react native framework
Selecting the best technology for mobile app development is a great challenge. The success of the app, the return on investment and scalability of the app depends on this. Therefore, CTOs and decision makers always put extra attention at weighing every technology for its pros and cons before they take any decision. React native mobile app development has been around for quite some time and it has received several positive inputs from experts and critics in the industry. However, it is wise choice to review the pros and cons of react native, highlighted by experienced professionals to decide smartly on your choice of app development technology.  

React native pros

Read on to explore the key benefits of using React Native for cross-platform mobile development:
  1. Speedier development

    React native allows you to re-use the code for mobile applications. Depending upon its features, the code reuse may vary from 30-90%. In the case of Walmart’s app, it was 90%, which is a great example of huge cost saving. Debugging is also relatively easy and time saving while using this method. The framework allows you to build your app faster by sharing considerable amounts of codebase between two platforms.
  2. Widely expanding community worldwide

    React Native framework being the open source one, allows anyone to contribute to it. Therefore, it provides approachable access to great mobile app developers from all over the world. This makes it easier to discuss ideas, get help to resolve issues and avail right guidance.
  3. No need of app store approvals for updates:

    In general, every time apps push an update, they require approval from the app store. However, app stores are also working towards reducing the time consumed in this process, but still it is a tedious and time-taking process. React native allows the developers to skip this step because JavaScript automatically checks for updates with the help of AppHub and similar services. This enables it to automatically install the newest version available.
  4. 100% Native-like performance

    React native offers 100% native UI/UX unlike older cross-platform solutions. The reason why cross platform UX/UI often feel not suitable when compared with native apps is that these apps are developed using cross-platform solutions (such as Ionic). They create web apps covered in thin native container. These apps run in Web View. Unlikely to this scenario, RN offers app development based on native app components. This ensures that components of the app and its UX/UI offer authentic look and feel to the end users.
  5. Hot reloading, quick development:

    The native ecosystem definitely envies the ‘live reload’ feature of React Native. This feature enables the developers to preview the changes and updates they make in UI content immediately after they do it. It helps them save time in coding and bug fixing also becomes easier.
  6. Shorter team size:

    In order to develop codes from scratch for both iOS and Android requires a large number of developers. But react native allows the feasibility of one developer coding for it, without having to learn different programming languages. This reduces the team size to relatively smaller, incorporating better communication amongst the developers working on Android and iOS projects. At some point, support from native developers might be required. For rest of the days, smaller teams are great to manage easily and achieve big goals.
  7. Ready to apply components for increased speed of development

    The readymade components serve as a powerful feature for react native. This saves the developers from writing the code from scratch by enabling them to use ‘Ready-to-apply components’. These, making the process simpler and faster, can quickly and simply achieve simple forms of functionalities in apps.
  8. Better experience than Hybrid apps:

    React Native is renowned for offering completely native user experience, which is unlikely in Hybrid tools. The reason behind this advantage is that RN utilizes the native components therefore it gives the feeling as if it is developed on the same native technology. Read more here for a quick comparison between react native and hybrid framework
  9. Save money on app development

    React Native can be a great source to save money. It minimizes the overall time taken in development process, reduces the team size and its ability to create apps targeting multiple OS using minimal amount of native code makes this approach cheaper and convenient. Smaller development cycles lead to quick creation of apps in lower possible cost.

React native cons

Along with several advantages of using React Native for cross-platform, as mentioned above, there are few limitations associated with this app development framework. Here is a quick list of cons associated with react native platform:
  1. Dependency on Facebook

    Since Facebook supports this framework, there is always dependency for the developers to seek license and other patent related requirements. Facebook constantly works to make the platform better and this makes it compulsory for the developers to fulfill the terms to enable the licensing from the company. Similarly, to fix several bugs while compiling HTML native code, the developers need to be dependent on Facebook.
  2. Issues of Feature Log

    Android and iOS devices get new features introduced from time to time. These updates create a challenge of catching up the pace. Even though react native teams work hard to bring in the new functionalities, but the process takes time. Hence, in order to add fancy features to the app, you need to either creative native badges or seek assistance from RN community to propose a suitable solution. Since react native is designed to support Android 4.1+ and iOS 8.0+, it is also a challenge to implement its solutions to older operating systems versions.
  3. Availability of limited third party components

    As compare to android and iOS platforms, react native is relatively a small community. The framework is in its infant state and still growing. Therefore, unlike other established platforms, it has lesser third-party components, which sometimes create several complexities in terms of getting required support.
  4. Native Developers Still Needed

    Native features have the integrated challenge, where developers need to have detailed knowledge of particular platform to implement the given features. On the other hand, react native empowers the developers with custom modules, which can be refactored across different operating systems. However, access to more complex features such as device sensors and push-notifications etc. necessitates help from iOS and Android developers. Hence, several factors depend upon the complexity of your project.
React Native framework for mobile app development comes with a great deal of benefits and some unavoidable cons. However, the community is working together and evolving to find suitable fixes for the said limitations.

On a conclusive note, React Native is a remarkable framework for simple apps with lists and lotteries. However, in order to build something complex, certainly additional resources will be required. Although, considering the pace of growth react native community is experiencing the chances of advanced features and functionalities in this field are higher. One great example of how roads are broadening for acceptance of react-native is recent change in Facebook’s license agreement from BSD Patents License to an MIT License.