Companies want to develop apps quickly and affordably. But sometimes, it’s unclear which cross-platform development framework meets their web app development requirements from the many available in the market.
In the last two years, React Native and Flutter topped the list of the most popular technologies for mobile app development, according to Statista. Software development companies worldwide use both of these cross-platform development frameworks for faster and more effective mobile app development.
Their acceptance among developers is expected to grow further. This article summarizes React Native vs. Flutter to learn which is better for mobile app development in 2021. If you want to know more about these and other cross-platform app development frameworks, check out this InApp blog: Top 5 Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks in 2021
Pros of Flutter
Flutter is open-source and completely free. Some of the advantages of Flutter for mobile app development include the following.
Hot reload and fast coding.
One of Flutter’s biggest advantages is it allows developers to make changes in their codebase, and you don’t need to restart the application to reflect the updates. Hot reload is very helpful when developers collaborate.
One code for two or more mobile platforms
On Flutter, developers can create apps that work for both iOS and Android platforms with one codebase. With its widgets and designs, you can quickly have the same app on two platforms.
Lower debugging or testing time
As you use the same codebase, the testing and debugging or the quality assurance processes are faster for Flutter. You’ll need to write about 50% fewer automated tests.
Faster app development
As Flutter uses the Skia Graphics Library, apps developed using Flutter perform fast and smoothly. They don’t hang while scrolling.
Perfect for MVP
When building a showcase or MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for your potential investors, you can experiment with mobile app development on Flutter without spending money on licensing fees.
- Apps created using Flutter look the same on older iOS or Android systems.
- Apps developed using Flutter have a user-friendly UI due to their attentiveness to the visual details.
Cons of Flutter
Flutter apps are bigger in size than native ones.
Limited pool of developers
Libraries & support
Flutter is still new. While Google provides impressive support, you may need to build customized functionalities.
If Google withdraws its support from Flutter, it may create problems for developers. However, we can’t imagine a situation where Google walks away from this open-source platform.
Pros of React Native
One code for two or more applications
You can use a single codebase for two applications covering both iOS and Android platforms. This is similar to Flutter.
Choice for developers
React Native offers more choices for solutions, depending on the project’s requirements and the developer’s preferences.
An active and vast community
It has a vast community of developers. You have the options of big libraries and UI frameworks.
Less debugging time
You’ll need 50% fewer automated tests.
Easier to learn for React developers
With a background in web development, you can easily learn React Native.
Cons of React Native
Not really native
Its UI experience and performance are close to native applications, but not the same. If we compare React Native and Flutter, the former feels closer to native.
Some abandoned packages
Though React Native has many libraries, many of them are of low quality, and some have been abandoned.
Though React Native presents choices to developers, they need to decide which navigation package to use. It can sometimes take a lot of time.
As React Native uses native components, you can be confident that the upgrade for your app components will follow every OS UI update. This can sometimes, though rarely, lead to a break in the UI.
Flutter or React Native
There’s room for both Flutter and React Native depending on the app and mobile app development team. React Native is already established, has a wider community of users, and is used for big apps. But this trend is changing with Flutter’s growing community and library support. More organizations are beginning to use Flutter.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a cross-platform UI framework. Google developed it and first released it in May 2017.
What is React Native?
What language does Flutter work on?
Flutter uses Dart, which was introduced in 2011 by Google.
What companies use Flutter?
- Google Ads app
- Delivery Hero
What companies use React Native?
Is Flutter better than React Native?
In the most loved frameworks list, Flutter is ranked 75.4%, and React Native 62.5%. However, React Native is more popular, and more developers are working on it. Flutter is gaining popularity over time.