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Should you use React Native in your development?

Over the years, various companies have been developing products to try to somehow minimize the painstaking work of developing in different mobile languages.

As a result, the market began to change from Phonegap or Cordova to the current Progressive Web Apps (PWA), applications developed using web technologies and provided from the same network. The market has evolved to simplify the development process.

Today it can be said that in the mobile world there are only two main operating systems, Android and IOS, but the need to unify these codes still exists. This is where React Native comes into play.

Main Features of React Native

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React Native was born on Facebook and launched in 2015. It is a framework designed for JavaScript or Typescript development that ultimately creates native apps that can run on Android and IOS.

It’s important to note that React Native interacts internally with native IOS or Android code, which makes it different from past solutions running in a native browser. For successful project development, most developers collaborate with react native developers.

The most tedious part of working with React Native is creating builds for distribution. But there are many third-party open-source tools to make this job easier.

React Native works primarily with the web language, it also has a backend that interacts with Java or Swift code.

Most of the mobile features we actively use (such as interacting with the camera or receiving push notifications) are fashionably easy to implement. But in some cases, you may need to work with the internals, where you need to know Java and/or Swift.

We have to be careful to follow the scope of our application, we will need not only knowledge of React and Typescript but also native codes.

Before making a decision, we will have to weigh at least the following advantages and disadvantages:

Advantage

  • Development speed;
  • Typewritten or JavaScript code that allows web programmers to recycle;
  • Easy to understand for novice programmers;
  • Easier to maintain and modify than native code;
  • Better on-device performance than PWA (Progressive Web Apps).

Flaws

  • Difficult and tedious compilation if you do not use additional tools;
  • Heavier applications than native code;
  • Problems accessing native features (GPS, Push Notifications…);
  • Nondescript errors and logs;
  • Obscure and sometimes ambiguous React Native documentation.

Key Takeaway

Depending on Facebook and its developments, new features or device utilities may not be implemented for some time. After looking at the pros and cons, the key question remains: is React Native the current solution to all of our mobility issues?

No, or at least not currently, but it can be a great ally if we know which projects to apply it to.

Every technology has a place and application, and React Native is no exception, it can be our best ally or building block for our project.

This will be the best option if an organization or team can afford to have two teams for native development.

But let’s talk about large teams and complex projects where it is necessary to evaluate the knowledge and profile of the components, the team, and many other elements. An alternative may be needed here.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must also determine what type of application you want to make. If the goal is an application to query and save data, React Native is a good option.

Still, if it requires more complex interactions, such as GPS tracking using maps, this will be much more difficult to implement and require knowledge of native code.

Before using React Native for your development, decide on the type of project and its features. Analyze your knowledge and make a final decision about using the framework.

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