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The usage of mobile apps has escalated quickly and surviving without a mobile app in this cut-throat competition for businesses won’t be easy. During the pandemic itself, global app downloads increased by 23.3%, and user spending increased by 32% as reported by Sensortower.
Looking at these statistics, we can say that it has become inevitable for businesses to shift their focus to mobile app development and marketing.
React Native and Flutter are both well renowned cross-platform mobile app development frameworks. The most tech-savvy development companies as well as product owners that opt for the modern tech stack use either React Native or Flutter.
But still many feel the dilemma when choosing the best cross-platform app development framework out of the two. So, let’s get to know which one is better. But first, let’s understand the basics about both platforms.
It was born out of the struggle of Facebook to maintain its applications for iOS and Android platforms. The framework keeps bringing new versions and upgrades released every six months or so. My recent article on the best highlights of the React Native v0.66 covers everything that’s new about it.
Following the footsteps of Facebook, Google also released the Flutter mobile app development framework. Flutter is the reason why Native Script holds 2nd position, as it is the most popular and most used cross-platform app development framework.
It is an open-source enhanced UI toolkit to build hybrid and cross-platform apps for both iOS and Android platforms. It contains expressive & flexible UI, widgets for native performance, rich motion UI, and many other features.
Now let’s get into the comparison.
Code Reusability is the key concept behind hybrid and cross-platform frameworks and their sole reason to exist today. Both the frameworks offer excellent support for code reusability.
In react Native, reusable codes are termed as components, which are custom-built and imported. By sending props, components are configured by rendering elements and data. Further, they can be modified based on the props and can be used multiple times on any screen.
Flutter also has a similar concept as React Native but the reusable components are termed as custom widgets here. Flutter has two types of widgets: Stateful widgets and Stateless Widgets. Values in the Stateful widget change dynamically while they remain static without changing in the Stateless widgets. Both types can be reused, modified, and configured based on parameters, making them convenient and efficient.
The performance of the mobile apps is measured based on how fast they can render UI elements into the app screen. Apps built on these frameworks perform great on this front same as the native apps.
Flutter apps, on the other hand, have comparable performance to React Native apps. The Dart language codes are compiled directly in the device CPU to run. Additionally, Flutter uses widgets instead of native components to implement and render user interface on the screen using the native device’s GPU. All these make Flutter apps faster.
Popularity is another measure of a framework to know which platform is better to use for developing cross-platform applications. Both the platforms are quite popular in the development community.
The larger the community, the more popularity a framework can amass. React Native is been here for around a decade now but Flutter has been here for only 4–5 years.
Even though Flutter may not have as large a community as React Native but it has rapidly grown and become the most popular and widely used cross-platform app development framework.
Thanks to this fact, the Flutter community is also rapidly growing and making its mark on the development world. They actively participate in resolving issues and helping with new feature releases. Thus, the Flutter community will reach the level of React Native in near future and may even surpass it.
From this article, we learned some basics about React Native and Flutter. We also delved into code reusability, performance, popularity, and community support to find which framework is better out of the two.
React Native has already made its mark on the mobile app development community. Flutter, on the other hand, has also started to blossom into an excellent framework that most product owners and developers turn their heads to. So, choosing out of the two really depends on your choice.