As it comes to building apps for mobile platforms, React Native seems to answer the longstanding prayers of programmers. Well, all software developers out there want to have an easy, fun language providing a fast track to completion, easy to debug and performs really well on targeted platforms – mainly as a native app, rather than an emulated or interpreted one.
Resultantly, the ideas for a finished application become a reality a lot more quickly and they are not sluggish in the responsiveness on any of the intended devices.
For those who are really not software engineers, ‘native’ simply means software that’s pre-compiled (translated) into the machine code (the instruction set), which is indigenous to a particular device.
Usually, native code runs a lot faster as compared to programming code that needs to be interpreted and then converted to machine code on the fly. Also, Native is faster than imported native code from a foreign device that needs to be emulated locally. After all, the translation slows down the process.
Meanwhile, React Native seems to be the new favorite language of software development, with it allowing software engineers to learn once and to develop for multiple platforms. So much is its prominence that Google trends show that ‘React Native’ as a search term has been searched more than ‘Android development’ or ‘iOS development’.
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Offers Better Development Environment
Developers are actually enjoying their time developing apps on the React Native environment. Like hot reloading refreshes the UI just instantly whenever any alterations are made to the file. Even the removals of mundane re-build and deploy from the iteration cycle’s offers a pleasant development experience.
In case of React Native, it uses Flexbox layout engine for both platforms, which means you, will require learning just one layout engine for development on both Android and iOS.
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Builds Near Native Apps
In case of React Native apps, they are pretty indistinguishable from the native apps. Like it uses the same UI building blocks as used in case of native apps, as well as it gives developers an option to write codes in native languages whenever needed. Also, it is quite easy to switch to Swift of Java while fine-tuning a certain component.
Live Updates & Code Push
In the case of iOS, longer approval times are more specific. However, when all your user’s app is updated on-a-fly, it ensures that you won’t require dealing with older version issues.
Shorter Development Cycle
With React Native, the process of mobile app development is a lot faster. Out there is this huge developer community that supports React, and with it being an open-source project – there are a lot of components which are available for usage. In fact, we registered a drop of around 30% in development times when using open-source components.
Redux, which is the state management tool, has also helped in drastically reducing development times. Things get faster when creating one shared data layer for both Android and iOS and also there is a lesser scope of failure with it.
It is a Cross-Platform Compatible
A huge number of React Native APIs are cross-platform, thus it means that your one component is going to work on both Android and iOS. It allows development of complete and full-blown apps that feel, look and run native – even without the need to write a single line of platform-specific code.
However, there are times, when you require being platform-specific. Like, design implications differ on iOS and Android. For such cases, React offers its Platform module and Platform specific file extensions.
With the Platform module, one can detect the OS the app runs on, which then can be used to define platform-specific implementations. With platform specific file extensions, one can define files for particular platforms. With React, it gets easier to automatically pick up correct file depending on OS the app runs on.
Third-party plug-in compatibility
With third-party plugins, you won’t require relying on a WebView for some specific functions. Like, when adding Google Maps functionality to the app, React allows you to link the plugin with a native module, this way you get to link the map with device’s functions such as a compass, rotate and zoom, while loading faster and using less memory. When your app is supporting older operating systems (and older devices), it helps in keeping the app run smoothly.
Not just developing mobile apps with React Native is easier and a lot more effective, but also the apps developed are of very high quality. A number of mobile app development companies are already making a switch to React, owing to its rich ecosystem. Hence, this one is here to stay for all good reasons.
Arun Goyal is Managing Director of Octal IT Solution, a leading Web & Mobile App Development Company offering platform to hire dedicated developers for your on-demand development requirements. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn.