React Native has now been in public circulation for over five years. It was originally released by
Facebook as an open source mobile app framework that allows developers to create for a range of
different platforms using the same codebase. The initial reception was quite mixed, but now, the
framework has become widely adopted when it comes to mobile app development.
The beauty of React Native is that it allows developers to create a codebase in React and combine
that with the native platform that the app is intended for. The developer can then use the same
codebase for all of the other platforms that the app will be released on. Additionally, the framework
It’s a true form of cross-platform development that has certainly made life a lot easier for many
companies looking to deploy a mobile app.
The benefits of cross-platform development
React Native has become so popular that some of the biggest mobile apps in the world are made
using this framework. The likes of Instagram, Facebook, Airbnb, UberEATS and Skype have all used
React Native to build their apps. Here’s why:
1. No more choosing between platforms
The big question was always whether or not you should develop for iPhones or for phones that run
on Android. You could build individual mobile apps for both, but that would mean developing two
versions of the same app. By using React Native, this question becomes moot as you will
immediately have something that will work on both platforms.
You no longer have to weigh up the fact that there are more users on Android versus the fact that
there is more profit to be gained for app sales on iOS. The iStore also has a lot more hoops that app
developers have to jump through in order to get listed. Now, you can build one app that meets those
high criteria, will bring in more revenue and reaches the wider audience of Android.
2. Saves you time and money
It’s a simple case of only needing to create one app instead of two or more, depending on how many
platforms you want to make your app available on. If you only need to spend time building one app
that will work for any platform, you are automatically saving on development time and money. This
is time and cost-effective for both the developer and the end client.
If your app is going to be the kind that people pay to download and use, or there are in-app
purchases that can be made, you will need fewer paying customers before you recover the costs of
developing the app. The same is true for ecommerce apps where customers will be shopping from
your online store. You’ll need fewer sales in order to break even on your development outlay.
3. Maintenance and updates are easier
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as building a mobile app and just leaving it on the app store to
be downloaded. It will need regular maintenance and updating. This is due to the constant shift and
evolution of technology. As new smartphones are released and the operating systems are updated,
so too will apps need to be updated in order to keep up.
When you have two or more apps that each need to be updated individually for each platform, it can
be a time-consuming job that will likely cost a lot more for the updates. However, only having the
one app that works on all platforms means you only need to do one update and roll it out across the
Even if you have created one codebase and then added in extras for each different platform in their
native code, the job of updating will still be considerably easier. Your developer won’t have to start
from scratch on the updates of each version of your mobile app.
4. Large support community
As React Native has grown in popularity, so too has the support community related to the
framework. There are many, many developers using the framework around the world and for
millions of apps. This means that there are forums and websites dedicated to what you can and can’t
do with React Native, making researching options for your app a much easier task.
If you are a client looking for a mobile app developer, you can also make use of these online
resources to ensure that you are finding the right fit for your needs. Take some time to look at what
capabilities are available with the framework and the third-party plugins that are compatible. Having
an understanding of this information up front will help you to work out the best way to approach
your idea for an app.
The future of React Native
With some of the largest social media apps using the framework, it’s only really logical to believe
that React Native will continue to grow in popularity and be used by more and more developers. The
convenience and cost-effectiveness of using it can’t really be ignored.
There are some downsides to using React Native. For example, the apps will often use more memory
on a phone and can drain the device battery faster. If your app is one that you expect to be used for
extended lengths of time or run in the background constantly, it might be better to look at building
native apps instead.
That being said, React Native is constantly being upgraded and is evolving to meet the demands and
needs of developers. It may be that in the not too distant future, these kinds of concerns are no
longer relevant, making it essentially the only choice for developing mobile. Chat with Netgen