Difference between React Native and Flutter
In this article, we will discuss two frameworks that have exquisitely maintained and transcended into the top ranks for quite some time now, namely React Native and Flutter. Considering the huge amount of skill, time and money invested in mobile app development, nowadays companies need a faster way of making an app. Also, to code a native app you need to know Java to build an Android app and Swift for an iOS app provided by Google and Apple respectively. Additionally, you must have IDEs that support native rendering of the code for the above-mentioned programming languages. So continuing on our point of cross-platform frameworks, many of them tried solving this issue but gained a limited amount of support and popularity before eventually being shrugged off as just another framework.
React Native: A creation of Facebook which was made open-source in 2015. Gradually, it got some great support from the community. Largely based on ReactJS but with a highly useful factor of native code added to it which makes the experience and transition, a little less web-oriented.
Flutter: It was released in 2017 by Google and every mobile app dev had the same question, will it kill React Native? Flutter was in development and testing since 2015 under the name “Sky” which was unveiled in the Dart Conference but Google being kept it low profile until it’s first alpha release!
Let’s dive deep into a detailed perspective between React Native and Flutter.
Below is the explanation of differences based on different fields between React Native and Flutter:
- Flutter: Except for the fact that it’s a whole new language and that Dart wasn’t used much, it’s loosely based on Java due to conceptual object-oriented support. Also, it has some easy to follow the documentation to get you started.
- React Native: Can be installed using Node Package Manager (NPM) while using macOS you need to have the HomeBrew package manager as well. So for developers having NPM installed the process is really easy whereas other developers would need to learn the ins and outs of NPM.
- Flutter: Supports binary download straight from GitHub for a particular platform. Also in the case of macOS after downloading the file needs to be added as a PATH variable.
Setup and Project Configuration
- React Native: Not a lot is thought on making the documentation for a developer to get started. Instead it’s assumed that setup is already done that’s why React Native directly gets to point of creating the first app by writing the command
$ npx react-native init MyTestApp $ cd MyProject
- Flutter: It has everything little thing documented from IDE Setup, platform specific setup to a CLI tool called flutter doctor.
$ flutter create MyProject $ cd MyProject
UI Component and Development API
- React Native: Relies heavily on third-party libraries to access most of the native modules.
- Flutter: Rich set of components comprising of each native module required which excludes the necessity of a third-party library. Also, Flutter is full of WIDGETS.
- Flutter: Dart is not being a regular language in terms of usage, there is a distinct lack of support in many IDEs and text editors.
- React Native: Being the framework which was released first out of the two, it is imminent to get a good amount of support and it surely did since 2015 as it is strongly maintained by the developer on GitHub and from many more communities across the world.
- Flutter: Flutter too is on a rapid rise in terms of community support but then again it will take some amount of time for resources to be made available which will eventually enable developers to solve common issues.
- React Native: Again heavily relies on third-party tools for integration and UI testing.
- Flutter: Flutter has its own features to test apps at 3 levels which are unit test, widget test and integration test.
Build & Release Automation Support
- React Native: Documentation for automated deployment of apps from any platform isn’t provided so basically you are on your own to search and deploy it on Play Store or App Store.
- Flutter: It has deployment support though CLI and also a documentation for deployment process with fastlane.
DevOps and CI/CD Support
- React Native: Does not contain any official documentation on setting up CI/CD.
- Flutter: Has a separate article on CI and testing which you can view here. However, you set up CI/CD using Flutter CLI in a very easy manner.
Conclusion: So these are some of the conclusions that came across and sure there are many more out but eventually it all comes down to what you as a developer actually prefer at the end of the day.