As the world of mobile apps expands beyond comprehension, demand for faster and better apps shoots up. On one hand, we all want apps that perform flawlessly and are sleek and gorgeous to look at. On the other hand, we need apps that are faster to deploy and take less time in developing. These two requirements are often at loggerheads with each other because high performance comes with native apps that take the time to develop, and faster deployment comes with cross-platform apps that compromise (at least a little) on performance.
There is a dire need for a solution in-between the two extremes and hybrid apps offer just that. That is why the quest for better languages, frameworks, and tools that help in the development of high-quality hybrid apps keeps programmers on their toes. One such solution that is rapidly transforming the world of mobile apps is Facebook and Instagram’s React Native.
1. Native Performance at Cross-Platform Speeds
React Native redefines the concept of cross-platform development and code-reuse. It lets you develop a common, reusable code for both iOS and Android, and easily embed native code wherever necessary to give the app more platform specific authenticity. This way, it saves you plenty of time by not having to write two sets of code and yet, it doesn’t make the app sluggish in specific operations where native code is required. Native performance and faster release cycles – that’s what React Native gives you.
Facebook used React Native to develop their Ads Manager app.
2. Easier Learning Curve
As for experienced developers who are already well versed in standard language features, React Native doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and introduce entirely new concepts. It, therefore, takes much less time to learn and in turn saves time and money on development.
3. Learn Once, Write Everywhere
‘Write once, run everywhere’ is a famous phrase in the cross-platform app development world. However, it has more negative than positive connotations as it is associated with sub par performance across both platforms. With React Native, on the other hand, Facebook clearly acknowledges the differences between the two platforms, and aims to do things differently and more efficiently, and calls the process ‘learn once, write everywhere’.
4. Great Developer Environment
Coding is no easy job and anything that makes developer’s lives easier is an outright winner. React Native has a great development environment and leads to a positive developer experience. What can we say, happy developers, are far more productive and React Native helps keep developers happy. React Native can make and implement changes in the app while it’s running, eliminating the need to restart. Here’s an excellent demo of that you can enjoy.
React Native uses flexbox for creating app layouts, allowing you to use the same layout for iOS, Android, and the web, eliminating the need to learn platform specific layouts. Also, you can leverage the Chrome developer tools to attach your React Native to your desktop chrome browser and gain easy access to its debugger and profiling tools.
Another great functionality React Native offers is that you can easily incorporate React Native components to any existing app, irrespective of the existing app code. So if you wish to jazz up a certain feature of an existing app or add a functionality, you can simply use one of the components from the React Native library as a plugin, without rewriting the rest of the app.
5. Instant Live Updates
Hybrid app development is certainly going to be one of the most sought after technologies in the future for mobile app development and with benefits like truly native performance and shorter development cycles; React Native will lead the charge. Now that you’ve read through the many virtues of React Native, be sure to consider it for your next hybrid mobile app development project and see how it works for you. If you have used it yourself, do share your experiences with us in the comments.