Only a decade ago, it was hard to imagine life without mobile apps. They now make our lives easier, with some even assisting us with our daily chores. Statista reports that mobile apps are expected to generate $935 billion in revenue globally in 2023. Businesses today need mobile apps faster, and they want apps that perform equally well across all platforms. But do all companies have the time and resources for the same? Enter Flutter and React Native – two of the most popular cross-platform mobile app development platforms.
How did Flutter and React Enter the Mobile Universe?
In 2017, Google launched an open-source User Interface (UI) framework that was targeted at aiding developers to design cross-platform apps to run on mobile, Windows, macOS, and Linux. Flutter’s framework is built upon Dart.
Soon after, many big companies such as Philips Hue, Hamilton, Alibaba, etc began developing mobile apps using Flutter. Ever since, Google has frequently provided updates for Flutter, improving its performance with each update.
Why are React and Flutter so Popular?
While native apps work better on mobile phones, developing native apps for each platform is quite a waste of time. As a result, businesses are always looking for technologies that would help them build cross-platform apps that would run well, if not better, than native apps. Both React and Flutter offer open-source frameworks that solve this problem. Both frameworks offer many tools and features, such as code reusability and Hot Reload with its ability to make changes on the fly, etc – a freedom that makes mobile app development faster.
Pros of React Native
- One codebase to build apps for two or more platforms
- Has a faster learning curve for developers
- It saves up to 50% of the time on the testing
- Growing and active community of developers
Cons of React Native
- Has limited components
- The user interface is easily broken
- Apps are larger than native ones
Flutter helps create cross-platform applications using a single codebase. So you don’t have to develop separate mobile, web, and desktop apps. Being an open-source platform, any business owner can download it and get started. Apps built using Flutter are intuitive and easier to navigate.
Pros of Flutter
- Offers a rich library of widgets
- Well-structured documentation
- Apps are fast and easy to navigate, and they require less testing
- Flutter helps to create the same UI for older devices
- Flutter 2 helps in web app development
- Has a rapidly growing community
- Offers Hot Reload feature
Cons of Flutter
- Apps built on it are larger than native apps
- A limited set of tools and libraries
How to choose between Flutter and React Native?
According to Statista, only 6.54% of developers use Dart which makes it harder to find Dart developers or for developers to learn the language. React has a shorter learning curve.
For testing a React Native app, you will need a third-party testing framework such as Detox. If that’s a challenge, then it is better to choose Flutter because it is enriched with integrated testing features.
Statista states that 38% of developers used React Native in 2021, whereas 42% used Flutter for development. However, you should make a decision based on your overall goals in terms of your cross-platform mobile app development needs. If you need help or advice on what’s best for you, do give us a call.