Flutter VS Native: Choosing the best mobile app development platform

In earlier days, IOS & Android platforms leverage native technologies to develop mobile apps. For IOS, developers deployed Swift with Xcode. For Android Kotlin with Android studio. These were the extensive and remarkable technologies used for mobile apps development. In recent times, a cross-platform like Flutter renders powerful native app performance. With a single code line for IOS and Android apps development. Also, Flutter app development evolves day by day.

Flutter app development

Well, which is better to develop the apps? A single application for two mobile platforms or two various apps of separate code lines? This article will guide you through your decision-making phase. To choose the best medium to develop apps. Below You will find the list of comparison criteria on Native VS Flutter,

  • Cost of Development
  • Architecture
  • Performance
  • Use cases.

Let’s get into the technical comparison battle between Flutter and Native development.

What are the native technologies?

The native app develops an application, particular to either IOS or Android. Thus, it can get a full advantage on the device like camera, compass, and GPS. Native apps get installed through Google Play and the App Store. Some of the most used frameworks and programming languages are:

iOS: Swift, Objective-C, and Xcode. 

Android: Kotlin, Java, and Android Studio. 

Some of the Use cases

  • Standalone native applications
  • AR/VR applications 
  • Apps with rich-animations 
  • Gaming apps 
  • Apps with complex UI
  • AI apps with large data volumes

What is Flutter? 

Flutter is an open-source framework adapted by Dart language from Google. With this UI toolkit, you can build cross-platform apps with a single codebase. It renders the development of an attractive and flexible UI with native performance. Also, Flutter gets contributed by the Google developers team & the whole flutter community. 

Use cases

  • MVP mobile applications 
  • Apps that work with OS-level features 
  • Advanced OS plugins with simplistic logic 
  • Apps with material design 
  • High-performance apps with Skia rendering engine 
  • Flexible UI with high-level widgets 
  • Reactivate apps with broad data integration.

Speed & Development Cost

Native Technologies

Time consumed to build mobile apps with native technologies varies. Based on budget, time, and scaling capacity. With native technologies, the development of startup apps is possible. Also, two different development teams needed to develop iOS and Android apps. 

Native technologies go by the write and run twice method. Thus, it adds up in your project budget to spend on two different codes. 

Flutter 

Flutter app development shines with the write-once & run anywhere method. Which lets developers write a single code base for two different platforms. Also, it proves the time required to develop will be short with low development costs. Flutter took not more than five developers for great players than others to build their apps.

Flutter allows developers to write codes simple & easy to understand for new developers. As the training cost is moderate, even training a novice developer is easy. Thus, eliminating the need to hire many experienced developers. 

Code Maintenance 

Native Technologies 

Native application maintenance is expensive and demands more time. Since the app development phase is on different platforms. The maintenance of two codebases requires extra effort. For new updates, developers need to find frequent bugs and issues on each medium. In parallel, the maintenance costs increased on supported OS devices.

Flutter 

The Flutter application maintenance is easy. As the codebase to develop is single for two applications. The easy code lets developers spot issues, find external tools, & support third-party libraries. Moreover, the Hot Reloading feature resolves the issue faster while working.

The time required to release updates is short in comparison to native frameworks. This flexibility of Flutter technology facilitates future stability for the business. 

Integration Ability and Native Features 

Native Technologies

Integration capacity for iOS and Android frameworks differs. Based on the software pattern and app performance. The Native Framework, Swift used for building iOS Apps. It renders advanced safety and improved features with fast integration probabilities.

Whereas, Kotlin and Java for Android app development. Both frameworks provide smooth integration with their default runtime classes. Or the Intellij environment.

Flutter 

The integration of unique features and third-party libraries or plugins is not rigorous. Yet, it will be new for the developers who didn’t know the Dart functionality. Features integration for iOS & Android needs add-on plugins. Such as CocoaPods, Android Archive (AAR), etc. 

Flutter provides a manual to sort the limitations of integrating native modules. To get them integrated on Xcode of Android studio. It increases the Time-to-Market, which is remarkable because of the cost saved. The advantage of using Flutter technology is, it supports all the latest versions. Say IOS released to date, including iOS 14. 

App Performance 

Native Technologies

With the native performance functionality, iOS & Android perform great without external library kits. Native apps built with native technologies perform at 60 FPS to 120 FPS. Even on Core Animations creation for the application. The highest GPU usage for native technologies of the RAM ranges between 30% to 45%.

Also, native technologies use 118 MiB of device memory if your app is heavy due to native performance. Further, it overloads the user’s device. Yet, you choose an alternate external-SDK to improve performance.

Flutter 

Flutter owns default native components. So there is no need for the bridge to communicate with the native modules. The performance test on a standard device showed that the hello world app performed at 60 FPS. And also, the time used to render each frame doesn’t take more than 16 milliseconds.

Besides, Flutter uses the Skia graphics library, which allows the UI to redraw. On every time with every change in the application view. In this way, the Flutter technology performs well even at 60 FPS. At present, it can perform well even at 120 FPS. 

Application Size 

Native Technologies 

A simple hello world app itself shows the size requirements for Android and iOS platforms. The size of an Android app with Java is 539 KB. And for Kotlin, the size is not more than 550 KB.

For iOS, a simple hello world app ranges between less than 1 MB to 3 MB. The largest size of an Android app ranges between 15 MB and 35 MB for iOS apps. By using third-party tools, you can reduce the size of the app.

Flutter 

The size of a mere hello world app created using Flutter ranges around 7.5 MB. The Virtual Machine of Dart and the C/C++ engine influence size of this app. Yet, Flutter self-consists all codes and assets to manage size issues. Moreover, using Special tags like –split-debug-info minimizes the code size.

Which Technology Is Best For App Development?

Now you can find the best app development technology between the two technologies. In a nutshell, every technology fits in various scenarios. The final pick may rely on preference or a condition. 

Native technologies are fitting in the following scenarios:

  • To create high-performing apps with a robust operating system. And the embedded connection within apps and the devices.
  • If you want to enjoy the hardware of a mobile device with 100% capability to get native modules
  • When you need to develop an individual MVP app
  • When you need to create an advanced native app within your budget and time
  • When you want constant updates & upgrades
  • When your app need is to offer simple or complex features with firm security 

Flutter will be the best in the following scenarios:

  • If you want to develop one code with front-end and back-end functionalities
  • When you want to create a robust material with a seamless design experience
  • When you need a native app that comes with real-time databases & cloud services
  • When you need an MVP design with reactive widgets and popular mobile features 
  • If you want to decrease the time taken to reach the app in the market and to target your audience active
  • To create a seamless development process for the app. 

Why is the Flutter app development better than Native?

  • Flutter owns near Native Performance.
  • Flutter App development owns a Consistent UI.
  • Flutter renders a Productive Layout System.
  • Flutter Supports All Popular Platforms.
  • Your Flutter App Will Run Native on Fuchsia.

The Native technology is two years older than the Flutter, and the native technology backs it. The flutter app development community is new and evolving. Dart was not the usual programming language earlier, like JavaScript. Yet, we cannot compare Flutter features with other experienced cross-platform frameworks. But Flutter has efficiently resolved the cross-platform problem.

Both frameworks run on the best of a native host app. Native cannot improve its performance as Flutter due to its JavaScript runtime-based architecture. Try designing apps with Flutter, and not be afraid that Dart is not a familiar language.