Why Use React Native for Your Mobile App Development?
09 Apr

Why Use React Native for Your Mobile App Development?

Mahipal Nehra

Why Use React Native for Your Mobile App Development What is React Native and Why to use it?

What in the world is so exciting about React Native?

There is a lot of hype about React Native among developer communities and a lot of tech-savvy freaks are pretty impressed by the likes of it. Why is React Native so popular and how did its popularity surged to a new height within a small span of time is all discussed in this article. So, stay tuned folks we are about to deep dive into the native world of  React Native.

Why Use React Native for Your Mobile App Development?

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1. What in the world is React Native?

If you are among those who need a straightforward technical answer, don’t worry we will make sure to point that out to you. React Native is a JavaScript framework that is used to build mobile applications for both Android and IOS based devices. In other words, a cross-platform framework and even “hybrid” if you like. You might be thinking, “duh what is so exciting about that? We can build mobile applications with Java or Swift, why React Native then?”.

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Well, the most simple explanation for that is, you don’t have to maintain separate code bases for Android and IOS devices. React Native is the recipe that allows you to write code for your application once and use it for all sorts of operating systems. That means you can also use React Native to write applications for Windows and XBOX.

2. Why would one choose to React Native?

The reason React Native is an open-source product of Facebook might not suffice to urge someone to use it. Obviously you would not do that? Or, would you? We have already covered the first part that React Native is a cross-platform framework that allows us to target both the IOS and android devices in one go. Also, if you are familiar with JavaScript, you don’t need to learn a new language, it is based on a JavaScript library called React which is another successful open source project of Facebook. See, Facebook is not just a website, it is a tech company!

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Coming back to the point, why would you or I choose to React Native for development purposes?

  1. React Native allows us to use one language, JavaScript. It follows the concept of “Lean once write anywhere”.(Supports IOS, Android and windows)

  2. It relies on REACT core and that means you can get a feel of creating a single page application. Web Developers can also create mobile applications and not stick to tradition.

  3. The main difference between React and React Native is that RN re-renders the view by leveraging the UI libraries of its host platform, rather than using HTML and CSS mark-up. This allows React Native to translate your mark up to real, native UI elements.

  4. What does this all mean? It means that you can save development time and also get away from maintaining large codebases for separate target audiences. However, React Native is not the superhero you intended to ease out the heavy-duty processes of your application. Let’ s see why?

3. What is so native about React Native?

Now, that you know what react native is this is obviously a ubiquitous thing to ask. What does “native” in this context actually mean? It means local to something, sort of natural resident of a place. A native application is a software application that is developed for use on a particular device. For example, you can write native IOS apps using the Swift language and also generally a mac is required for that.

Well, here we go again, React Native helps us create a native android and native IOS applications. The application created with the help of RN will have elements i.e. the button components, toolbars, texts, text boxes behave natively even though they were created using JavaScript.

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There is a lot of debate around whether React Native is truly native or not but the insight we can give you is that there are some additional android or IOS stuffs that smoothly go along with system’s core such as GPS, WIFI, Proximity sensors and other features that vary from device to device, React Native does not handle some of these as natively as it can. Things might change within the coming years or months but as of now, this is the case. Therefore that brings us down to the next topic.

4. Why should one NOT choose React Native?

Even though React Native is a big hit in the industry as of now, there are a few cases when you might not want to sink into RN’s world. If you want to create games or create an app that has a lot of heavy animations then backing off and looking for alternatives should be a wise choice. Not to mention the fact that there are a few companies that actually use React Native for such process hungry applications. There are workarounds for that too and you would need some experience and research to achieve the reduced complexity in your applications.

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5. How popular is React Native anyway?

There are a lot of companies that use React Native. To name a few we have, Facebook (obviously), Instagram, Bloomberg, Tesla (Now that is something to watch out for), discord, SoundCloud and you can keep counting. You can visit React Native’s website to see a list of other companies that currently use React Native in their applications. The popularity of React Native is ever-increasing and just recently in 202019 Microsoft announced its plans of incorporating React Native Framework for window’s desktop application. There is a rich community of React Native developers and over time there are plenty of courses available online to get your feet wet with React Native.

6. Is React Native hard to learn?

This part is intended for the curious learners out there. Whether or not React Native is hard to learn depends on your taste. If you are amongst those who literally hate JavaScript because of its weirdness then you should probably back away from React Native as well. RN framework has a steep learning curve if you are not familiar with JavaScript and also REACT’s ecosystem. Although, once you start to get the hang of it, there is not much to cover. You will just have to be familiar with the React Components, React Lifecycle methods and few other things that are available in REACT NATIVE docs and of course REACT docs. Facebook maintains both of these and are one of the most wonderfully laid docs you will ever find.

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7. What is the state of React Native’s Job Market?

The best way to find the state of React Native’s Job Market is to search for jobs online. Some might argue that the mobile market has been saturated and people prefer web applications more than mobile applications but if you go out in the wild, you will not come back disappointed if you have the right set of skills. We have already mentioned the popularity of React Native in point number 5 “How popular is React Native anyway”? By that, you can guess that the numbers are growing and the demands are ever-increasing. The plus side of diving into React Native is that you should be familiar with REACT too and REACT’s has flooded the job market within recent years.

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8. What is in store for React Native’s future?

Every year stack overflow organizes a developer survey, that includes some questions that are quite sagacious and relevant. JavaScript was the most popular language and React Native had a 10.5% share even though it is quite new comparatively. Frameworks come and go but what remains is the core idea behind these technologies, they are either upgraded or something better replaces them. Facebook has done quite a good job of expanding its market share in terms of the technologies it has released so far. Take, VR (Virtual Reality )as an example, they have expanded REACT’s core ideology to develop VR applications as well. Since Facebook is not going anywhere, you can expect these technologies to stay for long.

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Small Start-ups are also turning towards the React-Native Framework because of the reasons we have mentioned. They need quick development time and most startups don’t have huge budgets to hire separate developers and maintain two separate code bases. And with Microsoft coming into play, you can expect an upsurge in the Job Market as well as new technological stuff.

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The key takeaways from this article are if you want a faster development time for your mobile app goes with React Native. If you really want to test React Native’s performance and have doubts about it try using the Facebook mobile app or try the CBS sports franchise football manager game. Also, companies like Electronic Arts (EA) have adopted the React Native Framework for a few of their internal projects. You need a foundation of JavaScript and REACT to get started with React Native and if your mobile app’s business logic is not about some rigorous scientific calculation, you can add it as another layer to your project or start from scratch.

Posted by Mahipal Nehra | Posted at 09 Apr, 2020 Web