The only two main options that we can discuss for mobile development in 2021 would be native mobile app development using Swift or Kotlin and the other is cross-platform development i.e. Flutter or React Native. The TechFastly team is going to find out what's going to be attractive from an industry and growth point of view.
In Flutter, one code can be used for different environments, while Native is deprived of this feature. For native apps, you need to write different codes for each platform. Flutter also comes with a built-in feature called the "Hot Reload" feature. Through this feature, you will be able to trace the changes in the code without the need to restart the app; it helps speed up the development process.
Flutter has not been in the market for a long time. Although, Google has a strong community and excellent documentation backing it up. Finding an experienced Flutter developer in the market can be quite a game.
Native programming will provide you with a standard presentation layer for the environment. However, the design and behaviours in Flutter will remain the same for all platforms.
Implementing the design in Flutter won't be difficult as Flutter has a descriptive UI and cutting all the legacy dependencies. You are definitely going to experience a unique speed in development.
Let me tell you in advance that you may have to face problems regarding the animation part. It is a different matter that in standard cases you will not be able to notice it. But all I can say is that you will find it easier than the native technologies. Given the need for the design, sometimes it becomes really difficult as to which technology to choose. If you want each platform to have a unified style, Flutter will help you with this and your pace in the project will also come to the fore. And the experience says that native technology is better only when the design is different for each platform.
Now with the advent of the latest mobile technology, it has become clear that apps need a solution(artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc.). Flutter doesn't offer native functionality. Here we can say that Native is better than Flutter.
In terms of size, Flutter won't give you any discount. Even if it's about "Hello World". You will find ways in which you can maintain the size of your apps. One of them I can mention here: unique tags, like -split-debug-info. Click here for more information.
When it comes to thread management, Flutter is single-threaded. Dart uses the event loop so flutter is also single-threaded. Dart runtime creates a separate thread process when Dart (or Flutter) app is executed. Flutter is easier.
Flutter's app performance can reach up to 60 FPS. Flutter Widgets supports all platform differences such as icons, fonts, scrolling and navigation etc. Flutter code is compiled to native ARM machine code using Dart's native compiler. Since native apps don't use much memory, native apps will give better performance. Compute-intensive tasks will also be executed faster in native apps. However, you will get to experience it all in a test environment. In the actual mobile application, the performance will look similar.
Reactive Native and Flutter
If you develop an app in React Native then you will need native elements and the bridge. This simply means that you have to do additional optimization for each platform. Thus React Native development is going to take time.
React Native is older than Flutter. Its community is strong and large, yet Flutter's community has grown very quickly. Google is also providing Flutter with tremendous support and good documentation. But it may also happen that in today's time you will easily find React Native developers. Nevertheless, Flutter is becoming increasingly popular so you shouldn't have too much trouble getting its service provider.
In terms of graphics, both are awesome, be it Flutter or React Native. However, there is a difference in the implementation of both. React Native has native elements and Flutter on the other hand has a neutral style for all devices. If you already work on React native, you will notice that there is a slight difference in the look of React native elements on Android and iOS. Although system updates don't matter, the design does. Yes, if you want to maintain results with respect to the platform, you have to put in the time. It is not that easy to say which one to choose between the two as you need to keep the design in mind.
Web and desktop development
Talking about the web and desktop, the codebase in Flutter will remain the same. And some parts of the code in React Native will remain the same. But if you think performance can be important, then the vote can go to React Native only.
Flutter is compiled to ARM or x86 native libraries, but react-native code is not compiled to the native layer. React Native communicates using a bridge which provides a way for bidirectional and asynchronous communication. Hence the performance of Flutter should remain high.
Seems complicated how to choose. That means needs and requirements have to be understood very carefully. If your app is super advanced and you are looking for performance, incredible reliability and security, plus it should be optimized for different platforms, then a native app is the best option.
And for building a beautiful app that doesn't cost much, markets easily, and is a cross-platform app, then this can only point to Flutter. The coolest thing is to have "one codebase". By adjusting the code a bit, you can make your app ready for other platforms, whereas for native you will have to start a whole new project. Flutter app is going to be cheap and you might target Flutter repeatedly.
In most cases, Flutter can be considered, yet many of the factors discussed above can drag down the decision.