Flutter vs React Native: Deciding Between the Two in 2024

Ryan Williamson
3 min readFeb 21, 2024

Everyone saw that the mobile app market is booming. This has led companies and developers to constantly seek more and more efficient ways to reach and engage with different audiences across platforms. Sounds pretty good so far, doesn’t it? It does — well, till you look at all the options available in the market. Not so much — with so many options available, picking the right framework can feel difficult. Thankfully, the decision almost always comes down to the two most popular contenders in this regard: Flutter and React Native. Both frameworks stand out for their ability to help build cross-platform apps, saving time as well as resources. However, each framework has its pros and cons, making the decision nuanced.

But don’t you worry for a minute? To help make the decision a bit easier for you, I will give you a quick download on the Flutter vs React Native differences.

What is Flutter?

Offered by Google, Flutter is an open-source framework that helps develop high-functioning apps that can be operated across different systems and platforms. What’s interesting to note here is that such apps use just one codebase. This means you only code once, yet the resulting app can seamlessly operate across different devices, including Android phones, iPhones, web browsers, desktops, etc.

● Flutter has 145k stars on GitHub, showing how active the community engagement is (Source: GitHub)

● In the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023, Flutter was ranked 5th in the “Most Wanted Technology”

What is React Native?

A development tool from the stables of Meta (previously Facebook), React Native is also an open-source framework. However, it is meant to enable the development of mobile apps with a native app-like appearance for Android and iOS platforms using JavaScript.

● More than 95% of the top 100 grossing apps on iOS and Android are built using React Native (Source: LinkedIn Pulse, 2023)

● 4.2 million developers worldwide use React Native, exceeding Flutter’s reported active users (Source: Dhiwise, 2024)

Flutter versus React Native: Main Differences You Should Know

Performance: In terms of performance, Flutter compiles code straight into the native machine code, thus resulting in potentially smoother performance across all platforms. Unfortunately, its startup time may lag behind that of React Native. React Native does a terrific job at rendering UI elements with native components, thus providing swift performance and that too with minimal deviation from true native apps.

Programming language: Flutter uses Dart, a newer language from Google’s house. This means developers must learn a new programming language to build apps with Flutter. In contrast, React Native uses JavaScript, a popular web development programming language, resulting in broader access to talent and expertise.

Development time: Flutter’s hot reload feature allows code changes to be immediately reflected, thus helping to speed up the development process. It also gets the declarative UI approach, which streamlines coding for intricate layouts. On the other hand, React Native comes equipped with a fast refresh feature for similar live updates, though recreating native modules can take a bit of time.

Maintenance: Flutter obviously benefits from a single codebase, which minimizes the overhead. However, addressing platform-specific issues necessitates experience with Dart as well as native languages. This is not the case with React Native, which involves managing platform-specific code for Android and iOS. However, React Native’s extensive community support can offer valuable assistance while troubleshooting.

Final Words

Folks, please remember that both Flutter and React Native are robust frameworks. So, take the time to carefully assess your needs to make a well-informed choice for your project!

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Ryan Williamson

A professional and security-oriented programmer having more than 6 years of experience in designing, implementing, testing and supporting mobile apps developed.