Flutter vs React Native - Which One to Power Your Future Cross-Platform App?

In this article, we are going to review two equally popular cross-platform app development solutions - Flutter and React Native, plus tailor each of them to the project specifics and use case.

Posted by IT Master Soft Oct 28 | 2021

Flutter vs React Native - Which One to Power Your Future Cross-Platform App?

Cross-platform development is a perfect fit option for those startups and companies, which aren’t ready to invest in building two separate native apps but still want to deliver the close-to-native experience to their users. React Native seems to be the most intuitive technology choice for this purpose, but it isn’t the only tool you can consider for creating a cross-platform app.

Feel like getting lost in the cross-platform development opportunities? Let us guide you along this path!

Flutter vs React Native popularity

Both Flutter and React Native are the tools for creating a cross-platform app. Is Flutter better than React Native? Or vice versa? The right answer largely depends on the use case, but according to the Flutter vs React Native usage trends and popularity, they are almost equally popular and loved by developers worldwide.

What’s more, React Native and Flutter are two leading and the most frequently chosen technologies compared to other tools to build cross-platform apps in 2021, according to Statista.

Let’s proceed with React Native vs Flutter review to find out which of these cross-platform frameworks suits your software project best.

Flutter vs React Native

Source: Statista

Flutter overview

Let’s get started by defining what Flutter is. Flutter is a software development kit (SDK) that uses Dart programming language to create user interface (UI) components. And here is where the core difference between Flutter vs React Native hides.

While Flutter is an SDK, React Native is a framework. To intuitively catch the difference, think of an SDK as a broader concept that covers the whole set of the development tools, including but not limited to platforms, frameworks, documentation, integrations, libraries, application programming interfaces (APIs), and so on. Framework, in turn, provides only the foundation, a kind of skeleton your future app will be based on.

Below are the main pros and cons of Flutter.

Flutter overview

Flutter logo

Pros

  • Hot Reload feature that’s effective for instant tweaks and bug fixes
  • Highly performant and smooth UI with a native-like look and feel
  • Inbuilt app builder. This tool can be compared with a framework that comes as a part of SDK. With its help, the developers can compile an app part by part, writing code for UI components only
  • The single code base for iOS and Android

Cons

  • Flutter apps are heavy
  • It still doesn't have a large community and knowledge sources
  • Dart programming language isn’t as well known as JavaScript, for instance. Still, these programming languages have a lot in common so it makes no trouble for JavaScript developers to master Dart and Flutter

Use cases

As for the Futter apps worth your attention, let’s take a look at the My BMV App created with this technology.

Flutter overview

Source: BMW site(not developed by IT Master)

And here is how this app looks on iOS. The solutions created by BMW can be a good example of Flutter in action. Accessed from the browser, it looks and feels like an actual native app, delivering a seamless and enjoyable experience on the fly.

Flutter overview

Source: BMW app(not developed by IT Master)

As for its use cases, Flutter can become a perfect choice for animated apps - and the example above confirms it. Being highly performant and easily customizable, Flutter allows for adding multiple animations without the risk of UI overloading. This SDK can also be a good choice for social media apps because of the necessity to withstand loads without losing performance. Generally, Flutter can be tailored to most of the cross-platform projects aimed at speedy development, getting fast response from the market, and providing users with an almost native experience.

React Native overview

So, what is React Native? Actually, this is the first technology that comes to mind when there is a need to create a cross-platform project. The essence of this framework is pretty simple - it allows React Native developers to create powerful websites, which automatically tailor to the specific operating system when accessing from a mobile device. The framework was developed by Facebook; it uses JSX syntax and comes with various features.

Let’s review the pros and cons of React Native in more detail.

React Native overview

React Native logo

Pros

  • React Native is easy to learn and handle
  • It allows for sharing a single codebase with iOS and Android
  • Hot Reloading and Fast Refresh features allow for instant UI changes
  • React Native has a supportive community, plus there are a lot of skilled developers on the market
  • With React Native, you have to hire only one team to create an impressive and powerful app compatible with multiple operating systems.
  • React Native makes the development process more affordable

Cons

  • React Native isn’t suitable for data-intensive apps
  • Sometimes, the framework lacks memory and security
  • In some projects, performance improvements might have to be done to work smoothly on every operating system

Let’s leverage all the benefits React Native comes with. Hire our React Native developers right now to create an outstanding cross-platform solution!

Use cases

There are a lot of popular apps built with React Native. For example, Instagram, Bloomberg, Uber Eats, and Tesla have created their cross-platform websites using this technology.

React Native overview

Source: Tesla site  (not developed by IT Master)


The Tesla app created with React Native also works perfectly and seamlessly. What’s more, they have also integrated a Shop section - a good example of how the features of React Native can be used for eCommerce as well.

React Native  overview

Source: Tesla app(not developed by IT Master)

So, what is React Native used for? The specifics of the technology and our experience with it suggest that it can be a good choice for the following categories of apps.

  • On-demand apps. On-demand applications are mostly accessed from mobile devices since this is their core essence - to be instantly accessible on the go and convenient regardless of the industry. That’s why making the delivery, taxi apps, and such makes a lot of sense with React Native.
  • eCommerce apps. React Native can also be good for lightweight eCommerce apps that aren’t overloaded with multi-level architecture. In this case, the users become able to shop instantly and have a pleasant shopping experience they are used to.
  • Social media apps. When it comes to social media apps, using React Native makes a lot of sense from both technical and business perspectives. From a technical point of view, using this framework means giving the users the close-to-native interaction experience. React Native is also a smart choice for quickly launching a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) at an affordable cost to validate the idea in a competitive environment.

Already have a winning idea in the pocket? Let’s transform it into validatable MVP together. Hire us for MVP development services today!

IT Master Soft case studies

IT Master Soft also has a prominent example of React Native technical features in action. For one of our customers, we have created a Thank Me app - the solution on the verge of on-demand and eCommerce, allowing users to thank and tip anonymously for the goods and services they liked and/or purchased.

The idea of the project was pretty unique and low-competitive but it still needed market validation. That’s why we have chosen React Native as one of the most powerful tools to create an MVP according to the LEAN development methodology.

We have also made conference software with React Native. This is an example of how React Native-powered apps can withstand heavy load and perform well at instant data transfer.

As for one more solution worth mentioning, we have created an eCommerce project which allows for finding the stores that accept cryptocurrency. The search process is enhanced with geolocation and mapping features.

Which is better Flutter or React Native - comparison chart

FlutterReact Native
Created byGoogleFacebook
TechnologySoftware development kitFramework
App typeCross-platform developmentCross-platform development
Development speedFastFast
Development timeShortShort
Development costAffordableAffordable
Tools and kitsFlutter app builderIn-build UI libraries
Learning curveSmooth, if there are basic JS skillsSmooth


So, what is the difference between Flutter and React Native? The core difference is that the first one is an SDK, while the second is a framework. Most of the in-build features and use cases of these technologies are similar, so making the choice between Flutter vs React Native can be challenging. The developers who have tried both of the tools say that Flutter is easier and more intuitive; it allows for creating an app faster while using React Native requires more time and skills. Futter, in turn, comes with more in-build tools and opportunities the developers may use as they are, while React Native requires using some add-ons.

Conclusion

Both Flutter and React Native are top tools for cross-platform development recognized by the tech community and businesses using them. What should you choose for your project, - Flutter or React Native - if you want your future app to be both performant, awesome, and cross-browser compatible? The final result you get directly depends on the skills of the developers using these tools for your project. Our programmers are experienced with both technologies and would be happy to suggest the right option to create your solution with.

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