React Native vs Native apps development

April 16, 2020

React Native has some exciting features that make it popular in the developer community. Many popular apps such as Instagram, Facebook Ads Manager, Walmart, SoundCloud and Netflix are based on React Native. We have worked with both Native app development and React Native, and in this article we share our experience and give some examples. First, a few words regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Native App

A Native application is a software programme developed for a particular operating system. This application can be developed using Java or Kotlin for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS and C# for Windows.

  1. High performance – Native apps run much faster than hybrid apps because they are fully supported by the OS on the device.
  2. Better UX/UI – User experience is much better because the higher performance allows everything to run smoothly. Depending on the business need, you can develop device-specific features directly within a Native app.
  3.  Interactive – Native mobile apps run more smoothly in comparison to hybrid apps. The interaction with the user is intuitive and natural as they have specific UI standards for each platform.

The major disadvantage of Native apps, is that they work only for one OS, leading to extra development time, and cost in building apps for multiple platforms.

React Native

React Native is an open-source JavaScript framework for building iOS and Android apps. It is famous for its lightweight framework for mobile app development.

  1. Faster development across multiple platforms – React Native allows sharing of the entire codebase between operating systems (Android and iOS). Once you develop an application for Android, you can compile it on iOS and vice versa. This results in a  significant saving in the development effort as compared to developing natively on both Android and iOS platforms.
  2. It gives a Native app feel – With React Native, most of the features can be developed as a Native feature. This means that the user experience is the same as a Native app, despite the fact that hybrid technology has been used.
  3. Large Community of Developers – React Native is a popular open-source JavaScript framework, with a well developed community. This means that queries are generally answered quickly on websites such as StackOverflow and GitHub. Furthermore, many helpful libraries created by other developers are freely available for download.
  4. Easy and Live Reloading – When using React Native, code changes are immediately reflected on the simulator and can be tested instantly. By eliminating the need to recompile after every change, a lot of development time is saved.
  5. Cost reduction and Code reuse – With React Native technology, more than 80% of the code can be reused between the Android and iOS platforms, saving a huge amount of development time and cost.

We found that React Native is a superior method that results in major time saving for mobile app development for multiple platforms. Two examples from our experience with React Native are:

  1. App with SQLLite for multiple platforms
  2. App with Bluetooth connectivity feature for multiple platforms

The reason we opted for React Native for these apps, is that in both cases the same business logic layer was required to create two Native apps. Our team successfully built a common business logic layer and UI for both the platforms. We saved significant time and cost due to the reusability of the code. Future maintenance will also be cost-effective. Furthermore, we found that Bluetooth and SQLLite features work efficiently in React Native even though they are not Native based.

MetaSys Software has developed custom solutions for clients who are in different sectors using React technology. For more info

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