What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source mobile SDK developer can use to build native-looking Android and iOS applications from the same code base. Flutter has been around since 2015 when Google introduced it and remained in the beta stage before its official launch in December 2018. Since then, the buzz around Flutter has been growing stronger.
Flutter is now the top 11 software based on GitHub stars. Moreover, we’ve already seen thousands of Flutter apps being published on app stores. One of the most notable examples is the Xianyu app created by Alibaba team, used by over 50 million people.
Pros of Flutter:
It saves you time and money
Flutter is a cross-platform development tool. That means software developers can use the same code base for building an iOS and Android app. Cross-platform development is the best method for saving time and resources throughout the development process.
Flutter offers outstanding performance for two reasons. First, is uses Dart, which compiles into native code. Second, Flutter has its widgets, so there’s no need to access OEM ones. As a result, there’s less communication between the app and the platform. These two features of Flutter ensure fast app startup times and fewer performance issues in general.
Quick development thanks to hot reload
Flutter is gaining a lot of traction among mobile developers because of the hot reload. Hot reload allows us to instantly view the changes applied to the code on emulators, simulators, and hardware. The changed code is reloaded in less than a second. All the while, the app is running and developers don’t need to waste time restarting it.
That makes building UIs, adding new features, and fixing bugs easier. If an app encounters an error, it’s usually possible to fix it and then continue using the app as if it never happened. Even if you’re forced to do a full app reload, you can be sure that it’s completed in no time, accelerating the development process.
Another advantage of Flutter is the fact that it comes with its widgets that result in fewer compatibility issues. Developers will see fewer problems on different OS versions and can spend less time on testing the app on older OS versions. Also, you can be confident that your app will work on future OS versions.
Since Google is a massive internal user of Flutter, the Flutter team is strongly motivated to keep their widget sets as current and close to the platform widgets as possible. Also, Flutter widgets are customizable and can be updated by anyone. Your app can even use new widgets on older OS versions!
Flutter is an open-source technology surrounded by an active community of developers who provide support, contribute to the tool’s extensive documentation, and develop helpful resources. Both Dart and Flutter are free to use.
Flutter is one of the most innovative mobile technologies on the market right now. The advantages it brings to development teams make it a promising candidate for the mobile technology of choice shortly.
Are you looking for a team of Flutter experts? Look no further! Our Flutter specialists know how to make the most out of this technology for a mobile development project. Get in touch with our consultants to learn how Flutter could take your project to the next level.
Cons of Flutter
Flutter caters to mobile apps only and isn’t supported by web browsers. When you choose the technology stack you want to work with, this can influence your decision. If you want maximum device flexibility, then Flutter may not be the thing you’re looking for.
Google supports Flutter and there are many helpful libraries. However, the framework is relatively new. You won’t find every functionality you’re looking for. Native apps, on the contrary, have everything in their native SDKs including Stripe, Twilio, and most streaming services such as Wowza and UStream. With Flutter, developers would have to build these libraries themselves, which is time-consuming.
There are many ready-made solutions for native Android and iOS apps that allow them to work with CI platforms like Travis and Jenkins. There are also ready-made Flutter solutions for most popular CI platforms like Travis or Circle. However, you need to set up the toolkit for these kinds of platforms. Travis can be used in several repos. The framework also supports the likes of Fastlane and Nevercode. As for us, we’ve applied a complex decision using Gitlab CI with Fastlane for Flutter apps.
Top mobile apps built with Flutter
- Xianyu app by Alibaba (iOS | Android)
- Hamilton app (iOS | Android)
- Google Ads app (iOS | Android)
- Reflectly (iOS | Android)
- App for JD Finance – a leading digital technology company (iOS)
- Topline (iOS | Android)
What is React Native?
React Native currently supports both iOS and Android and has the potential to expand to future platforms as well. In this book, we’ll cover both iOS and Android. The vast majority of the code we write will be cross-platform. And yes: you can use React Native to build production-ready mobile applications! Some anecdota: Facebook, Palantir, and TaskRabbit are already using it in production for user-facing applications
Pros of React Native:
Known for Optimal Performance
Undeniably, React Native is a real asset when it comes to improving the performances through native control and modules. The React Native gets connected to the native components for both the Operating Systems and generates code to the native APIs upfront and freely.
Can Reuse the Codes and Pre-Developed Components
One of the biggest benefits that you can gain from React Native is the advantage of code reusability. The developers feel blessed and thankful to Facebook as they don’t have to develop a separate mobile app for each platform.
Large Community of Developers
Advantage of Live and Hot Reloading
The React Native is known for its support for Live and Hot Reloading. Don’t get confused as both are different features. If we talk about Live Reloading then it’s a tool that helps in compiling and reading the file where the developer had made the changes. It also offers a new file to the stimulator, automatically reading the app from the beginning.
React Native is a Cost-Effective Solution
We have already discussed in the earlier paragraph how the code reusability in React Native helps to reduce the cost of the app development. The developers don’t need to use separate codes for both the platforms as both OS can be coded with a single programming language. Now, this makes your project cost more affordable as you don’t have to employ a large team and different developers for getting the job done.
Support for Third-Party Plugins
The Modular Programming helps to segregate the program functions into various free and interchangeable blocks known as modules. Now, this is a software technology that makes the development more flexible and establishes better coordination with each other to get the updates.
Cons of React Native
React Native is still New and Immature
React Native is a newbie as compared to other Android and iOS programming languages. It is still in its improvement stage and this can harm the apps.
Learning the Rope is a Tough Ask
Takes More Time to Initialize
It Lacks the Security Robustness
Managing the Memory
Top mobile apps built with React Native
- Instagram (iOS | Android)
- Facebook Ads Manager (iOS | Android)
- Bloomberg (iOS | Android)
- Gyroscope (iOS | Android)
- Walmart (iOS | Android)
- Skype (iOS | Android)
- Airbnb (iOS | Android)
- UberEATS (iOS | Android)
React Native Vs. Flutter
|Initial Release||March 2015||May 2017|
|App Performance||Close to native||Fast .60 fps|
|IDE Support||Range of IDE’s and tools with JS support||Android Studio, Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ IDEA|
|Native Appearance||Lower, Dependency on third-party apps||Better, has access to device core functionalities|
|GUI||Use Native UI controllers||Use Proprietary widgets and deliver UI|
|Time to market||Slower than flutter||Faster|
|Code reusability||90% of code is reusable||50-90% of code is reusable|
|Testing||Mobile device or emulator||Mobile device or emulator|
Remember that each application is different, so you must consider each one on its own merits. It’s always worth discussing your project with an experienced team of developers: people capable of considering the different approaches, with a varied enough skillset when it comes to cross-platform development – as if you seek the advice of programmers who know just one framework, they’ll likely steer you to use that tool.
If nothing else, take confidence from this: both Flutter and React Native are very good technologies.
Each of the frameworks can help your application spread its wings and fly. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you – best of luck with your next steps!