Demand for mobile applications has increased dramatically in recent years. The main advantage of a mobile app is that the user can access it from anywhere and in any situation. Only in 2019, there were 204 billion app downloads, and this figure keeps growing.
Modern mobile apps are becoming more sophisticated. Users increase their requirements for functionality, and developers are looking for convenient solutions to create apps fast and efficiently. In most cases, mobile applications are designed for iOS and Android platforms, and each of them has its own native software interface. However, more and more products are built on React Native today. Still, what is so special about React Native that developers turn to it in the first place?
About React Native
This framework is free and available to everyone. It was released by Facebook in 2015. Despite its young age and much criticism, many developers opt for this solution when they have a task to build a cross-platform product.
This framework is based on React. React is a perfect instrument for creating user interfaces. Its main benefit is the ability to successfully reflect web pages on the screen. The framework splits each page into smaller elements. It is very convenient for creating web applications.
In React Native, the user interface is created declaratively. The only difference is that React JS builds UI elements in the browser, while React Native allows you to convert standard VDOM elements to native visuals for every mobile platform. It is expected that React Native will soon support not only Android and iOS alone. It can already be used for Windows products.
Technical Capabilities of React Native
Advantages of RN Framework
The authors of this framework built it on the React library. The key feature is that it allows you to create products working ideally on various platforms. But there are other benefits too.
Optimal lead time
This feature is crucial when it comes to MVP development. All customers want to receive a prototype as soon as possible. React Native apps are built in a modular pattern. The application is literally composed of elements that integrate with each other. Advanced developers can complete such a product in a couple of weeks. Less time spent helps to reduce the cost of the application for the customer. And this is very important at the MVP stage.
Simultaneous development for iOS and Android
There is no need to split development for each platform. The application will work using intermediate libraries. Therefore, the apps will run equally well on both iOS and Android. Moreover, you can make updates to both platforms in one go.
Creating a program using native languages such as Java, Objective-C, and C# will take a long time. If you hire a specialist who works with all these languages, it will cost you a fortune. It can become a serious obstacle if you plan to create an MVP. In this situation, React Native development is an ideal solution for a cheap prototype.
Simplified technical support
Further servicing and upgrades of the application are easier. The number of specialists with React Native qualifications is steadily growing. It makes application maintenance much cheaper. Eventually, you will be able to modify the app on your own if you have a relevant specialist in your team.
Another reason explaining the huge popularity of React Native is its widespread coverage. The framework is used by industry giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Tesla, Baidu, Bloomberg, etc. The number of active contributors to React Native reached 20,000 people in 2020.
Minuses of React Native
You ought to know which problems you may face when choosing this framework.
Although React Native supports a huge number of APIs, there is still a need to use other interfaces through built-in modules. These modules are mostly part of the code written in the native language and then integrated into the existing code. So, you need to have sufficient knowledge of the native language and be well-versed in its tools. Because of these restrictions, only professional developers can make proper connections with React Native elements.
Android and iOS use different design principles. It means that with React Native, you have to include multiple if-statements along with some separate code to fit within the graphical layout.