Flutter vs. React Native: Which is the Best Cross-Platform Open-Source Ecosystem?

6 min readMay 11, 2021
Flutter vs. React Native

Today you can find an app for almost anything — from taxi to food delivery. Businesses develop new apps almost every day. As an investor, you may be interested in cutting down the costs. If so, choosing a cross-platform path is a way to go. Today, there are two basic cross-platform frameworks that are common in the market — Flutter, and React Native.

Which one to choose? Which is the best cross-platform open-source ecosystem? In this article, you will get an answer to exactly this question.

We will cover the following topics:

  • Cross-platform application development. Should you choose this in the first place?
  • React Native is…
  • What is Flutter?
  • Flutter: main points of sale
  • React Native vs Flutter: better with…

Cross-Platform Application Development. Should You Choose This in the First Place?

When you want to develop an app, the first question to be answered is this — should I choose native app development or cross-platform app development. Answering this question will help you understand the time to be spent on app development as well as its cost and performance. Here we will pinpoint some of the reasons why you should choose a cross-platform framework.

Suppose you choose to go with native app development. You will need two teams of developers which will increase the time and cost of app development. In the case of cross-platform, you will need only one developer.

Not only will it be cheaper with cross-platform, but it will be faster as only a single cycle of development is needed to build an app that will run on multiple platforms.

You will also need a single code base with a cross-platform.

There is one but with cross-platform frameworks. You will probably sacrifice the performance of the app. Cross-platform is normally slower than its native counterpart. It has also limited functionality and limited UX.

The answer to the question of which one to choose depends on time, cost, and the development team. As a starter, cross-platform is an easier way and is chosen by many startups. But before you become discouraged with the cross-platform framework, have a look at some cross-platform frameworks and see their advantages and disadvantages. The two common ones are React Native and Flutter and we are going to elaborate on both.

React Native Is…

React Native is a cross-platform framework that natively renders mobile applications for iOS and Android. It is created by Facebook. The programming language is JavaScript and it is used for building user interfaces. The clue is that it targets mobile platforms instead of the browser.

What does this mean for developers? Well, developers can build a mobile application with JavaScript that really looks native. Moreover, since the code is shared between platforms, these apps work both with Android and iOS.

Why choose React Native? To say the least, this framework is very popular. It is used by companies like Skype, Instagram, Airbnb, and Tesla.

Why such popularity? One thing to mention, React Native is adapted to the hybrid environment and has native results. It has a fast development cycle so it also cuts costs. You don’t need a big team of developers. Anyone competent in native UI elements, and API can build apps with Native React. The developer can also work with one code base deployed to multiple platforms. The code may be reused. One update is needed for two platforms which means the detecting bugs is made super simple.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is another popular cross-platform framework. It is created by Google and is used by a number of giant companies as a framework for their apps. For example, Google developed their mobile Google Ads app with Flutter. And as you know this app has quite impressive functionalities like getting real-time alerts, tracking campaigns, managing ads, and getting insights.

Another big company that uses Flutter is Alibaba, one of the world’s biggest eCommerce websites. This speaks well for Flutter as a cross-platform framework since Alibaba handles a big number of transactions and is used by thousands of users.

Let me mention one more app developed by Flutter and we will proceed to the main points of sale of this cross-platform framework. This app is Reflectly which is one of the most popular apps built with Flutter and is loved by users all around the world. This mindfulness app is known for its beautiful look, easy navigation, and detailed features.

Flutter: Main Points of Sale

If you are about to launch an app and don’t know which framework to use, here are some points of sale for Flutter that may help you make a choice.

There is no need to tell that Flutter uses a single code base. But Flutter is the only application framework that allows sharing both the UI code and the UI itself. What does this mean? There is no need for platform-specific UI components for rendering UI in the case of Flutter. So, what do you really need when using Flutter? You basically need a canvas to draw onto the application. And here’s how it looks like:

What does this mean for the development cycle? You basically save time, effort, and cost and do not compromise on performance.

Besides, developers can apply lots of ready-to-use widgets, most of which are super customizable. Here is how it works:

In short, the Flutter development framework is much quicker. In most cases, you can build a Flutter app spending at least two times less time compared to Native apps.

React Native vs Flutter: Better with…

Now let’s compare these two cross-platform frameworks. Which is the best cross-platform framework?

As we already mentioned, building an app with Flutter is much faster. Flutter is also based on widgets and does not require optimization for each platform. But is being fast the only advantage of Flatter? Let’s have a more detailed look. You will eventually see that Flutter is an imposing competitor for React Native.

When you look at the popularity of these two cross-platform frameworks, you will see that Flutter is ranking higher (75.4%) while React Native is a loved framework for only 62.5%. Yes, the two figures are not too far. But keep in mind that React Native is in the market for a longer time while Flutter is a relatively new framework and is already gaining an advantage.

However, the fact the React Native is longer in the market gives its advantages as well. There are more developers that know this framework and can work with JavaScript.

As you may know, Flutter works with Dart whereas React Native works with JavaScript.

Dart is better when it comes to the execution time but React Native outperforms Flutter in terms of memory consumption. However, please keep in mind that the upload of the libraries and components is done to the device whereas Flutter is rendering the widgets to connect to the native library. We can say that Flutter is better in performance because it is integrated better with the mobile OS platform and its graphic rendering is faster a few times than in the case of React Native.

So, which one to choose? Here is a comparison list.

Flutter VS React Native: Comparison

In conclusion

In conclusion, I would say go with Flutter if your developers are familiar with Dart. It will allow for synchronous processing needed for many apps such as taxi driver companies and ride-sharing gigs. A good example is Yandex Driver that chose Flutter as the primary SDK for its app. Choose the framework especially if you prioritize the user interface.

Get in touch with our team if you want for a free consultation and mobile application estimation with the Flutter toolkit means.




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