When to choose and when to avoid React Native for creating mobile apps?

by Emily on May 26, 2020

in Articles

Application development using cross-platform languages has become the preferred alternative to native mobile app development. The native mobile app development provides you with separate tools to create different applications for both Android and iOS. On the other hand, cross-platform languages allow you to cut expenses, save time and efforts by using the same base code that can be used across both platforms.

Correspondingly, React Native is a framework which is making its place in mobile app solutions and can be extensively considered for the future of cross-platform mobile application development by react native app developers across the globe. This is because React Native is a promising cross-app platform app development solution with immense scope for growth. 

Out of all the cross-platform mobile app developers, 42% of the developers use React Native globally. 

Let’s dive into the discussion of when to choose React Native and when to avoid it for creating mobile apps beginning with 

What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source framework introduced by Jordan Walke, a software engineer from Facebook. It has a large community of developers now. The base language used in it is JavaScript to create apps for iOS and Android. 

It is worth mentioning that React Native uses native UI elements making RN-based apps look and behave like native iOS and Android ones. This makes the React Native applications function the same as native applications. They don’t differ from applications built on Java, objective-c or Swift. 

However, with react native, building a mobile app is comparatively faster and less expensive.

When to choose React Native?

Mighty companies like Tesla, Walmart, and Uber Eats are developing apps using React Native. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram also integrated some React Native features into their existing apps.

This shows that React Native is the right choice not only for simple apps but also for the advanced apps. According to some software consulting companies in India, React Native is a perfect choice for small scale mobile applications. Still, it fits better with the apps that have a more sophisticated server to carry out computation processes.

Being an open-source language, plenty of documentation is available for free to anyone who joins the community, and each experience could be shared with the community as a whole. React Native further comprises many benefits and surprises for the developers.

Benefits of Using React Native.

In general, building a cross-platform mobile application provides several benefits. Let us discuss some more advantages and benefits of using React Native.

1- Reusable Code and Pre-built Components:

This is one of the most significant advantages of react-native. Using the convenience of this framework, developers do not need to build a separate mobile app for every platform as the majority of the React Native code can be reused between iOS and Android.

2-Third Party Plugin Support:

The react Native is still advancing, so it might lack some components in the core framework. React Native provides two types of third-party plugins in order to fill this gap. The plugins are: Native Modules and JavaScript modules.

For instance, if you need to add Google Maps or Calendar to your basic app functionality, React Native allows you to link any plugin with a native or third-party module. There are many third-party plugins available among which the most prominent ones are React Native Selectme, React Native Vector Icons, React Native Gifted Spinner, and React Native Modalbox. 

3- Simplified UI:

React Native is all about mobile UI. When we compare this framework to other frameworks like AngularJS or MeteorJS, we get to know that it looks more like a JavaScript library than a framework.

When building a mobile app, it is essential to create a sequence of actions and React Native makes an implementing order just perfect. Also, user interfaces designed in React Native are more responsive, decreasing load time, and providing a smoother feel.

4- Modular Programming:

A software designing technique that is used for separating the functionality of programs into several interchangeable or independent blocks, known as modules, is known as modular programming.

With React, Native comes to an intuitive modular setup that aids the developers immensely by offering them the capacity to update and upgrade the applications easily. It provides flexibility within the development team as developers can delve into each other’s project if required making it extremely easy to generate updates.

5- Declarative Coding Style:

In declarative programming, it is described what the program must do and not how to do it. This is the opposite of imperative programming. In declarative coding style, React Native code is made extremely flexible and understandable for developers. 

The declarative style simplifies coding paradigms and the coding process. This results in code that is easier to read for both the system and developers. The brilliant UI makes it so simple for the developer to take a look and understand the code.

6- Live reloading and Hot Reloading:

When it comes to React native in mobile app development, live reloading and hot reloading are not the same things. 

Live Reloading reads and compiles a file in which changes were made by a developer. Then LR provides a new file to the simulator. This file automatically reloads the mobile app from the start point.

In Hot reloading, Hot Module Replacement or the HMR is the base. It was brought to the scene for posting the first option for reloading.

The HMR comes into action when the developers need help in the insertion of an updated file to the required place as the application runs. This is done by simply pressing Ctrl+S. The advantage of hot reload is the ability to make changes in the source code so they can be seen without being recompiled. 

Now that we have discussed the prominent benefits let us move towards the second part of our discussion, and that is

When to avoid React Native? 

Despite the tremendous breakthroughs that React Native brought to simplify app development, it has a lot of criticism as well. Though many mobile app development companies in India show their trust in React Native by choosing it for hybrid mobile app development practices, it has few limitations.

Let’s take a look.

1- JavaScript Tooling:

JavaScript is a very flexible and powerful language for programming, but it is also a weakly typed language. Some mobile app developers face a lack of type safety, making it difficult to scale the app.

As a result, engineers have to adopt other scripting languages like TypeScript or Flow to the existing infrastructure of the mobile app.

2- Complex UIs:

If you want to develop a mobile app that requires many graphical interactions like animations, transitions or complex gestures, then React Native might not be able to give you the desired results. 

Though, there is a gesture responder system to React Native that runs the lifecycle of all gestures in the app. When it comes to screens with complex gestures, the developers might have to face a few difficulties as compared to Android and iOS touch subsystems.

3- Initialization:

 Before react-native can render for the first time, it takes several seconds to initialize the runtime. This happens even on high-end mobile devices.

The reason behind this flaw of React Native is that the JavaScript thread also requires time to initialize.

4- Open Source Libraries:

Knowing several platforms for mobile app development is quite a daunting task for developers. It also demands time and efforts. The React Native libraries that have native bridges, such as for videos and maps, requires a deep understanding of three platforms to run successfully.

If the developer knows only one or two platforms, it will lead to the lack of problem-solving on Android and iOS. To avoid this, you must hire mobile app developers from a highly recognized company only. 

5-No Support For All APIs:

React Native introduced major updates like Auto-linking for iOS in React Native 0.60 update. These updates still do not have the freedom to use all the APIs.

6- Lacks flexibility:

Applications with intricate and extended User Interface found it challenging to work with its flat list library. Applications with complex UI prefer to stick with native coding solutions. This is for better flexibility and resources. 

Developers have also concluded that mobile apps that are meant for a single operating system do not go well with React Native. Hence, to maintain Flexibility and OS-specific features, native codes are more suitable for such kinds of applications.

Take Away:

Summing up the pros and cons of React Native, we can say that it is a go-to framework with amazing coding features for mobile app development, focusing primarily on hybrid and cross-platform mobile apps. RN not only simplifies the development process but also saves a lot of time. 

After considering all the above details, we can conclude that React Native framework for mobile app development can benefit your business up to 80% by saving you a great deal of time and money. But for this to happen as desired, you must get in touch with a top software consulting company in India. The experts can guide you better than anyone else. Choose wisely!

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