A Comparison of the Performance of an Android Application Developed in Native and Cross-Platform : Using the Native Android SDK and Flutter
Abstract: Background: Mobile applications can be developed using cross-platform frameworks. The advantage of using these frameworks is that it is possible to reach more platforms with an application while not having to code again. On the other hand, a common reason for not using cross-platform frameworks is that the performance is assumed to be worse than native frameworks targeting one platform. Objectives: To compare the performance of an Android application created using two different frameworks, native Android and cross-platform framework Flutter. Methods: An experiment was carried out by developing two applications and observing the execution time, CPU usage, and memory usage. Results: The experiment results show that the app created using Flutter has better performance for decoding files but worse for rendering animations than the native Android application. Locating the user using geo-location has the same performance for the two frameworks. Both frameworks perform reasonably well for database access and using infinitely scrolling lists. Conclusions: Due to continuous updates, Flutter's performance has improved, increasing its usability compared to earlier experimentation. Flutter's performance is relatively comparable on multiple factors with native Android applications. It is suggested that developers should not disregard Flutter being a cross-platform framework and assume its performance would be poor.
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