Why You Should Use React Native for Your Application Development

Why You Should Use React Native for Your Application Development

Open-sourced by Facebook 5 years ago, React Native was developed to create Native UI elements with JavaScript following an internal hackathon. For developers who wanted to create native user interfaces using tooling of their choice, Javascript, React Native was the perfect solution. Over the past few years, React Native Development has grown rapidly.

But, why? Let's review some past developer experiences. The process of creating an app has never been easier, with thousands of resources available on the internet and a number of developers who provide tutorials on a regular basis. Nevertheless, Android and iOS have always been at odds with each other.

Are you interested in developing Android Apps with a wide reach and a large audience by learning Java/Kotlin? According to the latest reports, there are 2.56 million apps just on Google Play Store. That means that the average consumer has a lot of choices.

On average, iOS consumers spend 2.5 times more than Android users. Would you rather have a much more lucrative iOS platform? You would then have to pursue an objective-C/Swift learning path.

A few Facebook developers realized that they had to use different languages to develop apps that did essentially the same thing so they created Javascript, a language that can be Used to build Android and iOS apps with React Native. React Native is the framework they created.

Throughout Facebook's history, the company has underlined the value of "Learning Once, Writing Anywhere," and React Native is a perfect application of this maxim. Without further ado, let's dive right into why you should consider implementing React Native for your app development needs.


1: Supports Cross-Platform App Development

You can ask any developer on the planet how much hassle it is to maintain both Android and iOS apps, as they were written in different languages and use different frameworks.

An app that is developed on one platform ensures consistency of experience across multiple platforms. An expert Javascript developer who is comfortable with native UI libraries, APIs, and hybrid apps is all that is required.

Note: Although you won't have to learn native programming languages in detail all the time, there might still be instances when you have to use native development. The problem occurs especially when you want to integrate native Android/iOS SDKs, but there is no React Native SDK available or when certain native features aren't available with React Native.


2: Develop Apps Faster (Move Fast to Build Breakthrough Things?)

A large online support community is growing by the day, and React Native has been around for more than half a decade. So what does all of this mean for an average developer? In most cases, you do not have to build the entire system from scratch because there are a lot of relevant components already available.

In a React Native app, the probability of finding a bug is greatly reduced because of a single line of code. Therefore, it is faster than ever to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Your MVP can be released with just the bare minimum functionality and you can keep all the additional features for later development.

After you determine what additional features are needed, you can proceed to implement them rather than wasting resources and time on elaborate interfaces. You should get your app out as soon as possible, see what is working and what is not, and then put your weight behind what is working.

With a shared layer between iOS and Android, React Native apps can be developed at least 30% faster.


3:  Update Apps Without Having to Visit the App Stores - Code Push

You might discover that you overlooked a typo or wanted to tweak a very small feature of the app once it has been published on the App Store or the Play store. By adding new features to native apps, you have to go through the build process again and upload the new versions to the store.

Afterwards, Apple or Google will have to approve the updates, followed by users installing the updated apps.

All of this happened before Code Push - which was used by React Native and Apache Cordova. With App Center, users can see changes in the app without needing to relaunch the app as the app is automatically updated during run time.


4: Work with a Tight Budget

The development of React Native apps is significantly faster than building separate Android and iOS apps. Using React Native offers obvious time-saving benefits, but another important advantage is the money you will save.

When your startup is starting out, you need to maximize the ROI of every dollar you spend. Instead of hiring separate iOS and Android developers, you can instead divert those resources to hire a skilled React developer. While there are cross-platform options such as Xamarin and Cordova, developers agree that they do not provide the most user-friendly experience.


5: Reduce Development Complexity (Simple and Supple)

React simplifies complicated tasks by providing easy-to-read code. Using Facebook's UI library, this framework produces code that is simple to understand and implements React JS.

App development projects usually have different expected outcomes, and React Native provides a simple solution to a variety of these problems.

The "Hot Reload" feature of React Native provides a live preview of the code and its actual impact, so developers can see how their code affects the app in real-time. In this way, developers commit as few errors as possible and make the code as bug-free as possible.

The hot reload app allows the code to be corrected and customized while the app is being uploaded. When a state changes, you can still see the system from an independent perspective.


6: Looks like a Native App

Native UI components are part of React Native apps as opposed to those made with Phonegap or Ionic. By using this latter method, the user experience is always similar to that of a web application, rather than a native app. This is where React Native shines.

Your application can use elements that are native to the mobile interface using React Native. In React Native, components adapt to the native components of other platforms, rather than rendering the same element on both platforms (ex. Button). React Native incorporates building blocks from the native user interface with Javascript.

The result?  Applications look and work like native applications, and the user experience is greatly enhanced. Additionally, since React uses the same building blocks for iOS and Android, the look and feels that users expect will be the same across both platforms. 

It is also possible to write native code with React code, resulting in functionality similar to that of a native app. This further accentuates the "native-like" appearance of the app.


7: Same Programming Language Makes Things Straightforward

When building an app using React Native, the primary code base will use the same foundational programming language on both Android and iOS.

The process is similar to building an app and deploying it both on the Play Store and App Store. Additionally, you can recompile the app easily without having to change anything in the framework.

While other Javascript-for-mobile approaches wrap your Javascript code into a web view, in React, a component describes its appearance. React handles the rendering after this stage, creating a nice layer of abstraction between these two functions. Through this abstraction layer, referred to as "the bridge," React Native is able to call the rendering APIs on iOS (real UI Views) and Android (native Views).

Most of your code will be written in Javascript and CSS using React Native. The JavaScript Engine of the host platform is then used to run your application by React. As a result, you benefit from native performance, behavior, and animations without having to write any Java or Objective C code.

Being mostly based on Javascript, you can take advantage of a lot of the advantages of web development, such as being able to instantly see changes to your code when you "refresh" your application.


8: Lots of Ready-Made Solutions and Libraries

With React Native, there are plenty of ready-made solutions and libraries that make development easier.

There are several testing libraries, such as Jest, Chai, Mocha and Enzyme, that can help you write bug-free code. The Expo toolchain is a free and open-source program that lets you run tests on new features and monitor the progress of your app.

In React Native, you can esily check your code for errors by employing a process called linting, and ESLint is a great tool to help with this task. In addition, type checking is now faster thanks to tools such as Flow and PropType.

The Redux library provides state management for React Native applications. This collection of tools and libraries allows you to easily move heavy computation toward the server and build cloud-native apps.


9: Supported by Facebook

In order to promote React Native in a meaningful way, Facebook keeps updating the framework with updated features and new solutions. The React Native Development platform has already been around for six years and has a thriving developer community.

With its easy-to-use language and cross-platform compatibility, React Native is becoming increasingly popular with developers. In React Native's Github repository, you can see that almost 2000 developers have committed more than 16000 times in 72 branches, with more than 300 releases. Facebook itself uses more than 750 React Native screens per app.

Since the learning curve is not steep, even general-purpose developers can build apps with only minimal assistance from mobile app specialists. With support from tech giants like Facebook, React Native is fast becoming a standard for mobile app development.

In January 2018, Facebook opened the door to the discussion of what should be included in React Native releases by creating a React-Native-releases-repository where everyone could contribute to React Native releases.

It looks like this trend isn't slowing down anytime soon, as companies like Skype, Uber, Tesla, Walmart, Pinterest, and Bloomberg have already adopted React Native.


10: Individual Users get Personalized UX

The React Native framework was built with the ability to segregate Framework code, Native code, Javascript code, and styling code. This means developers can easily create different styles for the app on the server-side.

Now developers can create a personalized experience for each user on a single application. Personalization is one of the most important aspects of digital transformation.

React Native allows such high levels of personalization that you can define, on the server-side, personalized styles per group, and then each user would see their own individualized experience.


11: Third-Party Plugins

Online libraries are available for React Native. It keeps on increasing as more and more companies, such as Wix, support it.

Building an app from scratch, with an original software foundation, can be an expensive and time-consuming affair. To overcome this challenge, you need to re-use some of the existing components, and this is where third-party plugins come in.

Third-party plugins do away with the need to use specific Web View functions. The React Native framework can act as the connector between the plugin and native modules. There are a variety of options available for linking the processes, which provide faster loading, smoother operation, as well as better memory management.

Simply head to your favorite React Native community or library, look for the appropriate plugin for your app, and use it.


12: Developer Availability and Community

There is no better reason to use React Native than the ease with which we can locate developers. React Native has a very robust online community thanks to Facebook's involvement in the development space.

A constant stream of updates and improvements is conducted by Facebook engineers, which keeps the platform relevant. Furthermore, React is among the three most widely used libraries.

As Javascript is one of the most widely accepted programming languages, a large pool of specialists has mushroomed who can develop React Native applications. Because Javascript has a wide array of applications and is mature, even new developers can quickly become proficient in it.

Your app can be developed using React Native by a smaller team of designers, programmers, quality assurance specialists, etc. With React Native being such a popular programming language, finding a developer to replace the one who left the organization is easy.

A Forbes article states that smaller companies are also more innovative and involved. This makes React Native the best choice.


13: Access to Native API

It is possible to simulate the look and feel of the UI very closely with React Native, compared to the look and feel of Javascript. The development process becomes simpler and the UI is responsive more quickly.

Because React Native's components match 1:1 with native development artefacts, the app looks as if it were native.

Furthermore, React Native seamlessly integrates with existing code, since it's designed to run on native platforms. Developers can thus build complex applications with minimal coding.


Read More: Why Should You Choose React Native for Your Next Project ?


14: Easier Debugging

The biggest benefit of having a single codebase for Android and iOS is that bugs can be detected more easily. With React code, you only need to update once for both platforms.

You can ask any developer, and they'll tell you that debugging isn't the most enjoyable job. You have to spend hours looking at your program, or the program of others, and pinpoint exactly where the developer made a silly syntax error.

It will save your team countless hours of tracking down two different codebases with React Native. By fixing the bug in one place, all the bugs in all the different operating systems are eliminated at once, helping you deliver consistent behaviour across all platforms.

If you or your team is developing a native mobile app, then you or your team will need to use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), where you will have to familiarize yourself with the debugger. React Native allows you to use a few commonly available tools, like console.log or Nuclide, a plugin from Facebook.

Furthermore, React Native's "hot reload" feature enables developers to run tasks like error handling at runtime and see the results immediately on the running app. If developers used React Native Development, they would have to halt the entire system, apply the fix, and then restart it. Users won't be affected by developer updates pushed later.

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