Now it is hard to imagine, but there were no technologies for cross-platform development a couple of years ago. So people had to write the same application twice. For that reason, they needed a good knowledge of several programming languages. So they learned Java to write an Android application and Objective-C for iOs. As it took a lot of time, many developers dreamed of creating a code that they could use on any platform. There was a solution – Apache Cordova, but it had plenty of drawbacks. Luckily, Facebook decided to deal with the problem. And its community did it, getting rid of Cordova's disadvantages. That is how React Native was born.
It is an open-source framework that Facebook released in 2015. Though it is only six years old, it has established itself as a trustworthy and easy-to-use framework. When using it, you do not create an HTML5 page or a mobile web application. You get a mobile application that users will not distinguish from applications on Java, Swift, or Objective-C.
When it comes to pure native apps, you need two teams specialized in iOS and Android. Having two teams leads to communication gaps and a complicated development process. It may result in bugs and app instability. And if you hire an expert who knows both programming languages, it will cost you a fortune.
One of the most compelling benefits is that multi-platform software reduces time to market. Application development is always a time-consuming process. Especially if you use native languages such as Java or Objective-C. Luckily, with React Native things are different. There is no need to write separate codes. Also, you have an opportunity to reuse the code, changing only part of it. This also accelerates the process.
Support from a strong community helps out in complex situations. So you can get help from experts. If you have any problems, you can join a Discord chat. There are more than 165 thousand members that can find a solution. Subreddits are also noteworthy. Surf through the pages to find a huge amount of discussion. There are many developers with considerable experience who can give you advice.
Also, there are lots of plugins available in the public domain that can be useful. That is why by using ReactNative, you can save more effort compared to creating the same app for Android and iOS.
You can create a unique and engaging user interface. This is because you have a variety of options such as Picker, Button, Slider, Switch, and many others. You can also create your own components with TouchableNativeFeedback or TouchableOpacity.
Another big advantage is that you can enable automatic updates. So you do not have to go through the standard manual installation procedure through the App Store or the Play Store. The ability to automatically update all applications eliminates problems with earlier versions.
The hot reload feature is one of the most useful for developers. As it is powerful when dealing with rapidly changing data, developers can release updates without any downtime. How does it work? This function allows you to inject changes into the code and see the change in the application in real time. Thus, you can update an application that is already running. All you have to do is to edit the source code. And it only takes 1 second to save the file.
Though native apps demonstrate a high level of performance, React Native apps also show impressive results. How is it possible? It differs greatly from other cross-platform frameworks like Cordova, Ionic, or Titanium. They simulate the browser environment like a site that pretends to be a mobile app. Unlike them, React Native uses native APIs. So it is the best choice when you need the speed of native applications, but you do not want to mess with their complexity.
As you see, React Native has lots of benefits. Yet the choice of the mobile stack depends on your goals. For a large-scale project, it might not be the best solution. So how to understand you should give it a try? We recommend it if you do not have a clear idea of the target audience, in-demand functions, and the market niche.
Unlike in native development, you can release an app in 2 weeks and get feedback from your users. As a result, you can make any improvements and fixes that will be relevant for both mobile platforms. At the same time, the price is at least two times lower. And the time from the start of development to the release to the market will be minimal. Besides, if necessary, nothing prevents you from using modules. Some of them can be executed in React Native, and some can be from native components.
The flexibility of the approach and the ability to quickly refine make it one of the most popular tools for mobile developers. And, what is most important for customers is that it helps to reduce costs and risks.
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