The Hidden Benefits of Development with React Native

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Good mobile developers are always looking to optimize. This is true not only the apps they create, but also their own processes and workflows. There are dozens of tools, frameworks, languages, and platforms available, and more appearing all the time. It can sometimes be hard to figure out what’s here to stay and what’s only a passing trend.

In certain instances, however, it’s clear that a new technology truly deserves all of the buzz that it’s receiving. React Native is one of those cases. The idea that makes React Native so ingenious, and so popular, is simple.

Prior to the release of React Native, companies usually had to create two different apps for iOS and Android smartphones from scratch. Both required using different programming languages. React Native allows you to write code in just one language, JavaScript, and port that code to multiple platforms. This provides a native app experience on each one.

The Core Benefits of Using React Native

Reusability: React Native was originally developed by Facebook to design the user interface of its mobile application. In the beginning, the React Native framework only worked with iOS. However now it is able to render mobile UIs for Android as well. Unlike other “hybrid” mobile app solutions, React Native does not use WebView components. Instead, it uses native components that compile directly to the device’s own machine language. Rather than providing an awkward and slow user experience that’s not optimized for either platform, React Native gives all the benefits of a native application.

Efficiency: React Native brings the efficiency and portability of web development to the smartphone. In fact, under the hood React Native makes use of Facebook’s React JavaScript library for user interfaces. The benefits of React, such as high performance and a virtual DOM, carry over to React Native as well. Using React Native can make you more efficient and speed up your development times in a variety of ways. For example, React Native can interface with third-party plugins so that you can use the device’s own functionality and even sensors like the accelerometer and gyroscope.

JavaScript: JavaScript has risen from its lowly origins to become the king of web programming languages. Nearly everyone calling themselves a “web developer” has had a good deal of experience with JavaScript. The use of JavaScript for React Native gives the framework a massive popularity boost. Other mobile development languages such as Swift and Objective-C can be frustrating and puzzling for newcomers. With React Native, any front-end developer can try their hand at mobile development after a brief introductory period to learn the ropes.

Apps That Use React Native

Despite its status as a relative newcomer, React Native has quickly gained adoption among companies of all sizes and industries. With so many benefits of using React Native, it’s no surprise that there are a variety of well-known mobile apps that make use of it.

Facebook: As the creator of React Native, Facebook uses the framework in several different ways to support its mobile applications. For example, Facebook’s Ads Manager was the first cross-platform app to make use of React Native, helping to handle complex business logic about different currencies, time zones, and date/time conventions.

Walmart: Even a retail juggernaut like Walmart is able to innovate by introducing React Native into its tech stack. With millions of dollars in profit every day, Walmart needs a scalable solution for its mobile app to handle large volumes of transactions during times of high user demand. For example, Black Friday. By switching to React Native, Walmart improved their app’s performance on iOS and Android and share 95 percent of the code base between the two platforms.

Bloomberg: Financial software and media company Bloomberg recently released a new mobile app for consumers on iOS and Android devices that leverages React Native. Bloomberg’s mobile development team took five months to build the new app with React Native. This is half as long as it would have taken to build both apps separately. Developers particularly enjoy React Native’s “hot reloading” feature. This allows them to quickly see the impact of their changes without having to recompile the app.

Enterprise React Native Solutions

Ever since React Native was born at a hackathon in 2013, the project has always been user-focused. The React Native code base is open source, and the developer community is one of the most active and welcoming anywhere. As of this writing, React Native is the third most starred repository on GitHub. Facebook has announced its commitment to maintaining React Native now and in the future. Developers can rest assured that the framework has the backing of a large tech company and a healthy open source community.

Thinking about using React Native for your next mobile development project? You’ve made an excellent choice, and you’ve come to the right place. Do you need dedicated developers to supplement your current IT team, or you want to hire on a per-project basis? Specific-Group can help fulfill your needs. Our dedicated project managers based in Miami, Florida will work with you to find the setup that’s easiest and most effective for your organization’s workflow. Our experienced and knowledgeable development team has the expertise and skill set that’s required for any React Native custom project.

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