React Native Vs Flutter Debate Is Never Going To End

React Native vs Flutter

React Native Vs Flutter is one of the major debates in software development right now. There are basically two options in terms of mobile development, native and cross platform. Native is when the app is exclusive to run on only one platform (Android, iOS, Linux, or Windows etc) while cross-platform development allows the app to run on multiple platforms. With increasing volume of smartphones in the market, the demand for more and more cross-platform apps have also increased over the years.

React Native and Flutter and two of the most popular open-source cross platform framework to develop mobile apps. They are similar in few ways as they use a single code base for cross-platform apps with developer-friendly UI, but also differ in many aspects of app development. The debate has been going on for years and even in 2021, there is still no clear winner between the two rivals.

There are hundreds of articles on the cool features of both frameworks that set them apart from each other. In the end, it is mostly a tie because the ultimate decision lies with the user of these frameworks. It depends on how developers want to approach app making.

React Native Vs Flutter In The Eyes Of Developers

Facebook created React Native in 2015 and created its mobile app and Instagram with it. Whereas, Google created Flutter in 2018 and has been trying to catch up with React Native’s accomplishments. Thousands of apps, including those from Fortune 500 companies, have been using React Native since its inception. During 2020, it stabilized its web version and allowed developers to create applications that shared a single code on Android, iOS, and web browsers.

According to many users, Flutter has yet to achieve remarkable performance in web app development. Flutter web is currently in beta stage and is not meant for production at the moment. However, its mobile version is quickly picking up pace, especially the 2021 version. Developers still share divided opinion on which one is the better framework for cross-platform app development. Following 5 areas of app development can perhaps evaluate the benefits of React Native Vs Flutter 2021.

Efficiency And Productivity

Developers want to focus on the specifics of app development and for that which is why a framework has to be fast and reliable. Now a popular opinion suggests that Flutter is faster than React Native, but there are multiple dimensions to that fact. It is faster to build an app in Flutter but it’s the learning curve that takes time. Flutter developers would have to get familiar with the framework as it is fairly new and need to progress over time. They also have to learn a new language and adopt new techniques in order to be able to code in Flutter.

Whereas, almost all developers can easily use React Native if they know how Native and Cross-Platform Development work. Both frameworks include Hot Reload feature, which can still save React Native developers some time, if they don’t want to learn the new concepts of Flutter. Some developers did find Flutter better than React Native in terms of speed in making apps.

Language Skill

Flutter requires the developer to learn Dart language, which Google developed in 2011 to enable quick app creation. Its 2013 version was meant as a replacement for JavaScript (JS) language, which was being used in browsers. React Native primarily uses JS which does not require extensive study like Dart, as it is common language. Due to JS, Corporations find React Native easier to incorporate with their huge team of web and app developers.

A very low number of developer community is aware of the Dart language which is why most popular apps are built on React Native. Apart from Facebook and Instagram, others apps include Pinterest, Tesla, Bloomberg, Wix, Coinbase Pro, Discord, and Microsoft Office 365 apps. Flutter on the other hand has been getting very popular very fast among developer community, but right now there are no highly famous apps made on the platform.

Apart from Google’s own app, Tencent, realtor.com, The New York Times, Alibaba, Reflectly, Groupon, Cryptomaniac Pro, Birch Finance, Hookle, SpaceX Go, and Grab are some good examples of Flutter’s features.

Development Components

Besides being speedy, Flutter offers most features natively while React Native depends on third-party component libraries. There are a lot of built-in libraries in Flutter and components to render UI. Variety of widgets regarding navigation, scrolling, device API access, icons, and fonts etc. allow developers to create highly unique apps.

Flutter’s UI is incredibly flexible and expressive as compared to React Native’s. It is a complete Software Development Kit (SDK) to create fully customized app; it was a wish many developers had. However, due to the new language, most of the developers have decided to stick with React Native and start everything from scratch rather than use built-in components. This is why the React Native Vs Flutter discussion does not seem to end any time soon.

Support From The Community

Another reason why React Native is more preferrable than Flutter can be the strength of developers’ community. As few developers have been moving towards Flutter, the chances of support are equally low. Whenever Flutter developers faces an issue, there is no guarantee of a permanent solution. Most of the community members are still trying to learn the concept of Dart in order to use Flutter properly. They of course have questions and they seldom find experts who can answer them. A developer noticed last year that there were more than 5000 open issues on Github regarding Flutter while React Native’s page only showed about 800 open issues. 

Over the course of one year, Flutter has improved dramatically. Many young and veteran developers, who got the hang of Dart language, are satisfied with the quick app creation without much annoyance.

Reaching Wider Markets

The purpose of cross-platform app development is to allow an app to reach a wide spectrum of users on multiple platforms. Developers can take the advantage of their preferred framework and its UI components to design unique and well-crafted apps. With the help of regular improvements in Flutter, this Framework is becoming a popular choice among all kind of developers, including large corporations. Google Trends search data shows some interesting stats regarding Flutter Vs React Native; it seems in the past year; users have been trying to know more about Flutter than its close rival.

flutter-react-native-google-trends

Many developers are of opinion that Flutter will soon overcome React Native’s dominance when it finally allows mobile app developers to design stable web and desktop apps. The framework announced on its twitter page that something big is going to happen on 3rd March 2021 and everyone is invited. Flutter developers were excited that there is finally going to be some improvements in web version and at least a beta version for desktop development.

Flutter seems like more fun to developers but most of them still hold React Native superior because of its adaptability.

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