The concept that drove the method to connect as many users as possible through a single codebase is not a new concept. However, for only the second time in history, the native user experience was considered serious. Simply stated, RN mobile apps preserve the user interface and behaviors similar to the platform they are running on.
The ability to create an authentic look and feel for your website is crucial, but isn’t the only reason React Native is now a preferred framework for thousands of companies including startups and tech giants such as Instagram, Skype, Uber, Walmart, Coinbase, and most importantly, Facebook.
This article will discuss additional advantages of the tool, discuss the shortcomings and then make a quick comparison to other frameworks to facilitate multi-platform application development.
What is React Native? The reason for the failure that led to its great success
The technology that has been successful was born from the ashes of the event that Mark Zuckerberg named “the biggest mistake we made as a company.” He was referring to the first time they tried going mobile in the year 2010. While other companies were creating separate native versions of their apps for Android, iOS, and Nokia in addition to BlackBerry smartphones, Facebook decided “to bet on HTML.” and made a bet. The app was rated an unfavorable rating by the App Store due to its constant crashing.
The very first mobile Facebook application developed using HTML5 was unwieldy slow, and sluggish.
This setback forced Facebook’s team to review its mobile-centric strategy. The result was that a brand new framework named React Native — came to life. It combines the ideas of its older sibling: the web development library React and the capabilities of native SDKs. The initial RN app was created to run on iOS as well as the Android version was swift in the making.
Presently, React Native also supports Windows 10 (check React Native for Windows repository) and macOS ( RN for macOS applications) which allows developers to develop desktop applications. There’s also a React Native Web library that lets you use mobile apps within browsers. However, more than anything, RN is beneficial for the purpose it was originally intended to do — the parallel design for iOS in conjunction with Android projects.
React vs React Native
- reused components that permit rapid application development,
- property or props to set up components and
- declares to keep an eye on changes to the data of components.
Although they are similar Though they’re a bit alike, they’re not twins. React is a lightweight library that relies on the integration of third-party technology in development. React Native is however an all-inclusive framework that includes all the necessary modules to build a mobile app, not to mention, the possibility of using external libraries.
Other significant differences are due to the platforms targeting Web browsers for one case and mobile devices for a different one.
- There is no HTML and CSS in React Native.
- RN develops UI using native components rather than web components built in React.
- In order to render views React makes use of virtual DOM while RN uses native APIs.
It is possible to learn more about a virtual DOM as well as other advantages and disadvantages of React in our article dedicated to React. We’ll then look at the benefits and drawbacks of React’s younger cousin.
What are the Pros of React Native App Development
It’s true that React Native inherits some of its strengths from React however, it has plenty to offer independently. Let’s look at what makes RN popular with businesses and developers.
For companies, these costs offer a wide range of experts to select from. Engineers who have a background in JS and particularly React Native can relatively quickly learn RN fundamentals and move from mobile to web development.
2. A familiar ecosystem and concepts are a moderate process of learning for JS developers
Although React Native has its own issues, it is a learning curve for people familiar with working with JS and React is not too steep. Based on previous experiences it can take two to several weeks to build the first RN applications.
Most of the time it is not necessary to pay for classes to study particular RN areas. The entire documentation needed to begin is provided for no cost, and you can get advice from a vast group composed of RN developers.
3. One codebase that can be used on two platforms: saving time and money
“React Native isn’t perfect but the benefits of a single codebase are huge,” that’s what the majority of businesses that are choosing RN acknowledge.
The framework lets you connect the logic of your application between iOS as well as Android. If you intend to launch your app across both platforms, you won’t require two distinct development teams one for writing with Java or Kotlin for Android and another to work using Objective-C or Swift to work on iOS.
In theory, you’ll get your task done twice as quickly and inexpensively as the native programming on Android as well as iOS. In actual practice, time and cost savings aren’t as significant. However, more than 90 percent of the code is reused across platforms.
4. Ready-to-use components: great development speed
React Native offers a set of ready-to-use parts to help you save time in creating blocks that are common by hand. However, the Facebook team doesn’t limit you to the standard collection. You can pick among hundreds of libraries designed by RN contributors and post them on GitHub. The most popular examples include
- React Native Maps to incorporate maps into apps for RN (412 contributors, utilized by more than 116,000 developers),
- React Native elements for sharing UI components between RN as well as React web applications (316 contributors, utilized by more than 95,200 developers),
- NativeBase for you to select from a variety of custom UI components (196 contributors, 55,800plus developers) and
- Lottie is a component of React Native to create and ship animations (91 contributors ), used by more than 80,100 developers).
The abundance of prebuilt components lets you create MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) to test your ideas and produce your own, unique apps in a record time.
5. Views, Native APIs User interfaces that are fluid and rich interface
Contrary to other cross-platform frameworks as well as progressive web application methods, React Native recognizes and highlights the distinctions in iOS as well as Android. It is based on native APIs as well as native visual elements such as buttons or menus, status bars, and much more. Therefore, the same view appears slightly different when viewed on Apple as well as Android devices, and will be constantly updated to match the operating system of the target.
React Native covers all essential UI elements. If you require more advanced options, you can bridge the gaps with plugins made available through the open-source community. An alternative is to develop your own native component inside your JS code to gain accessibility to the native APIs that are not available by default. This applies to functions such as Apple as well as Google Pay.
6. Hermes engine: faster time to run both for Android and iOS
For a long time, the feature was only accessible to Android. The latest 0.64 Version of React finally supports Hermes on iOS which makes iOS apps launch 40 percent quicker. The upgrade also brings an advantage: having the same engine running on both platforms makes it easier to do cross-platform app development.
7. Speedy Refresh and Flipper more efficient debugging experience
Debugging was a source of contention for RN developers. After the introduction of an innovative Speed Refresh feature, as well as out-of-the-box support for the mobile apps with the debugging tool Flipper Things started to look upwards.
When it is enabled within the RN developer menu, Fast Refresh will make all changes made to the code available in the browser view immediately. If there is a problem the view of the browser will provide the details of what’s wrong. This makes it easier to build more features as well as fix issues.
When Fast Refresh is enabled, the view of the browser to the left shows all the errors and other details that are on them as you’re working on your code.
Flipper, in turn, offers a wide range of tools that allow remote debugging -when your application is run in a production environment that is close to the production environment as feasible.
Growing community: solutions to any issue
React Native is lagging in comparison to React with regard to the size of its community and ecosystem. However, the number of RN developers is growing constantly and the odds are you’ll be able to get immediate help in the event of a development issue when it arises.
Below is a list of resources you can use for assistance from RN engineers.
React Native repository on GitHub has more than 660,000 users, and is supported by the support of more than 2300 contributors.
StackOverflow contains more than 99,500 questions that use the react-native tag. This means you’ll find the answers or even describe your specific issue.
React Twitter’s account incorporates both React along with React Native with more than 480,000 followers. However, there is an additional RN Twitter page with more than 110,000 followers. There you can keep up-to-date with the latest news about RN as well as answers to your questions from RN engineers.
Reactiflux is available on Discord Discord is an enormous community that uses React. There, you can discuss your issues with other developers through Need Help chats and ask questions about libraries, tools, and more in dedicated threads.
The React Native section on Dev has more than 1800 published posts where developers share their experiences in various features of RN.
React Native Community on Facebook offers videos and tips on how to use React effectively and improve mobile-friendly projects more effectively.
What are the Cons Of React Native App Development
We can’t be perfect, however, we believe that the majority of RN problems are temporary. The Facebook team and the RN community provide constant improvements which make the framework more advanced each year. We’ll look at the most talked about RN issues and the ways they’re anticipated to be resolved.
Although RN applications are speedy enough, they can’t match the performance of native applications. The problem lies with React Native’s architecture itself.
What are React Native functions?
The UI or the main thread controls UI components, renders views as well as “listens” to user actions like tapping or swipes and so on.
These two threads interact through their React Native bridge also called the shadow thread. It is located on the border between JS and the native realm and allows them to exchange information in the form of Serialized JSON objects. In addition, it determines the layout on the JS side and transmits its results onto the native side which creates the view in accordance with it.
Although JS as well as UI threads can show amazing speed, the bridge can create “traffic jams” known as “the RN greatest limitation.” The performance problems are particularly evident when creating animations or touchscreen interactions.
In the meantime, while waiting for the new design, software developers are able to make use of various libraries developed by contributors in order to fix issues with performance. For instance, React Native Reanimated lets you create animations and touch screen events as tiny bits that are pure JS and then run them directly inside the primary UI thread, thus eliminating “the bridge problem.”
Upgrades to complexities
As evident from the comments of developers, switching between versions is among the most difficult aspects of React Native. And the question: why do you bother with upgrading to the latest version? There are a variety of motives, including
- receiving performance enhancements as well as bug fixes and security patches
- Accessing new features and APIs;
- Adding compatibility by ensuring compatibility with JS as well as native and
- keeping track of the latest changes.
Therefore, it is strongly suggested to update RN applications to the most recent version available. The process isn’t easy and requires an enormous amount of time and several hours, based on the changes log. Remember that an accidental absence of a single process could lead to long hours of troubleshooting. However, the result isn’t all that bad if you’re just one version in the wrong direction.
What are the steps being taken to address the issue? The Facebook team stays on top of the problem. But, they cannot guarantee that the issue is going to be completely solved any time very soon, in relation to “breaking modifications as well as native modules and template modifications which are hard to comprehend. .”
In the meantime, the RN community also launched The Upgrade Helper tool that will assist in upgrading to the latest versions. It highlights the distinctions between the current and targeted versions so that you can identify any changes that need to be made.
React Native Update Helper displays what is to be modified in the targeted version.
The lack of support for native components
What are the solutions to it? With the growing community, more and more open-source libraries that include native features are being made accessible. However, their application requires knowledge of a specific platform.
How do I get started with React Native?
An excellent place to start learning about React Native is the Starting Points section of the official website of the framework. It provides the foundational framework and lists helpful resources to further learn.
This Environment Setting up section explains how to begin the first React Native project. There are two official recommended methods for starting to build an RN application:
- Expo is a set of services and tools that allow you to create React Native projects and deploy them to Android as well as iOS. This is the most suitable choice for those who are new to mobile development. The only thing you require to start with Expo is the most recent version of Node.js on your personal computer, and a mobile or an emulator for your device to run tests on the application.
- React Native CLI, is an interface for the command line that comes along with React Native. Apart from Node.js. It is necessary to have native development tools installed such as Apple’s the Xcode and Android Studio.
To accelerate development To speed up development, developers should speed development. React Native team also suggests testing the Ignite CLI which is an RN starter kit that includes boilerplates. This could save you about two to four weeks of developing the RN project, whether it’s an initial proof-of-concept, demo, or production application.
React Native in comparison to other mobile technologies?
With all its current benefits and the upcoming enhancements to come, RN is not an ideal choice for every project. Find our comprehensive mobile frameworks that cross platforms or take a look at an overview below to decide which one is better.
Google’s Flutter is the most well-known option for cross-platform use to Facebook’s React Native. Contrary to RN which is a native application, Flutter does not use any native APIs or UI elements. It creates views using its Skia graphics library, based on specific platform design guidelines and renders them using its C++ engine.
However, it does not provide an easy transition between mobile and web development. It also has a lower community and fewer third-party libraries that you can choose from.
2. Xamarin vs React Native
Supported by Microsoft, Xamarin offers a suite of tools that allow you to create cross-platform applications with C# and .NET frameworks. Like RN It offers “almost-native'” performance and lets you share up to 90% of the code base among iOS as well as Android. With RN, developers are able to choose between code editors, whereas Xamarin is linked with Visual Studio.
However, Xamarin is the ideal choice for those working within Microsoft’s Microsoft software and also writing their code using C#.
3. Ionic vs React Native
The greatest benefit that Ionic has is the fact that it does not require prior knowledge of native languages. It’s the most affordable way to build two apps at the same time. But, the hybrid app does not compare to RN in performance as well as UI/UX design.
4. React Native vs native development
There is no way that React Native or any other cross-platform tech can provide the speed and efficiency provided by native app development. Furthermore, they are all limited to limitations to using Android or specific features for iOS.
The main reasons for opting to develop natively are:
- You plan to create an app for iOS or Android only;
- If you develop a resource-intensive application such as AR or VR (AR/VR) or large animations and so on. ;
- you must be able to access all the native benefits connected to sensors, hardware platforms-specific functions, and SDKs.
- you’d like to take advantage of new features for mobile devices immediately after they’re available.
In the case of simple projects, the differences in speed RN as well as native applications is not noticeable to users. Also, the huge time savings and expense could prove to be the main element. It is the preferred option in the event of a crisis.
- Your team is a strong JS or React background;
- you must make on a budget, or
- You can build and create an MVP prototype, demo, proof-of-concept, or even a basic application that doesn’t require a lot of processing.
However nine percent of the time, other factors can affect the decision. If you’re unsure it is advisable to seek out tech experts prior to making a decision about a specific technology including the highly-praised React Native.
Are You Looking for a Dedicated React Native App Development Company?
iTechnolabs provides the best IT solutions for your tech needs and has proven itself to be the best when it comes to React Native App Development. So, for all of your React Native App Development requirements, don’t forget to contact our experts.
Frequently Asked Questions for React Native Pros and Cons
1. Why is React Native a better choice for Mobile App Development?
React Native is obviously a better mobile app development framework because of the following React Native advantages –
- By using React library, React Native framework eliminates the need for building separate UI designs for distinct platforms and save money and time
- Testing has been made super-duper easy through React Native’s live reloading feature which enables you to see changes as soon as they are made
- As React Native is open-source framework, it allows developers to access it for free and make changes to it in order to make it suitable for their mobile apps
- React Native framework used React library which uses components-based approach and enables easy development of complex and scalable UI designs
- With React native framework, you can use third-party plugins to add exquisite range of features and functionalities to your mobile app
Due to the above-stated React Native benefits, React Native app development has been the first choice of many developers.
2. What are the limitations of React Native app development framework?
Some of the React Native limitations are as under –
- React Native framework lags behind the native frameworks in terms of complexity of the frontend designs
- It might be out of the power of React Native to build apps that support the new features of devices because of its slow advancement
3. What are the Pros and Cons of React Native framework?
React Native framework pros and cons have been stated below. Take a look –
- Rapid app development due to code reusability
- Savings in time, money, and efforts
- More native frontend design experience
- Excellent choice to build MVP due to iterative coding
- Support from large community of developers
- More testing time due to different android and iOS execution
- Security concerns because of the open-source nature
- Adequate knowledge of native app development required
4. When to use React Native?
React Native can be used to build apps that directly face consumers as such apps require a clean user interface which React Native can easily deliver.
Due to innumerable React Native benefits, it is widely used to build apps in the following industries –
- Social Networking
- On demand services
- Travel and hospitality
5. How Much does it cost to build a React Native Application?
The cost to build a React Native application ranges between $ 20000 to $ 300000. There are a number of factors that affect the cost of React Native app development, we have enlisted those factors below –
- App Size and complexity
- Features and functionalities
- Third-party API integrations
- App category
- Location and size of app development team
- Post-launch development services
On the basis of the complexity of the app, we have estimated the cost of React Native app development as stated under –
- Simple App – $ 30000
- Complex App – $ 60000
- Highly Complex App – $ 180000
iTechnolabs has various pricing models. You can choose one and get your app developed within your budgetary expectations.