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Flutter vs React Native : A developer’s point of view


Current world witnesses mobile phones being the epithet of the “soul of man”. In such a world, when it comes to mobile application development, giants like Facebook, Google, Myntra, Airbnb and others rush and jostle against each other to offer their potential customers apps with superlative user interfaces, outstanding user experience, compatibility with multiple platforms and apps those are faster to develop. Most of the companies look for options to build mobile apps for various platforms with faster speed and using lesser resources as possible.

In the meanwhile, innovation and technology came up with Flutter and React Native as business solutions. React Native and Flutter, engineered by Facebook and Google respectively, are two cross-platform mobile application development technologies creating a lot of buzz.

Previously, people used to work out apps separately for the two platforms: iOS and Android. Android developers use Kotlin or Java and iOS developers used Xcode or Swift, which required engineers to have the knowledge of two entirely different sets of technologies. This is where cross-platform solutions are prioritised over the native solutions so that people can build apps for both iOS and Android much faster using a single language. These two technologies, React Native and Flutter, serve the very purpose of developing cross-platform apps with a single codebase.

These two technologies also include the latest Hot Reloading. Hot Reloading is something in which you can make changes to the code while running the program and hit reload. The change will be accepted and executed without restarting the program.

React Native:

  • React Native is a project undertaken by Facebook and had been open sourced in 2015. It is a framework based on JavaScript for developing mobile applications for iOS and Android platform using a single code. The design is based on React, Facebook’s JavaScript’s library but instead of targeting the browser, React Native targets the mobile platforms. As it offers universality of the written code for Platforms like Android and iOS, it makes app developing for both of them much easier. React Native apps, if desired, have an access to features like phone camera ,or the user’s location , etc.
  • Architecture:React Native Architecture
    If we look at the architecture of React Native, it has two parts, it runs on JavaScript and communicates with the user interface on Native and it uses the ‘Bridge’ for that. This creates an issue with the speed. For instance, we want to create an animation at the rate of 60 frames per second, the speed of the UI decreases. This happens due to the conversion through the bridge sixty times in every second. This also limits the application to be used in multicore architecture (Multicore architecture places multiple processor cores and bundles them as a single physical processor). This is where React Native gets a drawback. It struggles when the developer opts for gesture based apps like Tinder.
  • Tech Support: React Native is a matured technology and has a huge and extensive developer’s community. It is based on JavaScript which in turn has many libraries. The developer will get a quick support whenever needed.
  • Looks: Once you write a component in the React Native, it automatically adopts the native look for either the Android or the iOS and the programmer doesn’t have to write much code.

Flutter:

  • Flutter is an SDK developed by Google and has been promoted heavily since 2017. It is to be used for building high performance apps for iOS and Android with a single codebase. It delivers high performance apps that look natural on various platforms. It uses Dart as it programming language which is comparatively easier and newer to JavaScript used in React Native.
  • Architecture:
    Flutter Architecture
    In this, there is no ‘bridge’. This is because Flutter is compiled in machine level code. Dart is a language that communicates the least with the operating system and handles things like painting, animation, gestures all by itself. This gives a hike in its performance and speed. No bridging will be required to run 60 frames per second in an animation. This is where flutter overcomes React Native.
  • Tech Support: Being a new technology, one of the problems faced by flutter is that, right now, it cannot offer much support as the Flutter developer’s community is too small as compared to the React Native. So the developer may face a lack of support while working on Flutter.
  • Currently, we have a huge community of developers working with JavaScript, so migrating into mobile apps would be much easier than learning and adopting a new language. Dart is fast in performance as well as a multipurpose language but as it not in much use, it would be difficult for the companies to find the programmers.
  • Though the industry adaptation for React Native is huge, Google is finding ways to promote and support Flutter and to establish it in the near future. Google’s new operating system for its mobile phones, Fuchsia OS, will only accept apps developed in Flutter SDK. More and more start ups are looking into it.





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