What is React Native framework, and how can cross-platform apps boost your business?

A Guide on What is React Native Used For

If you aim high to develop your own app, there are two options you can follow. Firstly, you can create a native mobile app for each platform: iOS and Android. However, this option requires writing and supporting code for both platforms. It also requires hiring two different development teams or looking for a developer who knows both Swift and Kotlin. But if you are a startup or a small business trying to attract the investment it doesn’t sound like a good option. As an alternative, we recommend cross-platform development on React Native — an open-source framework that allows you to develop one codebase for two platforms simultaneously. From this article, you will find out how React Native works, what is the difference between React and React Native, and how a cross-platform framework can help your business grow fast!

React vs React Native

Before we start, we need to define what React is and what React Native is. React is a framework for web development while React Native is designed for mobile apps. But it all started in 2013 when the Facebook team created React JS — a JavaScript library that combined the speed of JavaScript and a new way of rendering pages, resulting in responsive and dynamic user input. Two years later they released React Native — a framework for creating cross-platform apps.

React vs React Native

Who started on React Native?

After release, the framework quickly resonated in the hearts of many entrepreneurs and business owners of all sizes. Here are some market giants who used RN to deliver their mobile apps:

Companies started on React Native

Facebook Ads. Of course, the creators of React Native could not avoid using their own framework. They developed Facebook Ads — a tool for creating targeted ads on social networks.

Discord. These guys adopted React Native to create an iOS app based on the core of their React app. The Discord iOS client is written with React Native except for the chat list.

Instagram. With the help of React Native, the Instagram development team could deliver a wide range of features, including push notifications, post promotion, SMS captcha checkpoint, lead gen ads, and comment moderations much faster than if they had chosen the native way.

Bloomberg. One of the leading providers of financial information for professional financial market participants uses React Native as the main tool for creating its apps.

Tesla. A world-famous manufacturer of electric cars also has benefited from React Native. With RN, they have developed an app that helps Tesla customers find their vehicle and control its functions via smartphone.

For such big enterprises to choose React Native tools for their apps, there is a need for a good reason. And React Native has plenty of them!

What makes React Native so good?

Let’s learn more about the advantages of React Native and how they can help your business.

Common code base. Cross-platform app development is faster because developers use a common code base for two platforms at once: iOS and Android. Of course, sometimes it may be necessary to resort to native elements, but basically both apps will be the same by 90%.

Less wasted resources. The fact that the apps have the same code base means writing that base takes fewer resources than writing two different versions of code for different platforms. Native development involves writing two different versions of the code, which requires more resources. In the case of a startup, such expenses may not be justified.

To validate your idea on the market, cross-platform development is the best solution. You write code faster due to the common code base, bring your idea to the market, get some feedback from users, and improve your product. And most of all, you don’t have to choose which platform to start with — React Native allows you to cover both markets at once!

Hot reloading. With React Native, developers can write code and see changes in real time. Hot reloading allows the app to keep running and inject new versions of the files that developers edited at runtime. This way, it speeds up the code writing process.

Learn more how to make an MVP at Stories & Articles.

Fast search for a contractor. React Native uses one of the most well-known programming languages, JavaScript. So finding contractors for RN, you can turn to those who have experience with JavaScript. Or those who work with React, which is essentially the same as React Native, but for the web, as their experience helps them learn how to create RN apps a little bit faster than native developers.

Broad ecosystem of JavaScript libraries. If you have a web app made in React, some of that code can be reused for a mobile app as well. This works because React is an open-source JavaScript library for developing user interfaces, which is also supported by Facebook.

RN has many libraries. For example, on a project we used react-native-maps and expo-location. These libraries helped us implement map and user location really fast for both platforms. And the use of react-navigation made the navigation work flexible and consistent.

Native-like. Another benefit of the framework is that it does not mimic the browser environment because it uses native APIs. There are a large number of libraries and component sets for RN, so it allows you to close tasks faster.

Developers Community. When it comes to React Native, it’s also about the developer community. If you’re stuck in the app development process, you can look for advice on GitHub. Some React Native developers have created several libraries with full documentation and even entire application templates.

After reading such an impressive list, the question is why anyone still chooses native development, if all the development can be done with React Native? Does React Native have any disadvantages? Well, if you plan to develop your project further and constantly update your app to ensure the smoothest experience, this type of development might not be the best option for you. But if you want to test your idea in the market, feel free to choose MVP development on RN.

Ronas IT experience

We’d like to tell you about the project we did entirely on React Native.

Lainappi app

Meet Lainappi — the home furnishings rental application for private and business clients.

Using React Native allowed us to speed up development and do more in less time. And, what is even more important, we were able to implement all the intended functionality of the design and never ran into any limitations.

With the React and Redux combination, we implemented a product search. The state of filtering had to be controlled from different places — from the main screen, from the filter screen, when searching on the map and when changing the selected location. Due to the fact that React Native and Redux work well together, we were able to implement it. Or for example, creating and editing a product is done in several steps. You can perform all of them, or you can skip some or interrupt filling at any step — in any case, the state of the product will be saved in one place. And it is what makes code predictable.

Of course, in the early stages of development we had a couple of minor bugs when the same components worked differently on different platforms. But this mostly concerned animations and was resolved with future updates. With RN we’ve created a native-like product that works successfully on both platforms.

Wrapping up

React Native cross-platform framework can help create an MVP for your startup and bring you closer to app release. Cross-platform development allows your startup to save time and brings the release closer. The team creates a common code base that fits both platforms at once. And the earlier the release, the sooner you get valuable feedback from users and can make changes and improve the app.

Ronas IT Services will help your business launch a working version of the product in 3 months to increase profits and reduce operating costs. We can create user experience for your products that solve actual problems and improve it with outstanding interfaces.

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