Flutter vs. React Native: A Comprehensive Guide for App Developers

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Last updated on June 24th, 2024

The phenomenon of mobile apps has influenced myriad technological advances worldwide. With around 6.5 billion smartphones in use, apps are everywhere influencing everything from life and entertainment to work. In such a scenario, developers are facing the big-time dilemma of choosing the ideal framework for app development. And the Flutter vs. React Native debate finds itself in the thick of this discussion.

Both are cross-platform mobile frameworks with an enormous number of pre-programmed modules, state-of-the-art functionality, and robust user communities that can supercharge development speed. 

Whether you want to develop a medical app, transportation app, or demand delivery app, it is crucial to understand every project detail and choose the framework accordingly. To that end, the key to the next successful app development project is a thorough understanding of Flutter and React Native.

Read on for a comparison of Flutter and React Native.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a leading cross-platform mobile app development framework developed by Google. It comes with an extensive user interface toolkit to create fast and natively compiled applications for desktop, mobile, and web. It is open-source and free. Flutter uses Dart programming language to create the application. 

What is React Native? 

It is an open-source, cross-platform development framework developed by Facebook. It allows developers to use JavaScript and React in addition to the ability of the native platform required to build mobile apps.   

Flutter vs React Native: Pros & Cons

Pros and Cons of Flutter

Hot Reload: Enables faster application development.Community: Needs to catch up with counterparts in terms of developer community support.
Single codebase: Covers both Android and iOS platforms with one codebase.Library Support: Not as rich as native development; custom functionality may be needed.
Faster performance: Smooth user interface with 60 fps, thanks to the Skia Graphics library.Application Size: Written applications tend to be larger than native ones.
Better quality: Quicker quality assurance process since the app works on multiple platforms.Google Support: Being open-source, it may face issues if Google stops supporting the project.
Brilliant design: Offers custom widgets with a user-friendly interface and visual details.Dart Language: Dart is relatively new, making it challenging for businesses to navigate its intricacies.
Stable performance: Compiled coding ensures stable performance.Feature Lag: New features of Android and iOS are introduced later in Flutter than in native SDKs.
Consistent UI: New apps look the same on older Android or iOS systems.

Pros and Cons of React Native

Hot Reload and Fast Refresh: It speeds up the development process of the application. The new fast refresh feature added in the recent version blends well with live and hot reloading.Essential out-of-the-box components needed: Developers need to use outside repositories to use the additional set of components.
Uses JavaScript: The platform uses JavaScript, which is one of the most popular programming languages.Debugging and compatibility issues: Developers might face issues, especially if they are not proficient with React Native, leading to increased troubleshooting time.
Single codebase: The single codebase is written to cover Android and iOS platforms.Abandoned and low-quality libraries: Despite the vast set of libraries, many are abandoned or of low quality.
Freedom of choice: Developers can choose their solutions to use with React Native, including selecting router libraries, global state management, and more.Component upgrades needed: React Native uses native components, and after every new user interface update, the app components need to be upgraded.
Vast community: The platform enjoys a massive developer community with enormous UI frameworks, libraries, and tutorials.Larger app size: Applications written in JavaScript code tend to be bigger than their counterparts.
More mature framework: Facebook developed the framework over six years ago, making it more mature.Lack of out-of-the-box support for native functionalities: Advanced features may require assistance from Android and iOS developers.
Easy to learn: Users with a web development background can easily grasp the native framework and quickly start working with it.
Smaller team requirement: The React Native solution requires smaller development teams.
Reduces testing time: The testing team can create the same tests to run on Android and iOS platforms.

Conclusion: Which is Better?

It’s difficult to single out one as a better cross-platform framework as both development frameworks are good at catering to specific use cases. Many developers will agree that Flutter is the more powerful with respect to flexibility and performance facilitated. But it’s noteworthy that the new architecture of React Native has raised the performance bar to try and catch up. 

So, the choice between Flutter and React Native depends mostly on the developer’s experience. Get a FREE consultation to drive your app development initiatives using the perfect framework.


What programming languages do Flutter and React Native use?

Flutter uses Dart, a language developed by Google that is optimized for UI development. React Native uses JavaScript, a widely-used language for web development, and leverages React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

Can Flutter and React Native be used for web development?

Yes, both Flutter and React Native have capabilities for web development. Flutter has Flutter Web, which allows you to compile Flutter code into web applications. React Native has React Native for Web, which enables you to use React Native components and APIs on the web.

What are the advantages of using Flutter?

  • Fast Development: Flutter’s hot reload feature allows developers to see changes in real time.

  • Expressive and Flexible UI: Flutter provides a rich set of customizable widgets.

  • Single Codebase: Write once and deploy to multiple platforms (iOS, Android, web, and desktop).

  • Performance: High performance due to direct compilation to native code.

What is the future outlook for Flutter and React Native?

Both Flutter and React Native have strong backing from major tech companies (Google and Facebook, respectively) and active communities. Flutter is gaining traction with its promise of a single codebase for multiple platforms, while React Native continues to evolve with improvements in performance and developer experience. Both frameworks are likely to remain relevant and widely used in the foreseeable future.

Which platforms do Flutter and React Native support?

Both Flutter and React Native support iOS and Android platforms. Additionally, Flutter also supports web, desktop (Windows, macOS, Linux), and embedded devices.

How do Flutter and React Native compare in terms of performance?

Flutter generally provides better performance due to its compiled nature and use of the Skia graphics engine. React Native relies on a JavaScript bridge to communicate with native components, which can introduce some performance overhead. However, both frameworks are optimized for performance and can deliver high-quality applications.

How well do Flutter and React Native integrate with native code?

Both frameworks allow integration with native code, but the approaches differ. React Native uses a bridge to interact with native modules, which can introduce some complexity. Flutter provides platform channels for integrating with native code, which tends to be straightforward and efficient.

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