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Hackernoon logoIs building Mobile Apps Using React Native the Future of App Development? by@anand-mahajan

Is building Mobile Apps Using React Native the Future of App Development?

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@anand-mahajanAnand Mahajan

Anand is the Founder of Sphinx Solutions having experience more than a decade.

React Native saves 40% to 90% time in developing apps on different platforms. Though a community of developers may say React Native can’t provide the best to business, it’s clear how the curiosity of working with this framework is growing. However, there are some points that businesses must know before considering it for their app project.

In this blog, we are trying to find out how or is React Native a rational choice for future mobile app development?

React Native can create ultra-reliable mobile applications for the business. Before we dive deep, let’s find out what is it.

What is React Native?

React Native is an open-sourced JavaScript library founded by Facebook in 2013. It is a relatively new library that combines the best of both native developments with React. It helps in developing user interfaces for single-page web applications. It comes with a component structure that allows writing more modular and reusable code in less time and minimal resources.

Current Scenario

React Native comes with the largest support communities. As it allows creating a single JavaScript codebase that works for different platforms like iOS, Android & Windows. A report by MarketsandMarkets says Cross Platform development is growing and estimated to generate $80.45 billion in the year 2020.

Also, as per the Stack Overflow survey 2018, 64.9% of the developers loved React Native as one of the preferred libraries for mobile app development.

React Native is popular now. It is a sophisticated tool with a vast community of developers helping each other to create better mobile apps. Here you can see the React Native search trend on Google.


It allows mobile app developers to add native codes like Java, Swift, Objective-C for achieving a custom look. Practically, many of the developed codebases can be used in cross-platform. Besides, React Native allows building an excellent mobile app user interface using JavaScript and XML-esquemarkup.

The GitHub repository shows, it is the 14th most starred repository on GitHub.

What makes React Native popular?

Though Facebook’s product React Native is enough to grab attention, still, it does come with the required qualities to be famous among the developers’ community.

Applications like Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Amazon Prime Video, Flipkart online shopping, and many others have used React Native.

The top features that make React Native popular among the developers:

  • Reusable code and building blocks: Being a cross-platform framework, it
    lets developers use code for the app across different platforms, saving time and energy. React Native subtract the development effort to half for the developers, enhancing their productivity. For businesses, it’s a cost-effective choice. Also, for companies that already have web apps written in React, it’s easier for them to use a portion of the code from their web app to save both time and cost.
    React Native being is an open-source library, offering the right quantity of off-the-shelf elements for mobile app developers.
  • Live and Hot Reloading: Developers need to compile the code for several
    times before it goes live. With the help of a live reloading tool, developers
    can efficiently edit the code and make changes in it. Hot reloading makes the
    code compilation a less tedious task for any app developers. When changes are
    made to code, React Native development environment maintains a particular state
    of the app, so that developers don’t need to create state every time while
    changing the code manually. Developers can keep the app running while working
    on the new version and changing the UI.
  • Debugging: With the help of chrome browser’s debugging tools, React Native allows app debugging. It is as efficient as debugging in iOS or Android.

Advantages of React Native

  • React native app development takes a short time to build reliable yet better mobile apps. As the open-source library offers different vital components, building an app on React Native is often faster. According to a statistics, it is seen a decrease of 30% development time while working on React Native. Even using redux (one of the JS libraries) can help to reduce more development time.
  • For the majority of the companies and developers, cross-platform flexibility is the
    main attraction to use React Native framework. Mostly React APIs are cross-platform oriented, which means at least component supports with Android or iOS. React Native also provides module and platform that supports file extensions.
  • It has third-party plugin compatibility with less memory usage for a rich experience. It provides the function that allows replying on WebView for many functionalities such as Google Maps to the application.
  • With the extensive use of JS, developers have the choice to directly send updates to
    the user’s applications instead of taking it to the app store update cycle. This ensures that users can use the updated versions of the app immediately, avoiding all the issues associated with the older version. The whole procedure is streamlined correctly.

Limitations of React Native

  • React Native has a FlatList library to work with long lists, but that’s not as mature as UICollectionView on iOS or RecyclerView on Android.
  • Despite its daily improvements, React Native misses some basic components. It comes with only a few custom modules. Also, the navigator component isn’t very robust and missing some components too.
  • While using ListView in Android, it experiences memory leak issues.
  • It takes time to upgrade to a new version of React Native. This framework is difficult to maintain, and it takes time to debug.
  • React Native doesn’t support a few vital APIs and functionalities.
  • There are some difficulties in animating things while using React Native.

In what way we can say it a future?

Undeniable, using React Native, developers can build mobile apps that look similar to the apps built using Java or Objective-C. Though it uses the same fundamental User Interface building blocks as iOS and Android apps, developers can assemble the blocks using React and JavaScript.

As a majority of the React Native APIs are cross-platform, it has become hugely popular among the developers. Also, the business that is looking for budget mobile app development React Native is one of the best choices for them. React Native, along with JS, runs the complex apps smoothly. Therefore, businesses find it to be a competitive solution for building robust apps.

Other app frameworks that are doing well, but selecting the right app development framework of any business is crucial.

React Native app development is supported by Facebook engineering. Therefore, it supports a large community of developers. Facebook is continuously working on improving the framework. React Native brings the agility & speed of web app development to hybrid app development with all the native functionality.
It has a better future, provided the business and developers know when to use it and in what way.

When to choose React Native for mobile app development?

Developers who know JavaScript or Swift or Java (certain UI elements & platform APIs), can work on React Native. It let the programmers reuse the code. Facebook, Instagram are some good examples using React Native features. However, it's the best solution for small and medium hybrid mobile apps where the server-side handles the heavy computation.

Things to consider, apps running on the React Native often consume more RAM, and battery drains out more than native app. If a business expects its users to use the app for an extended time, they must choose a native apps. Sometimes, integrating features of React Native in native apps (existing iOS or Android) enhances the overall mobile app quality.

It is one of the preferred frameworks for e-commerce apps, as it takes less time for UI development compared to native. If the apps have more tabs, navigation, animations, third-party libraries, it becomes slower.

The issues reported for React Native may not be permanent, as the community and Facebook engineers are always working to fix any issues. The development process and need depends on the business you are in and the requirement. You must seek the support of your mobile app development team to find the best framework & technology for your app.


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