A panel discussion was organised at the GeekyAnts office in Bangalore, on 3rd September, right after the eventful addresses from our speakers.
The panelists—Hasnen Tai, Ruchika Gupta, Shivraj, Aditya Pahilwani, and Suraj Ahmed—discussed their individual preferences and the advantages of React Native and Flutter in terms of desktop and web support, animation library and control, performance, and future.
Here are the main questions discussed with views from the speakers.
(Comments have been edited for readability and clarity).
How is the support of web for React Native and Flutter
The support package for React Native is excellent. The community is ideal for getting started with React Native, and it is used for both web and mobile apps. Additionally, developers' lives are made easier by using the same codebase for mobile and web.
Flutter essentially has all the fundamental APIs required for development. However, Flutter web is still a work in progress when it comes to creating websites that deal with large amounts of data, and issues like a slow loading time show that Flutter still has a lot of catching up to do.
React Native works well for mobile web pages but not for web.
Flutter, on the other hand, is primarily a canvas rendering engine with no ssr or seo. With the release of a new version, SSR and SEO rendering have been added to the Flutter space, enhancing its functionality.
Finally, because it has been around longer and has more features than Flutter, React Native is a slightly more likely option for web implementation.
Support for Desktop
Having a single codebase greatly simplifies the process of maintaining and shipping the product.
This idea is supported by Flutter. There would be no need for an external framework to implement the same in Flutter if both environments had a unified codebase.
In terms of React Native, there are desktop libraries available in the form of React Native windows and React Native iOS. Microsoft has also pushed for desktop support in the React Native space.
Because the Microsoft team is pushing for React Native, one can expect better sdk support and significant advancements in that sphere in the near future.
The same is true for technologies like Cordova; as a result of the success of React Native's Expo, for example, people have realised the importance of cross-platform compatibility and would prefer to continue using these platforms rather than switching back to these earlier frameworks.
A case could be made for these older frameworks, though, if performance issues like the frames per second are fixed.
A lesser-known fact is that some well-known programmes, such as Kite and Swiggy, still make use of webView. However, because the older and the newer frameworks are so closely related, it can be difficult to tell which is which.
Performance with React Native and Flutter.
If we were to compare Flutter's performance to React Native's performance using the same parameters, Flutter's impressive frames per second rate would be significantly higher.
React Native is quite sluggish when it comes to heavy lifting, i.e. animations and graphics, but with the introduction of the new architecture and the help of a very supportive community, such as Shopify's creation of flash-list, things are beginning to look up.
The open source community will play a significant role in determining the direction of this ecosystem by continuously working to enhance the functionalities that are already present.
Things that make Flutter and React Native the go-to tools for developers.
With the help of the built-in wizards in the Flutter space, users are able to create stunning user interfaces and give them a somewhat native experience. This makes Flutter a very useful tool for developers.
Another important factor in people's admiration for Flutter is the availability of widgets, naming conventions, and APIs.
React Native offers effective code-push functionality, and pre-existing JS structures that can be used in React Native with little effort on the outside.
React Native also has the benefit of being written in React, which eliminates the need to learn a new language, and it has the same Declarative API. That's helpful.
Expo is one example of a manifestation that perfectly captures the idea of how fantastic a tool React Native is.
What does the future hold for Flutter and React Native?
React Native is evolving quickly, especially in the recent years. The new architecture and the focus on performance improvement are going to be essential. Lots of libraries, like those for video rendering, are also moving from web api to React Native api, which is exciting.
React's new architecture is intriguing, but only Facebook has used it, and there is uncertainty regarding the migration of other features like camera and Firebase.
We'll have to wait and see how the new architecture performs.
Future plans for Flutter are also in good hands. The team for Flutter has been developing a community and concentrating on making it the go-to tool for creating mobile and web applications.
For details about the event, check out the Event Recap: React Native and Flutter Hybrid Meetup article.
You can watch the live event here.