03 Sep / 2020 586 views

Which one is better – Flutter, Native, or React-Native

Which one is better – Flutter, Native, or React-Native

Posted by : Under : Mobile App Development No Comments

The global smartphone market is pegged at a whopping 3.5 billion in 2020, which constitutes about 45.4 percent of the global population (Source: Statista.) Further, the global consumer spending on mobile apps is expected to reach $157 billion by 2022. These mindboggling figures are driving enterprises to leverage mobile app technology to develop suitable apps for their clients and customers. However, every enterprise faces the dilemma of choosing a suitable development platform that is budget-friendly and is capable of building apps that can be used by a large number of customers. So, to target a specific section of the users, developing a high-quality native app for a specific platform (Android or iOS) would be better to derive the following benefits:

  • Robust performance
  • Better scalability due to the use of native tools
  • UI is fully compliant with the platform

Also, since Android is the predominant platform for most smartphones around the world, enterprises can choose the same to develop native apps while keeping certain factors in mind.

However, native app development can be a time-consuming process given the fact that developers have to write codes for both the operating platforms (Android and iOS) separately. Alternatively, releasing a mobile app for a single platform (native app) can reduce the reach of the app to a wider audience. This is where cross-platform or hybrid app development can be faster and help to optimize cost. Since a cross-platform app is developed using a common code base, it turns out to be convenient, quick to build, and cost-effective. But there may be a downside to it – of vulnerable quality. This is due to the fact that various functionalities in a cross-platform app do not always ‘fit’ across the operating systems.

The best platform to build an app

Since app users are not partial to using smartphones with a specific operating system and are varied in their choices, it is better to opt for a hybrid or cross-platform app development to reach a wider user base. Moreover, since hybrid app developers in India going for cross-platform apps use the same code base, which can be easily ported to a separate operating platform, there are significant savings on time and resources. Also, if earlier, native apps could be built primarily with Java/Kotlin for Android or Objective C/Swift for iOS operating platforms, the advent of cross-platform frameworks like Flutter or React Native offers almost native-like performance.

Flutter vs React Native vs Native – the better one

Both React Native and Flutter are powerful and popular frameworks to develop hybrid or cross-platform apps. Native, even though can reign supreme when it comes to performance, can take a lot of time for development. However, the emergence of Flutter and React Native can offer performance, which is ‘almost similar’ to that of a native framework. Let us discuss the way to choose the best cross-platform framework based on certain parameters – language, performance, adoption, framework, and community.

# Language

Flutter: This open-source SDK from Google is written in Dart, which is a good programming language. However, it needs to be learnt first with developers having a Java or C++ background faring better vis-à-vis a developer with JavaScript knowledge.

React Native: This open-source SDK is backed by Facebook and is written in JavaScript. And given that JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, the learning curve for any JavaScript developer is easy.
Result: React Native seems to be the winner here.

# Performance

Flutter: Since the Dart code is compiled with the C-library of a native ARM machine code, it does not need a JavaScript ‘bridge’ or interpreter to interact with the native components. This enhances the performance of Flutter even when it comes to executing complex UI animations. This way, Flutter offers almost a native-like performance.

React Native: Since the framework is capable of rendering most functions for native APIs, it appears to offer a native-like performance. However, it needs a JavaScript ‘bridge’ or interpreter to render the code into machine language thereby taking a relatively long time to execute.

Result: Flutter seems to be the winner here.

# Adoption

Flutter: Lately, the framework has got a lot of traction from developers given its backing from Google. However, the number of apps built by this framework is relatively less probably due to its recent origins. For example, only Alibaba (to power parts of its app,) Google Ads, Reflectly, Birch Finance, and Hamilton Music are some of the popular mobile apps to have been developed using Flutter.

React Native: It is arguably the most popular cross-platform or hybrid app development framework in the world. The number of popular apps available on app stores is testimony to its popularity – Facebook, Uber Eats, Instagram, Bloomberg, Tesla, Walmart, and many others.

Result: React Native seems to be the winner here even though Flutter is catching up fast by being a close second.

# Framework

Flutter: It uses Dart architecture with major components built inside. This makes it big and without the need of any ‘bridge’ to communicate with the native modules. It also contains frameworks like Material Design and uses the Skia C++ engine comprising compositions, protocols, and channels.

React Native: It uses Flux architecture from Facebook to build client-based web applications and follows the Model View Control (MVC) framework to develop user interfaces quickly. Relying heavily on a JS environment aka JavaScript bridge, the JS code gets compiled into native code during execution.

Result: React Native seems to be the winner here.

# Community

Flutter: The community support for Flutter is growing by the day with around 82k stars on GitHub. The framework also boasts of having more than 500 contributors working continuously to enhance its various aspects.

React Native: It has one of the best community support systems with more than 2000+ contributors working to enhance its various support systems.

Conclusion
Mobile app development has entered into an interesting phase with new cross-platform frameworks offering a native app-like experience. React Native has its popular appeal and advantages given its existence for a longer time. However, Flutter has entered the scene and has quickly climbed the ladder of popularity. It will ultimately depend on the kind of knowledge base developers have (knowledge of C++ or Java or JavaScript) to select a particular framework. And should you have trouble deciding, then hiring developers from a top mobile app development agency India can be of help.

Rajdip Datta

Rajdip Datta

Mr. Rajdip dwells in the world of mobile applications and is an avid purveyor of the latest trends in mobile app development. In addition to his interests in technology particularly pertaining to mobile apps, he is an avid writer as well.

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