Flutter‌ ‌vs‌ ‌React‌ ‌Native‌ ‌vs‌ ‌Native‌ ‌app‌ ‌development:‌ ‌a‌ ‌straight-out‌ ‌comparison‌ ‌

What makes a good app?

There can be different answers to this question that arise from different dimensions.

But if you ask a developer, their answer would be based on how easy or difficult it is to build the apps.

That answers how critical it is to choose the right app development framework and platform. 

In this chapter, we get into the graphic details of the different parameters, the factors, and the comparison among the most sought after frameworks: Flutter, React Native, and Native. 

What are the Flutter Apps?

Google came up with a software development kit aka SDK that is based on the programming language called DART. This SDK is called Flutter, and this is used by app developers to build apps on many platforms like Android, iOS, websites, WIndows, etc. Being a fast, reliable, and expressive tool, Flutter has 3 lakh+ developers using their SDK. Over 200 Million apps are built using Flutter. ‘Sky’ was the codeword given to the first version of the Flutter’s software development kit. Flutter comes with a great deal of flexibility and scalability besides a plethora of performance-enhancing features.

Examples of some well-known Flutter Apps:

Some of the popular apps built on Flutter are Alibaba, KlasterMe, Google Ads, PostMuse, Hamilton, Reflect, etc. 

What are the advantages of Flutter Apps?

The biggest highlights of Flutter Apps are listed below: 

  • It is highly flexible and scalable.
  • Flutter has an extensive choice of rich features and components.
  • With Flutter, the app development time is very less.
  • If you want to build a minimum viable product (MVPs), Flutter is an ideal choice for you.
  • Flutter is very easy to integrate with and access.
  • If you want to build two applications with one code base, Flutter is the best option for cross-platform development.
  • The Flutter engine has the best technical architecture with its Native components in the framework.

What are the challenges of using Flutter Apps?

Here is a list of shortcomings and challenges in using Flutter Apps:

  • Being one of the newest engines, Flutter has a relatively fresh and less number of users in the community.

  • With very little support from the community, developers need to debug the errors themselves.
    • Apps that are built on Flutter are relatively larger in size, say up to 4MB. (even basic and simple apps)
    • Success stories, use cases, and case studies are inadequate in number. With limited use cases, developers are less likely to trust Flutter.

  • It is hard to find Dart developers. Dart is a simple programming language, yet programmers skilled in Dart aren’t easy to hunt.

What are React Native Apps?

React Native is a framework created by Facebook for mobile app development. This is built based on React.js written in Javascript that empowers the users to develop a single code base for Native-like multi-platform apps, say Android, iOS, Windows, etc. It is an open-source mobile application framework created by Facebook as its internal project (Hackathon). 

Examples of some well-known React Native Apps:

Some of the popular apps built on React Native are Facebook, Instagram, Walmart, Airbnb, Bloomberg, UberEats, Gyroscope, etc.

 What are the advantages of React Native Apps?

The highlights and advantages of React Native Apps are listed hereby:

  • The framework lets you reuse your code. 
  • React Native allows you to integrate with more than 90% of the Native framework.
  • If you create web apps on React, you will be able to reuse them for building mobile apps.
  • Building a cross-platform application is easy with React Native.
  • React Native lets you build stable and reliable applications.
  • The data binding process gets relatively much easier to React Native.
  • React Native readily and easily connects with the Native components of both the Operating Systems.
  • It generates codes to the Native APIs in a hassle-free manner. 
  • It has got a vast community of developers well-versed in developing React Native Apps.
  • The UI is one of the most uncomplicated ones used in the mobile app design industry.
  • The reusable feature of React Native makes the framework one of the most cost-effective solutions for mobile app developers. It cuts your expenditure that is otherwise spent on hiring designers and developers for each platform.

What are the challenges of using React Native Apps?

The disadvantages and challenges in using React Native Apps are listed below:

  • Expert-level knowledge is required from developers to understand how Native Apps work and implement Native-like features.
  • The loading time is very high compared to other frameworks.
  • The JavaScript thread takes longer than usual time to load even on hi-end devices.
  • If your project deals with sensitive and confidential information, say banking, finance, trade, stock market, etc. the open-source library and framework cause a potential threat to data security.
  • Developers encounter a lot of issues and bugs during the app development because of the frequent changes in versions.
  • Debugging issues and bugs in React Native Apps is a bit difficult process. The screen size of the simulator window is small, and the debugging process is tiresome, lengthy, and tricky with React Native Apps.

What are Native Apps?

A Native App is the one that is specifically built for a hardware device that runs on a particular operating system, say Android or iOS. It is a smartphone application that is built on the respective languages that are officially accepted as the coding languages by the target Operating Systems. For example, Android Native Apps are built on Java or Koltin, whereas iOS apple Native Apps are built on Objective C or Swift languages.   

Examples of some well-known Native Apps?

Here is a list of popular Native Apps: LinkedIn, Netflix, Telegram, Google pay (formerly known as Tez), Spotify, WhatsApp, Truecaller, etc.

What are the advantages of Native Apps?

The major highlights of the Native Apps are:

  • Accessibility comes as its first and foremost benefit.
  • Native Apps can take advantage of the device’s built-in features like buttons, GPS, etc.
  • Native Apps have the privilege to make the best use of technology, hardware, and software.
  • Native Apps can leverage the device’s internal and inbuilt processing speed. 
  • Bug fixes on Native Apps are easier, quicker, and simpler.
  • With decades of expertise in building Android and iOS apps, the Native app community is stronger and they can provide excellent support to each other.
  • The user experience of Native Apps is always in the best alignment with the device’s hardware, software, and functionalities. 
  • Native Apps have the best navigation features, ease of access, and other UX-related features.
  • The look and feel of Native Apps are consistent and rich throughout.
  • Native Apps are built in complete compliance with the technical guidelines and the user experience principles of the device. As a result, Native Apps have a rich, extravagant, and compelling user experience. 

What are the challenges of using Native Apps?

Here are a few shortcomings and setbacks in using Native Apps:

  • Since these apps have a vast userbase, it is common to see users using obsolete versions which makes it difficult for the developers to provide support and maintenance.
  • It gets laborious and tiresome for developers to keep track of multiple versions to cater to a wide range of hardware device variants, a few of which may be outdated too.
  • It is difficult to update a feature, fix a bug, or release an update and test it in real-time. Every new update can reach the users only if they update their apps on the respective app stores.  
  • Native app development is a time-consuming process.
  • Considering the proficiency level of the developers required to build Native Apps, it is easy for anyone to infer that Native App development is an expensive process.
  • Native Apps are highly target-specific. Developers find it a difficult time to code in complete adherence to the app store policies every time from scratch to make any new update. This makes Native Apps hold relatively lesser flexibility. 
  •  If you want to build Native Apps, you need to be prepared that it’s going to be a time consuming, expensive, and painstaking process. But the best thing is that when you see the outcome, you understand that its totally worth it.  

With great attention to details and painstaking caution, you must consider the above factors and parameters while choosing the desired framework for your app development process. The next step to this is understanding mobile app testing and the different future trends in mobile app technologies. Follow this space for more resourceful articles that help you get a 360-degree overview of the mobile app development processes. 


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