Almost a decade ago, Facebook had an internal Hackathon, and React Native was represented there. It was officially released in 2015 as an addition to React.
The name suggests that it’s React’s improved version, but we will make that confusion clear right now.
React (or ReactJS) is a JS library containing elements and code pieces to build an app skeleton. React Native is a framework that may use the React components to enhance the UI, and add decorations and makeup components to the app. Both of them are focused on building functional mobile apps.
What is React Native, and What are its Pros?
React Native, as a framework, allows the developers to write the code and reuse some of the components as needed.
But why use React Native to write the app code instead of native development? Let’s see what the advantages of this framework are.
1. Unique Approach to Creating Cross-Platform Solutions
React Native allows creating iOS and Android apps using one code for them all. The developers are reusing the code and its parts to work on great solutions for web and mobile. The main focus is on multi-purpose mobile apps, but programmers can use it for dynamic web solutions too.
2. Saves Time and Money
Developing a native app is an expensive process. It requires many resources, and knowledge in specific languages and frameworks, like Java, Kotlin, Swift, etc. But React Native decreases the time for development and cuts down the costs. The labor hours are much reduced, which is impossible with native programming languages and frameworks.
3. Job Positions for Many Developers
4. Pre-Ready Components and Elements
The main benefit of the RN framework is using integrated and pre-ready pieces of code that can be used when working on a new app. For example, there are libraries such as react native elements or NativeBase, full of pre-build components to speed up the development process but still result in a unique project.
React Native features hundreds of libraries, usually published on GitHub. Most of them are provided by the contributors, who actively work to improve the overall experience.
5. Updates and Maintenance are Easier With React Native
Even though it uses native elements, the process of updating the apps with React Native is the easiest in the world. The clear code gives the developer an intuitive react native navigation to track down the bugs and fix them. Improvements and maintenance are easy to handle because there is no need to rewrite the whole code to make those changes.
The Cons of React Native
Since there are too many advantages, we expect that there are some disadvantages too. Remember, nothing is perfect, and the same goes for React Native too. So, let’s see what the potential drawbacks of this framework are.
1. Sometimes, the Apps may Have Performance Issues
In many cases, native coding offers better solutions than cross-platform development. That doesn’t make React Native a bad framework, but a true native code is sometimes needed to enhance the app’s performance.
2. Lack of Custom Modules
You have many code pieces and functions available. But, you will have to build some modules from scratch for more complex apps.
Also, if you need complicated design and advanced functionalities, we suggest going for native development.
3. App Updating Problems
Meta (formerly known as Facebook) always improves React Native, launching new framework versions. That means the developers must update the apps too. But, sometimes, it’s too difficult to keep all the apps up to date when there are new versions of React Native to get used to.
4. Doesn’t Support Multiprocessing
5. Errors may Occur While Rendering the App
Some components may not work similarly with iOS and Android. That may result in errors that require rebuilding the code over and over again. We must be aware that iOS and Android are different operating systems, which means sometimes, some features may cause more problems than flexibility.
Is React Native Still a Great Choice for Cross-Platform app Building?
Knowing the good sides and perks, we can easily see if React Native would work for our project or not. Some apps can be written with this framework and work perfectly every time.
Sometimes, a hybrid approach is needed. That means, React Native developers may need to work together with native programmers to enhance the performance and fix the bugs before the app is launched. In some cases, using other cross-platform frameworks is more efficient than sticking to React Native only.
Anyway, we can’t deny the fact that React Native resolved many issues when it was launched. It works great for many big companies and their apps and comes with a vast community ready to help a friend in need.
It’s up to you to see if it fits your projects and requirements or if you need something else to execute your ideas.