Flutter vs React Native in 2021: A Comparison
August 5, 2021

When choosing a framework for your future application, it’s important to understand that poor design can create an inefficient app with high usage. You want an app that is a delight to the user’s eyes and easy to use.

Long story short, you should make your decision based on what is most comfortable for you, not just because everyone else is doing it like this or the other way around.

Although both Flutter and React Native have a broad potential applicability, they are well-suited for particular tasks. So, it’s pretty much up to you which one (if any) to choose.

However, let's have a look at the pros and cons of using React Native vs Flutter in order to determine if it is suitable for your next project.

With this article, we want to give you an overview about some important aspects that might be useful in your decision making process regarding Flutter vs React Native. So let’s get started!

If you need more information about the frameworks, there are already some great articles available on this topic. For instance:

Flutter

Flutter is an open source SDK that makes it easy and fast to build beautiful mobile apps. It has a rich set of widgets that cover the basic needs for every mobile app, plus platform-specific APIs that allow you to access native functionality. It supports multiple asset formats and traditional UI patterns like Model–view–controller (MVC) and Model–view–viewmodel (MVVM).

Since Flutter uses Dart, a modern programming language developed by Google, there's no need to learn yet another programming language. With Flutter you just write Dart code as usual, but using a different syntax.

And because Flutter is powered by the Skia graphics engine and written with React Native compatible concepts, it benefits from some React Native's strong sides: easy code sharing across platforms and a consistent development experience.

And the best of all: Flutter is open source! Everyone can access the codebase, take part in discussions on how to improve it, propose new features or even contribute patches.

Now let’s dive a little bit deeper into the pros and cons of Flutter.

We can quickly write a lot of code with Flutter, because it’s so easy to create user interface elements and add interactions. This awesome tool has hot reload (no need to rebuild your app for any change), great dev tools like simulator, inspector, and debugger – all supported by a simple and powerful API. It makes the development process really fast.

As for the cons, Flutter is still in an early stage of its development, which means that there’s no way to make use of all these advantages just yet, for example with React Native you can already natively access some device features (as the camera).

And although there is an alpha version available, you still need a Mac to develop Flutter apps. But Google says they’re working on cross-platform support. 🙂

React Native

React Native enables you to build native mobile applications using only JavaScript and React concepts, like components, one-way data flow and view synchronization.

And best of all: if you’ve already got React skills, building your app with RN is as easy as pie! You just have to learn a few additional concepts and APIs to provide native platform-specific behaviors.

With React Native there are no separate apps for iOS and Android. Same source code works across platforms, which is great for better consistency and easier code sharing.

In contrast to Flutter, React Native is already at version 0.59 which means that this framework is more mature than Flutter’s alpha version. It also supports a bigger range of platforms (Firebase, Baidu, Tencent), it has been used by Facebook and Instagram since 2015.

But of course, React Native also has its downsides: you have to set up a native project for every mobile platform separately (e.g. Android and iOS). And it requires some configuration as well as additional libraries like CocoaPods or XCode to build your app, so the development process is not quite as fast as with Flutter.

Also, React Native isn’t suitable for all kinds of apps, for instance if you need to follow Material Design guidelines or have some specific UI components you will need to include additional libraries into your project.

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