Developing a mobile application can take a significant amount of time, and depending on the product, can require a team to have many different pools of knowledge. It also requires that you develop two separate apps, one for iOS and one for Android. For these reasons, and more, we have began to explore React Native as a solution for our small and medium sized apps. React Native allows us to leverage our existing knowledge of React.js to build stunning mobile applications. React and React Native were created by Facebook, and many popular apps run on RN, such as Facebook, Instagram and Airbnb. Needless to say, React does not appear to be going anywhere soon.
Here are some reasons why we like React Native…
Single Codebase for iOS and Android
React Native allows us to maintain only one codebase for both iOS and Android. This might not make a huge difference on a team of 15+ developers, but for us, it helps us create stunning mobile applications in record time.
A lot of the custom web applications that we develop are in React, and because of that, it makes developing in React Native really easy. The code is relatively the same, except the React Native code mounts natively instead of on your web browser, like React.
Unlike other hybrid app frameworks, such as PhoneGap or Cordova, React Native eliminates the use of web views and instead uses native components that provide a look and feel much more consistent with native iOS and Android behavior. The use of React Native to control native components allows for unique app rendering that would not be possible otherwise.
Component Based System
Each Component in React Native represents a UI component, the data it needs, and all the functionality. This makes our development process smoother as it allows us to think simply about the next component. For example, as I’m creating a profile page, I notice a need for a profile image component. That component should contain the profile image data, show the profile image and allows the user to click it and make changes.
React Native speeds up programming efficiency, just like React, by improving the development experience with an array of dev tools and features. Hot reloading, one of my favorite React features, allows the developer see instant updates on their app each time they save their code!
Third Party Libraries and Open-Source