From the best frameworks to ways to increase user understanding, React Native and Flutter are two of the cutting edge mobile development platforms. In the year 2022 and beyond, it can be expected that both these frameworks will continue to dominate in mobile development.

React Native is developed by Facebook, while Flutter is developed by Google. Both React Native and Flutter are open source platforms that allow developers to create native apps for Android and iOS devices, respectively. Both are fast-growing mobile development platforms that enable developers.

1. Performance — Which is More Powerful and Efficient?

(back to top) As cross-platform technologies are designed to target several platforms, we’ll compare their performance for desktop, mobile, and web apps separately. Flutter’s programming language is Dart and React Native is written with JavaScript. So, at some point, we’ll benchmark Dart vs. JS against each other and the performance of other frameworks components. 

Dart vs JavaScript Overall Performance Comparison (Desktop)

Our colleagues from Debian shared a comprehensive benchmark study of JS and Dart. They tested each programming language in 10 different scientific tasks and revealed use cases that illustrate the strong and weak points of the technologies. Execution time demonstrates performance and memory consumption—resources efficiency. NOTICE: The lower number—the better!

What makes React Native unique?

Here’s a list of the greatest advantages of React Native (in my opinion):

  • The framework is based on one of the most popular languages at the moment – JavaScript (source). Thanks to this, React Native developers have access to many external libraries that work in React Native applications (day.jslodash). Moreover, many libraries that are written with ReactJS in mind also work with React Native (e.g., Formikreduxvictory.js i AWS amplify).
  • The possibility of integrating React Native with an already existing mobile application, thanks to which we can continue developing an existing application using React Native. What’s more, even at the stage of designing a mobile application, we can distinguish between views/functionalities that are worth writing in React Native (e.g. user profile, login), and ones for which speed is critical, and should therefore be implemented using native code.
  • “Learn once, write everywhere” makes it easy for anyone who knows ReactJS to get into a React Native project very quickly. The knowledge and experience acquired with the web version can be translated in a ratio of almost 1 to 1 to React Native.
  • React Native also allows you to write a code fragment for just a given platform (e.g., if we want to have a menu that complies with the standards of a given platform, we can program this element separately for each platform).
  • The ability to create your own native code that can communicate with our JavaScript code. This is helpful for communication with the API of a platform that is not supported or when we want to integrate with a ready-made solution.
  • Another advantage of the framework is that its architecture is focused on adding new platforms. Thanks to this, as well as the community’s support, React Native also supports platforms such as Windows, macOS and offers the possibility to write web applications.
  • The Expo framework is worth a mention as well. It significantly improves work with React Native by providing many useful components for creating a typical mobile application – for example, access to text messages, contacts, cameras, or login via social media. You can read more about this framework here.

What makes Flutter unique?

  • Hot Reload

    This is a feature that makes any changes the developers make in the code appear instantly in the app. It enables the team to experiment more and try out new things as well as cuts down on the bug-fixing time.

    Native Features Access

    Through additional third-party integrations, you can access native features with Flutter. You can even reuse Kotlin and Swift when developing an app. This further cuts down the time of the mobile app development process and makes it even easier for the dev team.

    Flutter App Builder

    After acquiring Flutter, Google added this feature. A great addition to the possibilities of Flutter is the App Builder. Which is basically a tool to build an app like you would build a lego house. The tool provides you with features you can mix and match to build your own app very quickly which can be extremely helpful in prototyping, MVP’s and user testing. Then, you simply code the UI using Dart (which you might need to learn first).

    The Pros & Cons Of Using Flutter

    As with any technology, there’s some advantages and disadvantages to using it. I’m going to go over key points, both positive and negative, on Flutter to give you a better understanding of when it will be useful.

    Flutter Pros

    • Flutter enables you to make instant changes in the app which is a god-sent when it comes to fixing bugs.
    • Flutter-based apps are very smooth in their performance which makes for great UX.
    • With a single code base, quality assurance and testing usually take much less time.
    • Developing in Flutter is very fast and efficient.

      According to Stackoverflow insights, React Native is in 6th place with 11.50% of preferences among the most commonly used non-web frameworks, libraries, and tools. Flutter in turn has 7.20% votes and obtains 9th position. Together they make the two most popular cross-platform technologies

      When should you consider React Native for your mobile app?

      As I mentioned in the introduction, the main argument for considering the use of React Native technology is the possibility of reducing app development costs and faster application development. RN works well if what you have in mind is creating the same mobile application for two platforms (iOS, Android), where the speed of operation is not critical.

      Since React Native enables fast application development, it’s also a good tool for prototyping and quickly delivering the idea to the market for business verification.

      Another advantage of this framework is that it allows us to immediately deliver new functionalities to supported platforms.

      Note that React Native uses the popular JavaScript language and the ReactJS framework, which means that the number of experienced software developers available on the market is large.

      I hope that now you know what React Native is, how it works, and why you should consider using it in your mobile app development process.