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by : Aashiya Mittal
December 6th 2023
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Here you will get a complete guide about React Native vs Native for app development. So 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 vs native.

But what is it, and how is it leaving the traditional technologies behind? As you can see from the below chart 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 Application is better than Native 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 what is 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 vs 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 would 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, they 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.

[Also Read: React Native Vs Swift: Which One Is Better In 2024]

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 run 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 into 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 costs, 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 you better when you have sufficient resources to support the logistical demands of running 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 natives react. Some top examples are Instagram, Facebook, and Skype. Several reasons have made React Native a top choice for every mobile developer.

Firstly, with React Native, you only need 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.

React Native, an Improved Choice for App Development

Secondly, React Native was built on top of React, which is a common and popular 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, 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 larger 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.

Some Other Factors about React Native vs Native:

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

React Native vs Native

difference

What Makes React Native a Possible Choice for Startups?

What Makes React Native a Possible Choice for Startups

React Native is gaining 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 the React Native approach.
  • With React native, startups can launch their applications simultaneously for different platforms.

Which Popular Brands Using React Native?

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

Brands Using React Native

1. Facebook:

Facebook uses React Native for it’s ability to streamline cross-platform development because it allows developers to write code once and deploy it on both iOS and Android platforms.

Also, React native promotes code reusability, and offers a balance between performance and development speed.

2. Instagram:

Instagram uses React Native to makes it cost-effective and maintains a consistent user experience.

3. Skype:

Major companies like Microsoft uses React Native to develop the app for Skype as it help save them time and cost by reducing the efforts to create separate apps for iOS and Android. 

4. Discord:

Discord used React Native to be available over all the mobile platform without much effort to build separate apps for each platform. 

5. Shopify:

As you know Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform and it uses multiple technologies for different aspects of its platform, including its mobile applications. It is also used react native for making this platform.

6. Tesla:

Tesla has used React Native for their electric cars and Powerwall

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

For choosing React native vs native apps is not a complex decision. It depends on your project requirements. You can consider various factors while making the decision.

Both have different use cases, pros, and cons that make the decision even simpler.

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

FAQs

Q. Is React Native Better than Native?

It depends on factors according to your requirements such as development speed, code reusability, performance requirements, and the need for platform-specific features. 

  • React Native is often a good choice for startup projects with a focus on cross-platform development and efficiency. 
  • The native development is preferred for projects requiring maximum performance and access to platform-specific capabilities.

Now it is your choice which one is suited for you.

Q. Is React Native Slower than Native Apps?

It is right that React Native apps can be slightly slower than fully native apps in terms of performance.

The slower reason for React Native is to introduce an additional layer of abstraction, using JavaScript to interact with native modules, which can introduce a bit of overhead.

Q. Is React Native Hybrid or Native?

  • React Native uses a hybrid framework and it combines elements of both native and web development approaches. Also, it permits developers to write code using JavaScript and React, which is then executed using native components.
  • The core logic and much of the UI are written in JavaScript for the React Native app. Also react native app leverages native components for rendering, allowing it to achieve a native look and feel.

Q. Does Anyone Still Use React Native?

React native is the most popular framework for building cross-platform mobile applications. Also, most popular brands such as Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, Skype, Discord, and others use React Native for their mobile app development.

For the latest information on the usage of React Native, you can check recent surveys, developer forums, and the official React Native GitHub repository.

Q. Is React Native Fully Native?

No, React Native is not fully native and it is a framework that allows to developers for the development of mobile applications using a combination of JavaScript and native components.

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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