Flutter vs React Native: Which is the Best Cross Platform App Development Framework?

Have you ever thought, how one app can work on different platforms? That's because of cross-platform development frameworks like Flutter and React Native. But, which one is better? Read this blog to find out

GraphQL has a role beyond API Query Language- being the backbone of application Integration

Flutter vs React Native: Which is the Best Cross Platform App Development Framework?

To begin with, let us explain our use case:

We are in the process of developing an audio/video collaboration application (like zoom, say) where our customer is inclined to use a hybrid framework. To verify we chose the right framework/UI-toolkit i.e React Native & Flutter we compared performance and other aspects of the two. To be able to develop a WebRTC-based application we tried our hand at 3 different libraries/SDKs i.e Agora SDK, Jitsi, and a simple API package of webRTC in flutter(flutter_webrtc) & RN (react-native-webrtc). Now to do a better performance check we will talk about a simple API package that is written on top of WebRTC instead of any 3rd party SDKs. Let’s understand these technicalities step by step.

Introduction of Flutter & React Native

Before we dive into actual comparison, here’s a short note on introduction to both the frameworks.

Flutter Architecture:

Flutter is a UI toolkit made by Google for developing cross-platform apps. Flutter supports Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and Mac. It’s a free and open-source toolkit to build visually appealing apps.

Flutter was released in May 2017 and it is one of the fastest-growing repo on GitHub. It has 141,000 Stars on Github (May 2022) As you can see in the figure below, Flutter asks the platform for the canvas to draw the UI and access device resources such as Bluetooth, audio, or touchscreen.

Unlike other cross-platform frameworks, there isn’t any kind of bridge converting Flutter widgets into the native components, which would impact performance negatively. In Flutter, the framework takes all the responsibility of drawing pixels directly on the screen. This makes the app super fast and responsive.

React Native Architecture:

React Native is a JavaScript framework made by Facebook for developing native iOS and Android applications using components from Facebook's popular React library. React Native provides developers with an interface for building rich mobile user experiences without the need to write native platform-specific code.

React Native was released in March 2015. It has 103,000 stars on Github (May 2022)

The core element of React Native architecture is the Bridge. This system employs React library to render the application on a device. Simply put, the bridge transforms the JS code into the native components and vice versa. The bridge translates JavaScript into platform-specific components.

It gets the JS call, leverages the APIs (Kotlin, Objective C, Java), which allows native rendering of an application. The process doesn’t affect user experience because these async calls take place apart from the main thread.

Oftentimes comparison is best to view/presented in tabular format where we can see them side-by-side. 

Flutter vs React Native comparison:

Now we will talk about actual performance checks

Flutter vs React Native Performance comparison:

  • We created a simple application using flutter_webrtc package and created two _localClient users.
  • Did a few re-rendering of page to monitor the performance
  • We run the application on chrome browser to compare the performance of Flutter & React Native WebRTC on the web. Recorded the performance several times and calculated the min, max and average performance of the web.
  • We run the app in profile mode & use Dart DevTools to capture the CPU, Memory & Performance details
  • Did the same procedure to capture the React Native performance by using  react-native-webrtc package.
Flutter vs React native performance comparison

CONCLUSION

We hope that all the given information in this article has helped you form your own answer to “Which is better: Flutter or React Native?” or “Should I learn Flutter or React Native?” Now, when the world is becoming more and more about technology, it’s essential to keep up and always choose the best solutions. 

Both React Native and Flutter are better than the other hybrid frameworks they share the market with. Even though the final decision is up to you, we’ll say that Flutter is more modern and approaches problems more efficiently than React Native at some points. Take, for example, the absence of a JavaScript bridge. It brings the development on the level up. Besides, Google provides it with constant support and updates so unexpected bugs won’t happen.

Altogether, Flutter is a reasonable choice that will make your project beneficial. As a result, you’ll get a fast, scalable, and secure modern application with high performance. 

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