Computers and Technology

Flutter vs React Native: What to Choose for iOS App Development?

It becomes pretty confusing to choose the best technology to develop your mobile business app in this competitive world. Today, there are many frameworks, tools and technologies to pick for efficient mobile app development. However, observing the current scenario, Flutter and React Native are the two leading market players from the app owners’ perspective to craft robust cross-platform mobile applications. But suppose you want an interactive iPhone-based app for your business. In that case, which one will be better for you?

Every iPhone app development agency will have its own opinions on this topic. Some will recommend Flutter; however, others will suggest you go with React Native. This article will bring out a comparative analysis for you so that you can decide yourself which one of them is better for iOS app development. So, let’s begin!

How is this article going to help you?

The popularity of iOS app development is no new news in current times. Users are well aware of the performance and support provided by the Apple devices, and that’s why the development of iOS applications is on the rise. Both Flutter and React Native are the leading game players in terms of popular mobile app development frameworks. However, business owners are still searching for answers to some critical questions that can influence their decision regarding mobile apps. Some of them are:

  • Which framework is going to be a suitable match for my ongoing (or planned) project?
  • Will it be able to craft user-friendly and highly engaging applications?
  • Which one of them will be able to design interactive iOS applications with perfect designs and navigation?

…and many more questions like these!

This article understands the concerns of the business owners and tries to offer elaborative answers to all of these questions. Moreover, the comparative analysis of both the frameworks provided in this article will help you to derive a conclusion all by yourself.

A brief introduction to Flutter and React Native

Initially launched in 2018, Flutter is a portable app software development kit (SDK) created by Google to create visually attractive, highly engaging and robust cross-platform applications. On the other hand, React Native is an open-source, cross-platform app development framework designed and developed by Facebook in 2015. It uses the same design as React and JavaScript as the single programming language to create mobile apps with a native feel. These frameworks can build native apps (iOS applications or Android Applications), cross-platform applications, and web browsers with a single codebase.

Some popular applications made with Flutter

  • Google Ads
  • Hamilton Music
  • eBay Motors
  • Groupon
  • Baidu Tieba
  • Reflectly
  • Xianyu App by Alibaba

Some popular applications made with React Native

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Skype
  • Tesla
  • Bloomberg
  • Wix.com

Comparative analysis of Flutter vs React Native

Now, since you have an idea about both the frameworks, their features, benefits and popularity, let’s explore their strengths and weaknesses in detail. Below are some of the categories we have used to classify and compare them with each other. Here they are:

Programming Language

Flutter

Flutter uses Dart, a programming language created by Google in 2011. Its syntax is pretty easy to comprehend as it supports almost all object-oriented concepts. It contains easy-to-follow documentation available on their official website that is straightforward to follow. 

React Native

React Native is entirely based on JavaScript. It is presently one of the most popular languages among the web community. You can use it with React or any other JavaScript framework. With React Native, you can develop mobile apps quickly with a bit of training and knowledge.

Result:

Although both languages have their own benefits, JavaScript is widely popular compared to Dart as the latter is less known and rarely used in the developers’ community.

Installation

Flutter

To install Flutter, you need to download the binary file for a specific file from Github. For macOS, you have to download the flutter.zip file and put it as a PATH variable. The installation process of Flutter is time taking, and its developers should improve it by supporting package managers like HomeBrew, APT, YUM, etc.

React Native

One can easily install React Native using the Node Package Manager (NPM). If you have a JavaScript background, installing React Native is child’s play. However, if you do not have prior knowledge about JS, you need to learn about NPM first. The NPM can’t install the packages both locally or globally.

Result:

Flutter requires extra steps in installation due to downloading and adding binary from the source. However, there is no such thing in the case of React Native, and you can directly download and install it simply using the Node packaging managers.

Development APIs and UI Components

Flutter

Flutter consists of UI rendering components, navigation and testing tools, device access APIs, and many libraries. This rich set of features eliminates the requirement of using third-party libraries. It also has plenty of widgets for designing and rendering the UI on mobile devices.

React Native

React Native only provides UI rendering and device access APIs. However, for most native modules, the framework has to rely on third-party libraries as it lacks other essential components needed for UI rendering.

Result:

Flutter has many in-built UI components and development APIs. On the other hand, React Native has to rely on third-party libraries for the same.

Testing Support

Flutter

Flutter offers an extensive set of testing features to test mobile apps at unit, integration, and widget level. With a custom widget testing feature, you can create tests to examine the user interface and run them at the speed of unit tests.

React Native

React Native consists of some unit level testing tools available in JavaScript. Tools such as Jest are useful in snapshot testing. But, there is no official support from the framework when it comes to UI or integration level testing. However, you can still use third-party tools like Detox and Appium for testing React Native apps.

Result:

Flutter is rich in testing tools and has more incredible documentation than React Native, lacking official support in UI and integration level testing.

Community Support

Flutter

Although Flutter is relatively new in the market, it gained a lot of attention after its promotion by Google at the I/O conference in 2017. The Flutter community is multiplying every day; however, it still has to go a long way to provide enough resources to its developers to resolve common issues.

React Native

Facebook launched React Native in 2015, and ever since, it has gained popularity on a large scale. There is a vast community of React Native developers on Github worldwide. Users can efficiently resolve their issues with this massive community support.

Result:

Although both the frameworks are becoming popular among developers and have tremendous community support, React Native has a competitive edge over Flutter in this case.

Wrapping Up

Flutter and React Native both have their advantages and disadvantages, and this article has clearly described them. With this comparative analysis, you might have made up your mind and declared one of them as the winner. However, you need to consider your business needs and decide which one would be better for your iOS business app. Therefore, it would be best to consult an iPhone app development company to choose the best framework for a robust and highly engaging iOS application.

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