Advantages and Disadvantages of React Native
When a company develops apps they would really love to develop apps that function well on all platforms, leading to the development of cross-platform development., as opposed to native app development. This is becoming the most popular choice in mobile app development solution.
Keeping that in mind, let’s browse through some of the key benefits and disadvantages of React Native.
Why do businesses and developers love React Native?
- Hot reloading
React Native has the hot reloading feature that lets all the images be reflected on to the app almost at the same time, making it look like a live preview. The code changes can be seen right away. The developers love it because they can see the results of their work without waiting, and businesses love it because there is no time wastage.
- Super performance, without any compromise
With its native controls and native modules, React Native exhibits excellent performance level when compared to other frameworks. React Native interacts with native (targeted) Android and iOS components and renders native APIs directly. The performance improves as it uses a separate thread from User Interface. This biggest advantage happens when React uses native APIs.
- Reuse the code
Developers love the code reusability factor of this framework. All they need to do is one mobile application and then adapt it to the next platform. Almost 90% of the code is used making it a huge time and money saver. Additionally, the availability of pre-developed ready-to-use components in the framework’s library.
- Fast Refresh option
With the fast refresh option, developers can run the app even when updating the app, and modify the UI. As the changes are visible immediately, the developer can save a lot of time and improve their productivity.
- A bright future
The platform was instantly appreciated and applauded by the developer community, and the rate at which the platform grew ensures that the future is bright. There are a few disadvantages which we will discuss shortly, but the speed, budget-saving feature and convenience of development makes it all the more easy.
What businesses get from choosing React Native
React Native is certainly different from other cross-platform frameworks in respect that they realise and acknowledge the differences between different platforms, and React Native accepts all that. Businesses focussing in iOS apps can include modules indigenous to that and same with Android too.
With libraries like React Native for Web or React XP, it is possible to develop desktop apps so minor tweaking and there is no need to build separate apps for all platforms.
Another advantage that businesses enjoy with React Native is that they just need to hire JS developers and no need for separate teams of developers with knowledge in Swift or Kotlin. There is a huge time and money saver. Just a team of JS developers and they would work together, in agile methodology to ensure better success.
Why developers love React Native?
As explained above, the Hot Reloading feature is one aspect of React Native that draws the developers to choose this framework for cross-platform app development. The framework also comes with scroll, animations, buttons, text inputs and a host of other features to help them cover basic tasks quickly. And when compared to native app development, component usage is quite simplified.
Can handle low budget plans
Startups and beginning entrepreneurs prefer to use this framework because they can release a product into the market with limited resources. Hiring a couple of React Native developers into the team would be just perfect for a tech savvy market.
Third party plugin support
Another advantage with the framework is that it eliminates the need for specific web view functions. These plugins can be linked with native module of the framework. This linking process enables smoother running and faster loading of the application.
A huge developer community
This JS platform is freely accessible to all, so there is a huge developer community wherein the developers can share their knowledge, and seek solutions when they hit. roadblock. The developers can improve their own coding skills, and aid beginners. There were about 9.1k contributors to React Native, according to GitHub.
Risks and Drawbacks that you should know about
Things are not all rosy and perfect with React Native, and there are some risks that you should be aware about.
- Not a native solution, hence it could slow the application
However, the minor relief is that the performance problem could be evident only in applications requiring high dynamism, for example apps with action games. Facebook has been continuously trying to improve this to ensure the user enjoys a native experience.
- Hard to debug
- Relatively complex UI
There is too much reliability on third-party libraries as the framework has only UI renewing components and APIs for accessing device functions. This complexity might become a little difficult to recreate in Reactive Native, and when the operating systems update, the components might also change. And the other disadvantage is that the React Native components might behave differently on different platforms.
- You might need a native developer
Depending on the project, there could be a requirement of components created with native technology. This calls for iOS and Android developers in the team, and a native developer to manage the different codebases.
- Could stand in the way of scalability
Successes like Facebook and Skype have trusted the framework and have been using it consistently over the years. So it is a good choice for a highly-sophisticated, complex solution. However, for certain companies, like Airbnb, React Native proved to be unfit, and they had to resort to developing native apps.
Global retailers have moved to the mobile-first approach; retail giants like Starbucks, Walmart, Target and Domino’s Pizzas are perfect examples of that. This is why it becomes so important that you have to incorporate the mobile first viewpoint in all the features of your business, even though having a mobile app is not just enough anymore. Businesses can no longer stay immune to innovation, proving that having a responsive website is just not enough anymore. The mobile application is the most important way through which they provision their services. And this is why React Native could be the answer to your requirements.
The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.