I see web and mobile development technologies in a crazy race to improve their performance each and every year.
Obviously, that’s great news. App development is becoming faster and easier to execute, cheaper to implement, more user-friendly with less effort, and so on. We live in great times – implementing a business idea has never been easier and technology is opening the doors of imagination wider than ever before.
For example, let’s take a look at mobile development. Everybody wants to build an app, and everybody wants to use them (according to stats, mobile apps are expected to generate over $935 billion in revenue by the end of 2023.)
But even a few years ago, creating an app was very time and cost-consuming. And before going to the market, budgets could evaporate and so could the entire project.
To avoid that, businesses started to look for alternatives, and that’s how React Native development services became one of the most popular ways to create cross-platform mobile apps. Simply because it greatly decreases the costs and time of the development process.
Today, you will learn about the pros and cons of React Native, to make an informed decision about adding it to your tech stack.
What is React Native?
React Native is a perfect technology to save on development costs, yet still have truly native performance and user-experience flexibility.
It has a number of great advantages, many awesome “ready-to-go” templates, an army of dedicated contributors, and a crowd of fans.
Not to mention world leaders as core users:
It’s pretty much everything that technology needs to become hot and mature.
Although, like any other platform, it has its benefits and limitations and shouldn’t be used to execute absolutely every single project there is. However, we can see more and more developers and native developers choosing React Native as their core mobile development technology.
But it’s not the choice of developers only.
Thanks to many business advantages (great performance, low production and maintenance cost, and more), it’s not a surprise that many biggest players on the market are choosing React Native as well.
So what makes it so special for both businesses and developers?
Let’s dive more deeply into the advantages, and meet the pros and cons of React Native.
|Business Advantages of React Native||Technical Advantages of React Native||Limitations of React Native|
|Cost Efficiency and Resource Optimization||Quick iteration cycles||Performance little lower than in native applications|
|Shorter Time-to-Market||Code reusability||Not efficient for complex interfaces|
|Seamless User Experience||Pre-developed components||Updating issues|
|Strategic Flexibility and Prototyping||Code reusability||Debugging and troubleshooting|
|Easy Access to Experts||Smoother and faster UI|
|Seamless Integration with Existing Infrastructure||Compatible with third-party plugins|
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PROS OF REACT NATIVE
The list below was created to give you the most comprehensive list of React Native pros possible and to divide them into two groups – pros from a business and a development perspective.
Advantages of React Native from a business perspective
Cost Efficiency and Resource Optimization
Cost efficiency and resource optimization are usually the main considerations during project planning. React Native’s ability to create cross-platform applications using a single codebase significantly reduces development costs.
This eliminates the need to hire separate teams for iOS and Android development, streamlining resource allocation and optimizing budgets. The cost savings can be redirected towards further innovation or investment in other areas.
React Native is particularly well-suited for building Minimum Viable Products (MVP). You can leverage React Native’s development speed and code reusability to create an MVP that can be quickly deployed and tested in the market.
This enables corporations to gather valuable user feedback and validate ideas early on, allowing for iterative improvements and informed decision-making. The faster time-to-market for MVPs helps corporations make efficient use of their resources and validate the viability of their innovative concepts.
Check out how we created the MVP with React Native in just 6 weeks:
Seamless User Experience
React Native empowers you to create native-like experiences on both iOS and Android platforms using a unified codebase. This eliminates the need for separate development teams or extensive platform-specific customization, resulting in consistent user experiences across devices.
By choosing React Native, you can reach a broader audience without sacrificing user satisfaction or quality.
Strategic Flexibility and Prototyping
React Native’s flexibility makes it an excellent choice for corporate ventures exploring new ideas or prototyping applications. The framework enables rapid iteration and experimentation, providing an efficient way to test the market, gather feedback, and validate concepts before committing to extensive native development efforts.
This agility can help you make data-driven decisions and pivot quickly if needed.
Easy Access to Experts
The vibrant and rapidly growing React Native developer community is key to the framework’s popularity and robust ecosystem. This thriving ecosystem fosters knowledge sharing, provides extensive resources, and actively contributes to the development of new libraries and tools.
For you, this means easier access to talent, increased support for troubleshooting, and a wealth of pre-built solutions that can accelerate development cycles.
Seamless Integration with Existing Infrastructure
CTOs working on innovation projects within corporations often need to integrate new solutions with existing infrastructure and systems. React Native’s ability to work alongside native code and its compatibility with various third-party libraries and plugins facilitate a smooth integration.
This allows you to draw from the advantages of React Native while seamlessly incorporating innovative solutions into the existing corporate ecosystem, minimizing disruptions and maximizing efficiency.
Benefits of React Native from a development perspective
Easy to work with
Developers will definitely appreciate the development experience. Important error messages, time-saving and robust tools make it a premium choice over other platforms. What’s more, many common issues or roadblocks have already been encountered and resolved by the community, allowing developers to find helpful resources and guidance quickly.
This support from the network reduces the time and effort spent on troubleshooting and increases overall development efficiency.
React Native is built on the React framework, which uses a declarative syntax to describe user interfaces. By utilizing this approach, React Native allows developers to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms, eliminating the need for separate development efforts for each platform.
Once you learn React Native, you can build apps for iOS and Android and Windows.
Quick iteration cycles
Developers can quickly build and test their applications on different platforms, allowing for faster feedback cycles and validation of ideas.
This speed and agility are particularly valuable in teams focused on innovation, as it allows for quick idea validation, gathering user feedback, and adapting to changes efficiently without investing in separate development teams or extensive platform-specific development efforts.
Developers can easily integrate 90% of the native framework and reuse the code for any platform. This feature not only saves time but also helps to cut down the cost of building two apps. The cool thing is that you can use the web app code (written in React) for a mobile app.
The availability of pre-developed components in React Native, including a vast collection of open-source libraries, accelerates development by providing ready-to-use solutions that can be easily integrated into applications, saving time and effort in building complex functionalities from scratch.
Compatible with third-party plugins
React Native is highly compatible and doesn’t require high memory to process. No specific web view functions are required and native modules are linked with the plugin through the framework. This compatibility expands the functionality and capabilities of React Native applications.
Smoother and faster UI
React Native apps use native APIs to render their UI. By utilizing these native components, React Native ensures that the UI elements and interactions closely resemble those of a native app, resulting in a smoother and more familiar user experience.
By using Expo in a React Native project you can quickly build apps for many platforms, using multiple ready-to-go libraries in the SDK. Check out how to publish Expo React Native App to iOS and Android.
Creating demos for stakeholders can be extremely useful. When using Expo, you can build a demo without actually pushing the app to the Testflight or Google Store. The only thing you need is an Expo App on a mobile device.
Over The Air (OTA) updates
Publishing quick fixes directly to the users without the need to wait for the App Store or Google Play to accept our changes can be a real game changer during your mobile app maintenance. We’ve created an article about OTA updates in React Native – check it out.
CONS OF REACT NATIVE
Of course, like all technologies, there are some disadvantages of React Native:
Performance is still a little lower than in native applications
React Native is not able to use all the blessings and potential of a specific platform.
However, the re-architecture puts a lot of effort into making RN more performant, e.g. there is a new JS engine available – Hermes, and it makes apps run much faster on older Android devices.
Not efficient for complex interfaces
If you consider complicated designs or advanced interactions as a crucial part of your business advantage, you should consider going for native development. Simply because while React Native is known for its efficient UI rendering, it may not match the performance of fully native applications in certain scenarios, especially when handling complex animations or heavy computational tasks.
It may be hard to keep the app updated with the latest React Native version. Updating React Native versions is in most cases a complicated process.
“When it comes to updating issues in React Native, Expo can be a real game changer. It provides a simplified update process and offers over-the-air updates that eliminate the need for users to manually update the app through app stores. Deploying bug fixes and feature updating is simply much quicker”Kornel Kwiatkowski, React Native Developer at Pagepro
Debugging and troubleshooting
WHEN TO USE REACT NATIVE?
React Native is well-suited for a wide range of use cases, particularly those that require innovation and the development of feature-rich, cross-platform mobile applications. Some outstanding examples of the best use cases for React Native include
Social Media and Networking Apps
React Native’s ability to deliver a native-like user experience makes it an excellent choice for building social media platforms, networking apps, and community-driven platforms. These types of apps often require real-time interactions, dynamic content updates, and seamless integration with various APIs and third-party services.
React Native’s flexibility and performance enable developers to create engaging, responsive, and interactive social experiences across multiple platforms.
The best examples here are Facebook, Instagram, Skype and Discord.
On-Demand Services and Marketplaces
React Native is a popular choice for building on-demand service apps and marketplaces. Whether it’s ride-hailing, food delivery, or freelance platforms, React Native’s cross-platform capabilities enable businesses to rapidly develop and deploy apps for both iOS and Android platforms.
This versatility allows companies to efficiently enter the market, reach a wider audience, and provide a consistent user experience across different devices.
For example, Uber Eats and Delivery.com are using React Native
E-commerce and Retail Apps
The e-commerce industry thrives on engaging user experiences and smooth transaction processes. React Native’s ability to deliver high-performance, visually appealing interfaces and seamless navigation makes it an ideal choice for building e-commerce and retail apps.
Its cross-platform nature allows businesses to build a unified shopping experience for their customers, incorporating features like product catalogues, user reviews, secure payment gateways, and personalized recommendations.
Examples: Walmart, Flipkart
Travel and Hospitality Apps
React Native is a valuable asset for travel and hospitality businesses aiming to provide a seamless mobile experience to their customers using various devices. From booking accommodations and flights to exploring tourist attractions and local guides, React Native can help build feature-rich travel and hospitality apps that work flawlessly across multiple platforms.
With its ability to integrate with location-based services, push notifications, and interactive maps, React Native can enhance the overall user experience and improve customer engagement.
Need an example? Airbnb
IoT and Smart Home Applications
As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to shape the future, React Native proves to be a valuable tool for developing mobile apps that control and monitor IoT devices and smart home systems.
React Native’s compatibility with various IoT protocols, along with its ability to communicate with embedded systems, enables seamless integration between the mobile app and smart devices. This empowers users to control their connected homes or IoT-enabled devices conveniently from their smartphones.
Example: Yeti Smart Home
React Native offers several advantages that make it a compelling choice for businesses, especially those focused on innovation. Its code reusability and component recycling capabilities speed-up app development, saving time and costs.
The ability to develop for both iOS and Android platforms with a single codebase streamlines resource allocation and eliminates the need for separate teams. React Native’s fast time-to-market facilitates rapid idea validation and feedback collection, allowing for iterative improvements. A wide React Native community provides a wealth of resources and support, assisting developers in overcoming challenges.
While there are considerations such as limited native functionality and potential performance limitations, leveraging React Native’s strengths can drive innovation and enable businesses to deliver high-quality mobile applications efficiently.
In this article, you had a chance to find out about the pros and cons of React Native, but if you want to know more, we recommend the following articles:
- React Native Flipper: A Better Way of Debugging
- How to Publish Expo React Native App to IOS and Android
- React Native For Startups: Is It Really a Good Idea?
- NativeScript vs React Native: Comparison
- React Native vs Xamarin: Pros and Cons
- 50 Examples of Great React Native Apps in 2021
- React Native vs Ionic vs Cordova: Comparison
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