React.Native: What Came out Awesome and What Is Yet to Be Achieved

Feb 4, 2019

All the hustles around Facebook’s data privacy leaks seem not to touch its brainchild, React.Native. Its geography is expanding along with the functionality it provides to its users. For Bloomberg, Walmart and SoundCloud among many others React.Native have already become a superior option as compared to other solutions. View in more detail what makes React.Native a standing-out app-building option and what can be refined for the famous framework.

Today’s mobile app market is robust and customer-centric. In their turn, users are reacting quickly and ready to pay dearly for their favorites. As a result, only in 2017 total app downloads topped 175 billion with $86 billion paid by the customers, respectively. 1H18 financial highlights already mentioned $34.4 billion spent by users on mobile apps and games. With that in mind, to further fuel the growth of the sector, manufactures are focusing on high performing, glitch-free and responsive products. As a response to such a wish list, React.Native was introduced.

A joker to kill two birds

Facebook has shown React.Native, its joker, in March 2015. Although initially it was used for iOS, little time had passed before its characteristics allowed to develop its compatibility with Android. Apps developed for a specific platform and operating nicely on their native platform are great. Nevertheless, who would ever choose not to kill two birds with one stone? Since then, the framework has brought more speed, simplicity and scalability into app development.

‘The army of lovers’ for React.Native is growing both in number and quality. Instagram, SoundCloud, Bloomberg, Walmart and many Fortune 500 companies are among its well-established admirers. Great players are literally glued to the framework because of the functionality, look and feel it gives to their apps.

Nevertheless, as the initial hype is cooling down, let’s have a level-headed review of what came out awesome and what didn’t for React.Native.

Some things couldn’t work out better…

React.Native, in the first place, is a framework that allows for easy application development for Android and iOS at the same time. One and the same codebase (JavaScript) is used for developers to create cross-platform apps. Debugging time is also cut in two, as once the bug is found, it is fixed for the two platforms simultaneously. A more elegant and time-saving solution could hardly be delivered for those targeting both Android and iOS.

React.Native interacts with native components and renders code to native APIs (both for iOS and Android), which gives an app impressive performance. The above-mentioned components are ready-made, so the developer does not have to write the code from scratch.

Huge thanks go to the React.Native team for leaving it an open source project. Growing community of experts is becoming more approachable and chances to get qualified assistance are growing higher.

Hiring a professional JavaScript developer is a must in case you opt for React.Native, since the ability to code in JavaScript is not something people are born with. However you’ll save on coding time, since application development process is simultaneous for both platforms. Moreover, building a single team of professionals instead of two is quicker, with task targeting and management taking less time and energy.

Instant updates is another feature that is mostly appreciated by application software developers. No need to use app stores anymore. Hot reloading is used to refresh the user interface on the simulator if changes are introduced to the file. As a result, it makes the iteration cycle much simpler and completely removes the tiresome re-building and deploying procedure.

With all the perks React.Native may offer to the businesses and to the developers, the success of any technology is mostly defined by a customer’s loyalty. This, in its turn may depend on very basic user’s joys: easy scrolling, animation characteristics, keyboard behavior, etc. The interface created with React.Native incorporates native widgets and performs admirably. Thus, developing apps with React.Native is a viable solution if one wants to get a stable and competitive product that users will love.

…while others pretty much could

The framework is not as mature as its Android or iOS competitors, however, and is definitely a no go for a sophisticated complex application. Ready-made components are relatively small in quantity. Although third-party libraries are available in abundance, one needs a great deal of luck not to get a bunch of bugs instead of smoothly written code lines, unfortunately.

Keep in mind, though, that getting access to the device’s camera/microphone or other hardware will require additional native coding. As we’ve already mentioned, the native components have actually been prepared for a developer in advance. Yet, the more sophisticated piece of software you want, the higher the price, the clearer the weaknesses of the framework.

Security concerns add up to the list of shortages the React.Native team is better off dealing with. We would suggest that you don’t rely solely on JavaScript-based library, which is famous for its fragility. Especially, if you need high-class security for mobile banking applications or similar apps. Moreover, not so long ago Google announced new API requirements: Android app developers must support recent APIs which are aimed to ensure higher security. This is kind of troublesome for software developers to do in JavaScript and far simpler in native languages.

In the view of the recent data privacy scandals, is Facebook’s ownership over the product threatening to React.Native longevity? Given the global demand for more apps to be developed, the social giant is unlikely to scale back further improvement of its framework, however formidable current circumstances may be.

The last, but not the least

After trying out React.Native, Airbnb announced this summer that they are back to native apps building. Backed by Udacity, they are sure ‘true native apps will always be the best choice’. However, Tesla, Uber, Adidas, and Vogue who have their apps built in React.Native, are not so sure.

A bonus fact: JavaScript topped Programming, Scripting, and Markup Languages according to Developer Survey Results 2018 by Stack Overflow. With official data unavailable, how much of its popularity is down to it being a core language to React.Native is unclear. Or is it? 😉 

Contact us at request@qulix.com for more expertise on React.Native. Want more info on our app development projects? Everything is here.

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