React Native Versus Flutter

Aug 17, 2020
7 min read

There was a time when developers had to write separate codes for different application platforms like android, iOS, and more. However, it all changed with the development of a cross-platform application platform. It allowed developers to create one script and then deploy it on multiple platforms with minimal or sometimes no changes.

Both Google and Facebook have been good at developing these cross-development platforms. They have been competing with each other for a  while. It's very challenging to choose the right one from them. This post will shed some light on the brands and their platform to help you with this selection.

What Is React Native?

React Native logo

React Native is an open-source UI framework started by Facebook. It came to light around the year 2015 and has been a part of Facebook ever since. Most of their applications, including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, use this framework. Some of the other apps, like Pinterest, Skype, Bloomberg, and Tesla, also rely on it. Even the famous website builder, uses React Native as its base.

Companies using React Native
Source: DZone

The platform started in 2013 with an internal hackathon at Facebook. It used the most adopted language, JavaScript, for making the applications. It offered the developers several benefits, including faster refresh, more choices, vast community, and multi-platform compatibility. The recent change in the Stack by Facebook further added to these benefits.

Facebook's New Stack

A lot of things have changed in the app development world since the start of Facebook's React Native. Therefore, it is no rocket science that Facebook has to adapt some new stacks options.

LAMP- Facebook's Previous Stack

LAMP or the 'Linus, Apache, MySQL, PHP' is the conventional Stack that combines four technologies for its operation. The platform used LINUX as the primary operating system combined by Apache as the web server, MySQL as Relational Database Management system, and PHP or Python as the scripting language.

The part that made LAMP a viable option at that time was its compatibility. While it was for Linux, the developer could use it for windows, Macintosh, and Solaris systems.

The Stack worked amazingly for many years, but it had some limitations. For instance, LAMP used a non-blocked architecture that made it challenging to scale it and also affected its speeds in some cases. Similarly, LAMP required a full stack team for making an application using LAMP. It also required both backend and frontend coding, which made it costlier and more time-consuming. The development got even more tricky for complicated and hybrid applications.

MEAN- The new Facebook Stack

MEAN is a more modern version stack that uses JavaScript as its main element. The Stack also uses a four-element structure like the LAMP, but it has replaced the four parts. It uses MongoDB for databases, AngularJS for frontend frameworks, and Express.js as the base framework. As for the operating system, the Stack uses a Node.js runtime as the base platform rather than any specific OS.

The upgraded elements of the MEAN stack make it much faster, reliable, and easy to use. It also offers the user the flexibility to scale the development work if and when required. The use of AngularJS also enables the user to reuse, maintain, and test the client-side application. You can prefer the Stack for not only the main application but also for creating routes and templates.

The best part of the Stack is that it is a NoSQL platform. This feature reduces the time required for organizing and extracting data. It also simplifies the schematic for data storage, which in turn enhances the speed.

Benefit Of The Stack Migration

The new MEAN stack that Facebook adopted was a game-change. It enhanced the application in more than just one way. Here's a list of a few benefits that it served for their business.

●   The new Stack allowed JavaScript both a front and back end. It reduced the requirement of professionals and allowed them to switch one or more members between projects.

●   MEAN allows easy transferability of any type of code. You can use it to transfer codes written in one particular framework to any other framework.

●   Unlike the previous Stack technologies, MEAN allows cloud-based testing after completing the development work. You can also add information by adding fields to the existing forms at any time.

●   Since the Stack uses Node.js as the base platform, there is no restriction of the operating system you need to use.

● Node.js is quite flexible and has a non-blocking architecture. Therefore, the application that uses it is faster and easy to maintain, test, and reuse.

Is Facebook Stack Migration A Threat For Google?

Facebook's new Stack made it much more reliable and preferable than its previous platform. It offers the leverage it needed to dominate the internet and get ahead of Google. It was a clear threat to the search engine company, and there is no way that Google wasn't responding to this threat. Therefore, they came up with Flutter.

What Is Flutter?

Flutter logo

Flutter is a portable User Interface kit developed for highly virtual Cross-platform applications. It's a new concept by Google and is still not as mature as the previous UI kits. However, being a newer version, Flutter offers very high potential and future scope. It enables the developer to build highly responsive, fast, and most of all, virtually attractive applications for not just mobiles but also web and desktops.

The best part is that the platform also removes the restriction of OS that you can use. You can use it on macOS, Windows, and Linus with the same convenience. Google is also working on a web version of Flutter that will allow users to edit existing DART codes and deploy them into the client experience. The platform also provides an extensive range of widgets to ease out the development experience and save time.

Flutter's customization and speed make it a viable option for all kinds of applications. Many like Xianyu, Hamilton, Google Ads, Reflectly, JD Finances, and Topline use this platform as its base.

Companies using Google Flutter
Source: Appinventiv

How Does Flutter Affect Business?

The main motive of Flutter was to provide a quality alternative against Facebook's React Native. It did well in this section. The platform has become one of the most preferred Cross-Platform for native application development frameworks. It offers the developer several benefits, like the following.

●   Apps developed in Flutter are cross-platform, which opens it to all kinds of devices. So, it offers a much wider audience than any native framework.

●   Flutter's development kit enables you to use the same code for multiple operating systems. It helps you to deploy an app in various languages OS and device type with minimal effort.

●   Since the same code is used for all the platforms, you will save a lot of time and money that you would have spent on making different codes.

●   Google has developed Flutter for speed. You can expect it to compile an entire code in approximately 25 seconds.

●   Flutter has an autosave feature that reflects any change in code as soon as you save it. You won't need to compile it every time.

●   Like React Native, Flutter also includes tools for quicker or the hybrid versions of an application.

Hybrid vs. Native Applications

Hybrid and Native are two different categories of a mobile application that you can develop using Flutter or React Native. The terms are not new, but they are often confused with each other. It is also difficult for the newer developer to decide which one to choose. This section will explain both of them and guide you about which one to use for your task.

Native applications-A native application is an application that you develop specifically for one particular operating system. It uses the same language as the device's operating system and needs a complete installation to its memory to work correctly. This reliability on the OS makes them a bit restricted and limited on speed, but they offer excellent consistency.

It also enables the application to use the in-built features of the devices like GPS, Address Book, and camera for better user experience. The default application like the music player, camera, reminder, and others that come with your OS are prime examples of this type.

Hybrid Applications- The hybrid application is an app that uses a combination of web packages and a shell of a native application for its functionality. These apps look and feel exactly like the native application but use a much different code language. You can easily develop them in HTML5 or JavaScript. There is no need to stick with the base OS language.

This kind is preferable due to its flexible coding and time-saving features. Since it uses the other application to access the required hardware, you can build the whole Hybrid app with a single code base. It is also easy to deploy the application to multiple platforms without any special requirements.

The hybrids are a bit slower than the native but are viable options for anyone looking to construct a quality app with less time and coding works.

Final Words

Google dominated the ad market for a very long time until the failure of their Google+. It was then that Facebook acquired the market and became the top contender, but not for long. FB got dragged into scandals and lost a lot of their market. The development platform is a new face for both these tech giants.

They are fierce competition in this case, and both offer unmatched features. It is not ideal or even possible to tell which one is better than the other. So, use the knowledge provided in this post, analyze your requirements, and select the one that works best for your business.