October 7, 2022

The idea of building an app for cross-platform use piqued your interest, but you’re uncertain which framework to use. Will it perform well? Will it speed up the development process? Finding Flutter or React Native developers is easier?

 React has been building apps since 2011. In addition to technologies, tools, and business processes, we are well-versed in mobile app development. To assist you in choosing the right solution for your business, we have conducted a comprehensive Flutter vs. React Native comparison.

Popularity and Usage

Depending on your needs, let’s determine which framework is more appropriate. Also, we will show some examples of Flutter and React Native applications so that you can gain a better understanding of their functions and possibilities.

Why would you need Flutter or React Native?

When choosing a framework, start by asking yourself: what features should your app have? Which devices will it work on? What should the number of screens be?

The chart below summarises the most common use cases and indicates which framework is best suited for them.

Generally, Flutter is . You should choose native app development instead if you want to build an AR app or a game app.

Flutter and React Native are both suitable for developing apps in the following categories:

  • Online banking
  • Messengers
  • Social media
  • e-commerce
  • Loyalty programs
  • Streaming 
  • Lifestyle 
  • News
  • Education

The Popularity of Flutter vs. React Native

Both Flutter and React Native are popular frameworks. You likely use these apps every day without thinking about the technology used to develop them. 

Performance comparison between Flutter and React Native

Both frameworks are advertised as providing native performance, but let us be honest: they are slower than native technologies anyway. To minimise development costs and time-to-market, you must make this tiny compromise. 

Both frameworks provide smooth scrolling, animations, and transitions between screens, so your audience will hardly notice any differences.

FPS – frames rendered per second – is one of the major factors affecting the performance of an app. A 60-frame-per-second frame rate is a gold standard for smooth animations and screen transitions. In the case of declining FPS to, say, 30, the user’s experience can be worsened.

Thanks to its architectural solution, Flutter delivers better performance than React Native since it does not use a JavaScript ‘bridge’ to communicate with native components and has an impressive Skia rendering engine. In this case, the bridge connects the React Native framework to the graphics engine drawing the user interface. As a result, the process is rather slow. 

Moreover, cross-platform apps tend to run slowly. Furthermore, cross-platform apps consume more memory and battery power on the device. Flutter, however, tends to show better results when compared to React Native.

UI Design Comparison: Flutter and React Native

Flutter works by using widgets to build your user interface. A widget isn’t just a button, a text, or a card. Animations, layout options, and touch interactions are all widgets. A widget’s view is determined by its configuration and state. 

The widget rebuilds its description and its appearance when its state changes (for instance, when a user presses a button).

Material Design and Cupertino are two sets of widgets available in Flutter. Taking cues from Material Design, a Google-developed design language, the first group mimics native Android design, whereas the second group mimics native iOS design. As a result, Flutter apps can be used on either Android or iOS.

Moreover, Flutter ensures a consistent user interface, even on devices running out-of-date operating systems. Thus, regardless of how old your phone is, you will have the same user experience.

Comparing the Development Speed of Flutter and React Native

It is possible to build apps as quickly as possible with both frameworks. Several tools help to speed up the development of apps with Flutter: Android Studio, VS Code, lots of plugins, etc.

Hot Reload, a key feature of Flutter, enables developers to see the effects of their changes in real-time.

Furthermore, Flutter apps consist of widgets: developers can easily place one inside another, and so on. As a result, the process is sped up and simplified. In addition to ready-to-hand widgets, developers may also create their own.

As well, Flutter is relatively easy to update: all it takes is to write ‘flutter upgrade’ in the console – all the projects and components will update automatically.

The Fast Refresh feature of React Native allows developers to insert new code directly into running applications.

React Native, however, may cause some issues. It’s sometimes difficult for developers to update some components automatically, so they have to update them manually.

Security in Flutter vs. React Native

React Native is also not secure enough. In a release build, for example, JavaScript code can be accessed; no need to explain that this poses a serious threat to the entire application. Due to this, React Native isn’t suitable for fintech or bank apps that require strict security.

Flutter is guaranteed to outperform React Native from a security standpoint. Flutter apps are almost impossible to decompile since they compile native code that cannot be reverse-engineered.

Native Testing of both Apps

Flutter provides three types of testing:

  • Unit tests; Integration tests; and Integration tests;
  • An individual widget test (similar to the component test in other frameworks);
  • Integration testing of the entire app or a large part of it.

Tests in Flutter unfold very fast. For example, widget tests in Flutter are much faster than component tests in iOS.

In addition, there is a list of common Flutter errors, with instructions on how to fix them.

Because React Native uses different JavaScript engines for its regular and debug modes, testing the apps built with the technology can be quite complicated. This leads to different behaviour from the code.

Libraries, Tools, and Plugins

Although Flutter is considered to have a poor ecosystem, there are many ready-to-use packages – more than 25,000. The developers can use them to add such micro-improvements as in-line clickable links and country selectors to text URLs and emails.

The Flutter ecosystem is very well-designed. You can select the best-verified packages of tools among 25,000 packages using the Flutter Favourite rating system, for example. The repository pub.dev includes all existing Flutter libraries. 

There are many libraries for React Native. The awesome-react-native package contains a list of high-quality third-party components. You may, however, come across packages that are out-of-date, poorly designed, or abandoned. 

Developer Knowledge about Flutter vs. React Native

Stack Overflow surveyed its developers in 2021 about technologies, development environments, and tools they were using. React Native was used by 14.5% of respondents, while Flutter by 13.5%.

Those numbers are not large, and they may give the impression that it may be difficult to find both React Native and Flutter developers. According to the same survey, only 8% of developers use Kotlin, a major programming language for Android.

Rates of Flutter developers versus React Native developers

Salaries make up the majority of mobile app development expenses. During the hiring process, you may find the following charts useful. These are the approximate salary ranges for Flutter and React Native developers as of February 2021 in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Which is Easier to Learn, Flutter or React Native?

Framework adoption is largely dependent on the programming language on which it is built. Any language can be learned from scratch, but it is better to dive into mobile app development as some background.

Dart forms the basis for Flutter; flutter is not a very common programming language, and learning it isn’t that easy. Dart is probably easier to learn if you’re a Java developer. The Flutter documentation for React Native developers is bespoke. Moreover, Flutter’s popularity is growing rapidly, and its developer community produces a lot of content for self-study, as well as offers many courses.

What will the Future of Flutter and React Native Hold?

Many people believe that Flutter is a short-term fad. But as we can see from the Stack Overflow survey, it’s going to stick around for a long time: developers love it – and businesses are taking notice too.

Regarding Flutter vs. React Native trends, Flutter’s popularity for 2019-2020 increased by 9%, whereas React Native’s remained the same.

Due to this dynamic, we can also say that Flutter will dominate React Native 2022 in terms of popularity rating.

Conclusion: Which to Choose?

The two frameworks each have their pros and cons, as you have seen. Here’s a chart summarising all the information we discussed above.

To develop cross-platform mobile apps, we recommend Flutter. React Native shares many of its features, but does not have React Native’s problems, such as sudden crashes during updates and more. 

Moreover, Flutter is faster and more secure; it can handle complex logic and many screens. We have a lot of Flutter development experience, and we would love to help you develop your app. 

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