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Flutter vs React Native

As the tech world is constantly evolving, there are always new technologies to learn. Sometimes it’s difficult to know which ones are worth your time and which ones aren’t.

So, what are Flutter and REACT Native and how do they compare?

What is Flutter?

Flutter was introduced by Google in 2015 and officially launched in 2018, and there has been a significant buzz around it ever since. It’s an open-source mobile software development kit (SDK) which can be used to create native mobile applications for both Android and iOS from just one code base. That means you can build two different apps from just one programming language and code base.

Flutter is centered around the use of its own ready-made widgets, which are created to look native to both Android and iOS. Developers can create an entire UI by combining these pre-made widgets.

Flutter uses a programming language named Dart, which focuses on front-end development and is a typed object programming language, with similar syntax to JavaScript.

What is React Native?

React Native is similar to Flutter, in that it also helps developers create apps for both Android and iOS with just one single code. It was launched by Facebook in 2015 and has a large community of users.  

The React Native framework builds a hierarchy of UI components to create the code in JavaScript. The UI focus means that apps feel smoother and load more quickly.

All you need is to know the HTML, CSS and JavaScript, seeing as the same code is used for creating both apps in iOS and Android. That means just one team could run the two platforms using only one technology.

How do they compare?

Of course, it’s hard to say either one is better across the board. Both have their positive and negative points, depending on the kind of project they are used on and the budget of the business.

In terms of programming language, React Native uses JavaScript, which is the most popular language in web development, which may make it a quicker transition as web developers are likely to already be comfortable using it. On the other hand, Flutter uses Dart, a Google programming language which is not often used outside of the framework, meaning developers are less likely to already be familiar with it. However, Dart is similar enough to JavaScript that it should be relatively easy for experienced developers to pick up.

When it comes to components, Flutter offers a wide range of widgets and tools on top of the basic UI capabilities, which means developers can create attractive interfaces with minimal effort. React Native provides the essential elements, such as UI rendering capabilities, but relies on third parties to source other functionalities, which is not so convenient.

Seeing as both are open-source frameworks, community support is very important. React Native has a large community and has the support of many developers. Meanwhile, Flutter has a much smaller community at the moment. However, it’s worth noting that Flutter is gaining popularity fast, so this may not be the case for long.

Flutter vs React Native

React Native works best for bigger, more complicated cross-platform apps thanks to its stronger support community and capabilities for reusing code for a web app and desktop app.

Flutter, on the other hand, is ideal for projects where visuals have a high importance, due to its native libraries with ready-made widgets.

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Jeff Francis

Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff founded ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.

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