It all depends on your goals or choice; react native can definitely be a tool to simplify your development for multiple platforms, or even just for one Platform if you don’t have too much knowledge of native development and your app is simple enough to work with only the APIs provided by React Native. There are also cases where you don’t need any native experience at all. But there are drawbacks.
In 2018, we expect this trend to continue but between two different approaches. React Native started in the year 2013 as Facebook’s internal hackathon project and has gradually turned one of the popular frameworks that formulated another topic: React Native versus Native
Where did the react Native VS Native Start?
Although the topic seems futuristic, the seeds have recently sown at Fluor, when our Android app developers were unable to keep up codebase with backend and iOS app development which made our customers deprived of the features that iOS app users had. This issue has been confronted by R&D but expecting to carry on in 2018.
First, a brief explanation of the options to choose from.
NATIVE MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT
Native apps are written for a specific platform, they are built for a particular device and its operating system with the capability to take the benefits of the latest technology. For example, Java is used to write native Android apps, Swift or Objective-C are used to write native iOS apps.
Native mobile app development ensures the best performance as native apps is compiled into machine code. Apple and Google offer their respective development tools, SDKs and interface elements that enable phenomenal performance with fluid animations, multi-touch support, and the latest APIs. These benefits are expected to formulate the requisites next year.
- Fast and responsive
Native apps offer the fastest and responsive experience as they are accessed with built-in features of the device and make them easier to work with.
- App store support
Users find native apps to be easily downloadable as these apps get full support from the respective app stores.
- Safe and sound
Users are subjected to safe and sound security as they are supposed to adhere the respective guidelines of the app stores and get the approval for what they are intending for.
- Third-party libraries
Native mobile app developers are exposed to the big community of third-party library. They have access to a lot of resources which makes it one of the reasons to enhance the experience of the users.
- API access
With the native mobile app development environment, all the APIs and the functionality can be leveraged which looks for no additional mapping over the functionality. As a result, it does not require any updates and reduces the level of dependency
- Different codebases
App developers are supposed to work with respective codebases as Android apps will not run on iOS.
- Expensive and time-consuming
This is considered to be an expensive proposition; the apps must be compatible with multiple mobile platforms and devices. The cost of maintenance is also higher and makes it sometimes skeptical. Additionally, the mobile app developers are supposed to get the approval from the respective app store which makes it time-consuming with no guarantee of success.
React Native App Development
React Native belongs to the same category of PhoneGap but is considered to be technologically superior. Considered it to be relatively young, emerging and open source framework from Facebook, it has enabled the concept of web development to be incorporated in mobile app development.
- Hot reloading
With the ultimate motive to offer the best app developer experience to save the file and enable to see the changes, the main idea of React Native is to keep the app running and simultaneously injecting the latest versions of the file that is edited by the app developers at runtime. It enables not only to save time on the compilation but enhances productivity where the development time is reduced considerably.
- Shorter time to market
As compared to developing the application on native, React Native takes a shorter time to market as just one application has to be developed rather than making it separately for two.
- Open source
It gives access to inspect the code that enhances the understanding of the framework; it improves the framework by adding the features.
- Cost saving approach
It ensures maximum code usage i.e. same code can be used for iOS as well as Android, that leaves the mobile app development cost by half.
Well-tuned with mobile devices: Unlike any other native platforms, which are more influenced in favor of CPU(Central Processing Unit), React Native is more of GPU intensive which helps better to perform in memory category. Swift employs GPU and CPU on iPhone apps, so it makes sense that React Native is closer to Swift.
- Young community
The community is too young to get a mature documentation as far as integration with additional tools is concerned. And this factor will still be one of the main concerns of React Native in 2018.
- Limited third-party components
Mobile app developers are still in a dilemma whether the community-built modules will be supported by the next reiteration or not. Additionally, it reduces the chances of adding the desirable features that are more likely to be intended by the app developers to implement in their apps.
- Obtaining License
According to Facebook License Rule, it states to stop further use of the environment, in case a lawsuit is opened regarding the violation of the software patent.
REACT NATIVE OR NATIVE MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT IN 2018
Every possible step is being taken to make the platform more functional. Additionally, strategies are outlining in order to improve the workflow which is expected to streamline the easily launching of the app.
But these developments in React native do not conclude that Native mobile app development is going to die sooner. In 2018, native apps are expected to grow with their advantages. Money investment on app development is really one shot but its benefits are going to stimulate the consumer experience for a longer period of time. So, at the end of the day this dilemma will not be in the court of just mobile app developers but clients as well i.e. cost efficiency versus user experience will decide the fortune of these two behemoths.
How I reached my decision
React Native has its benefits when the application should work for both platforms and when you have a tight time budget. React native as well a good choice when creating a simple application without any complex functionality or when the developers have experience in web development
Native is the liked choice in most other cases. Having knowledge in the native language and the native APIs are needed when developing in React Native as well. It means that if you are a beginner it is strongly recommended to start by developing a native application.
For all, the choice was hard. The app that was to be developed had some advanced functionality, but not much. It was important to understand, it to be available on both platforms, and for future maintenance React Native was preferred, but not a requirement.