What is React Native and How it is used in Mobile App Development?
February 10, 2021
Mobile App Development
Mobile apps have become a regular in an individual’s life. There are so many apps available in the mobile app store for various purposes. All the apps are categorized according to the purpose of their usage.
Mobile apps have made life easier. From interaction and communication through chat apps to making friends on social media - everything happens through the mobile app. There is an app practically for everything. The more the apps seem user friendly and interactive, the more goes in the back of the app to make it seamless and effortless.
There are so many frameworks, resources, and tools that developers use to develop mobile apps. Various tools provide varied functionality to effectively solve the problems of the users. Among the tools, one of the most widely used tools is React Native. What is it? Let us take a look.
What is React Native?
If you want to jump into native mobile app development
With React Native
, you can develop mobile apps that function efficiently on both platforms. Additionally, the development time is reduced significantly as the coding is done in the same language, regardless of the platform. React Native is a framework launched by Facebook around the year 2015 as an open-source. Facebook had also launched ReactJS, also known as React, for mobile development.
ReactJS was released before React Native, while in the competition of ReactJS vs React Native
, ReactJS was first declared as open-source by Facebook. Gradually, react native was developed. While ReactJS focused on mobile-first design, React Native is used for native mobile app development
Importance of using React Native
During the earlier phases when React Native was released, it was considered infeasible for commercial usage. It was still unable to produce native mobile apps. Yet, gradually, react native has become a popular tool that has gained community support and market share. You can use react native to build excellently functioning mobile apps.
Let us see a few things that enable the understanding of the importance and benefits of React Native
Before React Native was developed and launched, Facebook created its mobile app to check the viability of the platform. It managed to help the developers develop a stunning mobile app for the social media platform.
These days, everyone uses Facebook mobile apps and sure it feels like a native mobile app. As React Native has come out as an open-source, various other platforms are using it to develop their mobile apps.
2. Cross-Platform Compatibility
If you develop a mobile app using React Native, you inherently develop an app that works fine on both the platforms - iOS and Android. As the code of the app is compiled, it comes down to native Java and Swift code.
React Native connects the web UI components and their native counterparts. The most basic benefit that comes with it is, you don't need to develop two different apps for each of the platforms. Also, the layout and the features don’t need any kind of synchronization. This leads to a significant reduction in developmental costs.
3. Coding in a Familiar Programming Language
using react native.
4. Continuously Growing
People from Facebook are constantly working on react native development to improvise the framework. Chances are, you are unable to solve a problem using react native, but this can change in a few months.
5. Consumes Less Time
Consider a situation where you already have a web app built using ReactJS
. The components of the frontend developed using ReactJS can be shared among the mobile and web interfaces. This facilitates faster development.
6. Platform Consistency
React Native comes with cross-platform compatibility. In a general scenario, there is a lot of difference between an app built for Android and Apple. When it comes to developing an app using react native, these differences are dealt with.
This has been made possible because of a shared codebase. This enables a developer to spend less time in the development of apps for each platform. Instead, the same app can work on both platforms with the same efficiency.
7. Larger Audience
Since the mobile apps developed using React Native are cross-platform compatible, you can develop one app and target a larger audience. A single mobile app developed using React Native can work independently on both Android and iOS platforms. Hence, you can develop React Native iOS
and React Native Android
apps that are platform-independent.
This makes sure that through one app development, you can target both platforms, hence a wider section of the audience.
As React Native supports cross-platform development, one codebase can work to develop apps for Android and iOS platforms. To develop a native mobile app, you need to write different codes for changing platforms. This requirement is eliminated by using React Native app development. Thus, a React Native Android App
doesn’t need to be reframed to develop a React Native iOS app
Looking at the benefits of React Native
, it is not hard to guess why it is widely preferred for mobile app development. Similar to React Native launched by Facebook, there are various other mobile app development frameworks provided by various companies. The same tools also offer cross-platform compatibility. Following are the frameworks under consideration:
Google also released an open-source framework called Flutter
which aided developers in building cross-platform compatible mobile apps. With Flutter, it is easy to work with a new feature set while putting a fast refresh feature of it to good use. You can instantly see the changes made by the developer without restarting the app. Comparing Flutter vs. React Native
, Flutter can stand along with React Native because of the benefits it has to offer.
Microsoft also came up with its open-source solution which enables the developers to share from 75%-90% of the code between the apps. Since it is developed using the language called C#, it is difficult to be adopted by the developers. The developers that intend to work with Xamarin
, the latter happens to be the most preferred framework for mobile app development.
Examples of apps that use React Native
Since the launch of React Native in 2015, so many companies have used the framework to develop native-looking mobile applications. Let us take the examples of React Native
apps to see how we have been using them without knowing React Native:
- Facebook: Facebook used react-native to develop its mobile app.
- Skype: Skype was redesigned and redeveloped from scratch in 2017 using React Native.
- Instagram: To integrate push notifications, Instagram used React Native into an already existing Instagram app.
- Walmart: Walmart used react native to design and develop its application from scratch by writing the entire code in react native.
- UberEats: UberEats is one of the apps that form the list of apps that use react native for its development. Their development team did not have experience working with Android and iOS and the selection of React Native happened obviously.
- Pinterest: Pinterest initially worked with Gestalt. Since Gestalt and React Native were part of the same game, the development of Pinterest did not take a lot of time and effort.
Wrapping it Up
React Native has been elemental in mobile app development since its inception. If you are looking to develop platform-independent mobile app development, then React Native is an answer. If you look at the benefits and importance of React Native, you can see how you can save time, cost, and effort for mobile app development. All the popular apps that we use on a day to day basis have started using React Native to encompass all the benefits it has to offer.