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Building iOS and Android Apps with React Native

By the end of 2019, the number of mobile phone users was forecast to reach 4.68 billion. No wonder mobile web traffic has already gained over 50% market share. That means that the number of people who use a mobile device is now greater than ever before. They look for services and goods, listen to the music, watch streaming videos, play games, use Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Amazon, and many more. Almost every business should go mobile nowadays and especially online shopping is one of the most popular activities these days. But shopping via a smartphone as well as any other activity should be convenient. How to enjoy doing things on mobile?

Right, download an app through a Store (AppStore or Google Play) or click a link and get a mobile friendly site. So for a business to succeed it is important to design and develop a mobile app or portal in order not to lose a significant number of end-users and potential buyers. The majority of people are using either Android or iOS devices. 99.6% of all smartphones run on Android and iOS, Android is dominating the market while iOS has a 13 percent share of the market.

But how to create an app real quick both for Android and iOS users?

To develop a native mobile app might be very time consuming and might cost a sufficient sum of money. The alternative here is a cross-platform app development which allows to create the same app for two different platforms really fast. The advantages of this approach have already been mentioned in our previous blog post. But this time we would like to concentrate on one of the popular frameworks used for cross-platform development: React Native.

What is React Native?

React Native, created by Facebook, is a JavaScript open-source framework which allows building mobile apps with a rich high-quality native-like UI. It’s free, offers ready-to-apply elements and is sufficient to develop appealing apps for both platforms. Here are the main reasons to choose the React Native app development:

Cost Effective: React Native uses a single JavaScript codebase across multiple platforms which shortens the development time and eliminates the need to hire iOS and Android developers.

Native-like UI: React Native uses all the capabilities of UI-focused React library which means the ability to build interactive and user-friendly interfaces.

Native-like performance: React Native apps render their UI using native APIs providing the end- users with native performance and experience.

Scalability: React Native framework allows adding new features and making necessary updates really fast and easy. The changes appear right after you save them.

Faster app development: No need to write a code from scratch.

Support: React Native has the second highest number of contributors for any repository in GitHub. It is supported both by Facebook and individual contributions.

Along with the benefits there are also things that can’t be made with React Native only:

  • Deep linking;
  • Push notifications;
  • Many specific UI elements;
  • QR codes scanning;
  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition);
  • Augmented or virtual reality;
  • Voice assistants.

When to use React Native?

The main benefit of React Native is that it enables to accelerate the development process of mobile apps. It is a good choice when you need to create a small app like a promo without complex features. And especially start-ups can benefit from using it in order to test drive their MVP or app on the market to get some feedback from real end-users.

React Native smooths the transformation from web to mobile app since it is a JavaScript framework. That’s why one can easily use React Native to create a simple application like blog.

Another point is that the number of native app developers available on the market is much less than Javascript developers. Since React Native is based on JavaScript, it is easier to hire JavaScript developers and find them for further development and support of an app.

According to EvansData, there are 5,9 million Android developers and 2,8 million iOS developers in the world. Whereas the number of JavaScript developers times higher.

There are also a number of huge companies who leveraged React Native in its production: Facebook for Ads and Instagram, Microsoft for Skype, Tesla for its application for electric cars, Walmart, Airbnb, and many more. So React Native can be really useful however a lot depends on the project type and size.

We would recommend using React Native for small-scale projects while for large-scale complex projects native app development is a better option.

Bottom line

In a nutshell, React Native considerably saves the time to develop an app and deliver it to the market while decreasing development efforts. It allows creating native-like apps for Android and iOS with a significant cost reduction, however it can not be used for every application and not all features can be implemented.

If you still have doubts whether to choose React Native for your app development, do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

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