is react native right for your app?

is react native right for your app?
considering react native? (photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash)

We're very happy to bring you the following article by guest-contributor Michael Kelley (blog).

There are more than a few good reasons to use React Native for mobile app development: the open-source framework developed by Facebook enables cost-effective and fast development of cross-platform apps, including Android and iOS, so it is a tool that can be used by both Android and iOS app developers to create apps having a native look and feel with simple, straightforward, and real-time code updates and changes. Moreover, any developer can access and understand the code with less effort than working independently on a single platform, so any shuffles on the developers’ team won’t alter core development work as projects continue to run smoothly.

How React Native Benefits Mobile App Development

Besides the obvious business benefits of React Native mentioned before, you should consider additional perks available in the framework that might or might not be suitable for the application you’re trying to develop. Ultimately, all benefits wrap in improved user experience. In native apps, that comes with focused improvements since they are built with a specific platform in mind.  Building native apps comes down to fast software performance, broad device functionalities, push notifications, and a steady QA process that’s on a constant betterment through the app stores. Here are some of the specifics of React Native you might want to consider if you want to use the maximum of its advantages:

How React Native Benefits Mobile App Development
Photo by Joshua Aragon on Unsplash

1. Works on iOS, Android, tvOS, the Web, Windows, and Ubuntu

One advantage is applying existing app development skills and familiar tools that will help you take apps from the web to mobile in half the time. It is not necessary to learn a new code, for example. If you need to transform a web page into a mobile app, then React Native is a good choice. The native developer’s experience is a fast as the web developer’s and although React Native is not created with the single purpose of cross-platform development, it helps with sharing a lot of code between iOS, Android, and web, thus simplifying transitions between platforms.

2. Work Consistency for iOS App Developers

If you are an iOS app developer, you will find the composition of components to handle complexity in React Native similar to iOS development. For example, by getting one component for UIView and UIViewController, work consistency comes easier for all aspects of your mobile app.

3. Less Memory Usage and Easier 3rd Party Involvement

React Native bridges the React component trees form the HTML output to native primitives. Combine that with greater efficiency due to less memory usage and you get faster apps with a smoother run-time and easier third-party plugin involvement. Since you are not developing XCode from scratch, React Native has a positive impact on the product development cycle, bringing it faster to its completion.

4. Building Camera Apps and Perks of Geolocation APIs

For mobile apps that need to have access to the user’s location, microphone, and phone camera, React Native enables you to build camera apps by shortening the process significantly. Geolocation in React Native is enabled by default, so you can build apps with almost no templates or little to no boilerplate code.

5. Delegating Native Code

If you are developing a completely new app, React Native’s CRNA (Create React Native) provides an option to delegate the development of native code to a company called Expo while focusing on the ease-of-use on your side. This is, of course, not final, as you can restore the rights to right the native code yourself if you decide to do that in the next development stages.

Drawbacks of React Native

Naturally, every developer’s tool has its Drawbacks of React Native, too. What if Facebook decides to withdraw from the project and stops using it altogether? After all, it wasn’t there all the time, it has been created just a few years back. You need to have a technical understanding of React Native projects so that you can fix this problem if such need shows up in the future. Consider how future iOS updates will conform with React Native and find a way to manage the platform dependency in the medium-term future, let’s say in five-years-time.

To summarize, a crucial and very visible benefit of using React Native is to reduce the resources for building native apps from scratch for each device platform. Therefore, if you need to be time-savvy and cost-savvy in addition to being tech-savvy, it’s possible to achieve that goal with React Native. There are always open challenges for Android and iOS app developers working on native apps, so for a part of them, this is a welcome solution. If you are an iOS developer interested in building a React Native app and publish it in the iOS App Store, here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to do it.