There are currently 2.1 million apps available for download on Google Play and 2 million in the App Store, with thousands more being added every day. It’s clear that apps have a cool factor, but they can also drive business in a big way. You can’t count on a customer to come back and visit your website every day, but they might open your app—especially if a push notification prompts them.

Dreaming up the perfect app for your business probably wouldn’t take long. Maybe you’ve already done it. But figuring out the technical details might be a little harder. The first thing you and your developer will need to decide is which app development host to use.

In this article, we’ll look at two of the most popular free tools: React Native and Flutter. After taking a closer look at each one, hopefully you’ll be closer to finding the best option for your needs.

flutter app design

Source: Flutter.io

React Native Vs. Flutter

Both of these tools allow you to build your own unique native apps, but they do it in different ways.

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These are the products of two tech giants: React Native was developed by Facebook and released in 2015, and Flutter was developed by Google and released in 2017. Both have recently released a newer version of their tool, improving on the previous versions. And each tool is used to run the company’s respective mobile platforms.

Combined, Facebook and Instagram have over 3 billion users, so obviously these are apps that people trust. On the other hand, the Gmail app has 1 billion users—and for Google, speed is a must. But even if Flutter has the upper hand in speed, React Native gets some points for maturity as it’s been around two years longer. Its longer life may explain why it has over 30,000 more stars on Github.

No matter what you’re looking for, both of these tools afford the user a certain sense of assurance through the credibility of their creator.

Programming Languages

programming languages

Source: Unsplash

Programming languages, a difference between the two tools, could become your deciding factor between them. React Native uses one of the most familiar programming languages, JavaScript. Flutter, on the other hand, uses a newer programming language called Dart developed by Google. If your programmer doesn’t already know Dart, it could be a hurdle in producing efficient, quality work. Additionally, if you have web applications that have been developed in React, using React Native is a natural choice.

Unless your programmer has worked in Dart before, the app with the advantage here is React Native.

iOS and Android

One time-consuming part of app building can be having to develop one version of the app for iOS and one for Android. But with Flutter, you don’t have to. The tool side steps the UI framework of both operating systems and instead runs apps on their own framework that’s shipped with every app. So when you download a Flutter-hosted app onto an iPhone or an Android phone, it’ll work in ways that work with that operating system.

This way of cutting down on development time and effort puts a point on the board for Flutter.

Component libraries and design capabilities

Flutter’s component library gives you everything you need to design using Material Design principles — which makes sense because Material Design is a design system Google invented. React Native doesn’t have as many ready-to-use widgets, but the tool’s design capability is much broader.

If custom design is really important to your business, like if you’re a clothing brand on the cutting edge of fashion, original design for your app is a must. And if that’s the case for your business, React Native wins. But if you want the design process to be fast and easy, and you like Google’s design system, Flutter is probably the tool for you.

Building a Flutter Widget

Source: Flutter.io

What is React Native?

Source: LevelUpTuts

User experience

React Native gives you what you need to tailor your app’s user interface to your exact specifications, so you can create something that’s perfect for your customers. On the other hand, with Flutter’s close ties to Google’s design system, your customers will be presented with a user interface that’s familiar and inherently easy to use.

Both tools will help you deliver an amazing user experience. The choice comes down to bringing them something they’ll recognize with Flutter or originality with React Native.

Apps can do so much for a business. And finding the right app development host can make your app work even harder for you. Whether that’s React Native, Flutter, or something else, make sure it’s the perfect tool for the app you want to build. And if you’re ready to get rolling, here are some tutorials for React Native and some for Flutter.