10 Reasons: Why to consider React Native while building an application from scratch [Detailed Guide]

Introduction

Have you ever found yourself talking about the latest update on Instagram? Or the latest addition to Pinterest? Or how Facebook has a TV feature now with mini-series?

If you haven’t heard yet, newer updates and features are pretty much the talk of the town. Not only does it lead to customer acquisition and retention, but it also helps with app retention and a boost in usage.

But when you consider all these tech giants and their applications, there’s a striking similarity that would never go unnoticed to a developer’s eye, and that is React Native. As the framework behind all these applications, React Native is seen as the best fit for a brand or business’s mobile application in this era.

If you’re considering building an application, here’s an overview. You need an MVP, robust market research and a developer who visualizes your application’s working the way you envision it to be. Developing an application is a time consuming and strenuous task.

So, is there anything to make it easier for your brand to be discovered better? A formula for better customer interaction? A cheat code for your developer to never have sleepless nights on the project?

The answer lies in React Native, a framework built to break the barriers that other technologies put across.

Building an application from scratch: Why go for React Native?

Every business has its own set of unique needs and what works for one may be different for another. But behind the advantages of React Native lies the reason why tech giants and startups alike, adopt the framework.

Curated by Facebook to make mobile application development easier for the crowd, here’s Toobler’s take on why React Native might be the best choice for building an application from scratch,

The React Native mobile app development community is a huge open source community. This guarantees the relevance and growth of the framework in the years to come. The community is a knowledge base and helps while encountering bugs, getting stuck in a certain step, tutorials and worthy tips from the developer community.

The cost of building a mobile application is no small sum. Choosing React Native to build an application from scratch helps make the most of acquiring an audience and distributing presence across different platforms. With React Native, say goodbye to different development teams for each platform, synchronising features, layouts and different codebases. React Native serves as a cost-effective option owing to easier development, deployment and maintenance.

A seamless user experience is a hallmark of developing a native application, and with React Native, there is zero reduction in performance quality. Well tuned for mobile applications, React Native makes use of the graphics processing unit (GPU) rather than CPU for faster, smoother performance. Building applications with React Native won’t just be web applications but rather work as native apps with bridging from third-party services and libraries for additional features. With a responsive and flexible interface, React Native also provides the option of using platform-specific languages using third party libraries.

React Native is a great choice for when an application is to be built from scratch, or with integration to an existing application. It reduces integration issues for developers by leveraging the device’s internal programming system through an overlay. An additional benefit is a flexibility that React Native projects offer. It is possible for developers to restart or delve into an unfinished project at any stage to make updates to upgrades. Reconfiguration of applications is possible without the hassle of long hours and effort.

If you’re a startup starting out with building an application, having a budget crunch is a given. With React Native, the developmental time is cut down significantly, allowing you to release your MVP to the audience faster. Unlike native applications, one need not wait for an app store approval. The MVP can be tested by the audience, and appropriate feedback can be debated to make changes in the application and adapt to customer needs. Features such as over the air updates can also allow users to instantly see updates or changes without the strenuous process of going through app store or play store regulations.

The developer’s perspective: Why consider React Native to build an application

As a developer, gaining a complete understanding of the pros and cons of React Native is essential before starting out. As a startup that is considering hiring developers, knowing their end of issues or solutions helps in better communication and deciding the type of developers required for specific projects.

Apart from the fact that it uses Javascript, a popular programming language, HTML, CSS and React.js software engineers can also learn and adapt to the framework. Having native engineers can be an advantage in cases of working with native components or robust tools that require tapping into native components.

With newer updates, React Native comes with more accessibility for iOS and Android features. Work is faster and efficient as previewing for changes within the application can be done by a simple ‘Command+R’ to refresh the app rather than rebuild the application over and over to check for changes.

A developer tool used for debugging mobile applications, Flipper had been popular among Android and iOS communities. With enabled support for React Native applications, Flipper helps view network requests and edit device database and preferences and is used by default with React Native

Rather than work around challenges and wait for updates, the upgrade helper tool has been developed to transform an older written script of React Native into a newer one. It also helps view the difference between the older and newer script. Upgrades also introduce newer features such as Fast refresh, which combines the option of live reload, which helps compile and read the file from where the developer made the changes and hot reload into a single feature.

There are numerous open-source libraries to obtain features from for React Native applications. Its compatibility with third-party plugins ensures that less memory is used and the modules used are linked into the plugin via the framework. Expo is an additional tool for quickly developing applications with ready-made libraries. Within the expo tool, developers can use demo mode to showcase the application’s function to the client without submitting to the app store or play store regulations.

Companies to note from: 5 Tech Giants that made it big with React Native

There are several blogs and guides that tell you the pros and cons of using React Native. Among a plethora of React Native examples and use cases to view from, here are some close-up examples of tech giants and startups that use React Native,

Bloomberg made the switch to React Native for its new consumer mobile application to include the features of a true cross-platform native experience.

“Before React Native, we would have developed the iOS and Android versions in parallel, with no option to share the code, leading to delays and repetition”

With half the time required to create a native app, switching to React Native helped create a seamless workflow for the developers and ensured a hassle-free browsing experience for the customers. With hot reloading, A/B testing, cross-platform compatibility and zero performance issues, Bloomberg’s switch to React Native validates the advantages of the framework.

Known for an engineering culture that makes bets on specific technology deemed early and ahead in the game, Shopify moved to use React Native upon its acquisition of Tictail, a mobile-first company. Shopify decided to rewrite some of its popular consumer applications to React Native with 95% of the code shared between iOS and Android.

“The rewrite resulted in less crashes in iOS than the native iOS application, launch of an android version due to the similar code and a boost in productivity in the team”

With the adoption of React Native, Shopify gained access to rapid development and cross-platform features. Their team also leverages React Native while using iOS and Android native features.

Uber Eats’s web application provided limited access to features and made communication with users harder. The advantage that React Native provided for the team of UberEats was the easy onboarding, due to their previous usage of a web application.

“Even with limited iOS/Android exposure, engineers could use React Native to fuse web and mobile development allowing them to write features either natively or in JavaScript”

React Native allowed their MVP to be up and running and tested on restaurants to gain feedback faster. For Uber Eats, React Native has helped scale up and expand the marketplace and hence is used in their restaurant dashboards.

Being one of the first companies to adopt React Native back in 2016, Discord has driven customer acquisition and retention through the shift to the framework. React Native has helped them accelerate their UI development cycle, execute over the air patches among other advantages.

“React Native has allowed us to reap the benefits of quickly leveraging reusable code across platforms as well as develop a strong and mighty team”

From driving their iOS user base from zero to millions and boosting productivity across departments and engineers skilled in native and web development, React Native has proven to be extremely successful at Discord.

As a subsidiary of its parent company, Instagram has used React Native to ship features faster to both iOS and Android applications.

“The percentage of code shared between the platforms greatly improved developer velocity. Live reload and hot reloading help eliminate compile install cycles”

Rather than integrate React Native into their existing Native application, Instagram tried it feature by feature, such as using React Native for startup of the application, post promotion, save option, comment moderation, lead generating advertisements and so on.

Popularity, backed by benefits: To go React Native or not to?

If mobile applications with a good MVP, the ability to reach out to diverse audiences, constant updates and less complex features are your requirement, then React Native may just be the best cost effective platform for your project. Shifting towards a native framework has its benefits of maximized functionality, user experience and the complexity that React Native apps do not offer. While the tech giants and startups have had their own share of advantages from React Native, deciding what is best for your organization can only be done post a thorough evaluation of your project requirements and how React Native may benefit it best. Given the current market scenario, choosing React Native can give your organization the headstart it needs towards a successful venture.

Originally published on : https://www.toobler.com/blog/react-native-for-building-app-from-scratch

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