I recently built a demo mobile app, the requirements for the app was very simple and straightforward. Although I was constrained to a particular framework, I've built mobile apps using at least three different frameworks so I just explored what it would look like if I was given the chance to choose my framework.
There are several ways to build a mobile app in 2023; at some point, we've all tried one or two of them. Each of them has there own benefits and drawbacks, so which one of them would be the best? We will consider some of the best existing platforms for building cross-platform applications. I will narrow the scope of this article and as such in this article, we are going to explore the two most popular ways to build a mobile application. We will consider the following in this article;
Flutter is a robust and efficient framework for building cross-platform mobile applications from a single codebase. Flutter compiles all of your application source code directly to native code that can be shipped to your desired platform. Flutter is really popular amongst mobile developers and there's no shortage of developers making an earning writing Dart code.
There's a massive community behind Flutter and you can easily get access to resources to help you with your Flutter project or to get started building your first application with Flutter. Let's explore some of the pros and cons of working with Flutter.
Flutter code compiles directly to native code so Flutter apps have a slight advantage in terms of performance.
You will also notice significantly faster development speeds while working with Flutter.
Flutter has a robust ecosystem of Widgets and third-party libraries that can be easily integrated into your codebase allowing you to build highly interactive and customizable UIs in little to no time.
Flutter is a project from Google and as such it is absolutely suited to Android application development although it is not the officially recognized language for Android application development.
Flutter is written in Dart and learning a new programming language is just going to add to the learning curve a little, although using Dart feels a lot like using typescript.
Flutter is built on a strong foundation of OOP principles and if OOP is not just your thing it could be a bit daunting.
React-native feels a lot like using React, even the styling of components is similar to what you'd do in HTML so someone with a good foundation and experience with React will find it so much fun and intriguing working with React-native. All of the third-party plugins are available as NPM packages that can be installed directly into the codebase via the
npm i package command, just to give you an insight into how easy it is to get started with.
You are sure of a huge community of developers willing to guide you on your react-native journey, with the backing of a major Tech firm. React-native allows you to develop mobile UIs at breakneck speeds without sacrificing design and performance although it is not as fast as Flutter. And unless your app is a very big app then trust me you'd not notice the difference.
- React-native is built on top of React and as such it is very easy for developers with knowledge of React to start building mobile applications with very little to no learning curve.
- You decide the approach you want to take when building your apps, you are not stuck with any particular approach or pattern and it is entirely up to you to decide how you want to structure and organize your code base.
React-native applications are considered to be a little slower due to the fact that it just provides a bridge to access native APIs. The more your application grows the more performance you'll sacrifice.
Debugging react-native applications can easily become a nightmare due to the poor support for application debugging. Some error messages are not descriptive and thus bugs become hard to fix.
React-native is still in its beta phase and as such you might run into a few compatibility issues every once in a while.
If there's a need to look at a native API more closely then there becomes a serious issue because the typical react-native developer is not really experienced with most of the native modules.
So at the end of the day, you might ask which one of them should I go with and I know you've already made up your mind before you go to this point however you should know that both frameworks are superb at what they deliver and they can be used to deliver an amazing user experience so it just depends on how you like to work and which of them suits your style and pattern.
Please leave your thoughts about react-native and Flutter in the comment section below, I'd like to know your thoughts and experience on either or both frameworks.