React Native Development

What is React Native Framework?

React Native is one of the most revolutionary frameworks designed for the development of cross-platform applications i.e. applications compatible with multiple platforms or operating systems like Android, iOS, etc. This is an open-source JavaScript framework, and a code library that was developed by Facebook in the year 2015. So despite being as young as five years, React Native’s popularity is much higher as compared to other older frameworks.

The reason behind its soaring popularity is its ability to develop high-performing apps in lesser time while keeping the budgets under control. For better insights on the benefits it offers, please read our blog- “Noteworthy Pros and Cons of the React Native Framework!

Today, this vibrant technology is extensively employed by small/medium-scale enterprises, start-ups, and giants as well for a wide range of industrial applications. Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Microsoft, Snapchat, Airbnb, Tencent QQ, and Uber are just a few names amongst the ones who chose React Native development for some or the other part of their projects.

The Story of React Native’s Inception and Journey!

As specified earlier, the term ‘React Native’ was first coined by Facebook in 2015. The idea of creating a framework that reduced the dependency on HTML was running in the minds of Mark Zuckerberg and software engineers at Facebook. In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg had given a statement saying, “The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML as opposed to native.” The reason behind this was the instability of the Facebook mobile app that was built on HTML5. It retrieved the data way too slowly and also had some other issues that affected the app performance.

Due to such technical limitations on one side and growing customer expectations on the other, the Facebook team worked hard to design a robust framework. After months of R&D, a software engineer named Jordan Walke came up with the first version for the React JavaScript Configuration. Initially, React Native was developed to support just iOS, but before releasing it for public use in 2015, the team ensured it supports Android too.

Within just three years, React Native was the biggest project so far on GitHub with about 91,000+ contributors. Today, this framework is considered a “Groundbreaking Discovery!” No wonder why React Native App development is being widely adopted for all kinds of software development needs.

How business can benefit from React Native development?

This futuristic framework is already being widely utilized by diverse businesses for countless applications. So, why do so many businesses pick React Native? What advantages does the React Native framework offer? Let’s analyze them so that you will be able to make an informed decision while choosing the apt technology for your upcoming mobile app development project.

Free and open-source: Being a free and open-source framework, React Native is easily accessible by everyone. It is compatible with several platforms at once.

Cost- and time-efficiency: It supports code-reusability across various platforms, thus, saving time and efforts of React Native developers to a great extent.

Native-like appearance: Since native modules and components are used in React Native app development, the final apps have appearance and performance close to native apps.

Faster time-to-market: Due to code reusability and availability of several ready-made components, development cycles become shorter while ensuring a faster time to market.

Captivating UI features: React Native is nothing but a JavaScript framework and the asynchronous connections in JavaScript result in highly responsive and attractive user interface in the React Native applications.

Strong community support: It is backed by a vibrant community that consists of talented developers across the globe from big players like Facebook, Microsoft, Callstack, GitHub, Software Mansion, Infinite Red, etc.

Remarkable Technical Goodies offered by React Native!

Apart from the generic advantages of React Native that we saw earlier, it also offers a host of technical features and functionalities like the below.

  • Modular architecture that helps in dividing the code into small chunks called modules for easing out the development procedure.
  • Third-party plugin support with flexible customization options.
  • Hot-reloading functionality which allows the instant reflection of any modifications done in the code to show in the apps, even when the apps are running.
  • Declarative coding style for making the reading and understanding of the code quite easier for React Native developers.
  • Easy migration.
  • ReactJS’s programming model that is based on JavaScript for building advanced end-products.
  • These are explained in a detailed manner in our blog here. Along with the aforesaid features, React Native UI libraries also play a significant role in speeding up the React Native development process. To name a few, React Native Elements, React Native Mapview, React Redux, React Native Firebase, etc. are some of the best UI libraries.

    What is cross-platform development?

    When we talk about React Native development, we can’t miss mentioning cross-platform development. Numerous tech enthusiasts and app development experts have even claimed the React Native framework to be the future of cross-platform development.

    So first of all, what is cross-platform development?

    Well, it is the approach of creating software products or services that are compatible with multiple platforms or operating systems. For instance, with the use of the React Native framework, the developers can create a single code-base that can be used for Android as well as iOS applications. This approach not only results in cost-effective and faster development but also helps to reach a broader spectrum of audiences at once. Here are some insights into why cross-platform development is so popular amongst the developer community.

    But, this was not the case a few years back. The code created for a single OS could not be repurposed for another. The developers needed to write separate code for every platform which was much time-consuming. Also, when the cross-platform approach was introduced in the market, it was risky, less user-friendly, and difficult to work with. Today, it has progressed a lot. There are numerous advanced technologies available which support cross-platform development and React Native is one of them.

    Why React Native is preferred for building robust cross-platform applications?

    • Reusable code allows using around 80% of code on other platforms.
    • It ensures outreach to a host of end-users at once.
    • Less number of React Native developers are needed for this kind of approach.
    • The framework supports the creation of efficient, reliable, and safe applications.
    • Despite being a time-efficient technology, React Native makes no compromise on the quality; it enables the development of high-performing end-products.
    • The applications are built faster and are easier to update and maintain.
     

    What are the drawbacks of React Native Framework!

    Though React Native has touched the heights of popularity, it is not free of drawbacks. Like any other technology, it has its share of cons. We have penned down the potential drawbacks of React Native app development below.

    Lack of Security Robustness

    React Native is an open-source technology based on JavaScript and JavaScript is quite unstable when it comes to security robustness. So, this framework isn’t a perfect suit for the development of data-sensitive applications related to the banking or finance sectors.

    Debugging and Compatibility Issues

    A plethora of giant corporates are using React Native for their web and mobile app development projects, but it is still in its infancy. There are several enhancements to be done yet. The React Native developers may come across issues in debugging tools or with package compatibility. If the developers aren’t well-experienced, these issues can consume their time and make the troubleshooting process lengthier. Also, it can adversely affect the end-product.

    Absence of some Custom Modules and other Components

    Though there are various “ready-made” modules and components available in React Native, their collection is smaller than required. Some custom modules are completely missing and some are not much useful. Similarly, some components do not even meet the standard requirements. Due to such limitations, there are times when the developers end-up creating basic apps. So, for complicated apps, developers may have to maintain three separate codebases for Android, iOS, Native, etc.

    Hinders Scalability

    At times, scalability issues are observed in React Native applications. But it is said that with the advancements made to this framework, such issues will be resolved at the earliest.

    Well, React Native can support complex and highly-sophisticated apps too. As we all know, Skype, Facebook, etc. are backed by this framework for many years now. However, some companies like Airbnb did not find this technology to be the right fit for their business needs. Airbnb’s team decided to build two native applications instead.