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React Native vs Flutter: Comparison of App Development Frameworks

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Read this blog if:

  1. You’re a newbie developer and want to know which framework helps complete the project within a limited time and budget.
  2. You’re an entrepreneur and want to build cost-effective, scalable, and stable apps but are unsure about which cross-platform tool provides the best results.

Table of Contents

Flutter and React Native are popular cross-platform app development frameworks that help you optimize the application development process and receive fast results.

According to Statista, Flutter is one of the top frameworks used by 42% of software developers to develop mobile apps across the globe. React Native even shares a similar role to Flutter in developing cross-platform mobile apps.

But which framework should you use?

Let’s discuss React Native vs Flutter.

What is Flutter?

Flutter is an open-source mobile UI framework developed by Google. Released in 2017, it is used to build native-looking iOS and Android applications from a single codebase. This means you can use one programming language to develop apps for iOS and Android platforms.

Flutter consists of two main parts:

  1. A Software Development Kit (SDK): It is a toolkit containing libraries, tools, and documentation required to build your applications.
  2. A Framework: A collection of reusable UI elements like buttons, text inputs, and sliders that help to personalize your application.

Flutter uses the Dart programming language to create mobile and web applications. Dart is a typed programming language that focuses on front-end development to give the best UI.

Features of Flutter

  • In-built material design, rich motion APIs, and Cupertino Widgets to make elegant and user-friendly apps.
  • Reflects the changes instantly through hot-reload features.
  • Firebase support to build scalable apps.
  • Flutter helps to build an expressive UI by combining different widgets.
  • Supports development on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Best Applications Developed Using Flutter

Google Ads, Tencent, Alibaba, BMW, Nubank are some companies that have used Flutter to develop mobile apps. To know how Flutter has helped these apps, let’s check the table, which includes the use cases for each popular Flutter-based mobile app along with category and revenue details.

Logo App Category Use-case Revenue (2020)
  Alibaba e-Commerce With Flutter, Alibaba handled significant transactions across multiple platforms in real-time. USD 109.480 Billion
  BMW Automotive BMW used Flutter as the company wanted easy scalability of the app. Currently, BMW owns one of the biggest in-house Flutter teams. USD 34.438 Billion
  Square Payment With Flutter, Square processes billions of transactions quickly. USD 5.057 Billion

However, the list is unending.

Now let us take an overview of React Native along with its features and essential information. Get to know more about React Native in the next section.

What is React Native?

React Native is a JavaScript mobile app framework for developing cross-platform applications for iOS and Android platforms. The development time is significantly reduced as the coding is done in the same language, regardless of the platform.

React Native uses the best of React and JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces. Facebook first released React Native as an open-source project in 2015. And in just a short span of time, it became one of the top solutions for mobile app development.

Features of React Native

  • Contains NPM (Node Package Manager), which makes the installation process faster.
  • Offers live reload, which lets you see two different screens simultaneously; the first screen can change code, and the second screen to see what changes are made.
  • Supports third-party libraries as you do not need to develop the functionality that the library provides.
  • Iterates at lightning speed which helps you to save changes instantly.

Best Applications Developed Using React Native

Bloomberg, Facebook, UberEats, Airbnb, and Instagram are some of the best apps developed in React Native. To know how React Native has helped these apps, let’s check the table, which includes the use cases for each popular React Native-based mobile app along with category and revenue details.

Logo App Category Use-case Revenue (2020)
  Facebook Social Networking Facebook ad manager is developed in React Native, which handles UI differences and date formats flawlessly. USD 85.96 Billion
  Instagram Photo Sharing React Native helped Instagram to ship features faster through code sharing and higher iteration speed. USD 9.45 Billion
  UberEats Food Delivery React Native provided Uber Eats the development tools needed to build an elegant UI and smooth UX. USD 2.51 Billion
  Airbnb Travel With React Native, Airbnb moves faster and maintains the quality bar set by native apps. USD 3.378 Billion
  Bloomberg Finance Through React Native, Bloomberg implemented automated code refreshes, which means the users get the latest updates once opening the app. USD 10 Billion

Even in React Native, the list is infinite. However, choosing React Native depends on the requirements and budget.

Companies prefer cross-platform app development solutions because of

  1. Reduced app cost
  2. Scalability
  3. Faster release, and
  4. Consistency

However, if you want to increase your brand’s visibility, a leading React Native mobile app development company can cater to your diverse business needs.

Herein we bring you a detailed comparison of React Native vs Flutter frameworks based on the features and functionalities. So have a look and decide which to choose for development?

Flutter vs React Native Comparison

You may have got a brief overview of the difference between Flutter and React Native.

Let’s understand the functionalities deeper to know what to choose for your business and project.

Difference Between Flutter and React Native

Programming Languages

React Native: React JS – a JavaScript library is used in React Native to build beautiful user interfaces. So if a developer understands JavaScript or has developed an application using React, then developing applications in React Native is easy. Most of the code in React Native resembles React code; thus, developers can reuse logic from the React projects.

Flutter: Since Flutter uses the Dart programming language, developers have to learn from scratch before developing a project in Dart. Dart resembles OOP languages such as Java and C++; so it is quite easy to adopt if developers are familiar with the concept.

Verdict: Choose React Native as JavaScript is easy to adopt and serves as a default language for almost every browser.

User Interface

React Native: React Native connects to native iOS and Android components using the JavaScript bridge. This function enables the development of native Android and iOS apps with the look and feel of native applications. But it’s challenging to reproduce complex user interfaces in a React Native application, and components behave differently across platforms.

Flutter: Flutter has customizable widgets which simplify the process of developing native-like applications. There is no need to look for third-party libraries, as it has a comprehensive collection of frameworks and widgets. Additionally, Flutter application development ensures cross-platform apps that run smoothly regardless of the platform.

Verdict: Undoubtedly, choose Flutter if you want to develop a simple app with the same UI across multiple devices.


React Native: React Native’s application architecture is Flux and depends on other software for building components. It uses Javascript to bridge the connection to native modules. However, this bridge affects the performance even if there are few modifications.

In iOS, React Native uses JavaScript Core that separately runs the code. Whereas, in Android, JavaScriptCore is bundled in the application. This increases the app size resulting in performance issues.

Flutter: Flutter is an advanced SDK that provides layered architecture known as Skia, which ensures quick and easy UI customizations. You have complete control over every pixel on the screen and help to quickly animate graphics, texts, videos, and controls without any limits.

This architecture makes it easier for any developer to create applications with simple components. Compared to React Native, Flutter can manage these customizations without a bridge.

VerdictFlutter is the winner as it enables easy customization as per your requirements without hassle.


React Native: To get started with React Native, the easiest way is to use Expo CLI. You just need a recent version of Node.js and a phone or an emulator. If you want to try out React Native directly in the web browser before any tool installation, you can try out Snack.

However, if you are familiar with mobile development, you want to use React Native CLI, you need Xcode or Android Studio to get started. If these tools are installed, you easily get started in a few minutes.

Flutter: To get started with Flutter, go to the Flutter website and download the binaries as per your platform. For macOS, you must download the file and add it to the PATH variable.

However, there are additional steps during installation in the Flutter compared to React Native. Therefore, Flutter should have support package managers to save users from going through these additional steps.

VerdictReact Native wins as it is easy to install without the hassle of downloading binary files.

Developer’s Productivity

React Native: React Native has several libraries like NativeBase, Teaset, ReactNative Elements, Lottie, and Vector Icons created by the developers’ community that helps speed up the development process.

Moreover, React Native has a hot reload feature which means developers can perform iteration quickly and receive feedback immediately. You can view the changes in your app without recompiling it. This saves a lot of time while testing the differences in UI.

Flutter: Flutter also has a hot reload feature which means developers can directly use new code into the running app. Moreover, to avoid losing during development, hot reload maintains the application state.

This saves a tremendous amount of time and increases the speed of the development process. However, developers would need to learn and adopt the new Flutter concepts when the app complexities grow.

VerdictReact Native wins as it is quite a mature framework and provides third-party libraries that help increase the development speed.

Community Support

React Native: React Native framework was launched in 2015 by Facebook; thus the community of React Native has grown. You can find the npm package for anything developed by the community. If you are stuck somewhere, there is always a solution presented in the community.

Flutter: The community of Flutter is smaller compared to React Native as it was launched in 2017. Still, it was recently launched, there are no ready-made packages like React Native. However, with the release of new versions of Flutter, the trend is increasing towards it.

VerdictReact Native again wins as it is an old framework, and the community is relatively huge compared to Flutter

Since Flutter and React Native are both cross-platform development tools, it does have many similarities. After understanding the significant differences, let’s go through the shared similarities between React Native and Flutter.

What is Common Between Flutter and React Native?

Although React Native and Flutter are different, they have a few similarities, i.e., worth discussing.

  1. They are designed and developed for cross-platform app development.
  2. Offers open-source and free SDKs enabling the creation of mobile apps faster.
  3. Uses fundamental UIs and widgets on iOS and Android to offer a native experience.
  4. They are backed by giant tech companies like Facebook (React Native) and Flutter (Google).
  5. Puts extra effort into keeping documentation up-to-date with API references and comprehensive resources.
  6. Both support hot reloading, which makes development faster.