React Native, the “big-bird” in tech-innovation is a hot topic of discussion among web developers. I am Pawan Bali, Project Manager (Mobile & Web Development) at Octal IT Solution and I will be discussing React Native in our today’s episode of Tech-Talk.
Ques 1.) What is React Native?
Now let me explain to you it more clearly. You have a web app in the ReactJS and you want the same app in the native iOS or Android, what will you do? Re-write the whole code again?
With React Native, you don’t have to re-write some code again. Once developed, you can use it anywhere.
For instance, you are developing an app, and you are adding some more features in the code. Generally, you need to update the code, refresh it, and compile the whole code again. React native simplifies it and allows you to see the real-time changes, as soon as you modify the code.
In case you have a heavy app like Facebook, it is quite tedious to re-compile the source code again and again. React Native make your programming easier as it extracts all the elements that will suit for Android and iOS on its own, whether related to display or operability, and implements it all.
Ques 2.) What’s the relationship between React Native and React?
Before telling you the difference, let me tell you in short about React, as you have already learned about React Native in the previous answer.
What is React?
React allows you to build large web applications that require data modification, without reloading the page that means any change made in the page must reflect instantly. It aims to improve scalability, simplicity and speeds and processes only user interfaces.
There is very fine curve between the two – React and React Native. I will here explain to you all the differences that will undeniably help you in understanding the roles that both the technologies play in Mobile App Development.
- React is a framework for building a web application. React Native is the platform used for building native, cross-platform mobile apps.
- React mainly focuses on developing the view layer or the UI layer. React Native allows you to focus on all the backend and UI modules and features.
- React is required to be compiled with DOM (Document Object Model) but React Native compiles with the native code.
Ques3.) What are some of the downsides to using React Native instead of writing a native application?
Although React Native is widely used for iOS and Android mobile app development, in some of the cases, Native Mobile App Development can surpass it.
Here, find some of the major downsides of using React Native:
1.) In case you are having a limited time period, going with the native app development is a good choice. Developing a fresh code with the suitable components is not as much difficult when compared to developing the code that is already present in the React Native, followed by linking the plug-ins.
2.) If you are adding the updates continuously, the application might slow down.
3.) Adding elements such as routing, animation and styles proves quite complicated sometimes and integrating them can become tedious.
4.) React Native does not allow you to easily analyze the errors and takes huge time in fixing those. So, it is quite good if you use native testing tools for verifying the errors.
5.) Publishing your app becomes difficult as your app sometimes might not be accepted by Google Play Store or Apple App Store, in case it differs from their publishing policies.
There are advantages too of using RN, but the best approach is to analyze all the requirements before you process for Mobile App Development.
Ques 4.) What are the advantages of React Native?
Remember, do not select a technology on the basis of its advantages, but choose it on the basis of your product requirement, as it will be the developed mobile app that will be showcasing the real technology implication.
React Native comes up with impressive advantages. So, with the perspective of the developer community, I will list down some of the major ones.
- It works for both iOS and Android:
- Hybrid Mobile apps can render natively
It is said that hybrid apps do not work as seamless as a native app. But with the React Native, you can use the reusable native components for both the iOS and Android and can compile those features or counterparts natively.
Bonus Read: Native Vs Hybrid Mobile App Development
Thus, you get the hybrid apps with the same look, feel, speed and functionality that will be quite similar to your native app.
- Innovate your old mobile app
This feature is of great advantage for all the existing businesses. In case you have a mobile app and you want to augment it, you can incorporate React Native components into your app code. Hence, you can reuse your app without going into the brainstorming app development activity and can import the code using a plugin, if the app has been build on the frameworks like Cordova or Ionic 3.
- Offers third party integration, less memory usage and, a smoother experience.
Now, here third party integration means that you don’t have to rely on the web view to test a particular feature. For instance, if you’re adding Google Map functionality in your app, React Native allows you to plug-in with the native module. So you can see your app working with your device functionality. Like you can rotate the map in any direction, thus taking up less memory and at the same time, it works faster.
Ques 5.) What’re The Challenges With React Native?
Every technology that exists, have some consequences, but a good app developer always knows the ways to combat those challenges in order to deliver a robust and sophisticated mobile app. Here are some of the challenges that you might face while using React Native for mobile app development:
- React Native Library
The source codes in the library are not in a very good condition as they lack quite a number of components that are required for a well-featured app. In its library, we can find that the major features are still to be added; hence you might end up with developing a huge amount of source code.
- Adding Third-party components
You can definitely add third-party components into the app, but sometimes you may witness that the features you want to add are not in its library for iOS or Android. Another problem that you might face is that the future versions of React Native may or may not support the features that have been imported through the React Native library.
- Native SDK updates
If the iOS or Android SDKs are updated, React Native may take time to integrate those APIs into its core library. Although the updates are processed quite fast it might keep some updates for future purposes or it can even totally exclude some of them.
If you are a beginner in the mobile app development and using React Native, you might get stuck with the documentation of React Native. The same is being continuously updated by Facebook, but still some of the features that lack relevant explanation.
Ques 6.) Name a few mobile apps that have been developed with React Native
The few apps that have been developed with RN are:
1.) Facebook – in iOS and Android Apps
2.) Instagram – in iOS and Android Apps
3.) F8 – in iOS and Android Apps
4.) Airbnb – in iOS and Android Apps
5.) Skype – in iOS and Android Apps
6.) Tesla – in iOS and Android Apps
7.) WalMart – in iOS and Android Apps
Ques7.) Any message for the developer community
No matter which technology you use, implement it in such a way that it makes your products beautiful and outstanding on the grounds of quality, operability, and reliability.
If you start with an innovative ideology and with a passion, there is no one stopping you.
Deliver the performance at its best in the entire product that you engineer, and in context with React Native – you can use it for developing small apps that have limited functionalities to offer, but for huge apps- go with the Native Mobile App Development.