Hybrid app development enables a business to land its app on multiple platforms. React Native is one of the frameworks or hybrid app development platforms that facilitate a cross-platform, fully functioning app for businesses to reach a wider audience efficiently and in less time. And thus, benefits of React Native are worth discussing.
Starting with the basics, we would discuss the benefits of React Native for app development. Later in the blog, we would look at the use cases of React Native and how we can help in the process.
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What is React Native App Development?
Even though React Native is based on React, it targets mobile platforms, instead of the web. It leverages the Java script framework to write the code and most of it can be shared between platforms. As a result, React Native facilitates simultaneous development for both Android and iOS with the same codebase.
It currently allows developers to build natively rendered apps for iOS and Android, with great potential to diversify to other future platforms.
Some examples of React Native mobile apps are Instagram, Facebook, Skype, Uber, Pinterest, Salesforce, etc.
In fact, some stats suggest that 27% of industries of Information Technology and Services are making use of this framework and on the other hand, 17% of IT companies are using RN for overall app development work.
With React Native app development, an app developer writes the code in the JS framework and later complies it into native views. Thus, it does not use a web browser and is not restricted to web-based UI elements.
It instead offers a true native app view for each platform, feeling at home on the platform and making the first use comfortable for the user. These qualities make React Native better than other Hybrid app development technologies such as Ionic and Cordova.
Advantages of Using React Native for App Development
Benefits of React Native to businesses are great in number. The following are some of those benefits:
1. Code reusability
Instead, the UI elements and their styling are genericized in the code written, however, are rendered as the native views. This allows the developers to get a high degree of code reuse while still leaving them with a UI that is compatible with each platform’s style guide and best practices.
With around 90% of the code that can be reused between Android and iOS, React Native enhances app development speed and efficiency. In fact, Instagram shared that it is experiencing between 85 and 99% code reusability for its React Native projects.
2. Native app-like experience
React Native apps look, feel, and almost perform like native apps built for a specific platform. Their programming language is optimized for mobiles, making them faster and mobile-friendly. Moreover, it combines the building blocks from the native UI with its own JS, giving the look and feel of an app built for iOS or Android.
3. More development team flexibility
Since React Native comes with modular and intuitive architecture similar to React’s, it becomes very easy for other developers to work with the project of a developer and build upon it. This facilitates easy updates and upgrades to web applications.
On top of it, it takes less time for testers to understand the coding logic and build suitable testing scenarios.
4. Live and Hot reloading
The hot reloading feature of React Native allows developers to view and track the changes in real time that have been made to the code on the device or simulator. The updated code is entered back into the running app, without having to restart it or lose its progress.
Furthermore, with live reload, one can make changes to the code even while the app is loading, which would be shown in the app through an automatic reload.
The UI elements and style of the application could be tweaked using the hot reload feature, eliminating the need to rebuild them every time a change is initiated. Furthermore, a specific area of change could be reloaded to save time on the compilation.
5. UI Oriented
React Native allows developers to build fast, responsive as well as simple to complex UI designs with ease. The code written using React Native manages the execution through declarative syntax.
Further, the front-end UI library consists of pre-built declarative elements, making interfaces intuitive and simple.
6. Cost and time-efficient
The code reusability feature of React Native apps allows businesses to save both, time and costs. The cross-platform capabilities of React Native enable businesses to build just one app that would be compatible with both platforms, iOS and Android. This saves the time and cost of hiring multiple development teams and resources.
Furthermore, there are multiple in/pre-built components in this framework that further fasten the overall development process. Additionally, the hot reloading feature, in particular, facilitates an instant feedback loop, saving some more development time.
Overall development costs are saved up to 40% with React Native app development, as per reports. Maintenance and apps are simultaneously done for both apps, saving future time and costs. It is a relatively more affordable resource and time-efficient option than other hybrid apps.
7. Support for third-party integration
React Native is a framework that supports a wide range of third-party integrations. It allows you to integrate third-party libraries and services into the app seamlessly. This is an additional advantage of React Native that lacks with hybrid apps.
While some integrated libraries are written in JS, others are native modules that run on the device. This framework uses a native platform architecture, which allows the app to access the same set of APIs as an application. Written in the platform’s language.
8. Enhanced security
One of the major benefits of React Native app is security.
React Native apps offer almost similar functionalities as hybrid apps, but they are more secure than the latter. The former is distributed through app stores, whereas the latter relies on web technologies and is thus, more prone to cyber or other attacks.
Furthermore, React Native apps are built using native code, which is hard to be cracked. They also include features like encryption and secure storage, enhancing app security.
9. Large community support
Backed by Facebook, React Native development was a product of a hackathon effort back in 2013. It was introduced as a solution to what the developer’s community was seeking: a mobile development alternative that would create synergies between mobile app development and the agile native React environment.
Since then, it has been largely adopted and pushed forward by the large community of developers React Native is not just backed by Facebook but also by highly motivated JS and native developers willing to share the know-how and catalogs of freely available components.
Although there is always neck-to-neck competition between Flutter and React Native, the latter is older and more popular. React Native has more community support than the former. As per Google Trends data, around 61% of developers are more inclined toward Flutter, while about 81% prefer React Native for app development.
React Native app development is undoubtedly advantageous for businesses looking to target multiple platforms with cost and time efficiency. However, every framework or language has its most suitable use scenarios.
And businesses often face the question of React Native app or a Native app. Therefore, let’s look at some of the use cases of React Native over native apps. A business should go for React Native apps when:
The app is simple or not resource-heavy
The app needs to be launched on cross-platforms
Data needs to be shown on the front end of the app
The app does not require close integration with the device’s features
The application needs 3rd party integrations
The budget allocated is low and rigid
Time-to-market needs to be faster
Building a social media app or eCommerce app
The last section of this blog would leave the readers with happy emotions as we look at some companies and their successful journeys with React Native apps.
Successful React Native Apps
Some of the big brands have used React Native for their app development. Here are some of the brands that have leveraged the benefits of React Native to achieve their goals:
React Native is the brainchild of this California-based technology giant. The company uses 750+ React Native screens for its main app and multiple standalone apps.
Facebook’s Ad Manager app was developed using React Native. Codes for both iOS and Android versions were written by the same development team. Thanks to the code reusability, around 85% of the code that was written for iOS was used for Android.
Facebook Analytics was also developed using React Native.
Instagram’s React Native app was an attempt by the dev teams to enable faster features shipping in the app using code sharing and higher iteration speeds. And a rather successful one.
The adoption of React Native allowed the product teams to ship features much faster to both Android and iOS applications.
The percentage of code shared between the apps for some of the products was high and capable of bringing major positive changes. For example, the % of code shared for Lead Gen Ads (call to action surface that allows users to share information with advertisers) was 87%, which is a great number.
This mass media company, as per its team, switched to React Native in 2016 to rebuild their consumer mobile app for both, iOS and Android platforms and include a wide range of new, innovative features.
As a result, Bloomberg’s Business News app is built with React Native. It is an app that features stories, videos, live TV, and a personalized news feed. The app is said to have a great performance and interactive animations.
The ease of learning, hot reloading and quick iterations facilitated by React Native was appreciated by the team.
Uber launched its food delivery app in 2014. Since it had an already established, successful app for the parent company, the engineers at Uber were seeking an app that could leverage much of the existing tech stack to facilitate faster time-to-market.
A basic web page was developed for usage with tablet devices. Because of its web nature and constraints, multiple features that UberEATS was seeking were simply not feasible or were extremely limited in a browser.
So, the UberEATS team came up with the idea of creating an app using React Native. Started with a prototype to test the then newly launched framework, the company adopted the app after its successful run. The React Native app substituted the web-based dashboard and optimized the app features.
Our agile and highly skilled React Native app development teams help businesses create apps for both iOS and Android platforms with time and cost efficiencies. Our cross-platform developers study and understand a business’s unique requirements and build user-centric, engaging hybrid apps.
From React Native App ideation and design to development, migration, maintenance, and support, Big Oh offers professional services, with the goal to optimize business resources.
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Q1. What is the difference between react and react native?
Both mobile app development frameworks have their own pros, cons, and use cases. The framework to choose should largely depend on the project’s parameters, and the business needs surrounding it.
While Flutter is better for bigger apps and apps that need native programming, React Native is more suitable for apps with a platform-specific app design, require multiple interactions with an OS, or need little-known native libraries.
To fully leverage the benefits of React Native, a business should carefully choose the developer. A React Native developer should possess the following qualities:
a. He/She should have analytical as well as data structure and algorithm knowledge and skills b. He/She should have industry experience and domain expertise along with the practical know-how c. The developer should be updated with the latest tools and technologies d. The right developer should be open to challenges and be capable of engagement and collaboration e. Lastly, the developer should have the right attitude