...
5/5 - (2 votes)

Flutter vs React Native in 2024: Which Cross-Platform Framework is Better?

In this epic battle, we pit two cross-platform giants against each other to crown the champion of mobile app development. Discover the strengths and weaknesses of each framework, compare their performance, and explore their hot features.

Introduction

In 2024, Flutter and React Native remain two of the most popular cross-platform mobile app development frameworks. Both allow developers to build iOS and Android apps using a single codebase. The fierce debate around “Flutter vs React Native” continues as developers evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses for different projects. This article examines the key technical factors to help you decide which framework performs better in 2024 based on app requirements.

Programming Language

Flutter uses Dart while React Native is based on JavaScript. Dart is rarely used outside of Flutter. Meanwhile, JavaScript dominates as the most commonly used programming language. Most developers are already familiar with JavaScript and its enormous community support offers ample libraries and tools. However, Dart is also easy to learn for developers with object-oriented programming experience.

In terms of performance, Flutter’s Dart offers faster rendering through features like hot reload. But modern JavaScript engines now nearly match native speeds. Overall, JavaScript familiarity gives React Native an edge for most dev teams.

Developer Productivity

Flutter’s rich widget set allows quick UI construction without relying on platform OEM widgets. This gives Flutter apps a consistent look and feel across platforms unlike React Native apps that reflect platform defaults. Flutter’s hot reload also accelerates development allowing instant UI updates without recompiling.

However, React Native lets developers reuse business logic layers while rendering platform-specific UIs. Large existing codebases in JavaScript can also be reused with React Native contributing to speed and productivity during development.

Performance

Flutter’s compiled nature offers smooth UI interactions, quicker load times, and superior performance versus React Native. Features like hot reload do not impact runtime performance since code changes are injected into the running Dart VM. Flutter also utilizes Skia graphics engine for fluid animations.

React Native bridges allow JavaScript to interact with native elements but add slight overhead. However, recent improvements to React Native runtime and leveraging native APIs directly for tasks like scrolling have helped close this performance gap with Flutter.

Stability & Support

Flutter graduated from beta in 2018 and offers excellent stability with fixed-cadence releases every four weeks. Hotfixes can be quickly deployed in case any vulnerabilities are discovered. Flutter is backed by Google so long-term support is guaranteed for the framework.

React Native has over twice the GitHub stars compared to Flutter indicating a broader open-source community supporting framework development. However, React Native relies on third-party plugin compatibility during updates which has caused breaking changes in the past. Features like autolinking modules have now made upgrades smoother.

Here are separate content journeys detailing the key milestones in the evolution of Flutter and React Native frameworks:

Flutter Content Journey

May 2017 – Flutter is unveiled at Google I/O. Initial alpha version allows developers to experiment.

February 2018 – Flutter hits beta milestone adding improved iOS support and maturing into a stable dev toolkit.

December 2018 – Flutter 1.0 marks the first production-ready version with enhanced accessibility, internationalization, and additive animations.

May 2019 – Flutter 1.5 brings AndroidX support allowing easy migration of Android apps and code reuse across iOS and Android.

December 2019 – Flutter 1.12 incorporates web support allowing compilation to HTML and JavaScript for web apps in addition to mobile.

March 2020 – Flutter becomes one of the top 10 software repos on GitHub indicating rapid community adoption.

June 2021 – Flutter 2.0 introduces full sound null safety, new Material widgets like data tables, and improved dev tools.

March 2022 – Significant updates to Flutter tooling and Canvas visual UI builder to accelerate app creation.

React Native Content Journey

March 2015 – React Native is open-sourced by Facebook after internal usage for Ads Manager and other mobile apps.

September 2016 – React Native 0.37 update brings initial support for progressive web apps using React Native Web allowing web deployment.

September 2017 – React Native 0.49 update starts the rewrite of the React Native bridge for improved native modules integration leading to better performance.

February 2019 – Microsoft embraces React Native for cross-platform mobile and desktop app development starting with Office mobile suite.

December 2019 – React Native 0.61 incorporates the rewritten bridge architecture greatly enhancing performance and UI smoothness.

August 2020 – React Native 0.63 update overhauls the Animated library to simplify building complex timeline animations using native drivers.

September 2021 – Major updates focus on modularizing core components for easier integration into monorepos rather than forked repos.

March 2022 – React Native 0.69 release continues investments into modular infrastructure for improved reliability across dependency updates.

The evolution shows both frameworks rapidly maturing over the past years with improvements mainly targeting performance, stability and ease of app development. The healthy competition between Flutter and React Native results in more choice for developers.

Here is a comparison table summarizing the key differences between Flutter and React Native in a nutshell:

Flutter React Native
Programming Language Dart JavaScript
UI Rendering Compiled Interpreted
Default UI Components Custom widgets Platform native widgets
Code Reloading Hot Reload (State preserved) Live Reload (State reset)
Performance Faster (Uses Skia graphics engine) Slight overhead due to JavaScript Bridge
Learning Curve Steep (Dart) Low (Leverages JavaScript skills)
Community Support Growing Mature and established
Stability Excellent (Backed by Google) Reliant on third-party packages
Best Suited For High-quality custom UI Rapid development and iteration

 

Conclusion

In 2024, both Flutter and React Native continue to evolve into robust cross-platform mobile development frameworks. Flutter leads in rendering performance and UI capabilities. But React Native counters with stronger community support and allowing reuse of existing JavaScript codebases. Evaluate team skills, performance requirements, and app UI needs while deciding between “Flutter vs React Native” for your next mobile project.

Related Blogs

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.