React Native is a revolutionary cross-platform app development platform. Learn from the experience of a Full-Stack Developer company that has delivered over 600 projects and understand the pros and cons of Reactive Native. It will help you in choosing the right platform for your project.
Here are some of the biggest pros and cons of using React Native for your project. Consider these pros and cons while deciding whether to develop an application with React Native or not. Also, check out the examples of application types for which React Native will work best.
But… First let’s begin with
What’s React Native?
Facebook engineers created React Native in 2015. It allows you to accelerate the process of creating mobile applications and reduce the costs of their production. It’s a framework that helps to create cross-platform applications for Android and iOS platforms.
Now we can move on to The Pros and Cons of React Native.
React Native was created by Facebook engineers in 2015. It is a framework that helps developers to create cross-platform applications for iOS and Android platforms.
Considering that you already know about React Native, let’s move directly to the pros and cons of it.
Pros And Cons of React Native
Pros of React Native
What are the benefits of using React Native? The decision to create a mobile application using the React Native cross-platform framework comes with a number of advantages. Below I present the most interesting pros of using React Native (in my opinion).
So, what are the benefits of using React Native, and why it is advantageous for you?
You get numerous advantages using React Native cross-platform framework as we have got in our projects, here are some from our experience –
- Speeds up the app development process
So the very first and great advantage of using React Native is its ability to create applications for two different platforms using one code. Instead of coding two times for different platforms while working on a function/update, we immediately create them for mobile platforms with just one code. At one time we can release products on both platforms which speeds up our app development process by 30%.
And thanks to React Native’s community support and extensibility, the list of platforms they support is growing. You only need to install additional libraries.
- Reduces app development cost
Having one team and one programming language also allows eliminating problems when something disturbs the development between platforms. E.g. due to difficulties in implementation on a given platform or random factors such as a programmer’s sick leave in one team).
When one team works with one programming language, it becomes easy to eliminate problems in the development process.
Earlier, it was difficult for teams to work or eliminate problems if the programmer for one platform is absent for some reason and the others don’t have much knowledge about other platforms.
Basically, it becomes impossible for developers to switch between platforms when native languages are used. But React Native app development solves this problem for you, there’s no downtime and you can optimally plan the team’s work.
- Comes with external tools support
The App development process is not just about writing codes but also doing routine tasks. For example, building, testing, debugging, releasing the application, and a lot more.
Such repetitive tasks of the app development process are usually outsourced to external tools or services. The automatic functions by such tools help developers in focusing on adding new functions in the application instead of sticking to repetitive tasks. Through this, the problem of human error in repetitive activities is also eliminated.
Some of the prominent tools supporting the app development process that is also in React Native are –
– Code Magic
- Able to integrate native applications too
React Native comes with a dynamic mechanism allowing it to integrate with an already existing native application. This function offers many possibilities, you can find views written natively and views written with React Native both in a mobile application.
Developers can use a mixed approach while writing codes, in order to lower their costs some views can be written with React Native while complicated frameworks can remain native.
If you require a faster release of the new application, you can use this strategy. Your existing application can be rewritten in small steps and then transferred to a cross-platform solution.
- Ensures stability and consistent growth of app
React Native allows the developer to focus on app development without going into the details of the platform. This is possible because React Native shares its set of components that “know” how to display the app on a given platform.
Due to this feature, the process of building features of the app is more stable and inconsistency between platforms is eliminated. Also, it allows for better planning of application releases with new features.
- Provides you with a rich ecosystem
After comparing with multiple platforms we came to a conclusion that React Native provides better libraries and tools as compared to its alternatives.
React Native is based on ReactJS works it increases access to libraries and tools for RN’s framework.
Cons of React Native
What difficulties do engineers and application proprietors face with React Native?
The utilization of React Native, notwithstanding its undoubted benefits, likewise accompanies a few detriments and difficulties. You should consider them while picking this innovation for your application. Let’s plunge into the weaknesses of React Native now –
- Not a Native Solution
The performance problem usually arises in applications that are highly dynamic, which require continuous large changes on the screen.
Engineers at Facebook have made every possible effort to ensure that the platform is as fast as it could be and continuous improvements are being done to provide users with a native experience.
- Inferior Android support
In the initial days, React Native only supported the iOS platform. The support to the Android platform was added later in the subsequent releases. That’s why RN has weaker support for the Android platform. The framework development team is working to fix this issue. The android platforms require better accuracy and testing on this platform. Another disadvantage of RN on Android is its performance.
Therefore, various big applications built their android app on a native platform and used RN for iOS only.
- Hard to debug
Reactive Native is built using multiple coding languages which makes debugging bugs a difficult process. React native requires the basic knowledge of the native language of the platform.
To ease out the debugging process, the React Native community and developers integrated Flipper.
It provides lots of features for debugging making the issue slight less complicated for users.
- Testing is a challenging task
Testing in RN also becomes a little challenging. It presents the users with two new potential error groups since it is a cross-platform technology.
The first is how the app interacts with the native components and codes that cause errors on each platform.
RN is a mature framework. It is an actively used Facebook product and is used by various companies and a large community. Which is the reason we can say that RN is error-free.
The second group of errors comes in cross-platform, solutions related to the common source code. If there’s an error in the common source code then it will surely occur on every platform. For this reason, the tester has to check errors on each platform and the source code too.
In native development such errors across platforms don’t occur, the error can be fixed by fixing the bug once.
- Testing becomes time-consuming
Though it speeds up the development process, it consumes time in testing. The time spent in testing in native platforms is comparatively less. And sometimes it takes even more time in testing, this factor affects your choice of choosing RN as your development platform a lot.
- Team building is harder
The team in React Native development requires a basic knowledge of both the native and web technologies. It’s difficult to build a team that can cope up with the challenges arising in the development of a cross-platform application.
So When Should You Choose React Native?
If your application needs to be developed for both Android and iOS and is based on a custom design then it is a good choice. Its ability to run on both platforms parallely shortens the time of development. The styling also becomes faster due to custom design.
This platform is also useful for applications where time-to-market is very important and greatly useful if you want to reduce production costs.
For applications that require a simple graphical interface just to communicate with the API, such as basic tasks in a business where you just need to record transactions and present reports of the factory, display it to the user and receive the user’s changes in the server, it is a handy product. The common code will help in faster development and lower costs.
To create individual views or groups of views it’s worth considering using React Native while developing native applications.
This lowers the cost of their creation without compromising on the quality.
If your web application and target mobile application have the same functionalities then you should consider using React Native. Due to its rich ecosystem and common language the use of code becomes easy.
Also, React Native is a great choice for projects which do not need complex animations and strong integration with native technologies. Using React Native is not impossible in such cases but would require additional coding and work.
What are the alternatives to React Native?
Obviously RN is not the only cross-platform technology, various other players are in the market which too offers more or less the same and better features for development purposes.
The alternatives that you can choose other than RN are-
You can create a mobile application using any web technology with any framework using Hybrid applications. Use Apache Cordova framework to create a mobile application.
The advantage is, there is the possibility of using an existing web app and a common source code and the disadvantage is efficiency and the extra work on an app to ensure a native feel.
The most popular alternative to React Native currently is Google’s Flutter framework. Developers can render components very quickly which makes Flutter different from RN. Another advantage of Flutter is the Android support and iOS out-of-the-box design.
One of the oldest frameworks and a strong tech associated with Microsoft based on the C# language and the.NET framework. You can share up to 75% of the source code and it supports multifarious platforms such as iOS, tvOS, watchOS, Windows, Android, etc.
The disadvantage of this tech is a smaller community and smaller number of libraries. One of its con is also the high cost involved in the Visual Studio – the IDE license for you to create applications in this framework.
And the last alternative is of course the native technologies to write the application. An expensive and time-consuming way where two teams are needed to duplicate codes for different platforms.
Application performance is great however it also comes with various disadvantages like time consumption and heavy costs.
The biggest pros of using a cross-platform solution are the parallel production of code for both mobile platforms which saves time as well as resources.
Also, ReactJS enables developers to easily develop mobile applications from web applications.
React Native limitations
React Native also comes with certain flaws and limitations just as other platforms. One of which is its poor display of views in applications where rapid change of elements is involved, for example, large numbers of animations are poorly displayed.
Tracking the user’s location while the application is running in the background is also poorly supported. For this reason, you should thoroughly research whether the application you want to develop will use tools that are poorly supported by React Native.
While such limitations can be overcome by integrating native solutions, you need not eliminate RN from your choice just because of such limitations.
React Native is a 5-year old mature solution. The passionate community and Facebook team have actively supported the development of this technology. All large and small companies are its users and have greatly benefited from its use.
Consider the above pros and cons while choosing React Native as your platform.
And if you want expert solutions for your app development then we would love to take the weight off your shoulders of developing an app while you can focus on many important aspects of your business.
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