required functionality in the existing libraries. As a result, the need for building them from scratch may cause unwanted delays.
React Native Advantages
The active and vast community and many third-party libraries make React Native an easy to learn and use technology. Developers with experience in web development using React can rely on countless tutorials and the community’s help to start developing mobile apps with React Native.
React Native Disadvantages
First of all, don’t let the word “native” fool you. Apps built with this framework may look and feel pretty close to the native ones, but there will always be some flaws. Therefore, if your app relies on complex calculations, for example, it’ll be better to prefer native mobile development.
It’s important to note that React Native doesn’t support parallel threading and multi-processing, which in some cases may lead to performance issues. Also, this framework provides access to fewer out-of-the-box components compared to Flutter. Of course, there’s always the possibility to use outside libraries of components, but their use may require additional time and effort.
Both Flutter and React Native mobile frameworks provide developers and clients of custom software companies with a wide range of great possibilities. As an owner of a company that operates in a highly competitive environment, you want your brightest ideas to be implemented as fast as possible. Both Flutter and React Native have enough possibilities to reduce time-to-market, which is pretty helpful if you want to ensure your dominant market position. Besides, using the single code base for different platforms is an excellent chance to save some money for further advertising and marketing.