Understand the difference between Flutter vs React Native vs Kotlin to decide which one to choose for mobile app development.
The software development industry is experiencing a technological upswing. More than USD 935 billion will be made worldwide through app purchases and advertisements inside mobile apps. Thus, new technology stacks are sweeping the globe and opening up markets everywhere to competition.
Three competing cross-platform mobile app development frameworks have emerged: Flutter, React Native, and Kotlin. Find out which will propel you towards 2023 by reading about its primary benefits and distinctive features.
What is Flutter?
Flutter has several benefits that set it apart from its rivals, including the fact that it is written in the simple language Dart and the Hot Reload feature. Let’s go through the primary advantages.
1. Free and open source
Flutter is a free and open-source framework that offers extensive design freedom. The necessary source code and documentation will be available at no cost. The documentation for Flutter is well-organized and straightforward.
2. Increasing Recognition
Because of Dart’s popularity and Flutter’s user-friendliness, developers are more confident in this framework. Flutter is quickly becoming the go-to option for mobile app development.
3. Simple setup and intuitive operation
The coding duo of Flutter and Dart is user-friendly and straightforward to pick up. Developers with experience with Swift, React Native, or other languages with a C-like syntax can pick up Dart and Flutter quickly and start making valuable apps. The Flutter framework guarantees a quick, 30-minute installation and the ability to write entirely working applications with much less code.
Flutter is not faultless, but then again, there needs to be more. The main drawbacks of using flutter app development have been outlined for you.
1. Not nearly as popular
The cross-platform framework you’re working with is even more recent than Kotlin. Specialists still need more supply in this setup. Dart is less widely used than Kotlin, Java, or C#; thus, although Flutter is a robust framework, more resources are needed to help newbies get started.
2. Plugin shortage
Flutter has only been around for a short while. Thus, it can’t compete with established competitors like React Native regarding plugins. You may need help to locate a suitable plugin when attempting to develop more complex functionality.
3. Quite a large app
One major drawback of Flutter is the size of applications produced with it. This is a significant challenge for programmers, who work tirelessly to minimise software size without sacrificing functionality.
What is React Native?
React Native is famous among corporations because of its versatility, low development costs, and dependability. It provides developers with the widgets, documentation, and libraries to build cross-platform apps that look, feel, and perform much like their native counterparts.
React Native’s Benefits
Among the many characteristics that set react native app development apart are its support for third-party plugins and modular design. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of the main advantages.
The framework’s so-called Hot Reload function will quickly become your favourite. This function enables an instantaneous reload of the application and its user interface so that developers may see the effects of their code immediately.
2. External add-ons
Regarding versatility, functionality, and customisation, React Native stands head and shoulders above most other languages and frameworks (including Flutter) thanks to its support for third-party plugins used by software engineers. Developers unanimously agree that this is React Native’s best feature.
3. Modular Design
The modular nature of React Native’s programming allows for separating features into discrete “blocks” or “modules.” Each building piece has all the information necessary to carry out its assigned app task. In addition, the framework’s declarative coding capability allows for a more fluid and efficient coding flow.
React Native Drawbacks
There are restrictions imposed by React Native:
1. No competition for homegrown methods
To facilitate their interaction, software developers implement a background thread of communication known as the React Native bridge. However, this still slows down production. The application’s speed suffers even though the code itself runs without a hitch in isolated threads.
2. Problems with debugging
Developers have reported it as a common issue with React Native. Building the programme on different threads helps with debugging. The Flipper platform offers a collection of utilities like bug reporting, log preview, a local database, and a performance inspector, all of which may be included into the framework by the developers. They can get around debugging issues in this manner.
3. Not the greatest option for cutting-edge uses
React Native is not the right choice if you want to create complicated effects for mobile applications. Smooth implementation of on-screen transitions, animations, and interactivity is only possible with native programming.
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a framework-agnostic language, unlike Flutter and React Native. Kotlin is a general-purpose, statically typed, open-source language developed by JetBrains with the goal of being compatible with Java. Kotlin is used by TikTok, Instagram, and Microsoft OneDrive, in addition to Google, and enjoys an impressive 15.99% market share.
Here are some of the reasons to use Kotlin.
1. Support for Java Interoperability
This implies that you have complete access to Java libraries and can easily convert any existing Java code. There will be no negative impact on your codebase or development time, even if you have thousands of lines of Kotlin code that you need to convert one by one.
Because of this similarity, porting code and applications from Java to Kotlin is a breeze. Compared to Flutter and React Native, where you have to switch between technologies, this benefit of Kotlin is invaluable.
2. Simple and direct code
Kotlin app development simple syntax allows for more concise and readable code. This results in a lot fewer lines of code for software professionals to deal with compared to other languages and frameworks.
Software teams become more productive and results-focused when they spend less time writing and more time focusing on stability, simplicity, and speeding up the software development process.
3. Sound and trustworthy
This advantage is directly related to the decreased occurrence of coding mistakes. Kotlin gives developers three times as much assurance that errors will be found and solved quickly because of its shorter and easier-to-read codebase and its specific capabilities known as Require, Check, Assert.
When comparing Flutter, React Native, and Kotlin regarding speed, Kotlin stands out as the winner since its designers concentrated on making it appear like an improved version of Java.
While it’s true that Kotlin is a brilliant language, here are some of its drawbacks-
1. Staffing constraints
Even though it has been ten years since its first release, Kotlin is still relatively new to the industry. Finding competent Kotlin programmers is more complicated than with established languages like Java or C++. However, Kotlin has gained popularity over the years, and its accompanying technology stack is poised to revolutionise the IT industry.
2. Expensive upkeep
Kotlin’s lack of a genuinely native feature set in its SDK drives up the price of developing mobile apps. Kotlin is a pricey language, particularly for prototyping and MVP development.
3. Compilation takes a long time
The slower compilation time is yet another negative aspect of Kotlin. While Kotlin may perform well when compiling minor modifications, it still needs to catch up to other contemporary solutions like Flutter.
A Quick Comparison of Flutter, React Native, and Kotlin
Languages: Flutter vs React Native vs Kotlin
- React Native
Dart is the primary language used in developing Flutter. Dart is influenced by both Java and C/C++. It employs the Dart Virtual Machine (DVM) to execute its programmes on most operating systems.
Features: Flutter vs React Native vs Kotlin
- React Native
Being more established, React Native is prioritized when requesting stability cards. With five years on the market, there has been more time to perfect the application programming interfaces. It enables you to work with a unified code base and make changes to the app while it is being used.
The developer may get a live preview without having to start from scratch. The extensibility provided by React Native app plugins is a major plus. The most excellent thing is that it is native programming, but debugging is consistent across platforms.
By removing the need for a virtual machine, Kotlin facilitates the transfer of compiled code to a native platform. Because of this, it has an advantage over other methods of development. Kotlin’s exceptional features are so advanced that they might make Java seem rudimentary in comparison.
It’s laudable since it offers a platform-specific, unified user experience. Only Kotlin was able to avoid imposing a generic user interface successfully. Time and effort are saved, and the process is simplified since it just recycles business logic modules.
Flutter is novel, created by Google, and has an air of spectacle that few other platforms can match. Quick deployment and real-time feedback from the hot reload save time and effort for developers. Improved native app performance on all platforms directly affects faster development times.
Although it’s still in its infancy compared to other native-development platforms, it’s packed with valuable features and pleasant surprises.
Performance: Flutter vs React Native vs Kotlin
- React Native
Kotlin often performs quickly. A simple project may be set up in about 10 minutes. That’s so productive! Developers switching from Java to Kotlin may feel like they’ve returned in time.
Kotlin provides a plethora of improvements. Kotlin is substantially more secure and error-free than Java. The fact that it may be used on several platforms increases its appeal to business users. The product users are even more pleased than the developers, despite all the talk from the developers.
Every day, Flutter develops farther into adulthood. Everyone appreciates its robust execution, yet that just scratches the surface. It’s often quicker and more potent than even React Native and Kotlin.
Because of its methodology, Flutter can talk to native modules without any intermediate libraries. This is the primary cause of the enhanced efficiency. The performance is consistent regardless of whether the programme is data-intensive or a single page.
It allows for more efficient app deployment and simultaneous app releases across many platforms and provides for more overall productivity.
It’s no longer shocking that Flutter is the most widely used cross-platform framework. Flutter has a more significant business effect on startups and SMEs. The framework allows for streamlined app creation, seamless integration, top-notch performance, and a customizable user interface.
If you need a small mobile app prototype quickly, look no further than React Native. React Native’s rating is still relatively high despite a recent decrease in its popularity from 42% to 38%. If you need a small mobile app prototype quickly, look no further than React Native.
Kotlin’s relevance will increase next year. Full compatibility with Java is a driving factor in this expansion. Programmers’ lives are simplified because of Kotlin’s dedication to removing the “narrow places” in Java. Kotlin’s strengths far outweigh its limitations. However, established companies in the app development industry may still consider it a viable alternative.
You should hire specialized developers since each of them serves a particular function, and you should make the final decision based on the requirements that are unique to your company.