Web & Mobile Development
February 20, 2023

Should I use React Native for my mobile application in 2023?

Read about why React Native is still a best choice for developing mobile applications in 2023.

Outline and Introduction: What is React Native and How Does It Work?

React Native was created by Facebook in 2015. It is an open-source framework that uses JavaScript as its foundation. It offers comparable functionality, which eliminates the requirement to compile other technologies in order to construct cross-platform programs using the same codebase. React Native was used in the creation of Skype, Instagram, Uber Eats, and other applications.

ReactJS and React Native

Web applications' user interfaces are built with ReactJS (that is, apps that run on a web browser).

Mobile applications that operate on both iOS and Android devices are created using React Native (that is, cross-platform mobile applications). 

How does it work? For the creation of interactive user interfaces, React uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In contrast, React Native builds mobile apps using native UI elements and APIs but still using the same syntax - JSX. Thanks to that, developers can construct cross-platform mobile applications using React Native by using their existing skills with web development tools including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the React core library. 

The similarities between React DOM and React Native are as follows:

  • Because both of them employ the same component-based architecture, programmers can divide their programs into smaller, easier-to-manage components.
  • Both of them employ JSX(syntax extension) as their templating language and JavaScript as their programming language.
  • Both of them make use of Chrome DevTools to debug programs.
  • The basic React library is utilized by both of them.
  • The JavaScript APIs are the same.
  • The styling methods and components used by React DOM and React Native are similar

Why Use React Native for Mobile Application Development?

Simple advantages of using React Native:

  • Uses JavaScript which almost all developers know which brings the hourly cost of employing a dev or software development agency significantly down. 
  • Can create apps for multiple platforms using a single codebase.
  • Understands the importance of code reusability and promotes it.
  • Growing and active community.
  • Helps in accelerating coding time.

Cost-effectiveness: React Native is extremely cost-effective because the same codebase can be utilized across different platforms. The use of the same code base across platforms leads to quicker time-to-market, lower maintenance, and a simpler onboarding process for new engineers joining the project, among other advantages.

Performance: When compared to alternative cross-platform solutions, React Native's bridge idea significantly improves performance. Additionally, as it permits the use of natively written code, it is not as sluggish as alternative methods.

Simple UI: React Native development builds the app's interface using React JavaScript, which makes it more responsive and faster with a reduced load time, improving the user experience overall.

Fast refresh: This feature enables developers to update the app to new versions and change the UI while the app is still in use. The developer is spared from having to completely rebuild the software because changes take effect right away.

We can’t only talk about the positives without highlighting the negatives, each language has its own pros and cons, here are the disadvantages of using React Native:

  • Not native
  • Does not provide innovative, out-of-the-box components
  • Limited choices
  • Abandoned libraries and packages 
  • Larger apps
  • UI can be hampered easily and needs to undergo vigorous UI testing

A bit of comment on that last point. We stumbled upon this “UI requiring a lot of QA testing” issue while developing a mobile application for a health-tech company from the UK. The app’s main functionality was the graph with saved data points, where there were a lot of dynamic elements with moving health ranges, graph lines changing based on date and different blood results. We’ve learned that developing applications with React Native requires extra careful testing on multiple devices. 

How React Native can Help You Build Amazing iOS and Android Apps in Less Time

“One code to rule them all.”

Who's using React Native in their mobile applications: 

  • Facebook.
  • Facebook Ads.
  • Oculus.
  • Walmart.
  • Shopify.
  • Bloomberg.
  • Instagram.
  • Microsoft; Office, Xbox Pass, Skype. 
  • Wix. 
  • Discord. 

You can preview the full list here: https://reactnative.dev/showcase 

We strongly recommend checking some examples below with guidelines:

Differences Between Flutter and React Native to Make the Right Choice for Your App

React Native and Flutter are amazing choices for developing a cross-platform application, however, they share several differences which make them unique from each other. 

The main difference is the programming language that both frameworks utilize. Based on JavaScript, React Native makes use of JSX. But Flutter makes use of the Dart programming language. Both frameworks have different architectural designs. React Native employs the Flux framework, which also necessitates JavaScript bridging, while Flutter uses the 2D graphic rendering package Skia. Here, JavaScript bridging is required for React Native in order to facilitate interaction between JavaScript and Native code. Flutter, however, lacks a programming bridge. Excellent documentation is available for Flutter and React Native. Flutter, however, provides documentation that is better organized and structured. Because it relies so largely on third-party libraries, React Native documentation is not well maintained.

Developers must download the binaries from GitHub in order to install Flutter, and must also configure their system's environment variables. React Native, on the other hand, requires only one command on your console to install it using the node package manager (NPM).

React Native uses third-party customization components, whereas Flutter relies on its own bespoke widgets. Flutter provides increased compatibility as a result. Moreover, React Native employs JSX, whereas Flutter development is purely based on Widgets. React Native also offers stronger 3D support than Flutter. 

Which is better, Flutter or React Native? Depends upon the developer’s preferences and the requirements of the project, but because Flutter uses Dart, which compiles more quickly than JavaScript, it offers good performance by default. However, Statista reports that only 6.54% of people utilize Dart, indicating that fewer engineers are able to master Dart. Furthermore, because it is not commonly used, it is restricted by a number of IDEs and does not offer support for the language. React Native's architecture includes JavaScript bridging, which is one of the factors that slow it down compared to Flutter. Even if Flutter is quicker, the large file size is another issue for Flutter developers. Because it makes using JavaScript so simple, React Native has more community support. It saved developers a ton of time by preventing them from having to learn a completely new language.

What are the Best Practices for Developing Mobile Applications with React Native?

We could've prepared a nice long list here, but we've stumbled upon those well-prepared articles. For React Native's best coding practices for developers, we recommend reading these two articles below:


Summary and final thoughts

You’ve now discovered some of the benefits of React Native, but if you're still not sure if you should use it in your project, here’s what it can help you with: 

Reduce time and costs. - The best available solution for building apps that run on both iOS and Android is React Native. By cutting the codebase by about 95%, you can save time and money. For React Native, there are also a variety of open-source libraries with pre-built components that can speed up the development process even further. React Native apps are simple to write, saving developers' time and project managers' costs.

Make excellent mobile apps - React Native is great for mobile apps. The user experience is slick, fluid, and responsive while load times are significantly reduced. Without sacrificing functionality or quality, React Native enables developers to produce apps far faster and more economically than they could with native development.

Employ existing abilities - React Native is built on JavaScript, therefore your developers won't require much time to get to know it. Having said that, there is a ton of online assistance available if they ever need it because it is an open-source and community-driven framework.

Add supplemental plugins - Additionally, React Native makes it simple to include third-party APIs and plug-ins, such as payment processors and maps.

Option to add Native elements on most important/dedicated functionalities. - Since React Native is just a wrapper for native components, there’s nothing stopping you from adding native Java or Swift code where you need it. At the end of the day, you’re still coding in JavaScript. 





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