React Native Vs Flutter: All You Need to Know
We live in an era where technology plays a pivotal role in our day-to-day life. We are surrounded by technology and various devices without which, it is really difficult to carry on with our daily activities. The smartphone is such a device that has taken a prominent place in our lives, especially during times like this when we are battling a pandemic and following social distancing.
From talking to our loved ones to ordering daily necessities and passing leisure time, the smartphone has taken over it all. Not only our personal lives but professional lives are also immensely impacted by smartphones. Nowadays, many business nitty-gritty is met with the help of smartphones which, eventually, leads to the popularity of mobile apps.
Because of the rising prevalence of smartphone applications, almost every business wants a mobile app or application to stay competitive in the market. Business organizations are looking for an alternative to create mobile apps with faster speed and fewer resources, particularly for iOS and Android.
Apple and Google have created native platforms and technology for making applications. iOS software developers will use Xcode and Swift to create applications while Android developers use Android Studio and Kotlin or Java. This allows engineers to study two entirely separate sets of technologies. As a result, businesses have begun embracing cross-platform applications over native applications to develop applications faster using a common language for both iOS and Android.
React Native by Facebook and Flutter by Google are the two hot-cross platforms gaining popularity in the market. If you are confused about which one to choose, we are here to help you out. Here is a detailed comparative study of the two platforms.
What is React Native?
What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source UI development software kit created by Google in May 2017. It is used for mobile, desktop as well as web applications, all from the same codebase. Developers, with a slight inclination toward Dart programming language, will have a preference for Flutter.
Both of the technologies help developers to develop cross-platform applications more quickly by using a single programming language. While React Native is already mature, Flutter has also been gaining huge popularity since its inception in 2017.
Here we shall compare both these technologies following some criteria:
Flutter uses the Dart programming language that has been introduced by Google in 2011. Dart is seldom used by developers. However, Dart syntax is easy to understand, since it supports most object-oriented concepts.
Flutter uses the Dart framework that incorporates most of the components, making it larger in size and often requiring the bridge to communicate with the native modules. Dart has so many frameworks packed inside, such as Material Design and Cupertino, that provide all of the necessary technologies to develop mobile apps. The Dart framework uses the Skia C++ engine with all the protocols, compositions, and channels available.
Flutter can be installed by downloading the binary from a specific platform from Github.
Setup and Project Configuration
In the case of React Native, the documentation jumps straight to the step of creating a new project assuming the developer to have the necessary setup for developing iOS and Android.
The start-up guide for Flutter has detailed information for both iOS and Android regarding IDE setup and platform set-up. Added to this, Flutter has a CLI tool called a flutter doctor to guide developers through the setup. It inspects which tools are installed on the local machine and which tools need to be configured. With the approval of the doctor flutter command is happy, a new Flutter app can be created.
UI Component and Development API
The core React Native framework provides only UI rendering and device accessing APIs. React Native mostly relies on third-party libraries to access most of the native modules.
Flutter framework is richly filled with UI rendering components, devices accessing APIs, navigation, testing, stateful management, and libraries. Therefore, Flutter does not require to depend on any third-party library. Flutter also offers widgets for Material Design and Cupertino thereby enabling developers to easily render the UI on both iOS and Android platforms.
Flutter has a hot reload feature as well, and the demo makes it easy to kickstart the process. However, with the growing complexity of apps, developers need to adopt the new concepts of Flutter. Further, as Dart is not a common programming language, many IDEs and text editors lack support for it.
Flutter offers a rich set of testing features to test apps at the unit, widget, and level of integration. Flutter has a cool testing feature for the widget where we can examine the widget to test the UI and run them at unit test speed.
DevOps and CI/CD Support
React Native has no official documentation on establishing a CI/CD. However, some articles are available for the React Native apps to explain the CI/CD support.
Flutter has a Continuous Integration and Testing section that includes links to outside sources. But the rich command-line interface from Flutter allows us to easily set up CI / CD.
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