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by : Aashiya Mittal
September 2nd 2022
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There is no doubt how fast the mobile industry has grown and spread its wings in the market. With the availability of thousands of mobile applications, everyone is getting smarter. You will be amazed by the number of different mobile applications downloaded so far and in the coming years.

Thus, you can say that an innovative and interactive mobile application has become the need of the hour. Different languages and platforms have been used to create amazing applications so far. But what is a new and trending thing in mobile app development?

Creating mobile applications is a creative task for that developer who requires quick and efficient language. Thus, here we are discussing React Native. But what is it, and how is it leaving the traditional technologies behind? As you can see from the below chart how React native has outranked other alternatives for app development.

So, in this article, we will be throwing some light on the popular debate about why React Native is better than Native for app development. Earlier mobile apps were created using native languages. Then what has changed? Let’s deep dive into the details and explore why React is getting popular.

What is Native?

What is Native

Before we jump to React Native. First we understand what native is. Native applications are developed to be used on a single platform or machine. Such applications use device-specific hardware and software. This has increased the mobile app development time to run on different platforms, which is a challenging task for any developer.

Thus, the introduction of React Native spread a positive vibe to reduce the tension among developers. But, you will be shocked to know that React Native is just a product of a big technological mistake.

Before the introduction of RN, the native app was used for large-scale and top brands, such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Banking apps. It will be foolish to say that RN has completely wiped out the native apps, as many companies still use them per their business requirements.

Native apps are one of the dedicated solutions with superior performance, thus are still popular for B2C or C2C purposes. It does not compromise on quality, performance, cost, and development time. To understand why Native is getting replaced by many companies, we must look at its pros and cons.

Why use Native apps?

Below are the benefits of using native app development.

  • You will experience better and improved performance as the applications load and runs faster with minimal chances of bugs.
  • The code will run directly on top of the OS without needing any software layer in between, so there will be no impact on performance. Thus, you can use GPS, accelerometer, and microphone faster and better.
  • It helps developers to leverage platform-specific tools and libraries for optimized performance.
  • Even without the internet, your applications will adapt automatically without any impact on their working. Such apps will only need the internet to load the fresh data while working perfectly fine without the internet.
  • It has a better UI experience.
  • Native apps are highly secured as the base code is compiled to assembly language without exposing the source code.

Disadvantages of using Native apps

Despite several advantages and the capability to handle platform-specific applications so gracefully, it has some limitations.

  • As the natively compiled code on top of the OS, you cannot use the code for any other platform, and developers need to create new code for different platforms.
  • Apart from this, you need to invest more time and money in creating multiple versions of your app for different platforms. Cost is one of the major factors for companies with a limited budget to switch to RN (React Native).
  • Native apps come with expensive maintenance. Whenever a company thinks of updating or enhancing any app feature, it will accumulate huge costing, as shown below.

Use cases of Native apps

Some use cases make more sense when you use native apps rather than cross-platform like React native apps. Some scenarios are-

  • Native apps work well when you launch complex applications that need to use all the required features of the underlying device or platform.
  • As you can leverage all the features, having native apps will help you experience the core goodness of the underlying device or platform.
  • Some apps perform better when curated for a specific platform; in that case, companies prefer native apps instead of cross-platform apps.
  • It suits better when you have sufficient resources to support the logistical demands to run many mobile development streams while keeping them in sync.

Well, you cannot say that native app development is outdated. But if we want a cross-platform framework for developing mobile apps, we must look forward to React Native.

React Native, an improved choice for app development?

In 2015, Facebook released an open-source project (React Native) as a JavaScript-based mobile app framework. It has thrilled the entire development community as it can create natively-rendered mobile apps for iOS and Android. Developers can simply create an application for different platforms by using the same codebase for different platforms.

Today, every developer is using React Native to create fantastic mobile-based applications. Within no time, React Native has become popular among developers. Not only this, the top giants in the market are using the unending power of React Native. Some top examples are Instagram, Facebook, and Skype. There are several reasons that have made React Native a top choice of every mobile developer.

Firstly, with React Native, you only need just one single code to make it run on both iOS and Android platforms, resulting in huge time and resource savings. React Native is written using JavaScript and recognized as a “hybrid” framework, making it platform-independent. Thus, it differs from traditional apps written in native languages such as Java or Kotlin.

Hybrid or Native- The Impact on Development price

Secondly, React Native was built based on top of React, which is a common and popularity used JavaScript library.

Thirdly, the framework benefits frontend developers, who used to produce production-ready apps for mobile platforms.

In the past few years, React Native has been giving tough competition to other cross-platform frameworks in the past few years, as shown below.

Working on the React Native

React Native is a JavaScript-based framework for creating iOS and Android applications. To render UI, it also uses native components to render UI to provide the native feel and added portability. Facebook came up with React Native for a smoother process of cross-platform mobile development. All programming is done using JavaScript with JSX extension.

If you are creating Android applications, the views are written using Kotlin or Java. In contrast, to create an iOS application, views are written using Swift or Objective-C. But using React Native (RN), you can create these views with JavaScript using React components to create a native application, as the components are backed by the same views as Android and iOS.

The important thing to note is that the JavaScript code will be run in a separate thread, so there will be no impact on the animations and UI.

JavaScript handles all the business logic, while the native realm renders the UI and handles the device interactions smoothly. These two domains rely on something called “the Bridge” to communicate.

Advantages of React Native

Below are some significant advantages of using React Native.

  • Developers can create a mobile or hybrid app development for all platforms with a single code. It has reduced the manual effort for every mobile developer. Thus, companies prefer RN due to reduced development and maintenance costs.
  • Due to cross-platform, maintenance has become easier.
  • As you can create apps for both the App store and the play store, you can cater to a large audience than native apps.
  • React native developers can create apps for different mobile platforms, thus requiring fewer resources.

Disadvantages of using React Native

Despite its increasing popularity and usage, React native still has some limitations that a developer must be aware of.

  • There is no doubt that creating cross-platform applications can be beneficial in many ways, but it might hamper your application’s performance. Smartphones have low computing power as compared to a desktop, so rendering the HTML5 or CSS UI elements in the app takes more GPU and CPU resources, which can impact the response time of the application or even crash.
  • With a cross-platform facility, you cannot expect your applications to leverage all the features and functionalities of the device it is running, which brings some restrictions. For example, an app that can run on both Android and iOS, neither of them can experience at home.
  • Highly dependent on the maintenance team as they will notify any issue and provide support for the newly introduced feature.

Use cases of React Native apps

Choosing React native is a straightforward choice for developers. They know when to go for native and when for React native. Below are some use cases that consider React native.

  • React native suits better for simple or medium-level complex applications that can run on any platform without technical issues. Some apps like business automation, e-Commerce, etc.
  • If you have a limited deadline and budget, you can simply choose to react native for cross-platform mobile app development.
  • If you do not have geographical limitations, blindly go for react native cross-platform application development.

 

React Native vs. Native

As we see the basic picture, React Native and native app development has the following differences that make both of them unique. Both have different use cases and requirements from developers.

Cross Platform vs. Native

React Native vs. Native

What makes React Native a possible choice for startups?

What makes React Native a possible choice for startups?

React Native is getting more popularity among startups due to the below-mentioned reasons.

  • Startups usually target every type of audience. That is only possible if they create cross-platform applications. For this, developers mostly prefer React Native app development services.
  • Also, it might be difficult and out of budget to have cross-skilled developers who can create applications with different codes for different platforms. Thus, using React Native reduces the effort in hiring professionals.
  • Startups normally have a low budget, so their demand can only be fulfilled using React Native approach.
  • With React native, startups can launch their applications simultaneously for different platforms.

Brands using React Native?

Below are some top brands in the market using React Native.

Top brands in the market using React Native

Conclusion: a stop to an endless debate

It is estimated that the mobile market will keep booming and can break its record, as per the below stats.

Mobile-apps revenue

Choosing between React native and native apps is not a complex decision. It depends on your project requirement. You can consider various factors while making the decision. Both have different use cases, pros, and cons that make the decision even simple.

We hope, you got answers to all your confusion. This might be a never-ending debate, but for some, it is an easy choice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aashiya Mittal

A computer science engineer with great ability and understanding of programming languages. Have been in the writing world for more than 4 years and creating valuable content for all tech stacks.

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