Comparing React Native to other Trending Cross-Platform App Development Technologies!

Comparing React Native to other Trending Cross-Platform App Development Technologies!
react native app development
A survey conducted by Statista reveals; “Cross-platform technologies are used by approximately one-third of the mobile app developers as of 2020. Out of the contemporary cross-platform frameworks, 42% of software developers used React Native, 39% used Flutter, 18% used Cordova, 18% used Ionic and 14% used Xamarin”.
The aforesaid data indicates the popularity of React Native framework amongst the trending cross-platform frameworks. Yet, an app creator finds it difficult to select a framework for the next app development project; due to the availability of multiple options. So, despite React Native’s high adoption rate, businesses are curious to know about where this framework stands in comparison to its competitors – Flutter, Cordova, Ionic, and Xamarin. And, to be honest, it is a smart move to analyze all the available options and weigh the pros and cons of the most popular framework before narrowing down on a single option for app development.
This article compares React Native to the other cross-platform frameworks to provide clear visibility to entrepreneurs planning to invest in cross-platform app development. But, before proceeding further; take a quick look at the language and technology stacks used by each of the contemporary cross-platform frameworks.

React native and its Competitors: Programming Languages and Technology stacks used

React Native uses JavaScript, a most popular, dynamic, and high-level programming language. React Native blends the goodies of JavaScript and the web framework ReactJS. It also permits the writing of modules in Swift, Objective-C, or Java languages.
Flutter uses the Dart language. Dart can be compiled into the native code for enhancing the app’s performance. During build creation, Dart gets compiled into the code for ARM and x86 processors (Ahead of Time) and can also be translated into JavaScript as well as support dynamic compilation through the runtime (Just in Time).
Cordova enables one to use web technologies like CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript for cross-platform app development, avoiding the usage of the native development language for each mobile platform. The applications are executed within wrappers meant for each platform and depend on the standard API bindings for accessing the data, sensors, and network status of each device.
Ionic makes use of web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 for writing and running applications. The Cordova wrapper is needed for accessing the native platform controllers. Ionic’s core is written in Sass and the chief programming language is TypeScript. The usage of Typescript enables Ionic developers to detect as well as eliminate errors while code typing, and as such enhances the code quality. However, the usage of TypeScript is optional as the entire app can be written in plain JavaScript.
Xamarin uses the .NET framework and C#, a statically typed language; for all mobile platforms. A developer using C# with Xamarin can achieve the same outcome as delivered by Swift, Objective-C, or Java.

React Native Compared to the Contemporary Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks

react native app development company
React Native vs Flutter
  • JavaScript is an easy-going and common programming language than the lesser-known Dart. Besides, Flutter development involves a steep learning curve. So, it’s easier for a React Native app development Company to find the necessary expertise and train professionals. Also, Flutter possesses richer and more organized documentation than React Native.
  • React Native is easy to install and configure. Yarn and NodeJS would be required as Package managers when React-Native CLI is installed globally through the command line. Contrarily, Flutter installation needs additional effort – downloading the binary for the mobile platform, then adding path variable through the command line – that is complex as well as time-consuming.
  • Owing to the JavaScript bridge, React Native can render native components for every platform and hence replicates the look and feel of native iOS and Android apps. Flutter uses built-in widgets to create native-like UI and fares better in case of complex UI creation. Additionally, Flutter apps display more consistency across various platforms.
  • React Native utilizes a JavaScript bridge to interact with the native modules. The bridge tends to lag the UI because the bridge lowers rendering speed. Flutter, on the other hand, doesn’t need a bridge for this task, owing to its multiple in-built components along with frameworks like Skia engine, Cupertino, and Material Design. Hence, Flutter applications are more stable.
  • React Native enjoys a stronger community backing which is an important advantage for an open-source framework. On the other hand community support for Flutter is smaller in comparison to React Native. Find more details about differences in this blog.
React Native vs Cordova
  • React Native apps excel in performance while Cordova apps, being WebViews, are slower and lesser responsive.
  • React Native offers a speedier interaction with core components and better native UX as it renders HTML as native UI in comparison to Cordova.
  • Cordova offers more code reusability across various platforms.
  • React Native provides a finer native user experience in comparison to Cordova
  • Debugging is easier and simpler with React Native.
React Native vs Ionic
  • While React Native follows the principle of “Learn once and write anywhere”; Ionic’s theory is “Write once and run anywhere”.
  • The Ionic developers encounter an easier learning curve due to web technologies as compared to the React Native developers.
  • React Native apps are much faster than Ionic apps and also possess elegant interfaces like native applications.
  • React Native requires an emulator or real mobile device for code testing whereas the Ionic code can be tested using any browser.
React Native vs Xamarin
  • Both are open-source platforms but Xamarin is free only for small firms and individuals.
  • React Native offers some built-in components like buttons and text inputs that are partially adaptive. These components have to be rebuilt in case of advanced features. But, Xamarin. Forms provide a complete cross-platform toolkit having native UI components for Android and iOS that are compiled into platform-specified UI components.
  • React Native boasts of better community support while Xamarin enjoys greater code reusability.

Bottom line

I hope the comparison of React Native and its contemporaries was enlightening and will assist the businesses planning to develop cross-platform apps to decide on the best cross-platform framework that suits their needs.
For technical assistance with any of these aforesaid frameworks; contact Biz4Solutions; a prominent and highly experienced mobile app development company.

React Native or Flutter? A Brief Guide to Choose the Best Framework! – Part II

React Native or Flutter? A Brief Guide to Choose the Best Framework! – Part II
React Native app development or Flutter app development
In Part I of this blog, we had compared the frameworks- React Native and Flutter based on numerous vital parameters. You may have a glimpse at Part I here.
This blog is an extension of Part I and here too, we will be focusing on a few more significant parameters to do a more detailed comparative analysis of both technologies.
We presume that by the end of this read, you will have better clarity on which framework is the best pick for your project development requirements. You will easily be able to decide whether to go with React Native app development or Flutter app development. So let’s quickly get started.

Comparative Analysis: React Native App Development Or Flutter App Development

React Native framework or Flutter framework
Learning Curve
React Native:
The learning curve of React Native is quite easier especially for those who are familiar with JavaScript. But working with React Native may get a bit difficult when it comes to mobile app development, though the framework has released several libraries, tutorials, documents, etc. to make the learning of this framework easier. 
Flutter too is not much difficult to learn. To understand this framework, developers need to learn the Dart language, which is pretty simple along with some basic knowledge of native iOS and Android development. However, this language is rarely opted by developers due to its low popularity. 
The Installation Process
React Native:
Node Package Manager (NPM) is required to install the RN framework. NPM can install the packages globally as well as locally. For this, it is essential for the React Native App developers to have knowledge of the location of the binary.
Also, the Homebrew package manager is required while installing React Native on macOS. The developers need to run the desired code for installing React Native on macOS and then access it from the command line.
For installing Flutter, one should download the binary for a particular platform from GitHub. For macOS, the developers should download the file- and add it as a PATH variable and then run the desired code.
The installation method of Flutter is a bit tedious and can be enhanced by supporting package managers like MacPorts, Homebrew, APT, YUM, etc. so that users can get rid of performing the extra steps while installing.
Architecture Supported by Each
React Native:
The latest architecture of React Native is based on 3 important threads namely: Native thread (where native code is placed and executed), JavaScript thread (where complete JavaScript code is kept and compiled), and Shadow thread (where the app’s layout is calculated).
React Native has a bridge between JavaScript and Native threads. According to this feature, the JavaScript code communicates with the Native API and the platform. Also, when it comes to iOS, RN makes use of JavaScriptCore separately for running all codes, whereas in the case of Android, it bundles the JavaScriptCore within the app. This will result in the increase of native functionality, however, it also increases the size of the app and that results in device lag or performance issues.
Flutter has a layered architecture. Developing a basic app in Flutter starts with platform-specific widgets or top-level root functions. Next, it is followed by basic widgets that communicate with rendering layers and the platform. Animation gestures exist just beyond the rendering layer, and this animation gesture transfers API calls to the foundation of the mobile app; also called Scaffold. It is run by a platform-specific embedder and a C/C++ engine. For separating the presentation layer from business logic, the Flutter app developers can utilize Flutter BLoC. Such an architecture eases the creation of complex apps with the use of simple and small components.
Development API and UI Components
React Native:
There are very few features and functionalities available in core React Native. The RN framework comes with just device access APIs and UI rendering. But using third-party libraries, this shortcoming can be overcome. For accessing native modules, RN makes use of several third-party libraries. You can find the list of the best-known UI component libraries here.
On the other hand, the Flutter framework comes with device API access, UI rendering components, testing, navigation, stateful management, and a plethora of libraries. In Flutter, you will have access to everything required for architecting mobile apps and, there is no need to use third-party libraries in Flutter. It also comes with widgets for Cupertino and Material Design that enable the developers to render the UI on both Android and iOS platforms with ease.
Convenience of Maintaining Code
React Native:
It is a bit difficult to upgrade and maintain code in React Native. One of the reasons behind this is the dependency on third-party libraries. Usually, the libraries are old and outdated and cannot be properly maintained, thus, affecting the code maintainability. Besides, there are chances that when the developers fork the code to suit the app requirement, it may interfere with the framework’s logic and slow down the overall development process.
On the contrary, code maintenance in Flutter is quite easier. It has simple code which allows the Flutter app developers to easily find issues, support third-party libraries, and even source external tools. Also, the hot-reloading property in Flutter is comparatively better than that in React Native and it helps to resolve several issues quickly.
Note: Modularity refers to the ability of a framework to enable different professionals with diverse experiences and technical skillsets to work under a single project.
React Native:
React Native offers less modularity support. At times, ReactJS developers, iOS developers, Android developers, etc. working on a project, may find it tough to match-up with each other.
Comparatively, Flutter provides better modularity for team diversity and also supports well while dividing the project codes into separate modules with its pub package system. The teams can easily add/change a code-base or construct various modules with the plug-in ability.
Testability of Code
React Native:
In React Native, there is no official support available for integration testing and UI-level testing. It offers just a few unit-level testing frameworks. Tools like Jest can be utilized for snapshot testing. Also, there are some third-party tools like Detox and Appium that can be used for testing the React Native apps even these aren’t supported officially by React Native.
Since Flutter functions with Dart, it provides excellent support for automated testing. Also, it offers a rich set of features for testing the applications at integration level, unit level, widget level, etc. Furthermore, it offers detailed documentation on testing the Flutter apps.

Concluding Views:

In this fast-paced digital era, having a high-quality, user-friendly, and responsive mobile app for your business is crucial. For developing such outstanding mobile apps, both React Native framework and Flutter framework have proved to be apt technologies. But which of these is the best pick for your project?
We have tried to explain that through this blog and its Part I. We hope we have imparted you an in-depth understanding of the good and the bad of both technologies. Also, these blogs will help you make an informed decision on whether to partner with a Flutter App Development Company or go for React Native App Development Company.
Here ends our blog!
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