Turn to React Native for Cross-Platform Mobile App development
In my last blog post, I wrote about Native App v/s Hybrid App. Today, I am going to talk about React Native, which is a new technology that is being used to develop cross-platform Mobile Apps.
React Native though new, has a lot to offer. It all started with the intent of Facebook to make the development across mobile platforms quicker and with lesser developer efforts.
Being restricted by the specifics of the native platform languages, Facebook could not update their mobile app as quickly as they did it with their website.
The React Native evolution timeline consists of the following highlights:
Summer 2013 – React Native was born as a Facebook’s internal hackathon project.
January 2015 – React.JS Conference: the first React Native preview.
March 2015 – F8 Conference: React Native was announced open-source and available on GitHub.
September 2016 – UI Toolkit was launched for React Native.
September 2017 – First Conference on React Native in Poland.
The attractiveness of the React Native App development is that a developer is able to create one code base that will fit any platform without a necessity to learn iOS or Android programming languages. This approach was named ‘learn once, write anywhere.’
React Native vs. Hybrid App
When clients say that they want an App for all mobile platforms, they think that they only need one App, not different Apps written by different teams for iOS and Android.
Native Apps are always the best for each individual platform, as far as look, feel and performance is concerned. However, despite these benefits, Native App development is much more expensive.
First of all, mobile devices vary wildly. Different mobile devices have a variety of screens.
Android, in particular, has a catastrophic number of options to keep track and optimize. Secondly, the compiling time after every minor change seriously slows down development.
Another option is Hybrid App development. For example, if a client wants to test a startup idea to deliver it to the market quickly, the hybrid app is the way to go.
There are many Hybrid Apps like Basecamp or UntAppd in the app stores today. With the help of frameworks like Cordova and Ionic, hybrids can easily cope with most of the standard features and mimic Native behavior.
At a glance, it may seem that there are no differences between React Native and Hybrid App development. They both have a common aim: to facilitate Mobile App development and make native-looking Apps with less time, money and effort. But the Hybrid Apps runs on a base of WebView — a middle layer between an App and a Native shell.
Such an approach affects the app behavior, smoothness, and performance. React Native doesn’t use WebView and that makes the application speed up almost as good as in the native Android or iOS apps.
Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Walmart, Uber, Airbnb, and SoundCloud are built fully or partially with the help of React Native for both iOS and Android.
Disadvantages of React Native
React Native is still the new kid on the block as far as Mobile App development goes. Like any young technology, it still has got some issues, but despite that, improvements are quickly being implemented.
It is not just the Facebook developers who are working on the changes, but also developers from communities are also making valuable contributions. This is accelerating the rate of evolution of the technology and adding to its maturity.
The technology is skyrocketing and its high time that you embrace the same and get your existing Native or Hybrid Apps converted to React Native.