Let us guess. You read one of those "Is React Native Dead?" blog titles and immediately assumed the same. But how could this be when the metrics indicate the opposite? Popular companies such as Facebook (now Meta), Instagram, Airbnb, and Salesforce chose React Native application development for their thriving ventures. While many more businesses intend to switch to this revolutionary cross-platform development framework, there is a lot you should know.
In this blog,
- What is React Native?
- React vs React Native - Key Differences
- How does React Native Work?
- React Native Pros and Cons
- What are the best projects to build with React Native (With Examples)
What is React Native?
Facebook introduced both ReactJS and React Native. React Native was proposed as a solution to one of the company's major problems: maintaining two code bases for their app. This would imply a lot of work duplication for an app as big as Facebook. However, React Native provided a simple solution to all of these issues.
React vs React Native: How Are They Different?
Facebook introduced ReactJS in 2011, a few years after the inception of React Native. Facebook ads were growing immensely, and the UI started getting slower. React became a reliable solution to scalability issues that Facebook was facing back then. In 2012, this problem was solved, and Facebook acquired Instagram. React was also used on its timeline.
React Native is powered by React and was supposedly a natural consequence of the latter. It is a mobile framework that allows developers to create apps with a native-like feel. Summing up, both React and React Native are connected but entirely different at the same time.
Also Read: ReactJS – Is It Really the Best Frontend Maker?
How Does React Native Work?
Before coming to any conclusions about React Native mobile app development, there are several technical aspects one must know.
- It does not rely on web views
- React Native follows the “bridge” concept
- Implement various OS native features
The React Native architecture offers the benefit of implementing a lot of OS-native features within an app. However, the developers should be aware of the possible challenges and how to deal with them.
Benefits of Using React Native For Your App
1. Code Reusability and Faster Development
One of the primary benefits of React Native is its ability to efficiently develop for multiple platforms. And being able to use the same code for different platforms, adds cherries to the cake. It ensures faster development and reduces the time to market. Since there are no multiple codebases, onboarding for new developers gets easier.
React Native’s ‘hot reloading’ feature allows the developers to immediately track any changes in the code without the need to refresh. By providing real-time feedback, this little feature significantly improves the development project.
2. Fair Performance
The ‘bridge’ concept makes React Native a lot better than other cross-platform frameworks. Since it uses native code, it is less laggy than most web-based cross-platform solutions. Moreover, using the exact words, apps built using React Native offer a “near-native” experience.
3. Cost Efficiency
One of the most important reasons to choose cross-platform development is cost efficiency. React Native has become a reliable tool for creating excellent applications at a fair price. Because of its code reusability feature, you need smaller teams, unlike native app development, which saves resources.
4. Growing Community
React Native has been a revolutionary open-source framework so far, and Facebook continues to make efforts for its expansion. Meanwhile, React Native has a growing community of developers. Therefore, it’s easier to combat challenges and find solutions to problems that might hinder the development process.
But the positives and negatives co-exist…
Unlike most companies that provide React Native app development services, we want you to consider both sides of the coin.
Drawbacks of React Native Mobile App Development
1. Relatively New Technology
Being relatively new, React Native is quite a work-in-progress with several glitches, limitations, and constant updates. In fact, some custom modules are missing from the framework. Therefore, the developers might require extra effort when building an app from scratch. Make sure you discuss this with your development partner during the estimation process.
2. Need for Native Developers
React Native is a strong framework because it utilizes native code to improve overall performance. However, this might result in times when there’s a need for native developers in the team to solve specific problems along the way. Native developers are more aware of the procedure and necessary documentation for launching an app on App Store and Google Play Store. This is something important to consider when directly or indirectly handling a team of developers.
3. Challenges With Complex Designs and Interactions
4. Codependency on Facebook (Meta)
React Native is currently dependent on a third-party open-source platform. This is a drawback in itself. If Facebook decides to step down from this technology, other brands and companies might change their opinion as well. However, such events do not seem any close. The React Native community is continuously expanding but whenever you make decisions regarding onboarding this technology, make sure you consider the future prospects as well.
“Almost every framework has several limitations. Tactful use of technologies, developer skill set, and expertise play a major role in making a project successful”.
Best Projects to Build With React Native
There are no industry constraints when choosing to work with React Native. You must, however, know that it’s a reliable framework to build customer-facing applications that are not dependent on OS-specific features, complex animation, or complicated design.
React Native supports faster development of stable applications with various modules and elements. Moreover, React mobile app development is easier when a web app is also built in React. Here are a few best projects you can build with React Native (with examples).
1. Social Media Platforms
The list of companies using React Native cannot even begin without Facebook (now Meta). The ultimate creator of this framework, Facebook, decided to bring all the best aspects of web development to mobile and succeeded in doing so.
In one of their blogs, Facebook mentioned how they significantly reduced startup time by converting a few elements to React Native. The good part is that these changes are done on the framework level and automatically reflect within the app. Other than the iOS and Android apps, Facebook also used React Native for Ads Manager.
After Facebook, Instagram started exploring the potential of React Native in 2016. They also mentioned on their blog that React Native helped them ship features faster to Android and iOS. As a result, developer velocity improved significantly. Kindly refer to the image below for more details.
2. Ecommerce Platforms
The American multinational retail company, Walmart, operates a chain of supermarkets. Their app offers features like online shopping, product search, and also checks in-store prices. Around 95% of the code used in their app is written in React Native. Walmart used the same automation test suites on Android and iOS while being able to update release dates on both platforms.
Shopify announced that React Native will be the future tech for their company. They stated that the framework will be used to enhance the app experience on both iOS and Android platforms. The company partnered with Facebook and other notable sponsors in the React Native community to boost efforts and build a comprehensive cross-platform mobile experience for the users.
3. Content & Media Platforms
Bloomberg started off with React Native in 2016, with the first version of their new app. This app gives the users access to news feeds and content personalized according to the location and time. Soon the company decided to implement React Native in all their apps. Certainly, this indicated the positive changes brought about by this framework.
4. Companion Apps
Unlike other companies on this list, Tesla did not disclose why it chose React Native. Their app serves as a companion and assistant for all Tesla vehicles. The app allows both iOS and Android devices to sync with the car and control the Tesla features like the lock, lights, charger, horn, panoramic roof, etc.
Other B2B solutions like Salesforce and services apps like Delivery.com and UberEats also use React Native.
To see how React Native worked for our previous projects → View Case Studies
When to Choose React Native For Your Project?
Based on the information we shared above, it’s suitable to choose React Native application development if:
- You need to reach a wider audience on different platforms
- You want to build a consumer-facing app with a straightforward use case
- Your competitive advantage isn’t dependent on heavy animations or OS-specific features
Moreover, it’s important to remember that only great skills can help you leverage the greatest benefits of excellent technology. Therefore, choose your development partner wisely.
Narola Infotech is a team of 350+ enthusiastic experts who’d closely observe your requirements to provide the solution you expect. Over the last 17+ years, we have served 1500+ clients (happy with our work) across 50+ countries. As a React Native mobile app development company, we would be pleased to offer result-oriented, scalable custom solutions for your business. Feel free to reach out for any queries or enquiries.