React Native Framework for Mobile App Development

ByAlice S

An issue that typically bugs most of the organizations developing a mobile application is the cost of building two different solutions for Android and iOS. This is usually much higher than expected. Building two different apps are not only costly but also tricky. Both require an entirely different ecosystem. Developers needs knowledge of both the ecosystems and should be proficient in using essential tools of each one to serve the specific need. This demands a unique skill set which is not found most of the times, compelling the organization to hire two different teams, which gets costly. Added to this, is the cost of developing separate solutions!

However, one cannot compromise on adapting an increasingly fast-paced environment on technology demands that are required to churn out revolutionary mobile apps. The million-dollar question surfaces – Isn’t there an alternate solution when it comes to native mobile application development?

The most viable solution that is said to be transforming the mobile world comes in the form of a development framework – React Native – an open source JavaScript framework used for writing brilliant mobile applications for both Android and iOS. This framework is capable of rendering UI libraries of the mobile platform and does not use HTML and CSS like hybrid applications.

Keertimaan Tenneti, Senior Engineering Manager at Walmart Global eCommerce, iterates “Native implementation is great in theory, but practically, we need to think about productivity/code sharing/time-to-market, which is where a cross-platform framework like React Native comes in.”

However, why React Native?

Out of the many other frameworks scouting the market, let us look at some of the unique features of React Native that makes it the best choice for developers.

Benefits of React Native

Reduced development time and cost-effectiveness! Developers can build apps using a single code for both Android and iOS. With the convenience of embedding a native code as and when necessary, it is easier to impart platform-specific authenticity for the apps. Costs are effectively lowered as development and maintenance is easier, and a single team can handle everything.

Pre-built components and reusable codes – React Native has an open source library of pre-built components that helps speed up the process of app development. Also, in case a web app has already been written in React, it can be reused to build a mobile application. Reusability of codes comes as a significant advantage for the developers. At Walmart, 95% of their code is shared between Android and iOS.

Simple user interface – React Native framework resembles that of a JavaScript library. It has an excellent response, provides a smoother experience, and helps decrease load time efficiently. Third-party plugins- Although in the advancement stage, React Native heavily relies on and supports third-party plugins to compensate for the significant aspect of its core library functionalities. The two types of plugins it support are JavaScript modules and native modules.

However, just as any other framework, React Native has its limitations. It is not suitable for apps –
• Needing maintenance for a more extended period
• Designed for a single operating system
• Having a complex user interface

Despite it being the viable solution for all kinds of platforms, the future of React Native remains to be seen. Why not find this out by putting this framework to use today!

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