React Native to build a mobile app?

Well, it is created by Facebook itself. It’s something big for sure!

For starters, React Native is an open-source JavaScript framework (a free-to-use tool) to create highly-interactive mobile applications that can run on BOTH iOS and Android mobiles.

That’s right! Think of a design, assemble some components, code a little, and your app is ready to run on almost 100% of smartphones in the world

It’s how tons of apps are being built these days. Thanks to different frameworks, libraries, modules, and ready-made chunks of codes – making life easier for programmers.

Now, React Native is based on React (just: React).

And, React is already a deep-rooted JavaScript library (also developed by Facebook) that is commonly used by the web developers worldwide to build attractive browser-based applications.

With React Native in the equation, React-only developers can utilize phone’s native capabilities instead of working only with the browser-based apps, making Mobile app development a feasible task for them.

So, what makes React Native different?

As said earlier, you get to code one app to target both Android and iOS phones, and that with JavaScript library only!

No coding from scratch. No need to reinvent the wheel. 

Just Native framework, module-like coding. Interesting, isn’t it?

But, let me tell you that React Native is not alone. 

Because, cross-platform mobile app development can also be done with a number of tools, such as Apache Cordova, Ionic, Bootstrap, etc. – combining various technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — to create browser-based mobile apps.

However, the beauty of React Native is that the apps we get are completely native apps, not the HTML5 or browser-based apps!

Technical explanation –  React.js components are automatically rendered as native UI elements in the background during the React Native development cycle (while the developers work with CSS, HTML & JavaScript as usual) – providing the end users with a 100% native app experience.

Web vs Hybrid vs Native apps: Where does React Native exactly fit

Here is the key difference:

  1. A Web app is nothing but an application that is accessed through a web browser on any device using the internet. In simple words – any website that allows you to order and buy products is necessarily a form of web app.
  2. A Native app is an installable software made for a specific operating system (iOS, Android) which is developed using a dedicated software development kit, i.e., Xcode, Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, etc.
  3. Now, the Hybrid apps can be installed just like the Native apps, but these are the ‘webview’ elements which run very smoothly within an app while employing phone’s native features. As the name Hybrid suggests – the combination of web app and native app.

“React Native apps are close to the Hybrid category, or more precisely, the evolution of Hybrid mobile apps.”

It is because;

React Native has the ability to use a lot of native components of a smartphone, apart from just using the webviews. The resulting product is visibly quicker than its web or hybrid counterparts.

In fact, React Native framework implements the same UI building blocks which are used for
iOS
and Android development, except that the technology used is React.js, in order to target both the platforms at once with minimum change of code.

In the commercial world, React Native has become a leading name amongst the pool of topmost mobile app platforms.

Facebook, Instagram, Uber Eats, Skype, Pinterest, and a lot of mammoth corporations, including Fortune 500 companies are using React Native for not one but many reasons.

An immensely popular tool embraced by the foremost app development agencies in the US, let’s read about the Pros and Cons of React Native app development below:

react-native-pros-cons

Pros of React Native

1. Faster Development

Here, we have several ready-to-use JavaScript functionalities that require less time to complete a project.

With JS, creating bespoke features by rewriting the code is not difficult at all, given the abundance of resources that JavaScript community has to offer.

In fact, it is easy for React Native developers to visualize the app layout in real-time, thanks to its ‘hot reloading’ feature – enabling developers to view the progress instantaneously while injecting changes and modifying the app. 

It’s just like watching the progress live as we code the app.

Even with high-end hardware configuration, as observed in one of our analyses, all other native platforms (Xcode/Android Studio, etc.) took a little more time than React Native to load the progress on the device/emulator. The debugging process is a lot easier to oversee because both iOS and Android apps made with RN would exhibit similar bugs to fix. Only a small amount of native code is needed to polish both the apps separately.

Having said that, there are a few OS exclusive features, e.g., AirDrop & Apple Pay – that may require customizations or even native programmers’ assistance at times.

2. Affordability, Cross-platform Compatibility, And A Single Team

No need to keep an iOS team as well as an Android team, in most cases.

To save your money and time, the developers who are well-acquainted with React Native should be able to take care of both versions. Besides, JavaScript is a prevailing programming language in the world and it shouldn’t be too challenging to find RN experts.

Apart from the development perspective in the beginning, a cross-platform application is quite affordable to operate and maintain afterward to target both App Store & Google Play marketplaces.

3. React Native Apps Are Indistinguishable From The Apps Built On SDKs

A little tech fact — React Native apps are not wrapped in the native container as it is done by various other frameworks. In fact, the use of phone’s native components makes it difficult to differentiate between an RN app and an SDK’s app.

4. Reusable Components

The ability to reuse the code in React Native is outstanding! 

Whether rendering React.js web application codes to create a mobile application or sharing the codebase between iOS and Android apps, React Native does an incredible job!

Additionally, there are plenty of pre-designed components in the open-source library that anyone can implement to speed up the development process.

To operate the apps, imagine the level of convenience when all the applications (iOS, Android and web) have mostly the same lines of code.

To access any platform API for which React Native does not have a pre-built JavaScript module, then writing or re-using a multithreaded code with Java, Swift, Objective-C, or C++ is also possible without having to reimplement it only in JavaScript – a very helpful attribute to access all of those native functionalities for which React Native cannot be used. It is a more advanced feature included in RN, called setting up a native module.

5. CodePush For Instant Updates

CodePush cloud service with React Native allows you to install the app updates to users’ devices instantaneously, eliminating the need for ‘review time’ the app stores take with each submission.

In case you are wondering, CodePush is a central repository to synchronize with developers’ modifications. React Native live apps can directly sync for updates from CodePush server and you are not required to redistribute the app entirely for addressing minor bug fixes or modifications.

6. React Native is UI-focused

That’s why it’s there in the first place!

Highly responsive fluid interfaces with quicker load times make React Native a preferable option for butter smooth user interactions.

From fluid transitions to animated illusions, the possibilities with React Native interactive components are endless.

7. Growing Community & Support

Quite a strong base so far, poised to take the top spot!

A very large and supportive JavaScript-React-RN community would always be there to assist you with your React Native project.

Not just for iOS and Android, you would also find the support for several community-supported out-of-tree platforms like React Native Windows, React Native Turbolinks, React Native macOS and more.

The core of React Native is continuously monitored by Facebook’s dedicated React Native team, strengthened by thousands of key contributors across the world. Contracting a reliable React Native development company can deliver on most of your expectations within a quick span of time.

Cons of using React Native

1. Performance 

React Native plays very well!

But Java, C, C++ are the languages which get the better of JS.

JavaScript has comparatively a lower score on parameters like execution time, memory consumption and energy usage. It is a high-level programming language, hence not very close to the processor.

2. It is still evolving 

React Native is a newer platform with a scope of improvements, in case you are trying to match it with comprehensive capabilities offered by Java and Objective-C. 

For example, there can be an instance when you are unable to find a solution for an ongoing React Native project and you may have to incur extra cost to engage native SDK specialists for that particular resolution.

3. Moderate security with JS libraries

If there is a web component in your app, then JavaScript (and React Native) could be made vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks

Hence, the developers have to be very skillful in sanitizing the data correctly and eliminating any issues with rendering elements (or malicious code snippets) to prevent XSS hacks.

4. Complex Tasks

Building complex user interfaces? Great to use!

Sophisticated computations and satisfactory memory management? There are better options.

If your business goal is to build a financial application, or develop advanced functionalities, or create a solution to process extremely complicated data as a primary attribute of your business, then React Native is not an ideal platform to hope for superior performance.

Nevertheless, React Native is a wonderful choice for a surplus of applications which require a lot of background processing along with a first-rate user interface design.

As said earlier, React Native is gradually getting better & better with time, is a mainstream platform already, and is projected to secure a spot at the podium in the near future with massive popularity.

An authentic React Native app development agency would educate you about the prospects as well as the constraints involved with a React Native mobile app.

Vinsol works on React Native projects after discussing and understanding every client’s objectives on a case-by-case basis. The course to achieve the intended business goals can certainly be adorned with React Native’s incredible approach. Vinsol would be pleased to discuss the outlook and build an exemplary mobile application for your organization.

To know more about mobile application development with React Native, feel free to get in touch.

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