Flutter or React Native, who is the big winner?

by | 10 Mar 2021 | Mobile Expertise

In 2021, it's hard to make a choice when embarking on a mobile development project. Between native, progressive web apps, webviews, or the latest hybrid solutions, there are many options to choose from. While the choice can be simple when it comes to identifying the type of technology to use, it can be more complicated when it comes to choosing the technology itself. Explanations with Simon Galet, Architect Developer at theTribe.

This interview was conducted before the release of Flutter 2, a major update for Google's framework that promises a more stable version for web application development and a beta version for desktop application development... We'll talk to you soon!

What is Flutter and React Native? On what kind of projects can these technologies be used? 

Flutter and React Native are hybrid mobile application development frameworks. They seek to bring an experience as close as possible to a classic native mobile experience. They can be used on almost any type of iOS and Android mobile project.

What are the major differences between these two mobile frameworks? 

On paper, their objective is the same. It's under the hood that you find the biggest differences: 

  • React Native relies on JavaScript and the React framework, while Flutter uses Dart. 
  • React Native embeds its engine in the application, and it is the JavaScript code that has been coded by the developer who will drive this engine. Fluttering on its side is entirely compiled into an iOS or Android executable. 
  • Where React Native relies on the native components of the operating system on which it runs, Flutter has reproduced these components almost identically.

Which mobile framework is the most used and why?

Today React Native is still used in the majority of cases. There are 2 main reasons for this:

  • React Native is older and therefore considered more mature than Flutter.
  • React Native is based on React which is a massively used framework. It is easier to find developers who will be able to do React Native than developers who will be able to do Flutter.

Will the current trend continue in this direction? Or can a changeover still take place? 

I'm not a guesser, but I don't think this trend is going to reverse. Although Flutter has many advantages, many developers are still too afraid to make the change and learn a new framework that uses a language that is not widely used. On the other hand, Flutter is becoming more and more popular and is slowly moving from being a framework to watch out for out of the corner of your eye to being a framework to know in the mobile development world.

How much time and/or budget could these technicians save companies if they adopted them?

I won't speak in terms of time or budget, because it really depends on how the team that will develop the project was formed. On the other hand, everyone can make his own calculation based on the following elements: to make native, you need an iOS team, an Android team, an iOS code base, an Android code base, a source of bugs on iOS, a source of bugs on Android. 

Using Flutter or React Native, you need a team that will work on a single code base and be the only one generating bugs (although a hybrid app may have different bugs on iOS and Android).

In addition, don't miss out on our list of technologies with a promising future that have been widely acclaimed by our developers. To download our Tech Trends 2021 guide, click here.

Florian Compain

Florian Compain

Chief Marketing Officer @theTribe

Why don't we talk?