Prodtyping

The process on turning ideas into reality

December 31st 2018

What is React Native?

A native mobile application is an application written in a specific language developed for use on a particular platform or device. Native applications have a lot of advantages since they are built to work with the operating system and have access to a wide range of built-in features. They also come at a high cost since each native application must be maintained separately. Many companies cannot afford to provide these types of applications across all devices.

Enter React Native, an open source framework developed by Facebook is an interesting solution to this problem. It uses the same UI building blocks as iOS and Android but does it all in JavaScript. Allowing app developers to create react native app for mobiles by using JSX (extension to Javascript ), ES6 based syntax. Its fundamental process is to put the UI building blocks together with the help of JavaScript and React to create react native app for mobiles. The process is similar to the process that creates iOS and Android apps and the result is a feature-rich mobile UI.

JavaScript is everywhere in web programming and React Native allows for any front-end developer to be able to build mobile applications. Prior to its release companies had to develop two different applications for iOS and Android from scratch since they require the use of different languages. React Native allows for writing in just JavaScript and then provides a way to port that code to each of the different platforms to provide a native app experience for a fraction of the cost. React Native does not use WebView components instead it uses native components that compile down to the language required by the device it is on. It provides efficiency and portability by leveraging Facebook’s React Javascript library for user interfaces. This means the benefits of using React for high performance and virtual DOM are carried over into React Native as well.

Main Points:

Productive

  • Most of the codebase is shared between iOS and Android
  • Code reusability between platforms

Time to Market

  • Control over release dates
  • Release both platforms same day
  • Can host and do over the air updates instead of waiting for app store approval

Performance

  • Nearly identical to native applications

React Native is a perfect choice for companies who want to give their customers a native experience but still save time and money by being able to share a code base and not have multiple teams of developers working on different platforms.