Flutter Vs React Native: Which is the Best Choice? Who’s The Winner?

According to Statista, React Native and Flutter are the most popular technologies for cross-platform software development of mobile applications for the second year in a row. Their adoption rate continues to rise, putting them ahead of the competition. In this post, we’ll compare Flutter vs React Native and evaluate which is better for app development in 2021, as well as why.

Flutter Vs React Native, compared to native mobile development, enable the production of a single code base that works on both iOS and Android devices. Apps may be developed faster and on a lower budget because there is less coding required. As a result, these two mobile development toolkits have grown in popularity.


Most popular technologies for cross-platform software development

Source: https://www.statista.com/graphic/1/869224/worldwide-software-developer-working-hours.jpg


What’s Flutter and React Native?

React Native is a Facebook internal project that they open-sourced in 2015. There’s Flutter, a Google project that’s been widely marketed after I/O 2017. Both technologies make it easier for app developers to create cross-platform apps by allowing them to use a single programming language. 

Before we begin, let’s learn some basic information on the technology so that everyone agrees. Flutter is a UI Software Development Kit (SDK) for mobile apps, while React Native is a Mobile Application Framework. Since then, the technologies have progressed and their device coverage has grown significantly. Both Flutter and React Native is now development tools for mobile (Android, iOS), online, desktop (Linux, Windows, Mac), and embedded (AndroidTV, tvOS, auto OS, and others) applications.


Basic information About Flutter and React Native

Source: https://nix-united.com/blog/flutter-vs-react-native/

Here, We’ll compare each of them using eight criteria, and let’s see who will win the contest: Flutter or React Native !!!


1. Programming Language – Which is the most efficient?

To create cross-platform apps, React Native makes use of JavaScript. Currently, JavaScript is a very popular language among web developers. It’s a popular JavaScript framework that’s used with React and other popular frameworks.

Flutter makes use of the Dart programming language, which was launched by Google in 2011 and is currently only used by a few developers. Because Dart supports most object-oriented ideas, it is simple to understand for JavaScript or Java developers. 

Who is the Winner: Most web developers use JavaScript. The React Native framework is simple to learn. Dart offers a rich feature set as well, although it’s less well-known and used in the development community. In this context, it’s clear that React Native is the choice as a programming language.

Result: React Native 1 — Flutter 0


2. Setup and Project Configuration

According to the React Native project’s getting started guide, the developer already has all the setups for building iOS and Android apps. There isn’t much information on Xcode command-line tools, but there will be enough to get you started. But In the React Native document, there is no setup guidance for Android projects.

The Flutter getting started guide includes thorough instructions for setting up the IDE and platforms for both iOS and Android. You can get all the setup information for Flutter on macOS. Flutter also provides a command-line utility called flutter doctor that may help developers with the setup. It checks which tools are installed and which need to be set up on the local machine. You may proceed with constructing a new Flutter app when the flutter doctor command is satisfied.

Who is the Winner: Flutter has better documentation and CLI support for setup and configuration, as shown in the comparison above.

Result: React Native 1 — Flutter 1


3. Installation

The Node Package Manager (NPM) can install the React Native framework. Installation of React Native is simple for developers with JavaScript experience, while other developers will need to understand the node package manager. The packages may be installed locally or globally using the node package manager. The developers will need to know the exact location of the binary. You’ll also need the HomeBrew package manager when installing React Native on macOS. To install React Native on macOS, we must first perform the instructions.

Flutter may be installed by downloading a binary from GitHub for a certain platform. On macOS, we must download the flutter.zip file and place it in the PATH variable. This is something we can perform from the command line. Flutter should improve the installation approach by supporting package managers such as Homebrew, MacPorts, YUM, APT, and others so that users don’t have to go through these extra steps.

Who is the Winner? Flutter and React Native both lack one-liner installation with native package managers for a single OS, however, Flutter appears to require additional steps for adding the binary to PATH and downloading it from the source code, which may be handy for non-JavaScript developers. Without having to download the binaries from the source, React Native may be installed only via package managers.

Result: React Native 2 — Flutter 1


4. Technical Architecture

The JS runtime environment architecture, commonly known as the JavaScript bridge, is widely used in React Native architecture. At runtime, the JavaScript code is compiled into native code. The flux architecture from Facebook is used by React Native. To conclude, React Native communicates with native modules through the JavaScript bridge.

Flutter uses the Dart framework, which includes most of the components, making it larger and requiring the bridge to interface with native modules less frequently. Dart contains several frameworks, such as Material Design and Cupertino, that provide all the technology for developing mobile apps. The Skia C++ engine, which contains all the protocols, compositions, and channels, is used by the Dart framework. The Flutter engine’s architecture is detailed on the GitHub Wiki. In brief, the Flutter engine contains everything needed for app development.

Who is the Winner? Most native components are included in the Flutter framework, therefore it isn’t always necessary to use a bridge to connect with them. React Native communicates with native modules via the JavaScript bridge, which results in poor performance.

Result: React Native 2 — Flutter 2


5. DevOps and CI/CD support

There is no official documentation for setting up CI/CD with React Native. CI/CD for React Native apps is, however, described in a few papers. Nevercode, continuous integration and delivery tool for Android, iOS, Ionic, Cordova, and React Native apps, has an article that describes how to set up CI/CD for React Native apps.

Flutter contains links to other sources in its section on Continuous Integration and Testing. Flutter’s robust command-line interface makes it simple to build up CI/CD. Nevercode introduced code magic, the first continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) solution designed specifically for creating Flutter applications, at the Flutter Live event. 

Who is the winner? Using Flutter string CLI tools, it’s simple and quick to build up Flutter apps on CI/CD services. There are no official instructions for CI/CD techniques provided by React Native.

Result: React Native 2 — Flutter 3


6. Community support

Since its launch in 2015, React Native has grown in popularity. On GitHub, there is a large community of React Native developers, as well as several events and conferences all around the world. React Native EU, held in Poland, was one of the most recent conferences on the topic. However, there are meetings in practically every major city across the world.

Flutter has been around for a while, but it got a lot of popularity after Google highlighted it during the 2017 Google I/O conference. The Flutter community is quickly expanding these days, with online gatherings and conventions. Flutter Live in 2018, where Google announced the release of Flutter 1.0, was the biggest. To summarise, the Flutter community is fast expanding, yet there are currently insufficient resources for developers to resolve difficulties.

Who is the Winner? Since the framework’s release, the React Native community and resources have increased in size. Flutter is still a very new project, but it is gaining a lot of interest in the community.

Result: React Native 3 — Flutter 3


7. Testing support

There are a few unit-level testing frameworks available in JavaScript, and React Native is a JavaScript framework. Snapshot testing may be done with tools like Jest. React Native does not provide formal support for integration or UI-level testing. Appium and Detox are third-party tools that may test React Native apps, although they are not officially supported.

Flutter comes with a robust collection of testing tools for unit, widget, and integration testing. It includes excellent guidance on how to test Flutter apps. Flutter features a nice widget testing capability that allows us to design UI tests and execute them at the same pace as unit tests.

Who is the Winner? Flutter provides outstanding documentation and a robust set of testing tools, but React Native has no official support for integration and UI level testing.

Result: React Native 3 — Flutter 4


8. Developer productivity

If a developer knows JavaScript, it’s quite simple to apply those abilities to cross-platform app development. The hot reload functionality in React Native saves a lot of time for developers when testing UI changes. Developers can use whichever text editor or IDE.

Flutter also features a hot reload functionality, and the demo app makes it extremely simple to get started. Developers will need to understand and embrace the new Flutter ideas as app complexity increases. Furthermore, Dart is not a widely-used programming language, and many IDEs and text editors do not support it.

Who is the Winner? React Native provides a lot of developers support in terms of IDEs and language features because it’s a mature framework. Flutter is still very young, but as the Flutter community expands, it will quickly catch up.

Result: React Native 4 — Flutter 4


Summary: Flutter Vs React Native: Which is the Best Choice?

Flutter Vs React Native: Which is the Best Choice?

Both React Native and Flutter have their advantages and disadvantages. According to several industry insiders, Flutter is the future of mobile app development. Given the comparisons of Flutter Vs React Native, it’s clear that both technologies made a good performance in the cross-platform mobile development contest. Let us not make predictions, rather than wait and see!

If you’re still confused between Flutter and React Native for your project, contact us, and we’ll help you select the best mobile app technology for your project. We’ve already assisted many global companies throughout the world in dealing with similar issues.

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