Last Updated: 01 Apr 2019 | 5 min read
The initial release of Flutter was in 2017 and while that of React Native was in 2015. Flutter flourished with Google’s open source SDK while React Native is open source language. Flutter’s technical architecture is depended on Skia C++ engine while the other one is based on Flux architecture.
When it comes down to installation package, Flutter requires a binary download from the source whereas, React Native has Node Package Manager (NPM). Let’s get down to the differences in development, ecosystem, performance, documentation, and architecture.
The significant aspect of Flutter application is its widget. It comes with a large number of ready-to-use widgets. To begin with flutter app development services, you’ll need to download and unzip the package. You would still require Android Studio and set up Emulator, in case, you want to avoid using the phone. Flutter’s widgets are non-adaptive and hence, you need to make platform-specific adaptation manually. It is officially supported on Android Studio, IntelliJ Idea, and Visual Studio Code.
Flutter is lacking in terms of the ecosystem as compared to React Native. Flutter is not trying to catch up with lots of mobile development package for public use. With a good community base, Flutter has over 1450 packages available.
Flutter performance varies hugely as compared to React Native or NativeScript. Because it is compiled using the C/C++ library, it is more leaned towards machine language and gives better performance.
The documentation of Flutter is very well placed. It is quite in detail so as to be more helpful. A bit of difficult if you are a novice in terms of programming, but also once you get a hang of it, there is nothing like it.
Since it is quite young, it is hard to prescribe the best architecture for the mobile application. There are few favorites amongst it such as BLoC, i.e, Business Logic Component. This pattern relies heavily on streams and RxDart (Reactive Dart). There are other components involved such as Redux/Flux, depending upon the fluency and need, these can be used.
Instead of using web development components like Div and H1, it uses components provided by the react-native library for mobile development. It uses virtual DOM primarily to communicate with native UI elements. The widgets-base is not as wide as Flutter, however, some components are adaptive and hence knows that on which platform they are running whether iOS, Android, etc. The best part about development is an Expo integration which does not require you to wire up the code on your device. All you need to do is just scan the QR code that is shown on the console.
Since into existence from quite a time, it supports mostly all editors and hot reload. React native has as many as 5 times the number of packages available than that of Flutter. It is quite stable than Flutter.
React Native’s documentation is quite thorough and user-friendly. It states clearly about what are the items and how to use it. The official guide informs about famous topics in cross-platform development like how to install, how to use modules or create platform-specific components.
The UI components are compiled to their respective native equivalents and JS runs individually to communicate with native modules for any action needed via a bridge. This makes react-native to work and perform much faster than hybrid alternatives like Ionic/Cordova, but still comes close-to-close when compared to Flutter.
The architecture to basically create React/React Native applications are Flux and Redux. Flux is created by the owner, i.e, Facebook while Redux is favored most by the community. With the unidirectional data flow, the app components are stateless, as your application’s state is stored in one central place called Store. Context API which was recently introduced is the new feature of React for managing state.
|Components Library||Very large inclusive library||Smaller, non-inclusive|
|Adaptive Components||Some are adaptive automatically||Components aren’t adaptive. Need to be configured manually|
|Main Architecture||Flux and Redux||BLoC|
|EcoSystem||Quite Mature, used in production in many big companies around the world, many packages available||Not yet mature, a fewer number of packages|
|First Release||Jan 2015||May 2017|