Flutter vs React Native

Sai Chinmay Tripurari
3 min readNov 5, 2020

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Native Mobile Apps are the future of App development Industry. These Apps are designed in such a way that it uses platform specific features which give a totally dynamic and rich user experience and performance. In this guide we compare two frameworks Flutter and React Native so that you can choose the right one for your next Mobile Application.

Let’s get started…

Introduction to Flutter

Flutter was designed and developed at Google its first introduced in 2015. The alpha version was released in May 2017, and the stable version of Flutter which is (Flutter 1.0) was released in December 2018. The latest stable release is (Flutter 1.22.3) was released in October 2020.

Flutter is an open-source mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) which is used to build native like Android and iOS application from a single codebase. Flutter is now the top 7th software repos based on GitHub stars. Moreover there are more than thousands of application which use Flutter. The best examples of Flutter apps are Google Pay, Google Ads, Google Stadia, Dream11, etc.. and the exciting part is it also supports to develop games.

Here is how Flutter works

Widgets

Flutter was built in a whole new way working more like gaming engine than a traditional application framework. Lets go through basics of how Flutter works. Your Flutter Application consists of Widgets that are rendered onto a Skia canvas and sent to the platform. The platform shows the events back as required. It also had other components such as Flutter engine, foundation library, and design specific widgets.

Introduction to React Native

React Native is an open source framework created by Facebook to develop native applications based on React. React Native’s development started in 2013 as internal project which was first released in March 2015 when Facebook officially announced it as “Open-source”.

JavaScript based developers can create Android, iOS, Web and UWP(Universal Windows Platform) apps using React Native Framework. The latest stable release is 0.63.3 released in September 2020. Some of the most popular apps which are made of React Native are :

  1. Instagram
  2. Facebook
  3. Skype
  4. Tesla

Differences between React Native and Flutter

Designing the User Interface:

React Native has external UI kits such as React Native Elements, React Native Material Kit and Native Base. It also supports iOS app UI designs which are required for developer.

Flutter has built in material design widgets which helps in Android App development and Cupertino widgets correspond to iOS UI design.

Conclusion: Flutter’s UI is flexible as it is dependent on a layered architecture and also renders graphics quickly.

Programming Language

React Native is purely based on JavaScript, the apps which are developed using this are run on JavaScript. Where as Flutter is based on a completely different programming language called as Dart but however it is easy to learn programming Language.

Conclusion: As per sources JavaScript has more fanbase than Dart due to this React Native is having a advantage than Flutter.

App Performance

React Native interactions are initiated with the native components with the help of a JavaScript Bridge.

Flutter does not have any such bridge as it has a streamlined process to interact with native components.

And moreover the apps which are made in Flutter are directly compiled into native ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) for both iOS and Android which makes Flutter faster than React Native.

Conclusion if you want to choose between the two frameworks:

Choose React Native if :

  1. Scale existing applications into cross-platform modules.
  2. If required to develop light weight mobile applications.
  3. Have sufficient time.

Choose Flutter if :

  1. You have delivery timeline.
  2. Want to deploy the app to market quicker.
  3. Reduction in development costs by writing a single codebase with multi-platform support.

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Sai Chinmay Tripurari

CEO at Sri Sai Software Solutions & Entrepreneur at Full Time Developers