The Benefits of Using React Native for Mobile Development
In today’s modern world, mobile applications have become indispensable tools that most people rely on daily. We use apps for everything from communication, shopping, banking, navigation, entertainment and more. With mobile usage continuing to grow rapidly, businesses are prioritizing mobile app development to engage this massive audience.
But with the two dominant platforms of iOS and Android, developers face the choice between building native apps separately for each platform or using cross-platform tools like React Native.
In this article, we’ll explore the key benefits of using React Native for mobile development and why you should consider it for your next mobile project.
Cost-Effectiveness and Time Efficiency
One of the biggest dilemmas facing mobile developers is the time and cost involved in building separate native apps for iOS and Android. Even with shared business logic, you still need two separate codebases in different languages along with specialized developers for each platform.
According to a survey by SoftwareDevelopment.com, developers reported an average of 81% code reuse with React Native. This code sharing enabled up to 30% average savings in development costs compared to native platforms. Apps can be developed in React Native at around half the cost and time of native development, allowing you to build high-quality cross-platform apps efficiently.
The purpose behind React Native is cross-platform app development. Instead of building two separate codebases, you can share the vast majority of your code across iOS and Android using React Native.
The benefit is huge reductions in both development costs and time to market.
You can develop iOS and Android versions simultaneously with one team, using many of the same features and screens across platforms. New features can be added once and deployed cross-platform, keeping maintenance easy long-term.
Enhanced Developer Productivity
One of React Native’s killer features is Fast Refresh – also known as Hot Reloading. This allows you to reload your app instantly and see changes in real-time as you code without rebuilding the entire app. It saves huge amounts of time and speeds up development and debugging significantly.
According to a Forrester study, developers reported being able to build apps at least twice as fast with React Native versus native platforms. The intuitive interfaces make it easy to deliver consistent quality apps across platforms efficiently.
Performance and Native Look-and-Feel
A common concern about cross-platform tools is sub-par performance and user experience compared to native. React Native bridges this gap by providing nearly identical user experiences across platforms.
Apps are compiled to native code so they have comparable performance to native apps. Gestures, animations, scrolling and other interactions have a smooth, native feel. React Native also does not bundle an emulation layer or virtual machine, reducing overhead.
Additionally, React Native gives you native look-and-feel out of the box for each platform with built-in components. You can build platform-specific UI elements for more customization while reusing business logic code behind the scenes. This allows your app to render, feel, and function like a native iOS or Android app from the user’s perspective.
Apps like Bloomberg, Skype, and Tesla provide seamless mobile experiences built with React Native that users can’t discern from native. The native-like performance helps your app succeed on the merits of its features and UI, not be held back by cross-compatibility.
Access to Native Features and Modules
While allowing code sharing, React Native still provides direct access to all the native device capabilities you need. React Native has bindings for native APIs on each platform whether that’s Camera, Location, Notifications, Gestures, or Hardware.
Access to native features lets you build full-featured apps that leverage the strengths of the device and platform. Your React Native app can use phone hardware, OS capabilities, and platform conventions to provide an immersive user experience. Native modules help expand what is possible in your cross-platform React Native code.
Large Developer Community and Support
As an open source project, React Native benefits from an active worldwide community contributing ideas, tools, and fixes. React Native itself is maintained by Facebook along with Expo, Skype, Shopify and other companies using it in production.
This strong community enables fast-paced development. You have access to extensive documentation, forums, tutorials, blogs, conferences, and meetups to leverage the collective knowledge. Many developers skilled in React can transfer their expertise to building mobile apps with React Native.
When you run into an issue, you can quickly find solutions from other developers that have likely faced similar problems. The community makes developing in React Native far less isolating than solo native development. There are also abundant open source libraries and tools contributed to speed up React Native development.
Scalability and Flexibility
React Native is designed to support large scale app development and continuous growth. Apps can scale from simple prototypes to complex production apps with vast functionality.
Facebook’s apps have gradually scaled React Native usage over the years to power more and more features. React Native provides the flexibility to add and remove modules as needed to evolve app capabilities. You can choose the parts of app logic or UI to build with shared React Native code vs custom native code.
This makes React Native suitable for both early-stage startups and large enterprises building sophisticated apps. You can focus on agile development now and know the app can grow in complexity without needing to rewrite from scratch. React Native’s modular architecture ensures your investment in the codebase and team skills stays relevant over time.
React Native transforms how mobile teams can develop and scale apps for both major mobile platforms. The benefits range from development velocity, code reuse, cost reduction, performance, developer experience, and more.
If you’re looking to build new mobile apps or add capabilities to existing ones, hiring React Native developers is a strong consideration for your cross-platform solution. The savings in time and money allow you to invest more in the app features and user experience.
React Native has matured greatly over recent years into a reliable and robust framework. Many leading companies now use it in production for large parts of their mobile apps.