The world needs mobile app development more than you can presume. From 2016 with 140.7 billion downloads to 2020 with 108 billion downloads, the app development industry is booming at an overwhelming speed. Reports state, 5.1 billion people are using smartphones today. This nearly sums up 70% of the whole world population.
Apparently, these data speak volumes of the demand for app development in the modern world. There’s an abundance of technologies, SDKs, frameworks, and hundreds of industry-standard development platforms to try your hands at building apps. Today, we’re going to talk about, conceivably, the two most popular and admired of them — Flutter and React Native (RN).
As a cross-platform UI framework, Flutter was developed and released by Google in 2017 May. It has gained severe popularity over the past years for one of its major selling points — it enables you to build cross-platform apps using only a single codebase. Traditionally, a company would have to use two or more tools to create an app across mobile, web, and desktop. For example, you would need a developer using Swift and Kotlin to create the iOS and Android apps, another using Java and C# to build the desktop version, and React to create the website.
The whole process would clearly be much time and resource-consuming, let alone the tons of meetings and efforts to keep them consistent across all platforms.
But credit goes to Flutter; one single developer can now build apps for different platforms with just one codebase. This remarkably cuts down on resources and time needed in launching and maintaining an app.
Some of the ground-breaking Flutter apps are — Google Ads, Xianyu by Alibaba, Hookle, Reflectly, Hamilton Musical, Google Pay, Synergy, and more.
Here are some interesting stats about Flutter:
- 7.2% of the developing community chooses Flutter for the popularity of its libraries and tools
- 68.8% of developers opt for Flutter
- As per Google, 500,000 developers use Flutter in a month
- 39% of people worldwide use Flutter to build cross-platform mobile apps
- In the Play Store alone, there are more than 150,000 Flutter apps already
Pros and Cons of Flutter
Indeed, Flutter is one of the most loved developers’ frameworks to create immersive apps with astonishing UI features. But as the old saying goes, everything has its pros and cons. If you’re preparing to hire Flutter app developers, consider the below-mentioned strengths and weaknesses of this framework.
- Using Flutter, you don’t have to write two separate codes for Android and iOS apps. With its widget and UI libraries, Flutter uses a single UI for all the apps in different OSs. This also means less testing as both the apps are cut from the same cloth!
- Flutter apps support multiple devices. Even if you’re using an old phone or an old version of Android or iOS, you’ll enjoy the same features and interface.
- It’s a flexible and dynamic platform having a unique feature called “hot reload.” It enables developers to write and implement code faster. You can amend changes in the code and instantly notice the impact on the app.
- Although Flutter is an open-source framework and has pre-configured libraries and tools, it’s comparatively a new platform, so the number of such features is limited.
- A flutter file size can sometimes be huge and, therefore, hard to handle
- It doesn’t have effective pass manager support. It has iOS features support, but that’s relatively weak.
- Continuous integration can be a tough task as it lacks the needed support.
Demystifying React Native
Nowadays, a handful of organizations are using React Native for building powerful apps. For one interesting example, Microsoft recently launched its brand new Xbox store app based on the React Native framework. Just like Flutter, React Native also makes it possible to create cross-platforms with one single codebase.
To name a few popular apps built with React Native would be — Facebook, Instagram, Walmart, SoundCloud, Bloomberg, Wix, Airbnb, Skype, and so on.
Check out a few noteworthy stats about React Native:
- 42% of developers used RN to develop cross-platform apps in 2020
- 58.5% of the community adores RN
- 11.5% of developers prefer using RN for its native libraries and tools
Pros and Cons of React Native
Just like Flutter, React Native has its fors and againsts as well that you should keep in mind.
- A handy feature of RN is its code reusability, meaning most of the codes and functionalities are alike for Android and iOS platforms.
- Compared to Flutter, RN has bigger community support. Thus, your queries and doubts can be easily addressed by peer developers. They also share their products and codes to enlarge the community.
- You can easily import and use any third-party libraries with complex functions in your app. The libraries are also regularly tested and monitored, lowering the chance of buggy codes.
- RN has a stunning feature named modularity, enabling program functions to be divided into interchangeable modules.
- It’s simpler to install than Flutter and provides a native feel and look to your apps.
- If you’re a newbie to the app development career, RN is probably not the best choice. It’s usually difficult to learn, and one must have experience in native app development to start on this platform.
- As RN is a JS-based framework, it has poor memory management.
- The open-source style of Java has its drawbacks too. As every resource is open to the public, low security is a major concern for RN apps.
- RN apps are generally bigger compared to their native counterparts and have weaker performance as well.
Here’s a bonus for you! Read this detailed piece of writing and get more insights on what you should choose from Flutter vs. React Native.
Flutter vs. React Native: A Comparative Study with Elementary Differences
Of course, there’s a good deal of similarities between these two sought-after frameworks. Yet, they’re strikingly different from each other in a lot of ways. If not, the prolonged debate on which one is the better app development platform wouldn’t even subsist or bother our fellow developers.
With that being said, let me concisely set these two frameworks side by side to offer you a greater understanding and get you nearer to making a decision (hopefully!)
The Final Call!
So there you have the complete picture of the key difference between Flutter and React Native. Now coming to the burning question: Should you use the prior or the latter?
Apparently, both have their positives and negatives and are unique in their own way. It’s a close call, but Flutter came out as the beater here if I have to choose one. As many experts in this domain have agreed, Flutter is convincingly going to dominate the future of mobile app development. And based on the above comparison, Flutter has emerged as a formidable competitor of React Native in the race.
So if you’re planning to create a cross-platform app in the near future, having an accomplished development team from a prominent Flutter app development company can impeccably do the job for you. Hire Flutter app developers who can take your ingenious ideas and turn them into a vigorous working solution. This is absolutely crucial if you want your app development project to be a success.
Do you also share my view? If not, please let me know by commenting what you feel. I’ll be happy to apprehend different perspectives!