The 5 Benefits of Building Your Mobile App On React Native


12 May 2021

App Development



How long does it take to create an open-source mobile application framework? One day in 2012, developer Christoper Chedeau became part of the Facebook Photos team. Eventually, he found and worked together with Jordan Walke, Ashwin Bharambe and Lin He to create a prototype for a framework in 2 days. This was the birth of React Native.

The history of Facebook and React Native is quite colourful, but when those 4 members discovered that they could generate UI elements from Javascript threads running from user devices, it could potentially be the solution to those horrible delays native apps were so known for.

React Native has then become the foundation of the greatest examples of app development, like Instagram and Pinterest. Whether you’re a developer or business owner, if you’ve read the 10 steps to take before building an app, the positives we’re showing you in this article will shed some light on how this framework can make your app more efficient.

What is React Native?

Hinted before, React Native was created by Facebook as an open-source programming framework in 2012. It gives developers the ability to create full, native mobile apps on iOS and Android and works via Javascript.

Salesforce, Walmart, Facebook and Instagram are just a couple of apps that run on this framework. It helps developers reuse code across web and mobile, which is one of the great benefits of cross-platform development. Rather than starting a new app from scratch, the differences between an app created in a device’s native code and React Native aren’t too different.

Because of its open source, the code is accessible to anyone and everyone. React Native is also well-known for its large community of budding and professional developers that can all connect with each other.

What do I get from building with React Native?

Large developer community

It can be difficult to find a large and thriving community when it comes to any kind of software programming. From 2020, Stack Overflow has attracted more than 50,000 contributors for React Native. Contributors that all help each other by troubleshooting, diving into source code and supporting each other's coding journeys. This has a directly positive impact on improving coding skills, and there is no shortage of receiving a resolution for questions or issues.

Saves time & money

When it comes to building native apps, you pay for one development team to create on only one platform. Cross-platform development, combined with the flexibility of one codebase, saves time and money that would have been spent on creating 2 separate apps on 2 separate platforms.

What’s more is how streamlined maintenance and updates are deployed. On both apps, these updates are done simultaneously, saving future costs once apps are built and launched.

Excellent UI

If you’re looking to create a top-of-range mobile UI, you want to be looking at React Native. It uses declarative programming, in which an action doesn’t tie itself completely to a sequence. On the other hand, native development creates a sequence of actions in an app, all linked to each other.

Among other frameworks, the UI designed in React Native gives a smoother feel, reduces the load time and offers a high response time. This means it’s easier to identify any bugs users might encounter on their path.

Hot Reloading (released in 2019)

This nifty feature is based on something called hot module replacement (HMR). When you press CTRL + S, your changes are saved and go live immediately without having to recompile the app. The HMR acts as an intermediary that inserts updated files into required places while the app is running. For example, if someone has 2 windows open, they can see their changes immediately after applying the changes in code.

Publish updates for apps faster

When you need to update an app, you’ll find some that prompt you to update when you open it. This is implemented while you use the app, and referred to as over the air (OTA) updates. Developers use this as you create improvements and updates. This means there’s no need to update and wait for approval via an app store, like Apple or Android. There’s a lot of time saved by doing this and ensures your app’s experience is always up to scratch.

Should you use React Native for your app?

There are many more positives to building on React Native. But that doesn’t always mean you should. It all depends on what you want to achieve. This is one sign that will indicate React Native wouldn’t be a good fit for you:

If you develop an app that requires many interactions, animations, screen transitions or complex gestures, maybe React Native wouldn’t be for you.

The reason for this is due to a gesture responder system in React native that runs a lifecycle on all gestures in an app. So when it comes to screens with complex gestures, developers might bump into a few hiccups, since Android and iOS touch subsystems are too different for using a unified API.

Differences between React.js and React Native

These two frameworks offer different outcomes for rendering and performance.

In React.js, a virtual DOM is used to render browser code. Compared to React Native, a native API renders components in mobile. Apps developed with React.js render HTML in the UI, but React Native uses JSX for rendering UI (Javascript).

When it comes to creating and styling, CSS is used in React.js. A stylesheet is used for styling in React Native. If you want to create animation, it can be possible in CSS like web development – React Native uses an animated API to induce animation across different components of a React Native app.

If you’re prepared to take the next step of building your mobile app, contact us here.

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