Popularity

Popularity for the cross-platform app development technology is increasing day by day and clearly, React-native and Flutter are the two dominant in this field.

React native was launched in 2015 and flutter launched in 2018, therefore the community around the react-native is huge than the flutter, and react native is more mature than a flutter in terms of development and community support. But with the Flutter 2.0 release, we can predict that the popularity of Flutter is going to increase tremendously.

If you see google trend for these two you can find that the popularity of the Flutter is increasing day by day

Learning Curve

As React native uses JSX which is javascript based which has been around for years and most of the developers are familiar with javascript so they can adapt React native very easily. And most of the react developers can start developing mobile applications in no time.

But in the case of Flutter, it uses Dart language which is pretty new in the market and most of the developers don’t have any idea about this language, so they have to first learn this language and then they have to learn Flutter therefore developers may need to extend their learning capabilities.

Performance

If you see Flutter uses the Dart framework developed by Google, which then uses the Skia graphics library and C/C++ engine. 😎 look C/C++ engine now you can sense the result. This makes this framework faster in performance since it does not require any communication and conversion path between the native platform and the framework itself. Having a C/C++ engine which is considered to be a low-level programming language and closer to the machine code during compilation makes Flutter High performance, smoother, and faster.

On the other hand, react-native architecture is based on a Javascript runtime environment known as JS Bridge and uses FLUX architecture developed by Facebook. JS Bridge creates communication between JavaScript modules and the native platform and compiles the code into the native code during the runtime. This process requires more CPU utilization and more memory which affects the performance.

But wait React Community and Facebook are working hard to improve the performance of the react-native There are many optimization works that are in progress by React native community.

Facebook recently released a “Hermes” a new Javascript engine to improve the performance of React Native mobile apps on Android. It optimizes the rendering time of the app, uses less memory and CPU, and also makes the app size smaller. Well, I will tell you about this in another post.

Community Support

As we earlier discussed that React native framework was launched in 2015 by Facebook. It is more mature than the Flutter. The community for the react-native grown very much. Contribution from the community in react native is huge. You can find the npm package for anything developed by the community. If you stuck at something there are possibilities that the solution is already presented by the community.

But for the Flutter its was launched in 2018 by Google. So of course community around Flutter is smaller than the React native. And it is not mature enough so you cant find all the ready-made packages on the pub unlike react native. But with the release of Flutter 2.0 things may change in the future as the trend is increasing towards Flutter more and more developers are now preferring Flutter as it has some performance and cross-platform benefits over react native.

Cross-Platform

Releasing an app on both App Store and Google Play is every business’s desire with a single codebase. Flutter and React Native are the two market players.

Cross-platform app development is generally used for few cases:

  • If you want to develop an app within the short term.
  • Native app development has few limitations.
  • When the business requirements dynamically adapt to the market.

Flutter code can be compiled into Javascript. So we can have the same codebase for Android, iOS, and web. React Native is a framework that is used for writing real, natively rendering iOS and Android applications.

In the recent release of Flutter 2.0. You can use the same codebase to build native apps to five operating systems: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux; as well as web apps that will run on all modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. We can even embed Flutter apps in cars, TVs, and smart home appliances.

Testing

Testing is very important for maintaining the smooth functioning of code with minimal time and effort.

React Native doesn’t have any official support for UI-level testing and integration testing. There are only a few unit-level testing frameworks available to test RN apps. Developers have to use third-party tools like Appium or Detox. It also doesn’t offer any automated steps to deploy the iOS apps to App Store. Instead, React Native suggests developers a manual process of deploying the app through Xcode on the Apple Store.

On the other hand, Flutter offers excellent support for automated testing. It offers testing features to test apps at the unit, widget, and integration levels. It has an official details document. I also provide the documentation to build and releases Android and iOS apps on the play store and app store. It has an official well-documented deployment process as well.

Application Size

The size of the app matters for users and the selection of framework can have a large impact on the size of an app.

The size of a simple React Native App is 7 MB but if native dependency added it increases up to 13.4 MB. By enabling, will reduce the size of the app by auto-generating splits build for all native and external libraries.
Also using the Hermes engine the size can be reduced further.

On the other hand size of the simple hello world app in Flutter is 7.5 MB. With Flutter, the size of this app is influenced by the Virtual Machine of Dart and the C/C++ engine. However, in Flutter the use of special tags like –split-debug-info helps to reduce the code size.

Who is using what?

React Native :

  • Facebook
  • Walmart
  • Bloomberg
  • Instagram
  • SoundCloud
  • Wix

Flutter :

  • Google Ads
  • Tencent
  • Alibaba
  • eBay
  • BMW
  • Reflectly

Conclusion

React Native is good to build simple cross-platform applications, and Flutter does a great job at creating MVP applications.

The cross-platform nature of these technologies reduces the required time-to-market. And, their third-party libraries make it extra efficient to use them to build the app.

Choose React Native, if:

  • You want to scale your present applications with cross-platform modules.
  • If the requirement is to develop lightweight native applications.
  • If you want to create an application with an asynchronous build and a responsive UI.
  • You have sufficient time to invest in your project.

Choose Flutter, if:

  • If Your idea doesn’t require complete native functionalities.
  • The budget and delivery timeline are tight.
  • If You want to write code faster and deploy them into the market quickly.
  • If you want to achieve 60 FPS to 120 FPS performance
  • If you want to customize UI with widgets and little testing.

Source: Medium

Original text from: Shubham Suresh Lad and Munikiran Narpareddi

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