React Native vs Flutter 2023: What’s The Best Cross-Platform App Development Framework? [UPDATED]

react native vs flutter: what’s the best cross-platform app development framework itechnolabs

The framework you choose determines the productivity and features of your future application. The user’s device will overheat, lag, and malfunction if an app is poorly designed.

Historically, native and cross-platform development has been at odds with each other. React Native vs Flutter is the confrontation between two popular cross-platform development frameworks.

React Native vs  Flutter: Cross-Platform Frameworks

react native vs flutter cross-platform frameworks itechnolabs

These two cross-platform frameworks are both among the best on the market. The two apps offer highly customizable, responsive UIs with NativeWidgets that can be shared across platforms.

These tech giants have a number of teams working on everything from SDKs to documentation, support, etc., of their respective platforms, like Flutter and React Native.

Both Flutter and React Native are native apps, but they differ in that they allow for a large portion of the codebase to be shared across platforms.

React Native vs  Flutter

react native vs flutter itechnolabs

While Flutter compiles into a native mobile language (Java, Swift, Objective-C), React Native simply executes its JavaScript code. Flutter compiles its Dart to Native, so its performance can be affected (more on that later).

On React Native, vanilla JavaScript (instead of JSX) is used to write components. Flow or TypeScript are recommended by Facebook developers when using React. Because of Dart’s static typing system, Google recommends using it for writing Flutter code as well.

We believe that choosing between these two technologies should be decided more by personal preferences than by the features and capabilities they offer. The main thing is to pick up new languages and frameworks even if your native language isn’t written in them.

JavaScript (ES2015+) or TypeScript/Flow familiar programmers will have an easier time getting started with React Native. There is a big overlap between React and React Native for developers who have used React for the web.

Despite JavaScript’s dominance in the mobile development space, and the ability to choose your preferred programming language with React Native and Flutter, it’s hard to predict which of these languages will be more popular in future.

Another important factor that may influence this decision is the following:

  • The preference of companies for certain technology stacks
  • Experience with the chosen language/framework of the developer
  • Developers with the required skills for a specific technology are available

Both React Native and Flutter are expected to be big players in mobile app development, so the choice is yours based on what is most convenient for you.

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Frameworks that support cross-platform development

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Despite their similarities in terms of concepts and features, cross-platform mobile app development frameworks are developed with different goals in mind.

React Native combines native code performance and an easy to use development environment, like React web. In other words, you wouldn’t use a single set of shared components between iOS and Android but rather wrap each UI into its own JavaScript bundle, allowing you to ship almost half the app’s files separately.

The primary motive for creating Flutter was to serve Google’s needs. This is essentially an attempt to merge fast development cycles with native code performance while developing reusable UI components that can be shared between iOS and Android apps. The main reason React Native is slower than Google Flutter is this.

In addition to making app development easier, Flutter was specifically designed to make them more accessible by allowing developers to write code using Dart, a language they can master in a weekend, depending on their skillset. Flutter is the framework chosen by companies that want to quickly develop native mobile applications while retaining performance and features.

Is Flutter an alternative to React Native?

is flutter an alternative to react native itechnolabs

A Flutter-based application is indistinguishable from a native one. Their performance and appearance are identical (except for some platform-specific styling).

Typically when people use React Native to build apps, they complain about its runtime environment, which makes it harder than managing a separate process for each architecture. React Native will not provide you with the same performance as a native app, although you can get close.

With Flutter, your existing JavaScript codebases will not be supported, and some components shared between iOS and Android apps will not be re-used as with React Native.

Let’s now take a closer look at each framework’s technical advantages and disadvantages.

React Native vs  Flutter user experience comparison

react native vs flutter user experience comparison itechnolabs

Selecting the right framework for your mobile application requires consideration of the user experience. Users should experience intuitive experiences that motivate them to stick with a product or brand. You are also able to refine your website’s customer journeys in a way that’s most conducive to your business’ success with a meaningful user experience.

  • The ability of Flutter to provide a great user experience

The user experience with Flutter is rich with simple tools, elements, and even custom widgets. It is also a part of Dart to create UI frames for temporary objects through the generational garbage collection feature. Due to the Dart feature, objects can be allocated within a single pointer bump, preventing UI clutter, eye strain, and shutter lag caused by animations.

  • User-friendly experience provided by React Native

It’s hard for React Native to keep up with constantly changing native platform requirements, especially since Android’s Material Design and iOS’s Style Design are constantly evolving. It also becomes even more difficult to create consistent designs across platforms when you use readymade React Native UI kits such as React virgin, Shoutem, and Ant Design. Nevertheless, there are some valuable components in the Flutter vs React Native comparison, including ScrollView fixed headers, Modal components, Activity indicators, Snap carousels, and Pagination components.

Framework modularity refers to the extent to which various types of people with varying technical skills and experiences can collaborate on the same project. An incoherent code structure can delay the development of a big application. In terms of modularity, let’s compare Flutter and React Native.

  • Does flutter support modularity?

Using Flutter’s pub package system, project codes can be divided into different modules with better accessibility for teams. Thanks to the plug-in capability, you and your team can easily add or modify codebases and construct different modules. BMW architects talked about how Flutter lets them work effortlessly with teams of various skillsets at the Droidcon NYC conference this year.

  • Is React Native modular?

The modularity support in React Native may be less than that in Flutter. You might have a hard time correlating iOS, Android, and Reactjs developers. React Native code fragmentation may be an issue for different teams without expertise. To some extent, React Native allows the combination of simple native elements of different operating systems to allow developers to work together.

  • Which is easier to learn, Flutter or React Native?

The APIs of React Native and Flutter are similar in complexity, though the developer’s expertise will determine how easily they can be learned. The developer communities at both companies have a large and engaged developer community that assists new developers and creates new tools and components consistently.

New developers would likely be wise to start with React Native if they have little or no coding experience. The predefined components can be used to develop almost any iOS or Android app. As a result, you are not required to learn all the APIs used for rendering views at one time.

If you have some coding experience, however, we would probably recommend Flutter over React Native as its APIs are more comparable to that of iOS and Android.

Flutter’s team is also working hard to ensure that it can compete with other SDKs (such as React Native) in ensuring that its development experience is as good as theirs.

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Flutter versus React Native

Many companies have used React Native since it was released in 2015. Thanks to community contributions, React Native has also evolved over time to include enhanced features in the JavaScript world.

If you come from an Android or iOS background, Flutter might seem alien to you. In addition to making it easy to learn, Google has also put a lot of effort into making it super intuitive. This means most iOS or Android developers can pick it up in no time.

Are You Still Confused to Choose React Native vs Flutter App Development Framework?

are you still confused to choose react native vs flutter app development framework itechnolabs

With Flutter or React Native, you can build cross-platform applications easily. Before choosing one of them, you should be aware of their key differences, even though they have some similarities.

Choosing the right cross-platform framework for an app for your business or startup depends on many factors, including development experience, development team, and how your app will interact with native elements.

Frequently Asked Questions for React Native vs Flutter 2023

1. Platform vs. framework – what is the difference?

Key differences for framework vs. platform have been lined up. Take a look – 

  • As far as a platform is concerned, it is a set of hardware and software components that enables the development and functioning of a mobile application. On the other hand, a framework is an already established structure which you can modify with regard to the needs of your mobile application
  • In simple words, you develop and run a mobile application over a platform. However, a framework is a fundamental structure over which you build your mobile app. 
  • While frameworks offer a well-rounded base for the developers to design and develop a mobile application, a platform is usually the go-to choice of the developers for testing and deployment purposes.
  • In platform-specific app development, it takes longer to develop an app as you do not have a structure and guidance as you have in the case of an app development that relies upon framework. 
  • Examples of platforms are android and iOS, whereas famous frameworks are react native, ionic, xamarin, flutter, etc. 

2. Flutter vs. FlutterFlow – what is the difference?

The key differences between Flutter and FlutterFlow have been mentioned below – 

  • As we all know, Flutter is a cross-platform app development framework that is based upon the programming language of Dart and has the potential to build apps with complex UI designs.

On the other hand, FlutterFlow is a design tool that can be used to visually build user interfaces for mobile apps by dragging and dropping various design components 

  • Obviously, if you are thinking of building user interfaces with Flutter, you need to have a functional knowledge of Dart so that you could write codes for user Interfaces. 

However, with FlutterFlow, you need not learn any programming language because you need to do bare minimum coding. By dragging and dropping UI components, you can be done and dusted with your UI design

  • With Flutter, you get to build user interfaces from scratch. Therefore, you get to customise the UI designs in any way you want. 

However, with FlutterFlow, you may not enjoy this much flexibility as only a certain level of customisation is allowed 

  • As far as app development is concerned, Flutter is pretty fast with its hot reload feature where changes get executed on a real time basis.

However, FlutterFlow is even faster as it simply automates all the development related tasks after showcasing how your app will look like

3. Flutter vs. React Native platform – which is better?

Key points of react native vs. flutter debate have been stated below – 

  • React native acts harnesses the native components and native module in order to build a UI that has almost a native look and feel. 

However, with flutter, you get to build complex UI designs with the help of in-built widgets which are definitely not native

  • React native is based upon the popular JavaScript which consequently makes react native popular amongst developers.

However, flutter is based upon a relatively newer programming language called Dart and hence, is not as famous amongst developer-kind

  • React native is supported and modified by a larger community of developers because of the widespread popularity of JavaScript. 

On the other hand, flutter has not garnered as much support as react native because of its relatively newer status

  • React native acts as a bridge between the JavaScript thread and the native thread for facilitating flow of information between them, whereas no such bridge exists in case of flutter. 

Therefore, the app development speed is faster in case of flutter as compared to react native due to lack of this bridge

  • React native has scattered and not so updated documentation which can cause problems for developers to use its brand new features or in case, a glitch occurs.

However, with Flutter, the documentation is simple, simplified, and up-to-date and efficiently guides developers at each and every stage of app development

4. What are the top Flutter alternatives in 2023?

We have curated a list of top alternatives for Flutter framework. The list has been presented below –

  • React Native – 

As an open-source framework, react native builds cross-platform mobile apps with a very native look and feel. It is based upon a JavaScript programming language 

  • Xamarin – 

Xamarin is a cross-platform mobile app development framework that is based upon the programming language of C#. The framework builds applications that have dynamic user interfaces 

  • Ionic –

Again an open-source framework, Ionic is a framework that builds apps for diverse platforms. The framework is based upon AngularJS and Apache Cordova. 

  • Cordova – 

Developed by Nitobhi, Cordova is a hybrid-app development framework that uses the programming languages of CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript. 

5. What is Ant Design Flutter?

  • Ant design flutter is a flutter framework to build UI designs for web applications
  • Like flutter, it has some very dynamic widgets for step-by-step building of frontend design of a web application
  • Ant design flutter can be used for building complex UI designs for mobile apps 
  • However, ant design flutter is not that appropriate for UI design of mobile apps
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