Digitization is the need of the hour. With the advancement in technologies, businesses need to find a way to increase their reach. Mobile applications are an essential medium to extend the circle. An average individual spends about 90% of their online time using mobile or web applications. Software application development needs to be approached in such a manner that the apps can be accessed and used by everyone alike.
Due to the increasing demand for apps, every business is looking to build one that can be available across all platforms. An app developed for Android will not work for iOS and vice-versa. Both these platforms have primitive technologies to build apps for them individually. Apps for Android can be developed using Android Studio or Kotlin, whereas iOS requires the knowledge of Xcode or Swift. The developer must know about all of these technologies.
The problem has led to the development of cross-platform frameworks. Among the various options available online, Flutter and React Native are two of the leading cross-platform development frameworks.
React Native was built and open-sourced by Facebook in 2015. It has easy access to the native UI components, and the code is reusable. A hot reload feature is available along with access to high-quality third-party libraries.
Flutter was launched by Google. It is an open-source technology. Flutter contains a robust ecosystem and offers maximum customization. A hot reload feature is available with faster code compilation. Now let us evaluate Flutter vs React Native based on certain parameters.
Flutter Vs React Native Criteria For Evaluation
In contrast, Flutter contains most of the required components within itself. This rules out the need for a bridge. Frameworks like Cupertino and Material Design are used. Flutter uses the Skia engine for its purpose. The apps built on Flutter are thus more stable.
Setup and Project Configuration
Proper guidelines are necessary for setting up a framework. React Native does not provide a proper setup roadmap. It starts with the creation of a new project. There is a little guideline to using the Xcode tools. But React Native does not provide enough information for a proper setup.
For Windows, it requires JDK and Android Studio to be preinstalled. Flutter, on the other hand, provides a detailed guide to installing it properly. Flutter doctor is a CLI tool that helps developers to install Flutter without much trouble. Hence, we can derive that Flutter provides better CLI support and a proper roadmap to setting up the framework. Project configuration can be done easily as well.
UI Components And Development API
Having a proper API is necessary for accessing the Native modules. React Native can create the Native environment for Android and iOS by using the JS bridge. But it relies heavily on third-party libraries. The React Native components may not behave similarly across all platforms. This makes the apps inconsistent. User Interface rendering is available. Flutter provides a huge range of API tools, and the User Interface components are in abundance. Third-party libraries are not required here. Flutter also provides widgets for rendering UI easily across Android and iOS.
Community support gives us an idea about the Flutter VS React Native popularity. Forming a community is important for developers. Communities help in sharing knowledge about specific technology and solving problems related to it. Since being launched in 2015, React Native has gained popularity increasingly. Communities have formed across the globe. The React Native Community on GitHub is a flourishing one. Flutter started gaining popularity in 2017 after the promotion by Google. The community is relatively smaller, but a fast-growing one. Groups are starting to form worldwide like the Flutter Community. React Native has larger community support. There is still a long way to go for Flutter, but it is being acknowledged globally at present.
DevOps And CI/CD Support
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery are important for apps to get feedback continuously. React Native does not offer any CI/CD solution, officially. It can be introduced manually, but that too does not have a proper guideline to it. Third-party solutions need to be used. Setting up a CI/CD with Flutter is easy. The steps are properly mentioned for both iOS and Android platforms. Command Line Interface can easily be used for deploying them. React Native DevOps is properly documented and explained. DevOps lifecycle can also be set up for Flutter. Flutter edges React Native in terms of DevOps and CI/CD support because of the official CI/CD solution.
With the advancement of the Flutter Software Development Kit(SDK), Flutter is becoming more and more advanced and preferable for cross-platform app development. Flutter overtakes React Native at certain points and vice versa. Both provide a powerful framework for app development. Cross-platform apps enable you to increase your reach. Flutter may overtake React Native as the leading cross-platform app development framework unless the RN community keeps updating itself.