Flutter vs. React Native: What’s the Difference?

The global mobile app industry is growing rapidly today, with market expectations indicating a 48% uptick by the end of 2021. Notably, 64% of app downloads in the world take place in the Asia-Pacific region alone. India is not only a vast market but also a provider of valuable tech talent. This blog will discuss two widely used tools, Flutter and React Native, further detailing the key reasons for pursuing app development as a career.

So, read on to get familiar with the fundamental concepts and make an informed choice about Flutter vs. React Native. 

Usage of Flutter and React Native

Flutter is a comprehensive software development toolkit packed with UI tools and widgets. It uses the Dart programming language, enables cross-platform development, and allows developers to build attractive Android and iOS applications with a single codebase. 

React Native is another open-source framework. It is based on JavaScript and React, offering the fundamental UI building blocks for mobile applications. It is best to use external libraries while creating web and desktop applications with React Native.

While both software may seem similar in functionality, they have some differences. We have listed them for you below.

Differences between Flutter and React Native

  • Flutter is a Google project, whereas Facebook developed React Native. 
  • React Native is older than Flutter. It was released in March 2015, while Flutter officially came out in December 2018.
  • Flutter uses Dart, and React Native uses JavaScript. 
  • Flutter is behind apps like Google Ads, Philips Hue, My BMW, Alibaba’s Xianyu. Facebook Ads, Instagram, Skype, and Tesla are built using React Native.
  • App development with Flutter is faster than native development. React Native is as fast as Flutter. However, it uses the bridge and native elements that may require different optimization, leading to longer app development time.

Now that you are clear about the uses and dissimilarities, we’ll look into each software framework’s advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of Flutter

Flutter is a clear winner in the Flutter vs. React Native debate for creating high-performance apps. Its C++ engine and Skia graphic library pave the way for speedier coding and app development. It also provides exceptional testing features, which you can use for:

  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • Widget testing

On the other hand, React Native demands third-party tools for mobile app testing. 

Moreover, as of 2021, Flutter’s code sharing advantages give developers the room to use the same codebase for shipping native apps across five operating systems, including:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux

Flutter apps imitate the native components, conforming to specific design languages, looking and behaving naturally on each platform. The web experiences target browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. You can even embed the recently announced Flutter 2 in smart home appliances and cars. 

Flutter’s primary disadvantage is that it uses Dart, a programming language with limited online resources and rare usage among active programmers in the market. Additionally, the framework is more suitable for straightforward applications that do not require extensive UI design. 

Pros and Cons of React Native

The very fact that React Native uses JavaScript proves beneficial for aspiring mobile app developers. JavaScript is widely used, easy to learn and implement, and can create simplified yet rich interfaces. 

The React Native also delivers considerable cost and time savings. It allows integration with third-party plugins and provides hassle-free state and lifecycle management, updating the app components as the OS receives an update. The declarative programming employed by Reach Native makes it easier to spot bugs on different user paths. 

Despite that, the framework lacks custom modules and a UI components library. It needs separate native developer teams for Android and iOS apps. This can lead to inconsistency between the two projects and major disparities in the apps’ features, appearance, and behavior. The resultant applications’ could also be better in terms of navigation. 

Final Choice: Flutter vs. React Native

In a nutshell, Flutter offers excellent documentation and community support for both mobile and web platforms. It is mainly known for its swift time-to-market length. React Native also boasts of a vast community and plenty of tutorials and libraries, facilitating easy mobile app development. Both of these frameworks give you a rich codebase to work with.

However, here are a few caveats to keep in mind.

Do not go for Flutter if:

  • You want to create a simple and small app instantly.
  • It would help if you had a minimalistic UI and phone hardware (for taking pictures, playing music, etc.)
  • Your app design is platform-specific.
  • Your app requires rare native libraries.
  • Your app needs 3D touch support (it currently features on Flutter’s long-term roadmap.)

Avoid React Native in the following scenarios:

  • Your app has to perform ultra-specific tasks (for example, calculations) in the background.
  • If you want to implement custom communication via Bluetooth.
  • If you need an Android-only app, choose native app development instead. React Native provides better support for iOS.

Finally, it would help if you opted for the software that best aligns with your app requirements and learning goals.

Why Choose Mobile App Development?

Today, we use mobile apps for almost everything, from shopping and booking cabs and tickets to scheduling appointments, playing games, and watching movies. The digital era is here and thriving, seeping into multiple aspects of our lives. With this perspective, a career in mobile app development could offer tremendous gains, especially financially. 

In India, the average salary for Mobile App Developers is estimated at Rs. 5,00,000 per year. Compensation platform PayScale lists the remuneration for mid-career professionals around Rs. 9,00,000 per year, and that for senior developers at Rs. 12,48,000 per year. So, this field has a decent career progression graph if you have the right skills and experience. 

A standard mobile app development job includes building, testing, and improving apps according to clients’ requirements. It involves writing code for specific operating environments, designing the app’s interface, and dealing with cross-functional teams. Hiring managers usually prefer candidates with a background in software engineering, computer science, and related fields. But most importantly, candidates should have a firm grasp of programming languages like C, C++, Java, etc. Working knowledge of industry-accepted frameworks comes in handy during the job search and interviews. The above analysis on Flutter vs. React Native will prepare you for the process. 

Conclusion

If you are interested in getting a foot in the door, begin your learning journey by clearing up the basics. Once you are familiar with the leading development tools, you can put your detailed knowledge to practice. Undertaking individual or group projects can be one way of refining your technical skills. Another option is to enroll in an advanced course to grasp the industry requirements and then a related project to improve your profile. 

upGrad offers several online programs for freshers and professionals to upskill and excel. You can check out upGrad’s Software Engineering Programs. Plus, upGrad offers 360-degree career assistance by conducting job fairs, mock interviews, resume-building sessions, and much more.

So, find the course that aligns with your learning needs and boost your career prospects today! 

What are Flutter and React Native used for?

Flutter and React Native are open-source mobile app development frameworks, built by Google and Facebook, respectively. Both software let you create Android and iOS applications with a single codebase. However, while Flutter uses Dart as the programming language, React Native is based on JavaScript.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Flutter?

The coding process for Flutter is faster than React Native. It also offers superior software testing features. However, Flutter is a relatively new framework that delivers weighty apps. Its use of Dart requires extra effort on the part of developers as they have to learn a less popular programming language.

What are the pros and cons of React Native?

React Native has a modular and intuitive architecture. It uses JavaScript, which is more suitable for aspiring software developers today. It is also older than Flutter, backed by a huge team of enthusiastic JavaScript and native developers across the globe. That said, React Native falls short in memory management. It is not a suitable framework for computation-intensive apps that rely on performance speed.

Prepare for a Career of the Future

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