TABLE OF CONTENTS

Benefits of Using React Native for Mobile App Development

Benefits of Using React Native for Mobile App Development

Introduction

Nowadays, the ambition to build a mobile application is prevalent across the board — for personal projects, brand visibility, or strategic business growth. Particularly in the business sphere, the quest for the most cost-effective and efficient development path is critical, as the global appetite for mobile apps shows no signs of waning. In 2022, users around the world downloaded a staggering 255 billion mobile apps, and with the forecast for 2023 pointing towards 299 billion downloads, the benefits of using React Native for mobile app development become increasingly relevant.

This framework not only offers a cost-effective solution for reaching a global audience but also ensures maintainability and scalability, which are crucial for businesses aiming to secure a competitive edge in the mobile marketplace.

What is React Native?

React Native is more than just a buzzword in the tech community; it’s an open-source framework that’s shaken things up. Originally whipped up by Facebook and now looked after by Meta Platforms and app developers all over, it’s been a game-changer for cross-platform development. It’s the magic behind the scenes that lets developers write once in JavaScript and deploy on both iOS and Android, giving apps that native look and feel without the extra hassle.

The latest version, React Native 0.72, is packed with nifty updates that make building mobile apps smoother, shrink down the size of your React Native app, and give it a zippy performance boost. It’s all part of their mission to make app development a breeze while keeping those apps running like a dream.

And then there’s the New Architecture — it’s like the blueprint for a leaner, meaner React Native. It’s all about making sure the conversation between the native modules of your app and the JavaScript side is as smooth as possible. This means users get a slick, responsive experience every time they tap on their screens.

With its finger always on the pulse of the latest tech, React Native is staying right at the sharp end of cross-platform development. It’s handing app developers the tools to craft top-notch mobile apps quickly and with finesse, and that’s a big win for everyone, from startups to big enterprises.

What is cross-platform development?

React Native cross-platform mobile apps

Cross-platform app development is making some serious waves in the mobile app development industry. It’s a savvy alternative to the more costly native development routes for Android apps and iOS. With this approach, you’re not just building a native app that’s tied down to one platform. Instead, you’re creating a single app that feels right at home on both Android and iOS devices. This means you can cut down on costs and development time — often by a pretty impressive margin. Building separate apps for both platforms means cooperating with two native developers’ teams and much higher costs on code maintenance.

For the mobile app development industry, cross-platform mobile apps are a bit of a revolution. They allow businesses to get their apps into users’ hands faster and more efficiently, which is crucial in a world where speed to market can be a game-changer. It’s about being smart with your resources and getting the most bang for your development buck, all while keeping up with the fast pace of today’s app-hungry audiences.

We’re seeing a growing trend where established companies, whose native apps are already performing well in app stores, are looking to migrate to React Native. This shift is driven by the desire to streamline operations and reduce overhead while continuing to provide an exceptional user experience. By adopting React Native, our clients can maintain their competitive edge, ensuring their products are not only top-rated but also future-proof and scalable.

Chris Lojniewski, CEO at Pagepro

Want to use React Native in your project?

When to use React Native?

Let’s be real, picking the right technology for your cross platform mobile applications is a big deal. It’s all about balancing what you need, how much you can spend, and how quickly you need it done. And sometimes, React Native mobile app development just hits the sweet spot.

So, when does React Native become the tech of choice?

If you’re already in the native mobile apps game, switching to React Native is a breeze. Your mobile app developers don’t have to redo everything from scratch, making the transition smoother than you’d expect.

Looking to build mobile apps that scale up fast? Since React Native is a sibling of React, finding or upskilling developers is a piece of cake. This means your team and app can grow together, swiftly. Plus, the component-driven development that React Native uses is a solid approach for scaling, although it’s worth noting this isn’t unique to React Native alone.

Need an MVP yesterday? React Native is your go-to. It lets you whip up a Minimum Viable Product that real users can poke around with, giving you the gold dust of early feedback to tweak and improve. All in a blink of an eye thanks to many pre-built components available on the market and high accessibility to React Native developer community.

Under the gun with tight deadlines? React Native development is all about speed, not just in creating mobile apps but also in making those all-important updates and changes. Staying ahead of the competition means moving fast, and React Native is like having a sports car in a world of wagons.

On a shoestring budget? Ideas are great, but without a functional app, they won’t pay the bills or woo investors. React Native helps you get a feature-rich app out the door without burning through your funds before you even hit the market.

Choosing React Native can be a smart move for those who want to make a big impact with their mobile app without the big budget and time constraints.

Why use React Native

Benefits of React Native

To understand why React Native is a top choice for mobile app development, let’s explore its array of benefits that cater to both developers and businesses alike.

Benefits for CTOs

Enhanced Performance with New Architecture: The introduction of React Native’s new architecture offers a significant performance boost. This includes the Fabric Renderer for improved UI rendering and TurboModules for more efficient native module integration.

Streamlined Folder Setup and Configuration: The 2023 updates have streamlined folder setup and component configuration, making it easier for teams to organize code and manage project structures.

I appreciate how the latest updates have cleaned up the folder setup and component configs. It’s like they’ve read our minds on project organization.


Norbert Kamienski, Engineering Manager, React Native Expert at Pagepro

Improved Development Efficiency: With the latest version, React Native continues to support Fast Refresh, which provides immediate feedback to developers during coding. This accelerates the development cycle and allows for rapid iteration.

Fast Refresh is a React Native feature that allows you to get near-instant feedback for changes in your React components. Fast Refresh is enabled by default, and you can toggle ‘Enable Fast Refresh’ in the React Native Dev Menu. With Fast Refresh enabled, most edits should be visible within a second or two.

React Native Documentation – Fast Refresh

Cross-Platform Consistency: React Native’s unified development approach ensures consistent behavior and appearance across iOS and Android, reducing the need for platform-specific tweaks and saving valuable development time.

Scalability with Serverless Functions and AWS Amplify: The integration with serverless functions and AWS Amplify means React Native apps can scale on demand without the overhead of managing infrastructure, which is crucial for growing businesses.

State Management with Recoil: The adoption of Recoil for state management offers a more efficient way to handle complex state logic in large applications, which can simplify data flow and improve maintainability.

Rich UI Libraries: The availability of UI libraries like UI Kitten provides a suite of ready-to-use, customizable components that can speed up the development of aesthetically pleasing interfaces.

Declarative API with React Navigation 6: The latest major release of React Navigation offers a more declarative API, allowing for clearer and more concise code when handling in-app navigation.

Community and Ecosystem: React Native benefits from a robust developer community and ecosystem, providing access to a wealth of plugins, libraries, and tools that can further expedite development and feature integration.

Cost-Effective Development: By enabling the use of a single codebase for multiple platforms, React Native reduces the resources needed for separate iOS and Android teams, leading to more cost-effective project management.

We’re seeing a growing trend of customers proactively reaching out to us, seeking to migrate to React Native, drawn by the undeniable cost benefits and the streamlined development process it offers. It’s clear that React Native is not just a technical choice; it’s a smart business move.

Jakub Dakowicz CTO at Pagepro
Jakub Dakowicz, CTO at Pagepro

React Native Advantages From a Business Perspective

Development Cost and Speed: Leveraging the React Native framework can significantly reduce the development cost and time in the competitive mobile app development market. The ability to reuse components and subcomponents — a feature developers admire in React — is also central to React Native, enhancing efficiency and enabling codebase sharing.

Apps Work Anywhere: With React Native, you’re not just building an app; you’re crafting a cross-platform solution that works seamlessly on Android, iOS, and Windows. This universal functionality is a strategic advantage in broadening your app’s reach.

Great User Experience: Steering clear of overly complex designs, React Native apps deliver on performance and user experience. It’s a choice that aligns with the expectations of today’s app users and stands up to the demands of the mobile app development market.

Faster Time to Market: React Native helps streamline your route to the market. It supports rapid MVP development, enabling real user feedback and quick iterations — all without the burden of excessive development costs. This aspect is particularly appealing for businesses looking to make a prompt and impactful entry into the market.

Other React Native benefits

  • On-demand help – React Native community consists of many contributors who probably already solved your problems.
  • Lower maintenance costs – as you have to deal with the same code for both iOS and android app, the maintenance costs will be lower.
  • Visibility – on the contrary to PWA, it’s easy to get your React Native application available in AppStore and Google Play.

From a development perspective

Effortless Work: Developers continue to enjoy a stellar developer experience with React Native, thanks to time-saving and robust tools that have only gotten better in 2023.

Changes Preview: Quick iteration cycles remain a highlight, allowing developers to preview changes in real time without rebuilding the app. The Command+R refresh shortcut on macOS is still a developer favourite.

Intelligent Debugging Tools: With the integration of advanced error reporting mechanisms, developers can focus more on creativity and less on fixing bugs. Flipper, now a default in React Native, elevates the debugging experience further.

Minimal Setup: The need to work in Xcode or Android Studio is minimized, as React Native streamlines the development process across platforms.

Vibrant Community: The React Native community is as active as ever, with a multitude of contributors ready to lend a hand.

Code Reusability: The latest updates have enhanced the ability to integrate native framework code, promoting code reuse across platforms and further saving development time and costs.

Pre-made Components: The open-source ecosystem continues to thrive, offering a wealth of libraries that boost coding productivity and reduce the need to start from scratch.

Live Reloading: This feature has been refined, allowing developers to compile and reload files efficiently, making the process of testing changes even smoother.

The refined Live Reloading feature has been a true workflow revolution. It allows us developers to compile and reload files with unprecedented efficiency. This enhancement smooths out the iterative process of testing changes, making it almost seamless. It’s like having a real-time conversation with your codebase, where you can see the impact of your changes instantly. This level of immediacy in development is not just a convenience; it’s a catalyst for innovation and rapid progress.

Daniel Nizynski, React Native Expert at Pagepro

Third-Party Plugin Compatibility: React Native maintains its low memory footprint while allowing for smooth integration with external third party plugins, thanks to improved native module linking.

Web to Mobile Transformation: The ease of understanding and taking over React Native projects remains a strong point, offering flexibility and simplicity in transforming web projects into mobile applications.

Unified Codebase: The framework’s support for a single codebase across Android, iOS, and web browsers continues to be a major draw for developers.

Responsive User Interface: The user interface’s responsiveness is more fluid than ever, with the Fabric renderer and TurboModules providing a smoother and faster experience than traditional hybrid approaches.

Expo Platform Enhancements: Expo remains an invaluable tool for multi-platform app development, now with even more libraries in its SDK to streamline the development process.

Demo Building with Expo: The ability to build demos for clients without deploying to Testflight or Google Play is more seamless, thanks to updates in the Expo platform.

Over The Air (OTA) Updates: Pushing quick fixes directly to users has become more efficient with the latest improvements in OTA updates, bypassing the need for app store approvals.

Conclusion

React Native stands out as a highly efficient and cost-effective solution for mobile app development. Its ability to provide a native app experience across multiple platforms, coupled with the ease of transitioning from native development, makes it an attractive choice for businesses of all sizes.

The framework’s rapid development capabilities, extensive community support, and robust performance are just a few of the reasons why established companies are increasingly migrating to React Native. By embracing this technology, businesses can not only accelerate their time to market but also enjoy significant savings in development costs.

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Further readings

Learn more about React Native by reading the following articles:

Sources:

Chris Lojniewski

CEO at Pagepro - React & React Native software house specialising in building tailor-made web applications for clients around the world. Chris is currently spearheading a mission close to his heart: making development frictionless. His philosophy transcends the conventional, recognising that while modern tech, especially React & React Native, is a game-changer, the real revolution lies in combining cutting-edge technology with effective processes, creative exploration, and strategic foresight.

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