Flutter or React Native

Flutter or React Native, what should you choose and how? is one of the biggest questions to mull over. If you are stuck in the same dilemma, Just as I did, after going through this blog, most of your queries will be resolved. But first of all, let’s have a quick comparison:

Flutter React Native
Introduced Year 2017 2015
Age Comparatively New Considerably Old
Open Source Network Google’s Open Source SDK Open Source Language
Language Used Dart JavaScript

 


Why Choose Flutter?

The Flutter mobile, introduced in 2017, is a new way to create fast mobile apps that can help the developers to break away from ‘cookie cutter’ apps. Just like any other new system, users are curious to know what is new and exciting about Flutter?

 

Widgets

Widgets are the elements, control the view and interface of an app, hence categorized as one of the essential parts of mobile apps. Due to their need to look good and feel natural on numerous screen sizes, they are designed with a paramount look and feel. Widgets must perform fast, in order to generate the widget tree, inflate the widgets, lay them out on the screen, or animate them. For modern applications, Widgets need to be customizable and extensible. One reason behind this is, developers wish to add fascinating new widgets and modify all of them to match with the app’s brand.

Flutter architecture includes widgets that are fast, customizable, extensible, feel and look good. Yes, Flutter does not utilize OEM widgets rather it offers its own widgets. It moves the widgets from the platform into the app to make them customizable and expandable. Moving the rendered and widgets into the app unavoidably affect the app size. The minimum size of the Flutter app on Android is 6.7 MB (approx.) quite similar to minimal apps built with comparable utilities.

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Layout

One of the key advancements in Flutter is associated with the layouts. Layout decides the position and size of widgets based on some rules, also known as constraints. Earlier, layout utilizes a large set of rules, easy to apply to any widget. The rules implement numerous layout approaches. CSS would be the best example of this as it is known to all. CSS includes a different number of layout methods, such as floating elements, tables, box models, multiple columns of text, etc. Additional layout models, including grid and flexbox, were added later since developers required more control over layout.

Another issue with the traditional layout is the capability of rules to interact or even conflict with each other. Eventually, it makes the layout slow and sometimes pathetic.



Flutter started as an experiment executed by the Chrome browser team at Google to check if a faster renderer could be designed by ignoring the traditional layout model. After a few weeks, it was discovered, most layouts are comparatively easy, like fixed rectangles whose position and size depend only on the size of the display or maybe some tables, text on a scrolling page, etc. They find out that the layout can be simplified, if they follow these things:

  • Each widget would specify its own simple layout model instead of a large set of rules that could be implemented to any widget.
  • In order to make the layout easier, turned almost everything into a widget.
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Flutter code, to generate a simple widget tree, is semantic enough that you can imagine what it will produce. Everything is a widget, including the layout. Moreover, Flutter has a unique layout model known as the “Silver layout model”, used for fast scrolling. It can handle large numbers of widgets due to its ability to do layout in linear time.

 

Custom Design

Flutter comes up with rich, customizable widget sets for iOS, Material Design, and Android. This is used to build widget sets, in order to match the look of native widgets on different platforms. The app developers can even use the same customizability to further tweak widgets for the accomplishment of their requirements.



 

Why Choose React Native?

Reactive web frameworks, including ReactJS, have become prominent because it simplifies web views creation via programming patterns borrowed from reactive programming.
React Native is popular, but due to JavaScript realm, it has to deal with performance issues. Reactive web views, the virtual DOM (HTML Document Object Model, an APT utilized by JavaScript to modify an HTML document) is immutable. It has to rebuild from the beginning every time if anything changes. The virtual DOM is compared to the real DOM to create a set of minimal modifications, which are executed for updating actual DOM. As a result, the platform re-renders the real DOM paints it into a canvas. The process may sound awful, but it is worth using, as changing the HTML DOM is quite costly.

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React Native does the same thing for mobile apps. Instead of DOM, it manipulates native widgets on a mobile platform. As we know, React Native has to interact with a native widget by the bridge, therefore, the virtual tree of widgets helps to pass over the bridge, while allowing the native widget use. Once the native widget is updated, the platform renders them to the canvas. It supports the majority of iOS native and Android APIs. There is no official API available of React Native, but with its large developer community, there are a number of third-party libraries to choose from.

It lacks a plenty of hardware-specific APIs. React Native even doesn’t have any official API for biometrics, Bluetooth, NFC, sensors, and cameras. But, it does have WiFi and location APIs.

There is a huge use of React Native for mobile development and this is why several React Native app development companies are flourishing. However, Flutter takes this a step ahead. Being an open source, it allows you to see the code and customize or even replace the entire stack, including compositor, gesture recognizer, renderer, the widgets, and animation.




 

Summing It Up

The cross-platform app development has acquired popularity as it allows you to develop mobile apps, used on different mobile platforms. With the number of cross-platform worth comparing, React Native and Flutter are two major ones. However, from the above-discussed points, it is now clear that you can opt for any of the frameworks as per your need and choice.

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