Written by Sudeepa Bose
The building of cross-platform mobile apps is trending in the digital era. However, choosing the best frameworks for your web development project is still one of the most vexing tasks ever.
This article puts three of the top development frameworks—Angular, React Native, and Flutter—under the lens of comparison. These are the three most popular cross-platform mobile development frameworks that are being used to build thousands of mobile apps today.
On the other hand, both React Native and Flutter are relatively new and come with a lot of similar advantages, awesome tooling, and native features. However, all three do have their differences.
Let’s compare React Native, Flutter, and Angular based on several factors:
- Unit Testing
- User Interface (UI/UX)
- Community Support
In the end of this article you'll find a list of companies using React Native, Flutter and Angular.
Flutter: Flutter is the new kid in the block when it comes to frameworks. Testing a new framework can be challenging, but Flutter employs Dart, which provides an outstanding unit testing framework. Flutter also provides you with an excellent choice for testing widgets on a headless runtime at unit test speeds.
Angular: In Angular, testing and debugging for a complete project is achievable with a single tool, like Protractor, Jasmine, or Karma. Another great tool that debugs the app in development mode is the browser extension Augury.
React Native: You will ideally need a bridge in React to call Swift, Windows, Android, or Mac APIs. Developers face issues while creating hybrid apps but seldom encounter performance-related issues for native apps. React offers seamless performance in all typical cases and is highly reliable.
Angular: AngularJS is recognized for its moderate performance while dealing with complex and dynamic applications. React and Flutter apps perform quicker than Angular apps of the same size. However, some new versions of Angular are somewhat faster compared with React.
User Interface (UI/UX)
React: React App Development uses third-party libraries since it does not have its own UI components library. React Native Material Design and Shoutem are two examples of UI libraries that are accessible to users. React Native is similar to employing HTML without a CSS framework. Compared with Flutter, React Native’s UI is based more on the native components for both iOS and Android. It also provides a more agreeable user experience (UX) when a user accesses the operating system.
Flutter: Flutter incorporates elegant, built-in Material Design and Cupertino, like rich motion APIs, iOS-flavor widgets, smooth uniform scrolling, and platform awareness. Flutter has its own individual UI components, adaptable widget sets, and material design along with an engine that helps to render them on iOS and Android.
Angular: Angular has an inbuilt Material tech stack. It comes with a lot of pre-built material design components. This makes the UI configuration extremely agile and simple.
React: React was released as open source on GitHub in 2015 and is the most popular framework on Stack Overflow. It is backed by a massive community, with over 89k stars on GitHub, 58.4k users on its subreddit, and a great deal of support on Stack Overflow. This is why they have more third-party libraries/plugins than Flutter.
Flutter: The Flutter community support can be seen in its 98k stars on GitHub, 47.6k-user subreddit as well as on Stack Overflow. Even though Dart did not receive much admiration in the Stack Overflow developer survey, early blog posts have given positive feedback about the use of Flutter. Moreover, their documentation is very thorough and addresses all the questions posted within an acceptable time frame.
Angular: Angular is constantly and actively supported by Google, which keeps advancing the Angular ecosystem. Since 2018, it also provides a framework with LTS (Long-Term Support). According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the number of developers working with Angular is higher than those working with React and Flutter.
Companies using React/Flutter/Angular
- Hamilton Musical
- JD Finance
- Abbey Road Studios app
- Microsoft Office
- General Motors
There is no right answer to the question of which is the best among React, Flutter, and Angular. The answer to this question always depends on several factors, including your business needs and use-cases. Even though this article lists out all the major differences between all three, they are all powerful contenders as frameworks and have their own sets of pros and cons.
And that’s a wrap!
Sudeepa Bose is a freelance writer from India. She's a writer throughout the day and a reader by the night. She holds a master's degree in English Literature and has experience spans over 7 years into IT, Tech, and content writing in diverse fields. You can reach her on LinkedIn.