React Native has been successful in widespread popularity all over the world. But how can React Native do that? And when should we choose React Native? I think we should find out more about React Native’s definition, Its pros, and cons so that you can get the answers for your own questions.
What is React Native?
The reasons for this are so many, but you can refer to some below.
Firstly, companies have to create code just one time and apply for iOS and Android. The translating needs more time and resource saving.
Thirdly, this framework empowered frontend developers. They could only work with web-based technologies only, to create robust, production-ready apps for mobile platforms.
How does the React Native work?
When should we use?
Not all the projects and all the situations you can use React Native, If you are in one of the below options then you can consider the React Native.
- When you would like to create an MVP as fast as possible with minimal development costs but still can use it for multiple mobile platforms.
- When you don’t have resources for a new team or an external company
- When you plan to build an professional dev team able to work on mobile and web skills (React Native and React) at the same time
- When you create a simple app and/or don’t use many native features none accessible in React Native (called APIs) like Dynamic Island.
React Native Pros and Cons
Faster to learn for the developers
Most developers have less trouble or spend little time developing RN apps, and vice versa. Because the apps or modules in both systems overlap. Hence, if one developer familiar with one of these two systems will need less training time.
Quick fix (Or OTA updates)
One framework, multi platform
Building an app with RN brings another benefit which means you can use the codebase (or just a part of it) for multi platform. This applies not only to the mobile environment but also to websites and computer or smartTV operating systems.
On the other hand, It not only shortens the development time but can also improve the consistency of the app’s business logic between all supported platforms.
In npm packages (a set of open-source tools for devs), Many multi-platform features are available and sometimes it might be possible to complete the entire development process in RN.
This feature provides a great developer experience: it implements changes in the code in real-time without reloading the entire app. Therefore, building new features or bug fixing is less time-consuming and improves devs’ work capability.
More close-knit team
React native requires separate teams for each mobile platform for iOS and Android. React Native allows one team to work on multipurpose code, using only devs with skills for building particular native elements.
React Native is based on creating a mobile UI and you will need to create a sequence of actions in the application in native solutions. React Native uses informative programming in which such an order of implementing actions is antiquated. And of course, it is much easier to find out bugs on the paths a user can take.
Large development community
React Native is an open-source platform that is freely accessible for all. It allows developers to contribute their knowledge to the framework’s development. If a developer has a problem, they can call the community for support.
Compatibility and debugging issues
Maybe you’ll be surprised but even though top tech players, such as Microsoft or Meta, have used React Native for years, it’s still in beta. While the framework is regularly updated, it hasn’t reached the 1.0 version yet.So that, developers might have various issues with package compatibility or debugging tools. Besides, It has many community packages, there is a problem that some packages you might be interested in are not compatible with your project or no longer maintained.
Each upgrading React Native version brings more and more benefits, so using them is recommended. However, you can’t always rely on the automatic update implementation, you can face some unexpected issues when upgrading to the new version.
Lack of custom module
At present, React Native still lacks some elements and others can be still underdeveloped. Hence, you might have to create your own solutions from scratch or try to hack an existing one. Then, you could have three, instead of only one codebase: one for RN and one for Android and iOS. This may cause differences in the behavior and appearance of an app on various platforms. Fortunately, those situations don’t happen often and the percentage of encountering such problems is pretty low.
Native developers might still be needed
The necessity of native programming skills with devs depends on the complexity of the project. In some cases, RN dev can be required to write a native code. And some native features (e.g. Dynamic Island) might still require a developer with detailed knowledge of a particular platform. IN reality, React Native offers more and more open-source libraries that provide easy access to the native platform features but not for all situation.
React Native forces extra consideration
App developers while using React Native, they have to pay more attention to the performance and write complete code from the get-go. They should avoid unnecessary rerenders, as these can really slow down more complex parts of the app.
Alternatives to React Native
Native apps development
Can not deny that, the native environments are the main RN alternatives. Two separate teams develop two separate apps for iOS and Android. The main concern is the attention required to keep apps consistent on different platforms.
The most popular platform alternative to React Native is Flutter, a mobile application framework based on Dart released by Google in 2015. For some, Flutter’s main characteristic can come from writing code in Dart – the biggest disadvantage – writing code in Dart.
Kotlin multi platform
Even Kotlin is a new platform, released in the beta stage in 2020. Kotlin’s main advantage is its flexibility: you can choose which parts of code you want to share. You can select only some parts of the logic, e.g. state management or requests, and you only have to write a separate UI. This gives an opportunity to interlace some native code with the common code. Kotlin’s biggest disadvantage is that it’s a relatively new technology which doesn’t have many supporting libraries yet. Besides, it requires the involvement of devs familiar with Swift or other coding languages.
To sum up
Each framework has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you can’t apply one type for all projects. We hope that we can support you to make the best decision. If this article is still not satisfying you, please contact us and we can share more information. ONExt Digital with ten years experience of developing websites and mobile apps. We believe that can answer all your questions.