React Native for Developing Cross-Platform Apps

react native for developing cross-platform apps

React Native for Developing Cross-Platform Apps

Selecting a core technology is one of the most important criteria in the app development process. It determines the total cost of a mobile app, its maintenance and how fast the mobile app can be shipped to the market.

React Native is a promising technology in the field of cross-platform app development since developers can deliver high-quality apps using a minimum number of resources.

If you are also thinking of using react native for developing cross-platform apps, then you need to know about the pros and cons of it.

So, here goes the list…

Pros of React Native for Developing Cross-Platform Apps:

1. Covers both the platforms

When developers are using React Native, the same team can build an app for Android as well as iOS. So, one does not have to spend extra on hiring two different teams and the project can be handled efficiently.

Also, React Native is based on JavaScript which is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. So, hiring developers for React Native won’t be a tough job.

2. App Development is Faster

While using React, a significant part of the code can be shared between two platforms. This means it is a huge cost saving method as the same code can be utilized for Android as well as iOS.

For example, Walmart reused 95% of its code for its mobile app.

Even if a majority of the features are different for Android and iOS, this can be reduced down to 30% of similarity which is still a huge cost saving. Moreover, the same code can also be used to develop a website using React.

3. Native User Experience

A cross-platform user interface (UI) may feel off as compared to the native ones. But with React, the UI is built using native components. Hence, it provides the platforms’ trademark look.

This is the reason why React Native apps give native user experience.

4. High Performance

As these apps are developed using native API, the performance is similar to the native Android/iOS apps. Also, the JavaScript code is executed on a separate thread blocking the UI rendering.

5. Hot Reloading

With native app development, debugging is quite slow. But with React Native, the developers can see the changes made in the code in real-time while the app is running. This ultimately saves a lot of debugging time.

6. Updates without app store approval

Mobile apps release new versions once every two weeks. But this requires an approval from the App Store; each time you push an update.

With React Native, your app updates can bypass the App Store. This means updates can be made quickly and easily without any store approvals.

Cons of React Native for Developing Cross-Platform Apps:

1. Dependence on Facebook

React Native is supported by tech giant Facebook. So, if one day Facebook ceases its support for React Native then it might collapse altogether.

However, chances of this unlikely event are considerably low. But it still remains a fact that React Native is dependent over Facebook.

2. Performance Complexities

For most of the cases, React Native apps perform well.

However, in some cases like UI components created using Java/Objective-C/Swift; the modules communicate with the JS part of the app using a ‘bridge’ that is asynchronous.

With each pass along the bridge, the app takes a slight performance hit. If the app consists of a lot of complex interactions, then the performance of such an app might degrade.

3. Few Third Party Components

React Native is a small community and it is still in its infancy stage. For this reason, there aren’t many third-party components that work with it.

If there’s a problem while developing the app, you are most likely to find a ready-made solution in the form of third-party components.

For Android or iOS app, this shouldn’t be a problem as the community is very large. But with React Native, this might be a problem.

4. Feature Lag

Giants like Apple and Android constantly focus on bringing new features to their OS.

React Native is a comparatively small community and even though it is focused on bringing updates; the functionality updates take time.

So if someone wants to introduce a feature like Face ID in their app, then they have to build native bridges or wait until someone from React Native community comes with the required update.

Also, React Native only supports fewer versions like Android 4.1+ and iOS 8.0 +.

So, if your app wants to support lower versions, then you have to find some other solution.

5. Need for Native Developers

Native modules are required when React Native falls short in some of the brand new updates like Face ID as we mentioned earlier.

However, to implement these modules, you again require a native app developer for your project. This can cost you additional charges. For well-developed businesses, this might not be an issue but for startups, this can be a problem.

Conclusion

So, these are some of the pros and cons you should evaluate by yourself before you select React Native for Developing Cross-Platform Apps. The right selection of platform goes a long way in bringing benefit to the app project.

Have you already used React Native for your app development process? Tell us your experience in comments. What are the difficulties that you faced while using it?

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Dharmik
dharmik.babariya@tecocraft.com
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