Hackernoon logoFlutter vs. React Native - What to Choose in 2021? by@wasim1charoliya

Flutter vs. React Native - What to Choose in 2021?

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Wasim Charoliya Hacker Noon profile picture

@wasim1charoliyaWasim Charoliya

Wasim Charoliya is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Intelivita, a mobile app development company based in Canada & USA.

As we enter 2021, the age-old debate between cross-platform programmers about React Native and Flutter is getting a lot of traction. In the not-too-distant past, React Native was the preferred framework for developers. Flutter, on the other hand, has developed into a capable competitor since its release in 2017.

With many startups choosing Flutter for MVP development recently, React Native is facing tough competition from Flutter. Therefore, the question is which app development technology will triumph in 2021?

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The Flutter App Advantages

1. Hot Reload = Fast Coding

Flutter allows for a more complex and quicker way of creating the application. It is one of the best things about Flutter, and it's something that any top mobile app development company appreciates.

Developers will make improvements to a codebase in real-time and see them reflected in the request right away. This is known as the "Hot reload" feature, and changes usually take (milli-)seconds to appear.

The function allows teams to add functionality quickly, fix bugs, and test new ideas. Also, when it comes to faster development with collaboration, Hot Reload comes in handy.

2. Single codebase for multiple mobile platforms

Flutter allows developers to write a single codebase for two apps – one for iOS and Android. Since Flutter has its own templates and layouts, its platform-agnostic platform would mean developers can use the same functionality on two different platforms while keeping each app unique in its style, usability, and functionality. 

Flutter for Web is developed by Google, providing the developers with the necessary credibility to put their trust on. Once the application is online, a single codebase will support Android, iOS, and web platforms.

3. Requires half of the testing compared to React Native

Since you'll be testing the same program on both platforms, the Quality Assurance will be much quicker. We write about half as many automated tests to write the same tests on both platforms, minimizing the workload on our QA team.

However, manual testing will be needed at a similar level to native programming, as your QA specialists would have to review both apps on each device manually.

Why would one prefer React Native over Flutter?

1. Fast refresh = fast coding

It has the same characteristic as Flutter. The Hot Reload accelerates the development process and allows a programmer to insert new code into a running application directly. Therefore, a developer can immediately see improvements without reconstructing the app.

Hot Reload preserves the state of the application and avoids the risk of losing it during complete reload (a key advantage in terms of the state-based framework) – further speeding up the process of the mobile application growth.

2. One codebase, 2 mobile platforms (and more!)

Exactly like Flutter, you write a single codebase to run two applications, one for Android and one for iOS. Even better, by exchanging code with web apps, JavaScript offers you an edge when developing cross-platform applications. This is done by developing abstraction modules that can be compiled for specific platforms.

See the examples below for libraries that let you code on systems other than iOS and Android (including web and desktop apps) at the same time:

React Native for Web is a cross-platform app that works on Android, iOS, and the web (Twitter used this to create Twitter Lite).

ReactXp – a Skype-developed app that supports Android, iOS, and the internet and Windows 10. (UWP).

React-native-windows created by the Microsoft teamwork for all Windows 10 users ( PCs, tablets, 2-in-1s, Xbox, Mixed reality devices, etc.)

A React Native programmer sees things differently and takes a different approach than most.

You may assume that a web desktop app, a mobile web app, and a native app all have the same business logic, but they'll need a different UI to satisfy different user needs.

3. It uses a wildly popular language – JavaScript

React Native uses JavaScript, a commonly used programming language, while Dart is still relatively unknown. You can also use TypeScript, a JavaScript subset if you're a developer who prefers statistics.

4. Developer freedom of choice

Developers can use React Native to develop cross-platform applications.

The advantage is that React Native allows you to choose precisely what solutions to use, according to both the requirements of the project and the developer's preferences.

For example, a developer may either use a custom user interface library or write their own if they need to handle global status (how to store and manage data used in multiple components in a single application); use a library router, or choose between JavaScript and TypeScript.

Things to consider before choosing one

Flutter is more difficult to learn than React Native for many people. React Native is common among developers because it employs JavaScript, which is a well-known programming language. As a result, learning Flutter can take longer than learning React Native if you are new to Dart. But the reverse is also true: if you've worked with Dart before, learning Flutter will be a breeze.

Since the components in React Native are so simple, you'll have to put in a lot of work when styling them. Just a few modules are platform-aware, and you'll almost always have to use various features for iOS and Android or style it differently.

Flutter, on the other hand, treats it as a widget. Furthermore, the widgets are Material Design-based, making them especially customizable. The majority of the widgets are adaptive, meaning they can be used on both Android and iOS.

Flutter has the advantage in terms of performance because it is compiled to ARM or x86 native resources, making it extremely fast. 

React Native is only a wrapper over native methods, so it takes a bridge to convert certain calls into a native API; this becomes a barrier when you have many native calls occurring. 

React Native isn't converted to native code, and it also has the JavaScript layer, rendering it less performant than Flutter. There are workarounds, but with Flutter, you never have to think about it because the view layer is made like a game – and there are fewer native calls to the bridges because Flutter engineers build all components. Since they are just wrappers over native views.

You won’t get enough customizations with React Native components. So, if someone chooses not to wrap a process, you won't be able to use it (for example, dashed boundaries around a view won't work) – and new components from Google and Apple will take a long time to arrive on React Native.

React bugs have also begun to take much longer to patch. The ruptured boundary problem, for one, and also a separate problem supporting different tastes, etc. Most React Native companies are manufacturing a customized fork to repair bugs that are not patched upstream. The Flutter devs are much more cautious and fixes can be expected quickly. You may end up searching for problems most of the time in the React Native documentation to find out why things didn't work as they should.

Bottomline

We hope that the information in this essay has helped you decide your own answer to the question, "Which is better: Flutter or Respond Native?" As far as the general consensus goes, Google’s flutter is here to stay as an SDK and may also take over the React Native in the coming years. If the future becomes more technical, it is important to remain updated while also selecting the best solutions.

Wasim Charoliya Hacker Noon profile picture
by Wasim Charoliya @wasim1charoliya. Wasim Charoliya is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Intelivita, a mobile app development company based in Canada & USA.Read my stories

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