What is React Native, and when to use it for your mobile app?

What Is React Native?

React Native is a JavaScript library based on ReactJS, which we implement to build mobile apps with the aid of iOS and Android platforms. The main advantage of React Native is that a single code allows you to create an application for two systems simultaneously, iOS and Android. This is suitable for small applications or MVPs. React Native is a JavaScript platform that enables developers to write real-time, native-looking Android mobile app development. It implements 

RN was devised by Facebook developers in 2015. The application helps accelerate and lower the costs of developing mobile applications. Facebook’s JavaScript libraries create user interfaces, but instead of targeting browsers, it targets mobiles.

How does React Native RN work?

Firstly, the application is written in ReactJS, and the whole environment is based on JavaScript. React Native is combined with a platform-specific code and compiled into Swift (IOS), JAVA, and Kotlin (Android).

What is RN used for?

React Native is used to build apps for mobile platforms, and each of the following apps uses React Native technology, e.g. Uber Eats, Discord, Wix, Pinterest, Facebook App, Instagram, and Skype.

Many native developers working in Java or Kotlin have switched to React Native because of the simpler workflow for building mobile apps. There are DeSmart projects devised with the aid of this technology in our portfolio.

React Native – pros and cons 

PROS

The most significant benefit is the speed of delivery. Some applications that we produce are already available after three months, and such projects were developed in DeSmart. In the network, you can find a lot of libraries that enable you to improve the process of building applications. React Native is currently quite popular consequently, many developers code in it.

However, the most crucial benefit is the almost simultaneous delivery of applications for two platforms, IOS and Android. Therefore the project is done quickly in comparison to native techniques.

If you decide to implement your application in React Native technology, you can expect that you will find numerous 

specialists on the market. 

Far from being niche, this technology is supported by an extensive online react-native community.

From the developers’ point of view, it is relatively easy to switch from React to React Native. As a result, developers who have not worked on mobile technology can soon develop their skills in mobile application development.

CONS

React Native application is poorly scalable. Therefore, it will not be an efficient solution for massive projects. In the attempt to introduce functionality, which will only work on one of two mobile platforms, such as iOS, problems will be resolved in the native code of the application, which will require considerable expertise. 

DeSmart encountered a challenge in one of the projects in which our client wanted to perform the functionality, allowing the application call. We managed to cope with this task, and Senior Kotlin Developer joined the team and wrote natively a part that will enable you to make a call and wake up the phone. Ultimately, we were able to improve the performance of the entire application. DeSmart informed the client that we don’t work in native technologies (Kotlin and Java). We recommended another solution to the client because it’s consistent with our values, one of which is transparency.

Why should you choose React Native ?

Quick application deployment, lower costs and many available developers are the main factors that render this application popular. Moreover, its developers are easy to find or train.

When should you use React Native for your Mobile Apps ?

The perfect moment is when you already have a product, and a regular website is not enough when you want to enter the market and extend the app’s availability. React Native offers all the native solutions that, when it comes to app development, produce the same effect as writing an app in Swift or Kotlin, the native technologies implemented in software development for iOS and Android platforms.

Why shouldn’t you use React Native ?

React Native’s biggest drawback is its performance. It’s better than most hybrid tools and web apps. However, large overhead frameworks, which slow performance down compared to native apps, are unavoidable.

React vs React Native

React Native uses a similar syntax and development mindset to React. They share identical concepts – quite similar but not utterly so. There are also significant differences among target platforms: browsers and mobile devices simultaneously. React is a limited framework that requires the participation of technology developers. React Native, however, is a fully-functional framework with all modules necessary for building a mobile app without any restrictions on external library functionality.

Benefits of React Native

One codebase for two platforms: saving time and money

React Native does not look appealing, but it has significant advantages as an individual programmatic system. The framework allows sharing of logic between iPhone and Android devices. You don’t have to have two different developers: one for writing Java or Kotlin for Android and another for working in Objective-C or Swift for iOS. Your job will get done faster and more inexpensively than native development on Android and iOS. 

Fast Refresh and Flipper: better debugging experience

RN developers used debuggers mainly in the past. However, things started to look up after adding Fast Refresh functionality and enabling Flipper to be installed. If enabled from RN development, Fast Refresh automatically shows changes to code in any application instantly. Fast Refresh automatically indicates errors in the browser as they occur while you edit the code. Whenever the browser displays the mistakes, the screen gives hints as to the cause of the error. Consequently, it is quicker for new feature development and fixes.

Ready-to-use components: great development speed

React Native consists primarily of ready-for-use components to save time and create standard blocks with minimal programming knowledge. Facebook has a whole lot more content than just a simple site. RN users are free to browse the libraries built by RN contributors or published on GitHub. Examples include the abundance of prebuilt features that allow you to build MVP products for testing and quickly develop unique production app ideas.

Familiar ecosystem and concepts: a mild learning curve for JS developers

While React Native can be easily learnable by anyone who has experience with Java and React JS. Typically, no further learning is required for the specific topic. The complete documentation needed to start is free, but you may also consult a large community of RN developers.

JavaScript at the core: access to a vast talent pool and easy switch from web to mobile

React Native has been using JavaScript, the most commonly-used programming language. An estimated 12.8 million developers worldwide currently use JavaScript.

Hermes engine: better runtime for Android and iOS

Hermes is a JavaScript engine built by Facebook that improves app development performance and speeds. Implementing this system can help reduce startup time, reduce memory use, or decrease download size. Until now, it has only worked for Android phones. React has rolled out an update for iOS 0.64, which makes iOS apps 40% faster and more responsive. It contributes a new asset to cross-platform development.

Cross-platform vs native mobile app

The most crucial difference between native and cross-platform apps is that native apps are created with specific operating systems. Although cross-platform apps have become widely adopted, they don’t have particular functionality or performance like native apps. Therefore, people can take enjoy the advantages that come with this program. React Native aims to be a platform-agnostic in the long run as it will be rethinking the framework. 

Best worldwide known projects in React Native

Read up on which apps are written in React. The complete list of apps can be accessed here: https://reactnative.dev/showcase

React Native – an auspicious debut?

It is also a good option for cross-platform app development because of its intuitive architecture, live reload, fast development time and excellent performance and code reusability.

Are you looking for a React Native team?

Drop us a line here, and let’s talk about how we can go about it.

Contact Us

Let's talk about how we can bring your ideas to life together!