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What is the right way to minimize costs for app development? There are two options: reduce the number of features in native apps or build a cross-platform app. The latter option can be more beneficial.
In this article:
Today cross-platform app development becomes more widespread since there are tools that make the development process easier and faster. For example, the React Native framework. The matter is that you probably use every day a couple of apps made with React Native.
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What makes this framework unique and distinguishing? And why world-known projects use it to build an app that works on both mobile platforms (iOS and Android)? That is what we want to shed light on right now and identify the real React Native purpose.
What Is React Native?
Native app development for iOS is implemented in the Swift programming language. Kotlin or Java are used for Android apps creation. Thus, if you need a native app for these platforms, you need to create two separate software products. That is where React Native comes to the rescue.
What Is React Native Used For?
React Native-based apps have lower performance than native apps have, and this framework is not recommended to create complex apps. For example, React Native shouldn’t be used for the development of mobile games or augmented reality apps. But React Native is perfect for business apps where performance level is rather high, and its capabilities are enough to implement the required functionality.
What Is The Difference Between React And React Native?
If you know a bit about React Native, you have probably heard about the React library. Don’t confuse these two tools — they are used for different purposes.
And these two parts may interact with each other. Therefore, it is widely used for the development of high-performance web applications and user interfaces.
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As for React Native, it allows developers to build a plentiful mobile user interface using declarative components. React Native provides such a feature like Hot Reloading for faster development with less effort. So that is the main reason why use React Native.
Both React.js and React Native enhance the development efficiency but in different areas.
Pros And Cons Of React Native
Of course, like any other existing development tool, React Native has its strong and weak sides. And we are not going to ignore them. You will find a list of pros and cons below.
Well, traditionally, we will start with the advantages:
Time and cost. These two strong sides must be mentioned together since they are closely linked. React Native contributes to faster app development that works on Android and iOS platforms. More rapid development impacts cost since developers spend less time creating two apps.
Native-like app. Apps built on React Native have a native look, and it is difficult to guess that it is a cross-platform app. React Native-based apps function correctly and provide users with the required features.
Generic codebase. One codebase is used for iOS, Android, and even for the web (you need to use React Native for the web that is also available for free on GitHub). Generic codebase also means that the app will have fewer bugs since the amount of code is reduced substantially.
One team required for development. Software development companies don’t need to create an Android and iOS team since one team can be engaged in the development of cross-platform apps using React Native.
High performance of business apps. There is an extensive list of apps that can be made with React Native. It is not acceptable for creating apps with complicated functionality and animation, but it is perfect for business apps and apps for daily tasks.
And what about the drawbacks of React Native?
Reduced performance. We mean degraded performance in comparison with native apps, especially when you need to use all of the device's functionality in your app. That is, if you want to make use of all capabilities of the iPhone or an Android-based smartphone, the React Native tool is not an option.
Native developer required. Although one team is enough for the development of cross-platform apps, it is necessary to cooperate with iOS and Android developers to make sure all platform-specific features function adequately and they are bug-free.
Top 12 Apps Built With React Native
Having studied the particularities of React Native and how it can be used, we think it is the right time to speak about well-known apps that use React Native. So let’s look through all React Native app examples.
If you claim that something you created is useful and necessary, set an example. Facebook used React Native for the development of iOS and Android apps using one codebase. Facebook planned to develop a cross-platform mobile app that will function as quickly as their web app. React Native allowed Facebook devs to reduce app loading time since it has a direct impact on the user’s impression and loyalty.
So when you think about what apps are made with React Native, Facebook should be the first to come to your mind since this is the app where React Native originates.
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A leading platform for renting short-term dwelling that already includes about 150 million users in 2020, according to Much Needed. Airbnb developers decided that the React Native framework's usage allowed them to reuse the code that becomes a real benefit. Besides, code refactoring has turned out to be much more comfortable.
Do you want to compete with Airbnb and build your app for home rent? The Cadabra Studio team can make it for you from scratch, including UI/UX design and cross-platform app development (or native app, as you wish).
Uber Eats is different from the popular Uber ridesharing app since it involved more parties — restaurants, customers, and couriers. And initially, there were troubles with user experience since the dashboard for restaurants was built for the web, and it was challenging to navigate it through a mobile device.
Developers concluded that React Native could be used to create cross-platform mobile apps with full functionality for all parties involved. The result was excellent. Uber Eats provides all users with high performance and captivating user experience.
The Wix app represents the next line of Android and iOS apps built with React Native. Wix is a website and mobile app builder that lets you create software on your own. Recently, it integrated React Native into mobile apps for both platforms, and it contributed to faster performance speed and agility.
Wix is the app to create an app. However, online builders have limited functionality, and you won’t get a full-fledged software. If you want to gain the lead and compete with existing apps, you should hire software development experts. Also, we recommend you to learn more about the pitfalls of using website builders.
If you look for React Native Apps in App Store or Google Play, you may hardly guess that the app you use daily is also a React Native-based one. First, Instagram was built as a native app for Android and iOS. But, over time, when Facebook acquired Instagram, its developers decided to use React Native to speed the process of updating both app versions.
As a result, now Instagram updates are delivered much faster since Android and iOS apps have one codebase.
This app is a one-stop shop for buying and delivery of food, liquor product, laundry, and groceries. The app is used in the US market, but it is prevalent for ordering and delivering various types of products. React Native was used in Android and iOS apps for faster loading since it utilizes less memory on devices. Now both apps work fast even if the operating system version is outdated.
Walmart is well-known as one of the largest online retailers. So the corporation needs to make sure that its website and mobile apps provide users with high-quality performance and services. A couple of years ago, Android and iOS apps were rebuilt using React Native.
Apps built in React Native showed that the performance was increased several times, apps use fewer resources, and loading goes much faster. At the same time, Walmart apps didn’t lose their native look.
This video chat and voice call app needs no introduction, we think. Microsoft started using React Native to solve existing problems with low performance and other failures related to overall app usage. Today cross-platform Skype app functions correctly, developers spend less time on updates and strive to deliver users with a top-notch interface and user experience.
Gyroscope is the app that should change your life. It is built to track everything you want, from places you visit to calories burnt, steps taken, heart rate, and so on. It syncs with your fitness wristbands, smartwatch, etc. The React Native framework was applied for the improvement of navigation and loading speed.
The SoundCloud Pulse app is targeted at musicians and music creators, and it lets them share their creations, manage their accounts, check statistics, reply to comments, and so on. Initially, founders didn’t want to have a massive gap between iOS and Android app release, so they tried to combine two apps and React Native helped them do it.
Developers figured out that it is much easier to create cross-platform apps using React Native than build two apps for each platform. Since code reuse and refactoring become easier, developers fix all bugs much faster, make updates in a shorter time, and the total development cost is reduced.
Giant social media platform used React Native not only in the Facebook website and app. It also applied RN to build Facebook Ads application. It helps users launch their advertising on Facebook and promote their products. React Native simplified navigation process and contributed to more intuitive UX design. Also, the performance grew several times.
As we can see, the performance growth is the primary reason why companies choose React Native.
Bloomberg is the market and financial news platform where you can find global business, stock market, and financial news as well as trending topics like cryptocurrency. Bloomberg apps contain videos from analysts and financial specialists, so this is a must-have app for everyone who wants to know the current situation in the economic market.
The same as any other apps mentioned above, developers used React Native to automate code refreshes, accelerate updates, and improve the performance.
How to build an app with React Native? You can hire Cadabra Studio, and we will provide you with detailed information on how we create a cross-platform app and what additional tools may be used during the process. However, if you want to make an MVP product for one platform, you should order a native app development.
Besides, a native app will provide users with full functionality. So cross-platform app development shouldn’t be your impulsive decision just because Facebook or Skype did so. You should consider many nuances to make the right choice. If you are hesitating and don’t know how to build your mobile or web app, contact us and we will solve your problem!
Welcome to the very start of your React Native journey! If you're looking for environment setup instructions, they've moved to their own section. Continue reading for an introduction to the documentation, Native Components, React, and more!
Many different kinds of people use React Native: from advanced iOS developers to React beginners, to people getting started programming for the first time in their career. These docs were written for all learners, no matter their experience level or background.
How to use these docs
React Native App Tutorial
You can start here and read through these docs linearly like a book; or you can read the specific sections you need. Already familiar with React? You can skip that section—or read it for a light refresher.
While we do our best to assume no prior knowledge of React, Android, or iOS development, these are valuable topics of study for the aspiring React Native developer. Where sensible, we have linked to resources and articles that go more in depth.
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This introduction lets you get started immediately in your browser with interactive examples like this one:
The above is a Snack Player. It’s a handy tool created by Expo to embed and run React Native projects and share how they render in platforms like Android and iOS. The code is live and editable, so you can play directly with it in your browser. Go ahead and try changing the 'Try editing me!' text above to 'Hello, world!'
Optionally, if you want to setup a local development environment, you can follow our guide to setting up your environment on your local machine and paste the code examples into your
App.js file there. (If you are a web developer, you may already have a local environment set up for mobile browser testing!)
Function Components and Class Components
With React, you can make components using either classes or functions. Originally, class components were the only components that could have state. But since the introduction of React's Hooks API, you can add state and more to function components.
Hooks were introduced in React Native 0.58., and because Hooks are the future-facing way to write your React components, we wrote this introduction using function component examples. Where useful, we also cover class components under a toggle like so:
You can find more examples of class components in previous versions of this documentation.
People from many different development backgrounds are learning React Native. You may have experience with a range of technologies, from web to Android to iOS and more. We try to write for developers from all backgrounds. Sometimes we provide explanations specific to one platform or another like so:
Web developers may be familiar with this concept.
Android developers may be familiar with this concept.
iOS developers may be familiar with this concept.
Menu paths are written in bold and use carets to navigate submenus. Example: Android Studio > Preferences
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Now that you know how this guide works, it's time to get to know the foundation of React Native: Native Components.