Flutter vs React Native: Which is the Best Cross-Platform Framework?

Published On: August 2, 2021
Last Updated: February 19, 2024
Flutter vs React Native: Which is the Best Cross-Platform Framework?

The pandemic has increased the surge for mobile apps in the market. Businesses worldwide are looking forward to a cost-effective and quick way to develop apps. Hence, they have started adopting cross-platform frameworks to achieve the results.

Out of various frameworks, businesses and startups prefer using Flutter and React Native to develop mobile apps. The reason is, both frameworks are widely popular and allow you to build native-like apps effectively.

If you also want to develop mobile apps using Flutter or React Native but have questions like: What is the difference between Flutter and React Native? Which cross-platform framework to choose for the project in 2024? Then, you have reached the right place.

We have done in-depth research on both frameworks and decided to provide a comprehensive guide on Flutter vs. React Native 2024.

Let’s get started and look at everything in detail.

Introduction to Flutter & React Native

What is Flutter?

Flutter , Google’s free and open source UI toolkit released in 2017.

Flutter is the popular cross-platform app development framework based on Dart programming language. It allows developers to build apps for multiple platforms (desktop, web, and mobile) using the single codebase.

It comprises two essential parts: Software Development Kit and UI Library.

What can Flutter be used for?

Here are some of the most common use cases of Flutter:

  • It is best suited for MVP app development.
  • It is effective for building natively compiled apps.
  • Developers can create a flexible UI with the help of its performant rendering engine.
  • Developers can also create modern mobile apps using the material design.
  • It is suitable to develop high-quality progressive web apps and single-page applications.

As a Flutter app development company, we can build apps for multiple platforms using Flutter. We have developed apps like DreamIL and Digicel for our clients.

Popular Apps Made With Flutter

Flutter is the top-most choice for companies with huge framework needs, as there are many popular apps built in it such as Google Pay, Dream11, Hamilton, Square, Stadia, Google Ads, iRobot, BMW and many more. Check out more examples of Flutter App.

Popular Apps Made With Flutter

What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source JavaScript framework released by Meta (formerly, Facebook) in 2015. It is suitable for cross-platform mobile development and rendering apps for Android and iOS.

This reliable framework is highly popular for its flexibility. Developers can use React and Javascript together with other native platform abilities to build mobile apps with a native look and feel.

Easy to implement native UI components, hot reloading, and platform specific code.

What can React Native be used for?

Here is the list of the use cases of React Native:

  • Build mobile apps for Android and iOS using a single codebase.
  • Developers can utilise various external libraries to build web and desktop apps using React Native.
  • Developers can also create prototypes quickly & effectively using React Native.

Guru TechnoLabs is the best React Native app development company. We have experts who can build high-performing and native-like apps using React Native.

Popular Apps Made With React Native

Regardless of app size and scale React Native is the favourite choice of many huge companies. It resulted in developing popular applications in it which includes Instagram, Discord, Facebook, Walmart, Pinterest, Coinbase and many more. Check out more apps in React Native.

Popular Apps Made With React Native

Flutter vs React Native: A Quick Comparison

Factor Flutter React Native
Programming Language Dart JavaScript
Created By Google Facebook
First Release May 2017 Jan 2015
Latest Version 2.5.3 0.66
Technical Architecture Skia Flux
Performance Robust Close to native
Time to Market Faster Slower than Flutter
Developer Productivity Limited support for IDEs and Text Editors Supports various IDEs and Text Editors
Learning Curve Easy to Learn Easy to Learn
Deployment Simple due to built-in libraries Needs support of third-party libraries
Documentation Accurate and up-to-date Up-to-date but vague

Need Help Choosing Between Flutter and React Native?

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Contact our experts for personalized advice.

Flutter vs React Native: A Detailed Comparison

Are you confused about what to choose between Flutter and React Native? Each has its own pros and cons, but depending on the project parameters, you need to understand the features and choose them. Let’s dig in.

Popularity

As of now, in terms of popularity and usage, Flutter was way ahead to overtake React Native. Let’s look at the statistics.

Popularity on Google Trends

The majority of businesses and developers love to know the popularity of frameworks before starting any project.

Therefore, here we would look after the popularity of Flutter vs React Native Trends on Google over the last 5 years.

Google Trends

(Image source: Google Trends)

The above image indicates that the popularity of both frameworks is increasing over time. However, Flutter is currently more popular as compared to React Native.

Flutter vs React Native Popularity Survey by Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow surveys to know the popularity of various frameworks, tools, and technologies every year. In the year 2020, Stack Overflow conducted this survey on 65,000 developers.

According to the same poll, the popularity of Flutter is more than React Native in terms of the most loved framework with 68.8% of votes, while React Native has got 57.9% of votes.

Developers who aren’t familiar with any cross-platform frameworks showed more interest in learning React Native than Flutter.

Flutter vs React Native Stack Overflow Survey

As per the survey, around 14% of developers showed interest in learning React Native. On the other hand, only 10.75% of developers would love to learn Flutter for developing apps.

According to Statista, around 42% of developers worldwide use Flutter, and 38% of developers prefer React Native for developing cross-platform apps.

Programming Language

Flutter

Flutter uses Dart programming language, which was developed in 2011. Dart is based on object-oriented concepts that can be tricky to understand. But it has straightforward syntax.

Any developer familiar with C/C++, Java, and JavaScript languages can start their journey easily. But only a few developers out there have learned it, so when it comes to comparing the ease of use, Flutter loses the round.

React Native

React Native heavily depends on JavaScript to develop apps that run on multiple platforms.

The huge developer community, from website designers to software engineers, widely used javascript due to its dynamic coding. It is one of the primary languages among different browsers.

When we ask developers if Flutter will replace React Native, they usually answer no, due to its pre-built modules and easy-to-work-on framework.

Technical Architecture

Flutter

The framework uses the Skia engine, dart language, and 2D graphics rendering library that comprises various protocols, compositions, and channels. It compiles dart’s source code while creating native code.

Dart’s code is simple and offers a speedy solution. Developers don’t need programming bridges for any customization; it seamlessly integrates with iOS or Android.

In this point of Flutter vs. React Native comparison, Flutter is the clear winner due to the elegance of its design.

React Native

React Native uses Flux architecture. It required a JavaScript bridge to run the codes. Due to this, the app rendering time is inherently slower than Dart, which is a drawback of Flux in comparing Flutter and React Native architectures.

Installation and Configuration

Flutter

Installation of Flutter is quite complex and time-consuming. Flutter does not use programming bridges, so developers have to download the full binary for the particular platform from its GitHub repository.

You will also need a .zip file for macOS installation to use a PATH variable. It has an in-depth installation guide, so developers without knowledge of dart can also install it. But the installation process is slow and requires more steps to follow.

React Native

When it comes to installation, React Native is easy. Using the node package manager (NPM) and having a good command of JavaScript will make installation seamless.

Both frameworks need a one-line installation and native package manager for OS, so no framework is perfect at this point. Flutter calls for one extra step, so in comparison, React Native wins every time.

One downside, it does not provide an installation guide in detail.

Performance

Flutter

Flutter offers the best performance and wins the race as it runs faster than its rival. It doesn’t have a programming bridge to slow down and saves development time.

Giving proof of quick running performance, Flutter has set its animation standard at 60 FPS to operate efficiently. Though it has a huge program with many native components, consider this factor before proceeding.

This framework provides you with numerous documentation on how to reduce file size.

React Native

React Native is a powerful framework though it doesn’t deliver performance close to Flutter. Elegance and strength of its design is the key factor developers looking to develop in Flutter.

In React Native, it requires JS bridge to interact with native modules and also the frames dropped in more than Flutter.

Though it doesn’t make React Native apps slow, developers need to work on enhancing the performance.

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UI and Development API

Flutter

Flutter framework relies mainly on its own customized UI development toolkits. Using its own widgets, it’s fully customized and a key advantage over React Native.

These widgets are fully compatible with Apple’s Cupertino and Google’s Material Design. Moreover, it is also natively compatible with Google.

Third-party apps or custom components are not required. So in the race of Flutter vs. React Native, compatibility associated with Google is the biggest reason why Flutter wins the race.

React Native

React Native needs a third-party or custom component. To make the component work, you need to use patches in your code. However, React’s Javascript development language has its own set of benefits. So in comparison, Flutter definitely wins.

Development Time

Flutter

As we know, Flutter framework uses Dart language which is not easily understood by developers and needs time to assemble it. People love the hot reload feature of it.

Also the framework lacks the support of several text editors and IDEs which adds additional time to the development process.

React Native

React Native has JavaScript which makes development easy. It is simple and accessible to web developers and web designers more.

Developers can use any IDE or text editor of their choice. When it comes to development speed, React Native is superior to all.

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Let us help you! Our developers are experts in React Native and can help
you create an app that looks great and performs flawlessly.

Code Reusability

Flutter

Code reusability is a huge topic. Flutter’s codebase is reusable than React Native. Developers can define a new logic and reuse the code for another purpose. Even Flutter allows you to change a single line in your codebase.

Google has made Flutter interface simple, and highly intuitive which contributes to easy reusability.

React Native

React Native allows you to write code once and apply it to every platform. But compatibility is not always guaranteed on any type of mobile app platform.

It requires developers to load different sets of components that operate. These alterations need time and cost. So while comparing, Flutter stays ahead.

Community Support

For building any mobile application, the support of a community helps to resolve any issues quickly & effectively.

Flutter

The Flutter community is expanding. Currently, there are only 1120+ Flutter contributors on GitHub for any professional help.

As of now, Flutter has got 149k stars on GitHub and 24.4k live projects forked by the community. Here, anyone can use these projects for development purposes.

React Native

React Native is an open-source library. At this moment, there are 2430+ professional contributors of React Native on GitHub and 107k stars.

Besides this, 22.8k forks of the live projects which any developer can use for the project. Due to this, various developers prefer to go with this framework.

Testing & Deployment

Testing is yet another factor that developers consider when choosing a cross-platform framework. Ensuring that your code runs smoothly with less time and effort is the main objective of any development.

Flutter

Flutter offers better testing of apps than React Native. It provides top-notch support to developers to conduct automatic testing of apps as it relies on Dart. It possesses various features to test apps at the unit, widget, and integration levels.

Besides this, it also provides a unique feature for developers to create widget tests to test the user interface and leverage unit testing.

React Native

React Native doesn’t offer any support for unit and integration-level testing. Moreover, there are only some specific tools for unit-level testing of React Native apps.

Hence, developers have to utilize various third-party tools available in the market, such as Appium, Detox, and Jest, for conducting different kinds of testing.

Pros and Cons of Flutter

Pros of Flutter

  • Hot Reload helps to see changes in real-time
  • Same app UI, even on older devices
  • Most suitable for building MVP
  • Flutter has its own set of custom widgets, Cupertino (iOS) and Material Design (Android).
  • Writing code once for multiple platforms.
  • One-time testing, so time gets reduced.

Also Read: Flutter Advantages: Key Reasons to Use Flutter

Cons of Flutter

  • Offers libraries and tools support but are not as rich as Native development.
  • The size of the developer community is less.
  • Apps built with Flutter are large.
  • This framework is not compatible with emerging platforms such as tvOS, WatchOS, Android Auto, etc.
  • It does not offer a specific native app-like look and feel.

Pros and Cons of React Native

Pros of React Native

  • One codebase runs on multiple mobile platforms
  • Hot reloading function that allows developers to add new code instantly in the live app.
  • The large community of developers
  • Helpful debugging & error-reporting tools
  • Enable native rendering of APIs without any need for HTML or CSS markup.

Also Read: Why Choose React Native for Your Next Project

Cons of React Native

  • Supports only basic components.
  • The size of the React Native apps is large as compared to native ones.
  • Several abandoned packages.
  • No extensive support for native UI elements.
  • Developer freedom of choice

Flutter vs React Native: What to Choose?

After looking at the difference between React Native and Flutter, you must have understood that both are well-known for developing mobile apps.

So, you might be confused about choosing the best from them. Hence, we will answer when to choose React Native and when to choose Flutter.

Choose Flutter If Choose React Native If
Your project has a tight budget and deadline. You want to upgrade your current apps with cross-platform modules.
You want to launch the app on multiple platforms using the same codebase. Your goal is to develop a lightweight native app.
Your idea doesn’t fully rely on native functionality. You are looking for a chance to create incredible APIs.
Your primary purpose is to develop high-performance applications. Your purpose is to develop an application with an asynchronous build and a highly responsive UI.
You require a tailor-made UI with widgets and less testing. You have enough time and money for the particular project.

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you choose Flutter or React Native. The main thing you should consider is that the app is user-friendly, intuitive, and scalable. We have developed many apps for clients worldwide in Flutter and React Native. You can reach out to us & we will help you choose the best one according to your requirements.

Conclusion

Here we conclude the detailed comparison on Flutter vs. React Native 2024. Our core purpose is to help all appreneurs decide which is the most suitable framework for their next mobile app development project.

Considering the facts and figures, both Flutter and React Native have their own advantages and disadvantages. Both are highly robust, effective, and performant frameworks. Also, both the cross-platform frameworks are popular and trusted widely by businesses and developers worldwide. However, in some cases, React Native is ahead of Flutter, while in others, Flutter is good.

You should select a framework considering the budget, timeline, features & functionalities, and future goals of a project. If you cannot choose the best between Flutter vs. React Native, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Guru Technolabs provides cross-platform app development services and has helped businesses and brands worldwide choose the most reliable technology for building mobile apps. Hence, we can understand your project requirements and come up with a suitable solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Flutter is an open-source SDK for building applications for Android and iOS using a single codebase. React Native is an open-source JavaScript framework effective for building cross-platform apps that look like native. Hence, we can say both are on the same page.

Both Flutter and React Native are useful for cross-platform development. Flutter offers detailed documentation that allows developers to build Android and iOS efficiently. However, React Native is based on JavaScript and possesses a great community. Moreover, the majority of developers worldwide are familiar with JavaScript. Hence, we can say that Flutter will not replace React Native.

Flutter uses Dart language, which is not well-known among developers worldwide. On the contrary, React Native is based on one of the most popular languages worldwide, JavaScript. Therefore, one who knows JavaScrit should go with React Native. Lastly, one should choose what to learn depending on the project requirements.

Flutter is not going to die anytime soon. The reason is, Flutter is heavily backed up by Google and has a massive community of developers worldwide.

Normally, Flutter application cost starts from US $8000 and there is no upper limit. This cost primarily depends on features and developer location. You can read more about it here: Flutter app development cost.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.