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.
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).
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.
- Widget inspector helps to visualize and explore the tree hierarchy. Flutter uses this for UI rendering.
- 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.
- Source-level Debugger: It lets you step through code, set breakpoints and investigate the call stack.
- Logging View displays events from the Dart runtime, application frameworks and app-level logging events.
Flutter vs React Native
|Popularity||68,000 Stars on Github (June 2019)||78,400 stars on Github (June 2019)|
|IDE||Higher compatibility with IntelliJ idea, Visual code studio & Android studio||A wide range of IDE’s and tools support React Native|
|Documentation||clean and easy to follow||Unclear|
|Architecture||BLoC||Flux and Redux|
|Stateful Hot Reloading||Available||Available|
|Adaptive Components||Components are not adaptive. Need to be configured manually (proprietary widgets)||Some are adaptive automatically|
|Native Appearance||Better as it has access to the device’s core functionalities||Less due to its dependency on third-party|
|Top apps built using Flutter/React||Xianyu app by Alibaba, Hamilton app for Hamilton Musical, Google Ads app|
|Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Ads, Skype, Tesla|
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.
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