React Native and Flutter are both frameworks that enable developers to create mobile apps that run smoothly across multiple platforms. While React Native is currently the most widely adopted tool for the mobile, Flutter has been steadily gaining popularity and loyalty since 2017. In 2020, it’s one of the main competitors of React, and it’s predicted to grow in the future.
A Brief Overview of Flutter and React Native
React Native is a framework for cross-platform mobile development created by Facebook. It targets Android, iOS, Web, and UWP. React Native allows developers to use the power of React coupled with various functionalities of each platform, integrating the desired features seamlessly. This framework also enables developers to create user interfaces with elements that look native to each platform.
Flutter is a toolkit for software development, targeting mobile, desktop, and web platforms. Flutter was created by Google, and, similarly to React Native; it is open-source. This framework enables developers to create cross-platform applications that look equally good on both new and older versions of a device’s operating system and have a great feel due to an extensive collection of available widgets. Flutter significantly decreases the time needed to build an app compared to native development.
Unlike React, Flutter usually doesn’t require the bridge to connect the framework and the platform’s native modules. This toolkit uses UI frameworks like Cupertino and Material Design, along with the Skia C++ engine, with all the necessary protocols and channels. The wide range of offered functionalities in Flutter typically removes the necessity for developers to turn to other technologies to build their apps.
React Native provides the essential elements to develop an app, namely, UI rendering capabilities and device API access. For other functionalities, including accessing native modules, React relies on third-party libraries, which is usually less convenient than having all the tools you need in one package.
Flutter offers numerous libraries, navigation, testing tools, and an extensive set of widgets alongside the standard device API access and basic UI rendering to create visually appealing interfaces with minimal effort. In many cases, Flutter allows developers to forgo the use of third-party libraries. The functionality that the framework comes bundled with is usually sufficient to handle all necessary tasks and fulfill the design requirements.
In terms of community, React Native holds its position as the absolute winner. This framework is older than Flutter, and the community that contributes to it is more extensive, active, and generally inspiring.
Flutter may be lagging behind for now, although with its rapid growth, it is expected to catch up to the level of interaction and engagement that the React community has fairly quickly.
Flutter vs. React Native: Which to Choose?
Both Flutter and React Native are incredible frameworks that can help you build a cross-platform application faster and easier than with the majority of native tools.
Source: Nordic APIs