Mobile App Development with React Native & its Advantages

What Is React Native?

React Native is a framework (JavaScript) that is used for writing real, natively-rendered mobile applications for iOS and Android both. The framework is based on React which is Facebook’s JavaScript library for building user interfaces.  The unique feature of it is that instead of targeting the web browser, the framework targets mobile platforms. To simplify it, web developers can now easily do cross-platform app development for applications that visibly and physically are truly “native,”!

In addition to that, since most of the code that you write can be shared between various platforms, React Native makes it easy to develop applications for both Android and iOS at the same time.

The framework is quite similar to React for the Web and React Native app development lets you write applications that are written using a blend of JavaScript and XML-esque markup. Then, underneath the umbrella, the React Native “bridge” appeals to the native rendering APIs in Objective-C (for iOS) or Java (for Android). With this, your application will condense using real mobile UI components and not webviews. They will look and feel like any other mobile application, only better. React Native also exposes JavaScript interfaces for platform APIs which means that your React Native mobile apps can access a number of platform features like the camera on your smart phone, or the location of the user.

The framework presently supports both iOS and Android, and has the ability to expand to future platforms as well. In this write-up, we’ll briefly touch on both iOS and android React Native app development along with its advantages for developers.

Benefits of React Native Development

The ability of React Native to actually render using its host platform’s standard rendering APIs makes it unique from most existing methods of application development, like Cordova or Ionic. The other existing methods of writing a mobile application using mixtures of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS usually render using webviews. While this can usually work, the practice comes with a lot of drawbacks, especially around performance. In addition to that, this does not usually allow you to have access to the host platform’s set of native UI elements. When these various other frameworks try to mimic the native UI elements, the outcomes usually “feel” just a little off.

On the other hand, React Native actually translates your markup to real, native UI elements, utilizing existing means of rendering views on whichever platform you are working with. Also, React works differently from the main UI thread, so your mobile application can maintain its high performance without any sacrifice on capability.

Another note-worthy feature is that the update cycle for React Native is the same as in React: when props or state change, React Native re-renders the views.

The major difference between React Native and React is that during React Native mobile app development, the platform does the re-rendering by leveraging the UI libraries of its host platform, rather than using HTML and CSS markup.

For developers who are accustomed to working on the Web with React, this translates to the fact that you can easily write mobile apps with the performance, look and feel of a native application, while using tools that are already familiar. React Native is quite an improvement over normal mobile development in two other fields as well:

  • Developer Experience
  • Cross-Platform Development

These are just some of the basic advantages of using React Native for mobile application development. There are quite a few more that we will touch upon later. If you’re looking for a mobile app development company, please contact us.