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A Beginner's Comparison of React Native and Flutter: Why You Should Choose React Native

 min read
Dev Tools
React Native
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When it comes to building mobile apps that work seamlessly on both iOS and Android, the choices often boil down to two popular frameworks: React Native and Flutter. Both have their strengths, but today, we'll explore what sets them apart, with a special focus on why React Native might be the perfect choice for you—especially if you're a new developer or a no-code enthusiast.

Understanding React Native and Flutter

React Native is a framework developed by Facebook that allows you to build mobile apps using JavaScript and React. Since its launch in 2015, it has gained a robust community and a wealth of resources. React Native apps are written in JavaScript and leverage native components, giving them a native look and feel. This framework is particularly appealing to web developers familiar with React, as it allows for a smoother transition into mobile development.

Flutter, created by Google, is a newer framework that uses the Dart programming language and focuses on providing a rich, customizable UI with a unique widget system. Since its release in 2017, Flutter has been gaining traction and allows developers to create visually attractive apps with a high degree of flexibility, thanks to its comprehensive set of pre-designed widgets and tools.

Key Differences

Language and Learning Curve

React Native uses JavaScript, a widely used programming language. This makes it relatively easy for web developers to transition into mobile app development. If you have experience with React for web development, you will find many concepts and patterns transferable to React Native, which can significantly reduce the learning curve. Additionally, extensive tutorials, courses, and documentation make learning React Native accessible for beginners.

Flutter requires learning Dart, a language not as widely used as JavaScript. While Dart is not overly complex, it's an additional hurdle for new developers who might already be familiar with JavaScript. Flutter's approach to UI design with widgets differs from the traditional HTML/CSS approach in web development, which can be initially confusing and requires some adjustment. Although the pool of learning resources for Dart and Flutter is growing, it is still smaller compared to JavaScript and React Native, making the initial learning phase more challenging.

Development Experience

React Native offers a smooth development experience, especially for those familiar with React. The "hot reload" feature in React Native allows you to see changes in real-time without recompiling the entire app, speeding up the development process and making it easier to iterate quickly. React Native uses actual native components under the hood, ensuring that your app looks and feels like a true native app on both iOS and Android. There is also a vast ecosystem of tools and libraries available for React Native, helping you add functionality and optimize your development workflow.

Flutter also boasts a "hot reload" feature, but its widget-based UI can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. The learning curve might be steeper due to the need to understand the extensive widget catalog and Dart. Flutter's widget system allows for a high degree of customizability, but it also means that you have to learn a new way of thinking about UI design. However, Flutter has excellent support in popular IDEs like Android Studio and Visual Studio Code, which can enhance the development experience.


React Native's performance is generally very good, but because it uses a bridge to communicate between JavaScript and native code, there can be some overhead. However, for most applications, this is negligible. The React Native community has developed numerous techniques and libraries to optimize performance, and Facebook's ongoing development ensures continuous improvements. Many high-performance apps, including those from Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb, have been built with React Native, proving its capabilities in demanding environments.

Flutter can have better performance as it compiles directly to native ARM code. This can make Flutter apps feel snappier, but the difference is often marginal at best for typical use cases. Flutter's Skia rendering engine ensures smooth animations and high-performance graphics, making it particularly well-suited for apps that require complex UI and animations. However, it's now possible to use Skia in React Native apps as well.

Community and Ecosystem

React Native has been on the market for several years, resulting in a larger community and a wealth of third-party libraries and tools. This makes finding solutions to problems and getting support easier. There is a vast amount of documentation, tutorials, and forums available, which can be incredibly helpful for beginners. Many major companies, including Walmart, Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb, have used React Native, which lends support to its reliability and performance in production environments.

Flutter's community is growing rapidly but is still smaller compared to React Native. However, Google’s strong backing ensures continuous improvement and a bright future. Flutter’s ecosystem is expanding with new and innovative libraries and tools that are being developed regularly, driven by the community’s enthusiasm. Google's support and the presence of detailed documentation and official channels for help make it easy for new developers to get started and find solutions.

Why Choose React Native?

For new developers and no-code enthusiasts, React Native stands out for several reasons:

Familiar Language

JavaScript is one of the most popular and widely-used programming languages globally. Many developers already have some familiarity with it, making the transition to React Native smoother. If you have experience with web development, especially with React, you'll find React Native's structure and syntax very familiar. This reduces the learning curve significantly and allows you to leverage your existing skills.

Vibrant Community

A larger community means more tutorials, plugins, and support. You can easily find answers to your questions on forums, GitHub, Stack Overflow, and various other platforms. The extensive array of open-source libraries and pre-built components can save you a lot of time during development. There’s a high chance that someone has already built a solution to the problem you’re facing. A vibrant community also ensures that the framework is constantly being improved and updated, incorporating the latest trends and technologies in app development.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

With React Native, you can build apps that look and feel native on both iOS and Android without needing to write separate codebases. This can significantly cut down development time and costs. By leveraging native components, React Native ensures that your apps have a high performance and a true native look and feel, enhancing the user experience on both platforms. When necessary, React Native allows you to write platform-specific code, giving you the flexibility to optimize the app for each operating system.

Mature Ecosystem

React Native provides access to a wide range of tools and libraries to simplify and speed up your development process. Whether you need state management, navigation, or animation libraries, React Native’s ecosystem has you covered. It integrates well with other popular tools and services, including Redux for state management, React Navigation for routing, and various backend services. Many successful apps in the market have been built using React Native, which speaks to its reliability and effectiveness as a development framework.

The Best React Native-Based App Builder

For those who want to leverage the power of React Native but prefer a no-code or low-code approach, Draftbit is an excellent solution. Draftbit empowers you to design and build mobile apps visually, without writing a single line of code—though you can dive into the code whenever you want.

Why Draftbit?

Draftbit offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for beginners to start building apps right away. You can take advantage of over 150+ pre-built components, customize properties, and see your changes in real-time. It's ideal for no-code enthusiasts who want to create functional apps without writing code. However, it also provides the flexibility for experienced developers to add custom code if needed.

Experienced developers can also benefit from Draftbit’s visual builder and then fine-tune the code to add more complex functionalities. This dual approach caters to both beginners and seasoned developers. You can create and reuse custom components, making your development process more efficient and your app more maintainable.

Take advantage of React Native’s robust ecosystem and performance. By using Draftbit, you’re building on top of a proven framework that ensures your app will be performant and reliable. One of the standout features of Draftbit is that you can export your app’s code at any time. This means you’re not locked into the platform and can take your project to any React Native environment.

Whether you're just starting or are an experienced developer looking for a faster way to build cross-platform apps, Draftbit's powerful and user-friendly platform is a game-changer.

Start building your React Native app right away with a free all-access trial of Draftbit for 14 days!


Choosing the right framework for cross-platform development can significantly impact your productivity and app performance. While both React Native and Flutter have their merits, React Native's ease of use, familiar language, and extensive community support make it a fantastic choice, particularly for new developers and those interested in no-code solutions. And with tools like Draftbit, creating beautiful, functional mobile apps has never been easier.

Happy building, and welcome to the exciting world of app development with React Native!

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