React Native vs Flutter: Choosing an App Development Framework

app development framework

When a brand decides to develop an app, there are many decisions that need to be made before the user experience and app offering are even covered. Choosing the app development framework will determine the speed, performance and code requirements that come with the framework. The price will also vary based on the scope of work, so you want to be having a conversation with your chosen mobile app development team to understand which framework is going to yield the greater product. 

What you need to know about React Native and Flutter

Created by Facebook, React Native is an open-source mobile app framework which can develop apps that are compatible with iOS, Android, web, Windows and macOS. The inspiration behind React Native was that HTML had long dominated the landscape, and Zuckerburg believed that native was the way to go, supported by the fact that HTML was not a stable fit for Facebook at that time. Flutter is an open-source software from Google, with its user interface framework developing apps for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux and Google Fuchsia. Flutter can also design apps through a single web codebase and initially started out on the Android operating system.

User interface

When you are developing an app, you want to know how easy it is going to be to design and how many elements are embedded in the chosen development framework and what will need to be outsourced. React Native has limited components, and so designers must access third-party libraries to furnish the app with the detail required. Comparatively, Flutter has a comprehensive user interface and suite of components, allowing users to design within the framework with extensive libraries available, regardless of whether your app is for iOS or Android. If customisation is key to your design brief, Flutter might be the framework to use. 

Technical language

When it comes to the programming language of React Native and Flutter, they are different again with React Native using JavaScript and Flutter using Dart. JavaScript is the more popular language industry-wide, making it easily accessible and allowing designers to jump-start a design without too much induction into the React Native platform. Dart certainly has its advantages and is gaining traction with the significant push coming from Google, but it may put off designers and JavaScript users who are not willing to learn a new language format and would rather apply the skills they already have.

Speed

Speed is a factor that is important to both the designer and the business who has commissioned the app build. While the exact speed cannot be measured as each app and designer skill set is different, Flutter appears to be the faster framework given that the libraries are integrated into the platform and React Native is not compiled in native code. Even taking into account the Dart programming language that may pose a barrier, Flutter still comes out as the speedier framework. This enhanced performance can allow more time for testing and tweaking, which can be invaluable to a new app build.

Support

The quality and consistency of community support can really impact the experience and can determine how long your app is out of action if you run into issues. Generally speaking, both React Native and Flutter provide excellent support to users, and this support exists outside of forums but at dedicated conferences and events all over the world. React Native was first launched in 2015 and Flutter in 2017, so given how recently these frameworks entered the market, the number of resources available to new and experienced developers is impressive and only growing.

It’s safe to say that a decision to work with React Native or Flutter will serve you well, but pay attention to the subtle differences and apply them to your project before you choose the app development framework.

SDR Team

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