Flutter VS React Native

Flutter VS React Native

What is Flutter?

Flutter is a cross-platform UI framework, written in Dart, developed and released by Google in 2017. Flutter has become very popular over the past few years.

What’s so special about Flutter? Well, one of its main selling points is the users' ability to create cross-platform apps using a single codebase, for web, mobile and desktop.

What is React Native?

React Native is a cross-platform framework developed and released by Facebook in 2015. React Native is written in JavaScript and rendered with native code.

Documentation: Flutter VS React Native

Flutter has excellent official documentation, which is perfectly structured and easy to understand.

On the other hand, React Native's official documentation is not so impressive, although is fairly user-friendly. We could also use a different platform for React Native, such as Expo, which has great documentation and offers more features and detailed examples than the official React Native guide.

Developer Experience: Flutter VS React Native

When it comes to debugging, Flutter has a few better tools than React Native. React Native uses hot reload, which allows us to see the changes we've made in the code without having to reload the entire app. Flutter’s hot reload is slightly faster than React Native's and they also provide some really nice tools for debugging, profiling and inspecting our widget tree. There’s also a really good Flutter plugin for Android Studio.

End-to-end testing in Flutter is a lot better than React Native's Detox. A really nice feature from Flutter is the 'flutter doctor' command. This command checks your environment and displays a report of the status of your Flutter installation!

Upgrading your codebase in Flutter can be considered an easy and painless experience — we can simply run 'flutter create' and it will re-create everything in its new version. In React Native, there are currently two ways to upgrade; by using React Native CLI or manually with the help of Upgrade Helper. It can be a painful experience and could definitely benefit from some improvements.

Third-Party Libraries: Flutter VS React Native

The JavaScript community is much bigger than the Dart community, thus, there are plenty of libraries and tools that were originally developed for JavaScript or React that we can also use in a React Native app. 

Pros of Flutter

  • Great documentation
  • Lots of widgets
  • A community that keeps growing
  • Great debugging tools
  • Hot reloading

Pros of React Native

  • A vast community
  • Just a small learning curve for developers that come from React
  • Can re-use code from React
  • Extensive availability of third-party libraries
  • Hot reloading
  • Smaller project size than Flutter

Conclusion: Flutter VS React Native

Flutter VS React Native is a tough choice since both Flutter and React Native are great frameworks. The choice of which one to choose depends on your experience as a developer and the goals of your project. Flutter might offer better performance and an easier debugging experience, and could be a better choice if the plan is to create a small application on a modest budget. Nonetheless, React Native remains a strong candidate with a vast community of developers to back it up.

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Written by Evridiki Christodoulou (Full Stack Developer + Tech Project Lead). Read more in Insights by Evridiki or check our their socials , Instagram