Frameworks are essential for developing applications rapidly and reliably. At the time of writing this blog, Flutter and React Native are among the most popular frameworks for creating high-fidelity applications.
Since Flutter and React Native allow developers to use a single codebase for running applications across platforms, you can accelerate your software development and reach a broader market.
Flutter and React Native share many similarities: both are open source and created by the world’s top tech companies, Google and Facebook. In addition, both development frameworks are supported and enriched by a global community of developers.
If you are also considering building a cross-platform application, you might consider React Native or Flutter for development. However, you must understand at least the basics of both frameworks, their unique strengths, and factors you should consider before choosing a framework.
That’s why we have put together this blog. We’ll help you understand:
- What is Flutter?
- What is React Native?
- Key differences between Flutter and React Native
- How does Kellton help you choose the right framework?
What is Flutter?
A Google product, supported by a global community.
Flutter is an open-source framework developed by Google for building applications on mobile (Android and iOS), web, desktop, and embedded devices. The app development toolkit uses Dart language and powers 350k+ applications and is supported by a global community of 2M+ developers. Additionally, Flutter helps speed up app development and enhance the developer experience with its collection of over 19K Flutter and Dart packages.
Now Flutter 3 is here. The new version is jam-packed with features and functionalities such as stable support for macOS and Linux applications. According to Tim Sneath, Product Manager for Flutter and Dart at Google, “Flutter 3 completes our roadmap from a mobile-centric to a multiplatform framework, with the availability of macOS and Linux desktop app support, along with improvements to Firebase integration, new productivity, and performance features, and support for Apple Silicon.”
What is React Native?
Built by Facebook, for everyone.
Facebook released React Native in 2015. Today, it’s being used in thousands of applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Shopify, and Skype.
A new version of React Native, 0.69.0, has been released with several improvements that will enable React Native Development Companies to simplify and accelerate their software development lifecycle. The most important improvements in this release are centered around React 18 support and bundled Hermes. The introduction of new upgrades further strengthens the React Native ecosystem and makes it a highly viable framework for hybrid mobile app development.
Key differences between Flutter and React Native
- Speed of Development: Flutter’s widget-based architecture allows devs to accelerate software development. Features such as Hot Reload and Debugger promote innovation and fast development. React Native uses components (bundles of reusable code) to help devs build apps for iOS and Android. React Native development can take a comparatively longer time. Although the framework has features like Fast Refresh and React 18 support, you may have to wait longer to bring your product to the market.
- Development cost: Flutter app development costs less than both native app and React Native development. React Native apps cost you less than native apps but often more than Flutter development would cost you. The exact costs vary significantly depending on the scope of your application, the model you use to build the app, and several other factors.
- Documentation: A platform with well-organized documentation is a sign of a thriving and supportive community. Flutter has very structured and detailed documentation guides to help developers. Comparatively, React Native documentation guides are not as organized, though many developers find them more user-friendly than the in-depth documentation available at Flutter.
- Security: Security is critical to winning customers’ trust and entering new growth markets. Flutter has a dedicated section on securing Flutter and apps built using Flutter. The team shares its security philosophy at Flutter and best practices to follow to keep Flutter apps safe from malicious attacks. React Native has also developed a guide about the best procedures for storing sensitive data, authentication, network security, and all the tools you can use to secure your application.
- Community Support: According to the JetBrains 2021 State of Developer Ecosystem Survey, “Flutter is the most popular cross-platform framework in the world.” The framework boasts over 138k stars on GitHub, 178k followers on Twitter, and 60k members on Meetup. Though Flutter is still a young framework, it’s gaining incredible acceptance from the global community.
React Native, too, thrives on a worldwide community of developers. Facebook takes care of its core codebase. At the same time, developers worldwide make key changes and fix bugs to make React Native a more powerful framework for building applications for iOS and Android. They have an official Twitter account and host many meetings that take place globally.
Flutter vs. React Native
How does Kellton help you choose the right framework?
It’s one thing to explore what a framework offers and how it stands against another competing framework. It’s another thing to commit to one framework and build apps using it.
A few key points to remember:
- Both Flutter and React Native are popular cross-platform app development frameworks widely used by the mobile community.
- Both SDKs are driven by large developer communities. They help a lot with keeping documentation up to date and enriching their ecosystem with new features and capabilities.
- Flutter might also offer improved performance on devices as the framework does not use a bridge to communicate with native components.
At Kellton, we have consulted on a wide range of mobile app development projects for businesses across industries. Our mobile app development services help you build the technology stack you need to develop applications for multiple platforms. The mobile app development consultants at Kellton can help you choose the right framework by helping you understand the scope of your app development project and whether a cross-development approach would work best in your situation. With Kellton’s mobility experts on board, you can expect instant access to a global team of talented developers and a comprehensive portfolio of mobile app development services.
Got a project we could help with? Happy to talk - drop us a message here - for a quick introductory chat.