React Native vs. Flutter – Better Hybrid Mobile App Development

React Native is at the top of this industry, while Flutter is climbing the ladder fast. React Native and Flutter fall among the most popular technologies.

React Native is at the top of this industry, while Flutter is climbing the ladder fast. React Native and Flutter fall among the most popular technologies. They are the best for cross-platform software development of mobile applications. 

They have maintained the position of being the most popular two years in a row, under Statista. Their rate of adoption is growing, and they are overtaking the competition.

Both React Native and Flutter permit creating a single code base that works for both iOS and Android. Moreover, since less coding takes place, the apps are released faster and on a smaller budget. This led to the popularity of these two mobile development toolkits. 

Today in this article, we will compare both React Native and Flutter. Then we will decide which is the best framework for app development in 2021.

Performance 

Which is More Efficient and Powerful? 

Cross-platform technologies are made in such a way that they target several platforms. Thus, we’ll have to compare their performance for desktop, mobile, and web apps. 

The programing language of Flutter is Dart, whereas, for React Native, it is JavaScript. So we will have to pit Dart and JS against each other. We will also have to check the performance of other framework components.

Dart vs. JavaScript

Both the programming languages fell under testing in 10 different scientific tasks. This took place to illustrate the strong and weak points of the technologies. 

The programming languages fell under testing under two main categories. These categories were Execution time (demonstrates performance) and memory consumption (shows resources efficiency). 

After the test was complete, we found out that JavaScript executes quicker results in 7 out of 10 cases.

Along with that, it also consumes less memory. So when compared to Dart, JavaScript turns out to be more powerful. 

It is also resource-efficient on desktop devices. Altogether this gives React Native a head start for the rest of the platforms and devices.

Mobile Performance

A performance study on native and cross-platform approaches in IOS and Android app development took place. 

We can say that the highest performer in any programming task is a native mobile developer. 

In the case of the cross-platform framework, things are not very simple. Flutter performs 9-22 % lower in memory-intensive tests in comparison to Native. 

We can also see that in compute-intensive tasks, Flutter is 2-6 times slower than Native.

The worst performer in this test is react-native. It’s 2-15 times slower than Flutter and 5-21 times slower than Native.

Web Performance

React is the king of website development. JavaScript is one of the primary front-end languages, along with HTML and CSS. So the performance of React Native on website development is fantastic.

Dart is not very popular in website development. In comparison to JS, PHP, Java, or Ruby, there are no advantages of Dart. 

On the other hand, building a website through Flutter mobile app code is quick and fast.  If you want your site to perform better, you should use a different technology that is perfect for the web. 

Thus we can see that the ability of Flutter to create a website is a nice feature.

Design and Graphics Abilities of Flutter Apps vs. React Native Apps

React native and flutter both have fantastic graphical features. Even though they use entirely different approaches to draw user interfaces, Flutter and React native animations and graphics are comprehensive and pixel-perfect. 

So any one of these Technologies is perfect graphics and animations.

React Native inherits native visual elements and appearance. These elements are buttons, React native navigation and menus. 

These elements provide a perfect personalized experience for the user. They also look native. While operating systems are updating, the aspects of the apps will also be updated. 

However, they will maintain the feeling of nativeness and similarity to other native applications. 

You have to keep in mind that the apps will look different on IOS and Android devices. It is the same case for other firmware versions.

In the case of the Flutter, the App will look the same in all cases despite different OS versions or device models. 

Navigation and other elements will remain the same. If the App’s making was in a hurry, the Android users might find iOS styled menus. 

In the same manner, an Apple user would find Android-style elements in their apps.

The look and feel of the App are more like hybrid frameworks rather than native ones. If more effort is there, the result will be a personalized and native feel on both platforms. 

This feature is already available with react native. In the end, we would suggest it is better and easier to install a common neutral style for all devices. 

In this manner, you can save up on project scope.

Reliability and Support

React Native and Flutter are open source and distributed according to permission-free licenses. We already know that react Facebook developed native. 

At the same time, Flutter was developed by Google. Both Facebook and Google created some of their own apps by using these SDKs. 

Examples of these apps are Facebook, Instagram, Google ad and Google Play. This proves that they have a connection between reliability, support. 

They also pay attention to the further development of frameworks.

Flutter is actually simpler and resistant to changes made by operating system updates. React native is dependent on native elements of the device. 

Therefore, it requires extra adaptation efforts. The efforts are separate for IOS and Android applications in case of system updates. 

This feature of react-native is not a flaw. It is a  compromise that is necessary for exchange for a native experience provided by the App.

Compatibility & App Features

Camera

In essential areas of camera usage, Flutter did not show any issue. However, in react-native, there are some issues with the usage of cameras. 

In this case, extra time and resources are necessary to solve this issue. This will lead to receiving the desired performance.

GPS

Flutter consists of various official plugins made by the Google team. There has been a lot of positive experiences reported while using them. 

React Native also works well with one-time Location tracking. However, some issues might arise with continuous tracking. 

This issue can be solved by using native device programming languages.

Video

An external plugin can be helpful for custom video chats with Flutter.  It requires research to pick the best fitting one.

Along with that, ready-made paid solutions are also available. In the case of React Native, there can be native implementations of this.

CI/CD

With Flutter, you can deploy your application by using the command-line interface. On the other hand, CI/CD for iOS App Store is confusing and requires extra effort. 

But, there is no integrated tool or official documentation in the case of React Native. On the other hand, react Native does support many popular third-party CI/CD services. 

For example, Fastlane, Gitlab CI/CD, Github Actions, and Microsoft AppCenter.

Analytics

Both react native and flutter support third-party analytic solutions. Examples are Google Analytics, firebase, adjust, and AppsFlyer

Flutter never has issues with performance while using analytics tools. However, in some rare cases, there will be an effect on React Native app’s performance. 

These rare cases happen when there are a lot of analytic events to report.

Advanced Security Features

Both React Native and Flutter can provide high-level security for mobile apps. This allows them to follow regulatory requirements like HIPAA. 

The least suggested measures are below-

  • Illustrate the data stored on the client-side
  • The lesser third-party libraries used, the better.
  • Concealing the client data stored on mobile 
  • Use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This means that users claimed identity should be confirmed. The confirmation will take place by using two or more steps.
  • The authentication tokens should expire. However, an additional login verification request will be there when the user leaves the App or locks the screen.

Technology Development and Market Trends

After February 2020, the number of users searching for Flutter increased. Furthermore, in Google, Flutter was at the top of the search list, whereas react-native was lower. 

This gives us an early sign of the potential for future growth and market distribution.

This is like the same thing that happened in Stackoverflow. In Stackoverflow, flutter moved forward than react Native at the beginning of 2020. 

This made the software developer community ask a lot of questions and find solutions to them.

In the modern world of technology, everything is changing quite fast. The earlier you appear on the market, the more significant advantage you have. 

This is why React Native is in cross-platform development. Flutter is moving on the right track and climbing the ladder. In a short time, Flutter might overtake the leadership of the market.

Developers’ Opinions on Flutter and React Native

Nick, Tech Lead of Android Development department at NIX, said – 

There are many tools, and features that are good in both react native and flutter. Like code reusability and hot reload. 

Along with that, some features are bad, like stage management. Talking about performance, Flutter can work without using more APIs. 

In react Native, the framework completes all the work. As per in appearance, react Native is more dynamic and has a powerful and flexible API.

Anna, Solutions Architect of Android development department at NIX, said –

In the area of development, both frameworks are different. Flutter has the option of a built-in navigator. 

This makes the process simple for new developers. React skilled developers create native. 

So it requires a level of expertise, in general developers with an experience like react-native. There are a lot of ready-to-use components in react native.

Also Read: 10 Reasons to use React Native for mobile app development.

Conclusion

  • React Native or Flutter?

When comparing react native and Flutter, we have to analyze them. The analysis will be on performance, compatibility, app features, engineering cost, and future market trends. 

React Native is better when it comes to finding software developers. Companies need to keep in mind the availability of skilled engineers. The availability of skilled engineers influences the time to market.

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