Getting familiar with React Native

React Native – A popular framework for building Native apps

Shawn Mike
react native
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React Native is a JavaScript framework for mobile apps based on the React JS platform. It’s used in building popular apps such as Pinterest, Tesla, and Bloomberg News. Some of its features include ease of use and code reusability. In this article, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to decide if this framework is right for your work and your app development.

After React JS, React Native is here. The robust JavaScript framework is used for creating native mobile applications for iOS and Android. 

Based on the React JS platform, the only difference is that it focuses on building mobile applications rather than user interfaces for the browser. To put things into perspective, web developers can now focus on writing code that is “native” by every definition of the word. Both Android and iOS developers can feel comfortable writing code with React Native. 

A genuinely diverse framework, React Native combines many different languages. On the surface, it is written in a mix of JavaScript and JSX, a JS version of XML. Below, you have the React Native “bridge” that combines Objective C and Java for iOS and Android, respectively. Your application, therefore, renders like a real application rather than a browser app.

Filled with APIs, the React Native platform provides you multiple options to integrate features with your application. 

As a framework, it is really popular as well. Apps like F8 , Bloomberg news, Pinterest, Skype, Tesla, Adidas Glitch, and Walmart are built on, or have some integrations with React Native. 

With so many companies already using the platform, it should be clear that the React Native platform is suited for both production-level, and smaller-scale applications. Many mobile app development services companies, in fact, are using the React Native stack to cater to clients. 

Every platform or framework, however, has its list of pros and cons. Let us look at some of the pros and cons associated with using React Native. 

Reactive Native: The pros

React Native has its standard rendering API to render applications. Compared with other cross-platform development frameworks like Cordova and Ionic, React Native stands above the crowd. 

Several performance issues arise when mobile applications are rendered using webviews rendering. React Native transforms your markup, filling the markup with real and native UI elements. As far as performance is concerned, since React Native works from the main UI branch, the applications will usually not face any performance issues. Result? A high performing quality application.

In the browser, the primary difference between React JS and Native is that React Native utilizes UI libraries instead of using HTML and CSS like React JS. 

Browser application developers can benefit from React Native because the learning curve is not that steep. It is pretty much the same as React JS, with just a few minor differences. 

SEE ALSO: 5 alternatives to JavaScript for front-end development

The framework is easy to work with, providing the developer with a useful set of developer tools, and meaningful troubleshooting messages. This makes React Native a robust framework that improves the developer experience. 

For project managers, React Native impacts the release cycle in a positive way, influencing your development workflow without the additional review cycles. 

When building applications, React Native reduces the required resources while at the same time, providing you a platform for Web, Android, and the iOS platform. 

Because of its iteration speed, it allows developers to share code knowledge and efficiently utilize their resources.

Code reuse is also very simple to React Native. An example of this can be taken from the Facebook Ads Manager application, which shares 90% of the code with the iOS version. 

React Native: The cons

The use of the React Native is highly dependent on the requirements of your team, and whether or not it fits with your overall development process. 

The project is still young, meaning that it has not reached the level of maturity that developers would render it a universal framework for developing mobile applications.

Because of its age, the documentation still has room for improvement. Developers tend to face many difficulties if the documentation is updated continuously.

The best features and practices of React Native are still being tested. Again, its constant evolution as a framework inhibits its standing as a dedicated framework. 

The debugging process of React Native can become rather complicated since it adds another layer to your project. The point where the React Native and host platform intersects is particularly tricky to debug.


All in all, we believe that React Native is a framework that allows web developers the convenience of building efficient and robust mobile applications with just their existing JavaScript knowledge.

SEE ALSO: Is a new cross-platform development era coming? 

Faster mobile development, efficient code reuse, and sharing across the iOS and Android platform have enabled React Native as a prime contender for the “universal native application” framework position.

The only problem with React is that it is relatively new. Because it is new, it is still not a trustworthy framework for developers to create native mobile applications, regardless of its overall usability. 

As a development team, if you can handle the uncertainties and debugging issues that come with React Native to pursue the goal of developing a native mobile application without hassle, then you should look at equipping your existing development stack with React Native as either a major or minor technology. 


Shawn Mike

Shawn Mike has been working with writing challenging clients for over five years. His educational background in the technical field and business studies has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.


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2 years ago

Having background in both React Native as well as Ionic, I can say that for any new app, you should choose React Native (if you have some know how of React). The cross platform mobile app development hits it’s limit soon. Although if you are building something more B2B and simple, then Ionic is also not bad (You need some background on Angular to get up to speed in Ionic).