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Flutter vs The World

Recently we’ve been approached with some misconceptions about the efficacy of Flutter when compared to other popular mobile development frameworks. Our team has experience with Native iOS & Android, React-Native & Flutter. Here are some of the data points that have challenged our strong opinion backing Flutter:

Flutter is a young framework

The number of bugs in the framework (7000 open issues for Flutter vs 800 for React Native, source – Github);

The number of tools is limited, there are very few ready components;

It is true that this is a young framework and that there are more open issues than alternatives. However, we believe this is a more positive metric than a negative one as this is driven by the massive growth in the developer community around Flutter and an expanse of the domain that the framework is being used in.

Flutter has grown to be the third-largest contributed to project on Github only a year after its first official release and the increase in issues is an aftereffect of this fact.

The usage of Flutter doesn’t increase the productivity of the app; the results are the same as React Native.

Flutter comes with standard Material and Cupertino components out of the box. The time spent messing with the actual styling is reduced since it already complies with the most recent UI trends. In terms of delivering a more complete application, Flutter will reduce the time for styling and animations. As we have seen in-house, we have been able to complete apps in weeks, where that as never been possible for us before.

Further development/enhancement/support of a Flutter app is more challenging at the moment (compared to React Native) since there are very few Dart developers at the market

It is true that Dart is not as popular as a language like Javascript, but this is not to say that there are few Dart Developers. However, language support & framework support are very different. Support for Flutter has already surpassed support for React-Native given the number of stars on the Flutter Github against React-Native Github.

Bigger efforts for layout implementation of the platform(iOS/Android)-specific components (React Native uses the native components, in Flutter a developer has to create them from scratch).

This is simply not a true statement. Flutter was built from the ground up to support both Material (Android) & Cupertino(iOS) Widgets. React-Native was not built from the ground up to feel Native to the device. This is one of the main reasons why Flutter out of the box is so popular.

Issues with navigation (React Native allows to use native navigation, in Flutter a developer has to write the code for this functionality from scratch)

There are no issues with Navigation, out of the box Flutter supports navigation.

The installation file is too large (an app with 5-10 screens may take up 40-80Mb); the perspectives for size and productivity optimization are unclear. 

Flutter applications drain significantly more battery (compared to React Native apps).

This is true, but will not always be true. Because Flutter is built with Dart, it is truly compiling to native code. This means as Google improves the framework, at some point React-native will not be able to achieve anywhere near the same performance because it’s built with Javascript. At Parabeac we don’t believe the app size & draining of battery is quite the same problem as we had 10 years ago. Luckily over the years, most mobile devices have an overabundance of storage & great battery lives.

If you’re a developer, we’d love your feedback. For us, we believe the switch to Flutter from React-Native has undisputed value.

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