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React Native Vs Flutter: Choosing the right hybrid framework for your next project

The debate between React Native and Flutter is still rife. As these two platforms are the most preferred (and often compared) frameworks in today’s market, both developers and app owners are put in a difficult conundrum when choosing between these two frameworks for their next project.

Which is better? React Native or Flutter. Now, that would be an unfair judgement to make as both React Native and Flutter come with some amazing features and tools – and of course, they do have their own share of disadvantages. So, choosing between React Native and Flutter really depends on what one wants.

The objective of this blog is not tell you which is best. Instead, it is aimed at shedding some light on their usage aspects rather than just merely stating their pros and cons. In other words, it will help you understand which framework would work best on what kind of apps.

It is divided into two sections, one for React Native and one of Flutter. Under each of them we have listed the number of apps that are developed using the specific framework. This way you can explore these apps and find for yourself how these apps fare in terms of User Interface, User Experience, and Performance.

To learn about the general features comparison between React Native and Flutter, check out our earlier blog, here

Let’s get started.

Reasons you need to build your app in Flutter
Can make changes on-the-fly

Yes, we are talking about Flutter’s famous ‘Hot Reload’ feature. Using the Hot Reload feature developers and designers can now make changes and see them instantly reflected in the application. It typically take a few seconds (if not milli-seconds) to view the changes.

With this feature in the fold, two things are made easy. One, the team working on the project can experiment with new ideas, fix bugs, and add features instantly. Two, it strengthens the developer-designer cooperation. Though the Hot Reload has its limitations, it is – without a shadow of a doubt – one of the hot features of the Flutter.

From a developers standpoint, Flutter offers a dynamic and faster app development, which on the other end immensely help app owners save enormous time.

For smoother and faster performance

People who have worked on Flutter claim that the performance is much smoother and faster. Thanks to its own GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) that can deliver output in 60fps. Flutter uses Skia Graphics Library, which helps the UI to be redrawn every time the view changes.

However, one must be cautious when redrawing of elements of views whose data has not changed. Apart from this minor wariness, apps built using Flutter are generally considered faster and smoother in interaction.

Rich visuals

When it comes to achieving user-friendly UI and attention to visual details, Flutter slightly rises above React Native to provide a rich and realistic look and feel. Flutter does not rely on native components, instead it has its own custom widgets, which are managed and rendered by its own graphics engine. As a result, user will see a different UI components from the typical ones that are widely seen in Native apps, but that seems to be no big disadvantage.

Provides the same look and feel in older devices

Not all users upgrade to the latest devices that releases in the market. Your target users might still be loyal to their older devices. This situation could cause concerns for app owners if their apps don’t perform well on older devices. However, this problem does not arise in Flutter as Flutter apps look and work the same in older Android and iOS systems. So, the compatibility issues are out of the window.

Fuchsia Support

Fuchsia is a new Operating System by Google, which is already creating a lot of buzz and it is expected to replace Android. Not sure when that will happen, but as of now Flutter is the native framework for Fuchsia apps. So, building an app in Flutter means it will be fully compatible with Fuchsia. In other words, your Flutter apps is future-ready for Fuchsia.

Ideal for MVP [Minimum Viable Product]

In case if you are not aware of the term – MVPs are not fully completed products, but has all the relevant features (and they almost look like a final product), which can be released in the market. MVPs are created for two reasons: One, to test the initial wave of audience responses and make necessary changes to it before it is finally been released, and two to showcase it to a potential investor.

If app owners who are running short of time and want to be armed with MVPs to impress investors, Flutter would be an ideal framework for that.

Kinds of apps that are better built in React Native

Though React Native has a tough opponent in Flutter, there are kinds of apps that are better built using React Native. Let us look into what they are.

If your app has a vast number of UI elements

Compared to Flutter, React Native is known to provide realistic User Interface (UI) that is as good as the standalone Android or iOS. The UI is native Java or Swift/Objective-C code running on the main thread. And most of the other parts of the application runs on a seperate JavaScript thread. But they can communicate only through a bridge. And passing a large amount of data over the bridge can slow down the app.

If your app has lots of customization and has several processes running in the background, the native approach is best. But if it has a few views and interactions, React Native will be just fine.

Bloomberg’s Business News apps is a fine example. See how Bloomberg leveraged React Native in building its business app.

If you want to quickly build and launch working prototypes

The competition is really stiff out there in the app market. In order to reap big through your app, businesses are forced to release their apps when the time is just right. So, there are times when businesses have to meet the deadline and hit the market with a solid working product before their competitors do.

In situations like these, React Native emerges as a savior. With React Native, you can quickly build a working prototype that can work on both Android and iOS and at the same time give users a truly native experience.

It is said the development process in React Native is 30 – 35% faster than compared to the Native approach.

Cross-platform Apps

This is one, obviously, is a no-brainer, as we know that React Native is a cross-platform framework. If you are developing an app that is pretty dense in its structure and has features like audio, video, multi-threading etc., it makes much sense to build it in the Native way. However, if you are running short in money and if your target audience is evenly split between Android and iOS, React Native could be the best option in this scenario.

As the layout is based on Flexbox, it works seamlessly and similarly across Android, iOS and Web. Above all, Reactive Native has a pretty decent user community where you get a lot of solutions, suggestions, and fixes for lots of issues.

If your app does not heavily Utilize built-in device features

Built-in device features are the features that come with your device such as camera, GPS, sensors etc. Utilizing all these into an app is a time-consuming process and demands native expertise, which can affect the performance of your app one way or the other.

If you are developing an app that does not rely on these built-in features then React Native could be your ideal choice.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, every technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, the wisest thing to do is to leverage the features that would help attempt in achieving two important objectives: one to fulfill the needs of the end users of the app, and two to help the app owner achieve his business goal. Flutter and React Native are two of the reigning hybrid platforms in today’s market, and it is really up to the app owner and the developer to tap into the right areas to gain the best out of these technologies.

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Ideaplunge is specialized in crafting powerful, relevant and impactful digital experiences for startups and fortune 500 companies. As one of the top mobile app development companies in Bangalore, our intuitive solutions have helped consumers and enterprises transform their businesses and achieve better outcomes. Our services include Android, iOS and Hybrid applications, UI/UX designing, Web apps, Desktop apps, and cloud services with clientele located in five countries across the globe.

Are you planning to build a hybrid app? Or do you have a query relating to React Native or Flutter? Write to us at talktous@ideaplunge.com We’ll help you sail in the right direction.

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