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5 Reasons Why Flutter Framework is Better than React Native

4 minutes read

Flutter has become one of the most hyped cross native frameworks since its stable release. Nowadays, most of the companies are enthusiastic about flutter. It is mainly because one can develop applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and web from a single codebase. Despite fast development and flexible UI, many developers still want to hold on to the React Native. Let’s discuss why Flutter Framework is the best followed by a comparison between Flutter and React Native from a developer’s perspective.

What is Flutter?

Flutter, a UI software development kit by Google is known for building impressive, natively compiled apps for web, mobile, and desktop using a single codebase.

Flutter was originally an open-source project for mobile application development. Later it was extended to support platforms like web, Windows, Google Fuchsia and Linux. You might be already aware of Google’s new operating system called Fuchsia. Here, Flutter is the primary source for developing its applications. Recently, Flutter has become more competitive with React Native (Facebook) and Xamarin (Microsoft).

Useful resources:

  1. Mobile support for Flutter
  2. Web support for Flutter
  3. Desktop support for Flutter 

Why Flutter Framework?

1. Fast Development

Flutter is faster than many other application development frameworks. With its “hot reload” feature, you can experiment, build UIs, add/remove features, test and fix bugs faster. Thus reducing the overall app development time.

2. Expressive and Flexible UI

You can really build beautiful apps in Flutter. Also, the end-user experience is similar to native apps. Flutter has a layered architecture that lets you control every pixel on the screen. Thus, customization is very simple in Flutter. With its powerful composting capabilities, you can overlay and animate graphics, text, video, and other controls without any limitations.

You’ll also find a set of widgets that deliver pixel-perfect experiences on Android and iOS. It enables the ultimate realization of Material Design. Just in case you don’t know, Material.io is Google’s initiative to build beautiful, usable products with Material Components for digital experiences.

Useful resources: Material.io

3. Native Performance

Flutter’s widgets incorporate all critical platform differences such as scrolling, navigation, icons and fonts. This provides a native performance experience on both iOS and Android.

4. Dart Language

Dart programming language is developed by Google and is meant for mobile, desktop, backend and web applications. It is a client-optimized language for fast performing apps on multiple platforms.
Dart is AOT (Ahead Of Time) compiled to fast, predictable, native code, allowing writing almost all of Flutter code in Dart. This makes Flutter extremely fast and customizable. Virtually, everything (including all the widgets) can be customized.

5. Important Flutter Tools

Flutter framework supports many different tools including Android Studio and Visual Studio Code. It also provides support for building apps from the command line. Dart DevTools, which is a new debugging tool, is more flexible and allows runtime inspection. You can also view logs, debug apps and inspect widgets for Flutter App Development.

  1. Widget inspector helps to visualize and explore the tree hierarchy. Flutter uses this for UI rendering.
  2. Timeline view helps you to monitor your application at a frame-by-frame level. You can also identify rendering and computational work in timeline view.
  3. Source-level Debugger: It lets you step through code, set breakpoints and investigate the call stack.
  4. Logging View displays events from the Dart runtime, application frameworks and app-level logging events.

Flutter vs React Native

FlutterReact Native
Initial Release20172015
Created ByGoogleFacebook
Open Sourceyesyes
Programming LanguageDartJavaScript
Popularity68,000 Stars on Github (June 2019)78,400 stars on Github (June 2019)
IDEHigher compatibility with IntelliJ idea, Visual code studio & Android studioA wide range of IDE’s and tools support React Native
Documentationclean and easy to followUnclear
ArchitectureBLoCFlux and Redux
Stateful Hot ReloadingAvailableAvailable
Adaptive ComponentsComponents are not adaptive. Need to be configured manually (proprietary widgets)Some are adaptive automatically
(native components)
App PerformanceHigher at 60fps animation standardLower as it uses JavaScript bridge for initiating interaction
Native AppearanceBetter as it has access to the device’s core functionalitiesLess due to its dependency on third-party
3D SupportNoYes
Top apps built using Flutter/ReactXianyu app by Alibaba, Hamilton app for Hamilton Musical, Google Ads app
More
Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Ads, Skype, Tesla

Conclusion

React Native is an older framework is quite popular with its stability and developing time. However, React Native and Flutter framework have their own pros and cons. But, both are actively good looking at the features they’re providing.

React Native sounds like a tooling and dependency nightmare, while Flutter sounds like pleasure but still suffering growing pains. From my personal experience, many developers have expressed extreme frustration with React Native at times. Also, Developers have acknowledged that it’s a pleasure to develop apps in Flutter. 

From my own experience, I’m strongly leaning towards Flutter.


About the Author: Raviteja Aketi is a Senior Software Engineer at Mantra Labs. He has extensive experience with B2B projects. Raviteja loves exploring new technologies, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Further reading:

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What will ‘Behavioural Changes’ Mean for India’s Digital Health Future

We are in the middle of a global pandemic, facing a threat unlike one never seen before. COVID-19 has been a reason for global concern since it has negatively impacted economies, shut down workplaces, and forced cities into lockdowns.

But history also tells us  that times of uncertainty also foster innovation. The pandemic has forced consumers and businesses to rethink how they behave both physically and digitally. As per McKinsey, COVID-19 has speeded up the adoption of digital technologies.

India, which was on the cusp of a ‘digital health’ revolution, has now been forced to embrace innovation and emerging trends. The healthcare sector holds great promise since new-age technologies like telemedicine, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), genomics, etc. are transforming healthcare services.

There have been unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour as well. People are now increasingly relying on using the internet to find clinical information or engage with healthcare professionals digitally. Moreover, online consultations, telemedicine, and e-pharmacies have seen a rise in popularity.

Companies will thus need to capitalize on the changing patterns of consumption and health-seeking behaviour.

This article focuses on how changing patient behaviour will affect India’s digital health future.

A growing Indian healthcare market

According to a report by Future Health Index, India is a leader in the adoption of digital health technology. As per India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22% to reach a valuation of USD 372 billion by 2022. This growth can be attributed to the following –

  • Growing health awareness
  • Aging population
  • Lifestyle-related diseases
  • Rising income levels
  • Growth of internet availability

The rise of digital health start-ups is also playing a role in the growth of the healthcare sector. Indian health tech startup landscape has now matured.

Over the last few years, telemedicine has emerged as a fast-growing sector in India. Prominent start-ups like Practo, mfine, and Lybrate have established themselves in the telehealth market. McKinsey estimates that India could save up to USD10 billion by 2025 by using telemedicine instead of in-person doctor appointments.

COVID-induced behavioural changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to patient behaviour. The fear of leaving homes to get treatment has led to the growth of virtual care and telemedicine. 

As per a report by Accenture, almost 70% of the patients canceled or postponed their treatments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology, therefore, played a crucial role in helping patients continue their care. Healthcare providers were even able to improve the experience for patients by delivering them faster response time, personalized interactions, and the convenience of getting consultation from home.

The same report by Accenture highlights some key behavioural changes that are being observed in patients – 

  • Nearly half of the patients now get their treatment at their homes instead of visiting a clinic.
  • Almost 60% of patients want to continue using technology for communicating with healthcare providers.
  • About 41% of patients now use video conferencing to connect with their healthcare providers. Of these, for almost 70% of patients, it’s their first-time using video conferencing for healthcare.
  • Almost 44% of patients used new apps or devices during the pandemic to manage their health conditions.

All this highlights the need for healthcare providers to reimagine their patient engagement strategies in keeping with the changing patient behavior.

Future of digital health in India

New digital technologies and tools are making an impact across the healthcare sector. They hold great promise in improving the efficiency of healthcare services while delivering better patient care. Below are some of the technological developments that are expected to revolutionize the way we seek healthcare.

Telemedicine

About 68% of India’s population lives in rural areas where healthcare services are not usually up to the mark. This barrier can be overcome by telemedicine that offers an excellent way for patients to consult a doctor in a much shorter duration. Telemedicine can cut waiting times and allow patients to avoid traveling to a clinic or hospital. Some other benefits of telemedicine include –

  • Immediate access to specialist healthcare providers.
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • Improved quality of care.
  • Convenience to the patients.
  • Improved patient engagement.

Internet of medical things (IoMT)

The rapid growth of IoMT devices is rapidly changing healthcare delivery by playing an important role in tracking and preventing chronic illnesses.

It not only helps eliminate the need for in-person medical visits but also helps reduce costs. Goldman Sachs estimates IoMT to save USD 300 billion annually for the healthcare industry. IoMT will benefit those patients the most who are unable to get access to quality healthcare due to remote location.

Big data in healthcare

There has been dramatic growth in the amount of medical and health data in the last few years. These massive datasets can be used to draw insights and opportunities for healthcare organizations. Analysis of healthcare data can help discover warning signs and create preventive plans.

The widespread adoption of IoT devices also makes it easier to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, etc. This can help in the early detection of diseases like hypertension, asthma, heart problems, etc.

Electronic medical records

Electronic medical records or EMRs help collect, digitalize patients’ information, and store it in a single place. EMRs store various types of medical data like medical history, prescriptions, drug allergies, etc. and allow doctors to make accurate disease prognosis in a much shorter time. Some other benefits of EMRs include – 

  • Effective medical decisions.
  • Easy data recovery.
  • Improved collaboration.
  • Portability.
  • Security of medical data.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a big role to play in improving healthcare since growing digitization leads to the availability of a large amount of health data. AI has the potential to transform everyday health management in the following ways –

  • Improved accessibility of healthcare services (for example – the AI-based mobile app Ada is available across 140 countries and makes it possible for anyone to have access to medical guidance).
  • Improved efficiency.
  • Accurate disease diagnosis.
  • Improved insights to reveal early disease risks (for example – a popular app Verily can forecast noncontagious and hereditary genetic diseases).
  • Time and cost savings.

mHealth

Mobile health or mHealth refers to the monitoring and sharing of health data via mobile technology like health tracking apps or wearables. 

mHealth apps can prove to be beneficial in increasing patient engagement, providing health education, and offering remote consultations to patients. It can also use the data from wearable devices to improve the quality of care. Some other benefits of mHealth include – 

  • Faster access to physicians.
  • Improved medication adherence.
  • Remote patient monitoring.
  • Increased medication reconciliation accuracy.
  • Improved coordination between healthcare providers and patients.

Conclusion

It’s quite clear that COVID-19 has significantly impacted patient behaviour. There has been a growing preference for telehealth and mHealth apps. But all of this has also compelled healthcare organizations to put in more effort in adapting to these behavioural changes. Healthcare providers are opting to rely more on new technologies to continue delivering patient care. A more affordable standard of high-quality care is in the works for India’s digital health future.

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