Flutter vs React Native
React Native by Facebook and Flutter by Google – two hot cross-platform app development technologies creating a buzz. during this post, we'll compare both of them intimately from a developer’s perspective.
Due to the growing popularity of mobile apps, almost every company needs a mobile app or apps to stay competitive within the market. And what's more, companies are trying to find an choice to build mobile apps, especially for iOS and Android, with faster speed and fewer resources. Apple and Google have provided native tools and technologies to create apps. iOS app developers can build apps using Xcode and Swift, while Android developers use Android Studio and Kotlin/Java. However, this needs engineers to find out two completely different sets of technologies. As a result, companies have began to adopt cross-platform solutions over the native solutions to create apps for both iOS and Android faster employing a single language.
What’s Flutter and React Native?
React Native may be a project started by Facebook internally that they open-sourced in 2015. On the opposite side is Flutter, a project started by Google which they need been heavily promoting since I/O 2017. Both of those technologies help app developers build cross-platform apps faster by employing a single programing language . React Native is already a mature tool and features a huge community, but Flutter also started seeing huge adoption rates since 2017. during this post, we'll compare each of them using ten criteria:
Setup and project configuration
UI components and development API
Build & release automation support
DevOps and CI/CD support
Now that we've defined all our criteria, let’s start exploring each of them intimately .
The key advantage of employing a cross-platform mobile app development technology is that the ability to use one programing language to develop apps for both iOS and Android.
Flutter — Dart
When choosing a cross-platform mobile app development framework, it’s essential to think about its technical architecture. By knowing the internals of the framework, we will make an informed decision and choose the one that's better for our project.
React Native — Flux
Flutter — Skia
Flutter uses the Dart framework which has most of the components inbuilt so it’s bigger in size and sometimes doesn't require the bridge to speak with the native modules. Dart has numerous frameworks, like Material Design and Cupertino, packed inside which give all the specified technologies needed to develop mobile apps. The Dart framework uses Skia C++ engine which has all the protocols, compositions and channels. The architecture of the Flutter engine is explained intimately in Github Wiki here. In short, Flutter has everything needed for app development within the Flutter engine itself.
The installation method should be straightforward without having too many complicated steps in order that it might be easily learned by developers that are just starting with it.
React Native — NPM
Flutter — Binary Download from Source
Flutter are often installed by downloading the binary for a selected platform from Github. within the case of macOS, we've to download the flutter.zip file and add it as a PATH variable.
Flutter should improve the installation method by supporting package managers like Homebrew, MacPorts, YUM, APT, etc in order that users wouldn’t got to perform these extra steps during installation.
Setup and Project Configuration
The process of fixing the developer machine to use the new framework takes time. It requires many configuration of software installations. The technology should have proper documentation to urge users up and running.
The getting started guide of the React Native project assumes that the developer already has all the specified setup for developing for iOS and Android. there's little info on the Xcode instruction tools but it won’t be enough to urge going. The documentation directly jumps to the step of making a replacement project.
The getting started guide for Flutter has detailed information on IDE setup and platform setup for both iOS and Android. you'll read all the specified setup details on Flutter install for macOS here. On top of this, Flutter features a CLI tool called flutter doctor which may guide developers through the setup. It inspects which tools are installed on the local machine and which tools got to be configured. Once the flutter doctor command is happy, we will keep it up with creating a replacement Flutter app. there's a separate page on the way to configure the editors to urge going with Flutter.
Developer productivity is that the key to putting together apps faster. during this regard, it’s vital to be ready to specialise in app development with none quite wait or distraction.
Flutter also features a hot reload feature and it’s very easy to urge started with the demo app. However, because the complexity of apps grows, developers would wish to find out and adopt the new Flutter concepts. additionally , Dart isn't a standard programing language and there's a scarcity of support for it in many IDEs and text editors.
React Native launched in 2015 and has gained in popularity ever since. there's a community of React Native developers on GitHub and much of meetups and conferences round the world. one among the foremost recent conferences on React Native was React Native EU held in Poland, but there are meetups happening in almost every major city within the world.
Flutter has been around for a short time but it gained tons of attention when Google promoted it within the Google I/O conference in 2017. The Flutter community is growing rapidly lately , meetups and conferences are happening online. the most important event coming are going to be Flutter sleep in December. In short, the Flutter community is growing rapidly; yet, there are still not enough resources for developers to unravel common issues.
Writing tests may be a good way to urge quick feedback on the code. there's always a testing framework related to every mature technology to permit developers to make unit, integration and UI tests for the apps.
Flutter provides an upscale set of testing features to check apps at unit, widget and integration level. Flutter has great documentation on testing Flutter apps here, you'll also read the Nevercode blog on testing Flutter apps for detailed information on how Flutter apps are often tested. Flutter features a cool widget testing feature where we will create widget tests to check the UI and run them at the speed of unit tests.
Build & Release Automation Support
Releasing mobile apps to the App Store or Play Store may be a painful process. It involves the complex task of code signing all another application setup. When it involves cross-platform mobile app development, it gets even trickier.
The React Native official documentation doesn’t have any automated steps to deploy the iOS apps to App Store. However, it provides a manual process for deploying the app from Xcode. there's a piece of writing on the way to deploy React Native apps to App Store here but the whole process looks manual. However, we will use third-party tools like fastlane to deploy iOS and Android apps written with React Native. the method of using fastlane to ship React Native apps is described during this article. this suggests that React Native has got to believe third-party libraries for build and release automation.
Flutter features a strong instruction interface. we will create a binary of the app by using the instruction tools and following the instructions in Flutter documentation for building and releasing Android and iOS apps. On top of this, Flutter has officially documented the deployment process with fastlane here.
DevOps and CI/CD Support
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery practices are essential for any app so as to urge continuous feedback and avoid releasing buggy code.
React Native doesn’t have any official documentation on fixing CI/CD. However, there are some articles which describe CI/CD for React Native apps. there's a piece of writing which explains the method of fixing CI/CD for React Native apps with Nevercode.
Flutter features a section on Continuous Integration and Testing which incorporates links to external sources. However, Flutter’s rich instruction interface allows us to line up CI/CD easily. Nevercode has inbuilt support for CI/CD for Flutter apps. The detailed blog post explaining the CI/CD process of Nevercode are often found here.