Those working in – or even familiar with – the mobile application development industry know the name React Native. Some people have even dubbed it “The Future Of Mobile App Development”. Certainly it will take time for React Native to take over if it truly is destined to be the future of mobile app development, but it has made significant moves in the industry so far. The solidly established development framework is now being used by top companies and developers to make their apps. Some of your favorite companies and services might be using React Native. Here are just a few: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloomberg, Skype, Uber, Walmart, Discord, and over 500 more.
React Native is obviously a good enough framework for some of the world’s biggest companies. But is it right for you or your company’s app? That question still remains. While some love the ease and vault of features that React Native have to offer, others doubt its reliability. Whether it is a lack of customization options or a disbelief in the nature of the technology, doubt still surrounds React Native. So, while the jury is still out on the framework, each app developer – and business owner – must carefully consider whether or not React Native is right for their next app.
What Is React Native?
Not to be confused with its elder relative, React, React Native is a full-featured development framework that allows a user to create apps that work with both of the major platforms – iOS and Android. Those familiar with web design will be very familiar with working through a framework. For example, Bootstrap is a popular framework that allows responsive layouts on devices with different screen sizes. Similarly, React Native allows your app to fully run on different devices without the need for you to adjust the code. On top of this flexibility, React Native offers a full suite of features, including animations, widgets, Flexbox UI styling, and the new React language. We’ll dive into these further in a bit.
How Is React Native Used In Mobile App Development?
You might remember that we mentioned a past relative of React Native, React. Though there is only a one-word difference between their names, they could hardly be more different. React is a library used for creating user interfaces (UIs). On the other hand, React Native is a full-service framework with everything you need to develop a mobile app. React itself may be enough if you are simply developing for the web, but when you develop a mobile application, React Native is the way to go.
What Are The Features Of React Native?
We have already touched on the flexibility that React Native offers by eliminating the need for native-language coding. You automatically save time and money by not having to code in these languages. Not to mention, you get more app exposure by being able to offer your app to users on both platforms. However, there are more benefits to using the React Native framework for developing your app.
Widgets and Animations: Widgets and animations help your app “pop” and stand out from the rest. Widgets are also great for letting users extend your app’s functionality past the app itself and directly onto their home screen. There are plenty of functional and stylish widgets and animations built into the React Native framework that you can add to your app.
Flexbox UI Styling: Flexbox is a great tool for designing your app’s UI. Thankfully, it is built right into the React Native framework. This makes designing user-friendly layouts a breeze and implementing them into your app even easier.
React: Here it is again; the React language. Since React Native is an offshoot of React, the latter is built into the framework. You have the tools of React at your disposal all while working within a mobile app context through React Native.
Cons Of React Native Mobile Development
While React Native is a great way to give your app development an upgrade, it isn’t all flowers. There are a few unfortunate thorns in the framework which cause some skeptics to doubt its usefulness as the framework of the future. For one, it can cause slightly worsened performance. Since the React Native framework is extra code (bulky, clunky code at times) it can increase demand on the user’s device and slow down performance. The extent to which it slows down depends on the size and complexity of your app.
On top of slowed performance, React Native can be complex to work with depending on the content of your app. Since Android and iOS have different guidelines, you may be working with a lot of if-statements and separate coding within your one app to ensure your graphical elements and UI look right.
React Native: Worth It Or Not?
At the end of the day, whether or not you should use React Native for your app development project depends heavily on your requirements and what you hope to get out of it. If you aren’t sure that React Native will have enough features, then you might want to go the long route and develop two separate applications for each platform from scratch. If you’re worried about needing exhaustive coding knowledge of difficult languages, then React Native is a good choice. Before starting development, be sure to take some time to review the pros and cons of this versatile framework and see if it fits your needs.