Flutter Vs React Native - Which is The Best Framework to choose

Flutter Vs React Native – Which One to Choose For Your Mobile App in 2024

Flutter Vs React Native

Sunil Chavda This post was written by Sunil Chavda

Are you looking for one of the best cross-platform mobile app development frameworks for your startup? Well, let me tell you all frameworks are best. What matters is the core purpose of choosing a particular framework and the kind of features you want to integrate into your mobile app. The two most popular frameworks in this category are Flutter and React Native. Before you choose anyone, you must know which one will help you with the best performance, which one takes less time and can give better results and what is your developer’s choice.
So let us head on to understand which is better Flutter or React Native through our cross-platform app development guide.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is an open-source user-interface software development kit. With Flutter, developers can create cross-platform applications for multiple platforms and operating systems.Flutter is created by Google in 2018.

What is React Native?

React Native is a mobile application development framework, mostly used to develop web, mobile, and desktop applications React Native is released by Facebook in 2015.

Main Difference Between Flutter and React Native

The biggest differentiator between Flutter and React Native is that Flutter renders all components on its canvas, while React Native uses JavaScript components and transforms them into native ones. And that is why, component updates impact React Native apps and not on Flutter apps. So to get the latest native components in Flutter apps, you need to update the app manually.

How Flutter and React Native Are Equally Popular Worldwide?

Up to 2019, Flutter was not very popular. It was almost at the bottom.
The above report is sourced from the Stack Overflow Survey 2019. However, in 2021, Flutter went almost at par with React Native to become one of the most popular technologies.
The fresh reports of 2022 will surprise you with Flutter vs React Native Performance and its popularity.
Source: Stack Overflow Survey 2022. Flutter has surpassed React Native slightly in terms of recognition and popularity. 
Well, that is not the end. Let us take a quick glimpse of the Google Trends report. After consistently performing better than React Native for two years since April 2020, Flutter has become the highest-searched framework worldwide and the trend has continued for 2023 as well.

Usage of Flutter and React Native

To know which framework works best for your mobile app development project, you must consider the target devices, desired features, etc. We have compiled a short list of common use cases and have tried to establish the key requirements that can be best fulfilled with either of the frameworks or with both.
Key Needs for Your App Flutter React Native
MVP of the app
Rapid App Prototype
Multiple screens and complex logic
App suitable for old devices
Desktop application
Game application
Web application
App with AR elements
For most of the cases, Flutter is more suitable. However, everything depends on the kind of mobile app and per key specifications of your business. You can develop the below apps with both types of frameworks:
  • 1.
    Social Media
  • 2.
    Loyalty programs
  • 3.
    Mobile banking
  • 4.
    E-commerce
  • 5.
    Messengers
  • 6.
    Streaming services
  • 7.
    Lifestyle
  • 8.
    Education
  • 9.
    News

Top Apps built with Flutter Framework

  • Google Ads - to manage, optimize, and track ad campaigns
  • Grab - food delivery service merchant app
  • eBay Motors - an app to browse, sell, and buy vehicles
  • Baidu Tieba - the biggest Chinese communication platform
  • Stadia - Google’s gaming service

Top Apps Built with React Native Framework

  • Facebook - it uses some components made from React Native
  • Walmart - a shopping app known very well in the United States
  • Uber Eats - the biggest food delivery service
  • Wix - an app that is used to build and manage websites and mobile apps
  • Skype - video conferencing tool
  • Bloomberg - business news app having personalized content, live feeds, and videos

Comparisons Between Flutter and React Native

Design and UI

Flutter uses widgets to build user interfaces. Widgets include text, buttons, cards, layout options, animations, and touch interactions. With widgets, you can describe appearance according to the configuration and state. Changing the state of a widget will enable you to reframe its description and update its appearance.
Flutter has two sets of widgets namely Material Design widgets and Cupertino widgets. Material design is mostly influenced by Google’s design language. Cupertino widgets are inspired by Apple iOS design. With Cupertino, developers can create a native-like user interface, irrespective of the target platform.
React Native uses UI components that are rendered as per the chosen platform. The UI gets a native feeling, however, there are sometimes minor inconsistencies between Android and iOS. React Native has a popular library named native-paper that provides more range of Material Design components that are highly compatible. With such libraries, developers can implement Material Design in their React Native apps.

Performance Comparison

Flutter architecture makes it more efficient and productive as compared to React Native. React Native needs a JavaScript communication bridge to coordinate with native components, which may lead to a slowdown sometimes. Whereas, Flutter does not need this bridge. Flutter uses the effective Skia rendering engine. In Flutter 3.0, Google has integrated an experimental Impeller tool that can enhance rendering and animation.

Security Aspect

React Native falls a bit short in terms of providing security. JavaScript code of the release build is accessible and hence poses a threat to the whole app. The projects that need strict security systems and tools like in fintech and banking, React native is not very suitable. On the contrary, Flutter has built-in security features that keep encryption, storage, and sandboxing secured with an extra layer of protection. React Native lacks efficient security features and mostly relies on third-party libraries for security-related functionalities.

Ecosystem

For both the frameworks there is a strong backing of large companies. React Native is older than Flutter, however, Flutter is gaining traction speedily.

Community

Flutter is handled by Google team and has an active open-source community. The community keeps organizing events like Flutter Engage that help developers learn about the latest developments and trends. They can also interact with leaders from Flutter, Dart, and Firebase. On Slack, two active Flutter communities have more than 30000 participants from all over the world.
React Native is handled by the Facebook team and also has an open-source community. It has a Discord community that is named Reactflux and also has various other forums like groups and company-organized communities.

Testing and Development Speed

Both frameworks have adequate tools and mechanisms to perform a speedier app development process. Flutter has a broad range of tools like Android Studio, VS code, and various plugins. Flutter’s Hot Reload feature enables developers to quickly view the code changes. Flutter apps are built with widgets that can help speed up the app development process with simplified functionalities.
React Native has a feature namely Fast Refresh that enables developers to insert new code directly into a running app. However, there are chances of library breakages while doing updates. The auto-updated version sometimes does not work properly and needs manual updates for some components.

Packages, Plugins, and Development Tools

Flutter has a vast amount of ready-to-use packages with nearly 32000 items. With these packages, developers can make micro-improvements like URL text conversion and email conversions into clickable inline links. It can also display a country code selector which is mostly used for international e-commerce services.
React Native also has a large number of libraries like high-quality third-party components that are called awesome-react-native. The ecosystem of React Native is huge and bigger than Flutter. It has an in-built node package manager (npm) repository of packages with over 18 million hosted packages. Although npm has numerous libraries of good quality, there are chances of encountering low-quality, out-of-date, and abandoned packages.

Ease of Learning

Any framework’s ease of adoption is based on the kind of programming language it chooses. You can learn any language from scratch by learning the basics initially. Flutter is based on Dart language and this language is not widely used. Mostly, Java developers can pick up faster. Also, Flutter keeps a guide for React Native developers and that is why its popularity is growing.
React Native is based on JavaScript and is a very common programming language that is widely used by front-end developers. JavaScript is considered to be one of the simplest languages which makes a great option for all entry-level developers.

Maturity

For any technology, its maturity is defined by the way it adopts the newest trends and provides long-term support. React Native consists of high-quality third-party libraries. Some of the major brands like Tesla, Instagram, and Salesforce have incorporated React Native into their tech stacks.
Also, Flutter is rapidly catching up with the pace and we can say that both technologies have quite matured to safely use in production.

Documentation

Flutter documentation is much more advanced and has in-depth functionalities making it so easier to navigate. Although React Native has been around for quite a long time, Flutter has remained more influential in recent times. Also, React Native developers can easily start working with Futter by just learning about the ways to arrange components in a mobile application.

Cross Platform Capacity

Developers can build apps for iOS and Android easily with React Native. Recently, Microsoft has introduced a smart project that helps write desktop apps in React Native. The React Native team is presently focusing on ways to improve cross-platform developer experiences with new architecture updates and layout management. Moreover, React Native is highly compatible with various plug-ins and third-party libraries that help simplify the development of cross-platform applications.
Flutter is used to develop apps for the web, Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. With the introduction of Flutter 3, some SDKs help developers to share code between various compatible platforms. Even Flutter 4 focuses on desktop app development.

When to use Flutter

Flutter works best for:
  • Smaller budget projects where there is no requirement for two teams (for iOs and Android)
  • Fast release of the product in short deadlines
  • Giving pixel-perfect designs and components with great UI
  • Building cross-platform experiences for users

When to use React Native

When Use React Native
React Native works best for:
  • Reusing desktop or website app components for building a mobile app
  • Using plug-ins, widgets, and modules from the npm repository built by the expert JavaScript team
  • When you do not get Flutter app developers

Decision Time:

Flutter vs React Native which will be better to choose

Flutter Vs React Native which one is better
Technically, when you are deciding whether Flutter or React Native, both of them can be used to develop the best apps. They can give you too close to native performance and similar user experiences. But for quite a few years, Flutter has been increasingly used by large organizations, small businesses, and professional developers. If you are planning to choose either of the technologies, look from a broader perspective and not just in terms of its popularity or technical benefits.
Flutter’s gradual learning curve reflects its invaluable contribution. It gives you a perfect combination of documentation and Dart language. On the other hand, also remember that Dart is not so famous programming language as compared to the most popular and easy-to-learn JavaScript language, which is used by React Native.
To summarize, both frameworks are unique in their ways. To help you make a final decision on Flutter Vs React Native which is the best framework for mobile app development, we have compiled a mobile app development frameworks comparison chart that covers the key factors that we discussed.

Key Differences of Flutter and React Native

Flutter React Native
Usage
Best for simple MVPs, complex apps with multiple screens on mobile, desktop, and web
More suitable for prototyping and creating simple apps
Popularity
Its popularity is gradually increasing with great consistency
Popularity is slowing down
Design and UI
Native-like UI/UX Has similar UI/UX on all devices
Native-like UI/UX Cant provide similar UI/UX for old devices
Performance
Runs at great speed
May lag in speed for apps with complex designs and animations
Security
Best choice for projects having tight security needs
Not suitable for such type of projects
Testing
Faster and simple
Quite challenging
Development speed
Faster than React Native
Slower due to manual updates and extra optimization
Ecosystem
Great community support
Great community support
Development
Can be a little expensive
Can be a bit affordable
If you are looking to hire Flutter developers for your upcoming project, Whitelotus Corporation can provide you with an experienced Flutter development team, We can assist you in creating your desired app. If you are interested, you can contact us to discuss your project. We shall walk an extra mile to help you fulfill all your requirements.

Author

  • Sunil Chavda

    Sunil is a result-orientated Chief Technology Officer with over a decade of deep technical experience delivering solutions to startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises across the globe. Have led large-scale projects in mobile and web applications using technologies such as React Native, Flutter, Laravel, MEAN and MERN stack development.