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React Native Advantages and Disadvantages from Business and Development View
15 min.

At ProCoders, clients often come to us looking for a development team to create custom mobile apps for their business. No matter the project’s size, we always ask them the same question:

Should this project be built from scratch using programs like Java/Objective-C, or should it be built on Facebook’s latest cross-platform framework, React Native?

In most cases, we recommend React Native (RN). Why? Because it works, and in many ways, it’s revolutionized the world of mobile app development.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of using React Native, but there are reasons why it’s one of the world’s most popular mobile app frameworks.

In this article, ProCoders will walk you through pros and cons of using react native from a business and development view and find out when to choose RN and when to reject it. Also, we’ll discuss why it’s one of the most popular cross-platform frameworks in the world and share some tips about how React Native goes with security, scalability, integrating ML, AI, and Blockchain. Let’s start!

What is React Native?

In 2015, Facebook sponsored a hackathon, challenging developers to create a framework that could make mobile application development faster, easier and cheaper. The result was React Native, which became available for developers to begin working within 2016.

Since then, it has become one of the world’s most popular mobile frameworks, mainly because it eliminates the need to use time-consuming HTML or CSS coding compared to React. Compared to other mobile application development technologies, they do not use HTML tags too. And that’s only the beginning.

React Native developers at Facebook hackathon

So if you’d like to explore using RN for your next project, let’s walk through some of the main React Native pros and cons.

Advantages of React Native from a Business Perspective

Less Code, Less Cost

React Native does not use HTML or CSS as well as other technologies for mobile app development. Instead, messages from the JavaScript thread are used to manipulate native views. To put it plainly, RN uses a combination of its own User Interface Paradigm and JavaScript to interact with your existing native code and native APIs.

how react native interacts with native components

And this can cut an enormous amount of time out of the development process—as much as 50 percent, in most cases. Not surprisingly, React Native app development cost are generally 50 percent cheaper, as well.

Mobile That Connects Through Platforms

One of the key pros of React Native is its flexibility. For most companies, having an application that works on a mobile device is not enough. It has to interface with many different systems and platforms.

Take, for instance, a company like Uber. The application has to seamlessly connect with the consumer, the current database of available drivers, and the company’s payment systems for starters. RN is an app that can genuinely link all your systems, as well as:

  • text;
  • video;
  • activity tracking;
  • etc

Want your customers to share that they’ve used your app with all their social media followers? React Native can do that too. The framework was developed by Facebook, after all. So integration with Facebook, Instagram, and many other platforms is seamless and easily achieved from a programming standpoint.

procoders social media resources

So when you’re weighing the advantages and disadvantages of React Native against other frameworks, this is a key selling point in React Native’s favor.

Vast Community of Developers

The RN framework has an extensive community of contributors who could be your potential helpers, who could answer questions on StackOverflow, for example, or become your hired developers or consultant for the project. If you get stuck at a particular stage in the development of a project, you can easily ask other community members for help. Because React Native is open source, developers can contribute to improving it and share their knowledge with the community.

How React Native apps interract with native elements of devices

User Experience Is Much Improved

React Native is a mobile-first platform designed specifically with the user experience in mind. This attention to usability makes a difference. When you build an app in RN, JavaScript interacts asynchronously with its native coding environment.

Due to this, RN-built apps outperform their native-built counterparts in such things as:

  • downloading time;
  • working speed;
  • smoothness & seamless;

And that makes your app seem more sophisticated, clean, and user-friendly—one of the clear pro among pros and cons of React Native.

hire the React Native developers way more easily than native developers

Impressive Support Environment

React Native has access to a significant number of libraries, which can help speed up development and facilitate the work of developers. The repository displays more than 30 000 such libraries. Although many supplementary libraries do not guarantee the quality, it widens the framework’s capabilities and reflects community commitment to improving.

Requires Small Team

React Native allows you to build apps for both Android and iOS with a single command, which means that the final look and feel won’t vary between platforms. Having a native developer among the team members will be helpful. And it’s no longer necessary to have two different development teams.

No Need to Choose Only One Target Audience

Many startups fail to consider their target audience or the broader market when planning for increased return on investment. They also need to consider which platform is better for mobile startups – Android or iOS, as it will influence the type of user they target. By using Facebook’s RN, they can focus on developing apps for both platforms at the same time.

Pull from a Larger Pool of Developers

React Native is considerably easier to use than many native-developed options, and most companies prefer it. It makes hiring easier because more developers have experience working with it. It also makes maintenance easier for internal IT teams and allows you to hire developers for your company.

This is true even if you have used a development firm such as ProCoders to create your app. Many companies make additions or internally handle maintenance once they’ve worked with us.

React Native application on different devices

Pros of React Native from a Development Perspective

Iterate Fast. Fix Bugs Fast

The RN framework makes development faster and cheaper, cutting development in half in most cases. And that ease of development means you can take more risks and try more options. With more time and money to work with, you can invest in more testing and iteration.

Ultimately, technologies like this one lead to better, cleaner apps. It also leads to more business opportunities, because it lowers the barrier to entry.

Using JavaScript

JavaScript is the world’s most widely used programming language, and 68% of developers write in it. As a result, people who know JavaScript can easily use React Native since the framework uses JavaScript for code writing. This advantage of RN allows developers to build mobile applications using only JavaScript, so they don’t need to learn a new language and development tools will be almost the same.

Ease of UI Design

The React Native framework makes laying out User Interfaces a breeze. Developers simply use CSS-like language to create each UI view, just as they would if they developed the view in a native app environment. The framework will ensure that the app renders properly on any phone or mobile device.

Advantages of using React Native for a mobile application

Modular Design

React Native uses the modular programming approach, in which functions are implemented as separate blocks called modules. This environment improves developers’ collaboration and provides a flexible application development platform.

Support for Hybrid Apps

If a part of your app needs to pop out to the internet or a mail program, the platform can accommodate it. Among the advantages of React Native, this can be especially useful when sending out “forgot password” prompts or emailing customer receipts.

Add New Capabilities With Ease

Third-party plugins are no problem on this framework, because they’ve eliminated the need for specific WebView functions. It’s possible to link the plugin with a native module via RN, resulting in a smoother running, faster loading app that uses less memory.

popularity of react vs angular vs vue.js

For instance, if a company wants to add on capabilities such as push notifications, or deep linking to existing code, RN makes it easy. Interestingly, this works both ways. So, if you have an existing native app that needs RN-built add-ons, you can do that.

If you have a RN-built app that needs third party or native-built add-ons, you can do that, too.

Backed by Facebook

React Native is supported directly by Facebook Engineering. For development questions and how-tos, a robust wiki community supports and helps each other, sharing best practices. With Facebook behind it, you can expect this support to be a key benefit of using RN for many years.

Live Reload Feature

React Native eliminates the long recompiling process of other development platforms by offering a feature called Live Reload. This allows developers to see the results of their coding immediately and make quick changes with the click of a button.

Check React Native developers availability

Disadvantages of React Native

The reasons to use RN are certainly compelling. And in fact, it is the option we recommend to most of our clients. However, there are many React Native cons. Even the best framework has its downside:

It’s Easy to Make Mistakes

One of the drawbacks of React Native is that if it’s easy to code the right thing, it’s also easy to code the wrong thing. And sometimes, little mistakes can have a big impact on the functioning of your app.

joke about debugging

Programs that are easy to use are easy to fix. And with more qualified developers in this framework, you’re more likely to get any fixes completed quickly.

Android Iterations Can Be Buggy

While React Native does not require separate development for iOS and Android, it’s not flawless. Once the iterations are split out, the Android and iOS versions can often run differently than its counterpart.

peter griffin is having troubles with the blinds

These issues are easily surmounted, but you may want to build the appropriate testing time into your development schedule to ensure your app is ready for its Android launch. This is an important consideration when weighing the pros of using React Native and React Native disadvantages.

Get QA specialists salaries report

Some Tasks Cannot be Solved With RN

Sometimes, some tasks cannot be solved with the help of RN, and then you need to write native code (in a native language for each platform) separately for IOS and Android. One drawback emerging from it is that not everyone who works with a RN knows native languages for IOS and Android development.

React Native in 2023: Its Features and Updates

React Native is still relevant in 2023 and tightly holds its position in cross-platform app development. Most tech giants such as Facebook, Walmart, Instagram, Airbnb, and Discord use it to develop their apps.

The state of React Native app development in 2023 is helped by the support tools added and improved upon every year. They make it better for developers and businesses at the same time. One of its most notable changes in recent months was an upgrade to its architecture. In July 2023, React Native 0.69 was announced with powerful new features:

  • React 18 support and bundled Hermes. It comes with React 18 enabled by default, new hooks such as used;
  • New features such as use transition or full Suspense support.

As for cybersecurity, it’s no secret that there are many React Native drawbacks regarding vulnerabilities in React Native’s source code. The fact that React Native uses JavaScript makes it easier for hackers to find bugs in the source code because they can use tools like JSDetox or JSCheck to find vulnerabilities in JavaScript code easily. However, as soon as these vulnerabilities are discovered, they are fixed by the developers of RN. 

At the same time, React Native can be a perfect choice if you expect project maintainability and scalability. Thanks to powerful tools and its ecosystem, it lets teams organize applications correctly. A big benefit is that you can start small and add more powerful tools when needed.

What’s more, the newest RN integration is the Blockchain system. There are 2 ways to integrate React Native with Blockchain:

  1. Using the React Native SDK;
  2. Using the Blockchain SDK.

Using the React Native SDK will allow you to build native mobile apps that use the Blockchain platform. This method is recommended if you want to build a simple app or don’t have much experience with blockchain development. But the Blockchain SDK allows you to use existing libraries and components from the Blockchain platform. This method is recommended if you have experience working with blockchain technologies or want more control over your code base.

ProCoders React Native developers always keep an eye on the latest React Native updates and trends, that’s why no matter what you want to develop: a simple app or the next Blockchain revolutionized product – we’re always ready to help you make your plan come true!

When to Choose React Native and When to Reject?

Let’s consider benefits and limitations of React Native:

  • React Native can help you when you need to create a custom application for both iOS and Android. RN boosts the development time, allowing you to reduce costs and speed up your product’s release. RN is also a great choice when time-to-market speed is crucial. 
  • If you want to provide a graphical interface for your application (e.g., purchasing apps), React Native will help you do this. This application can download data, display it to the user, and send user changes back to the server. In this case, you will have the most significant amount of common code, which speeds up the development process and lowers costs.
  • If your business already has a web application, and you’re planning to create a mobile app that will have similar functionality, the best way to maximize both efforts is by using React Native. Because of its common language, React Native allows you to easily reuse the logical part of the code from the web page in an application written with the framework.
  • React Native is great for projects where you don’t need to create complex animations or robust integrations with native tools such as Bluetooth modules or geolocation. Of course, it’s possible (and sometimes necessary) to use React Native even in these situations, but it will require much more effort than if you had used pure Swift/Objective-C.
Estimate your Application on React Native

Besides, if you need to develop a preliminary application prototype quickly, you can use React Native + Expo, but only for prototype development. For example, to show it to an investor.

However, when is it better to reject development in React Native?

  • If you need a mobile app that requires complex gestures, React Native probably isn’t the right choice for your project. While React Native attempts to provide a framework for handling gestures, integrating them into your app can be challenging and complex if you introduce complicated ones. This is because Android and iOS have different, unified APIs.
  • If you are confident that your mobile app will be used only on a single OS platform, then building it with React Native does not make sense. React Native apps are suboptimal in performance, design, and user interface. In other words, if you are certain about your project plan and stick to a single operating system when deploying your app, it is better to create native apps rather than React Native.
  • Working with 3D graphics has several limitations in RN. This is because React Native is a framework that uses Javascript to render the components on the screen. The limitations include no access to the native device GPU or OpenGL ES 2.0 for 3D rendering, lacking support for hardware-accelerated rendering, and limited support for custom WebGL shaders.

Last aspect where native app development makes more sense than React Native is when you want to build utilities like media players, battery monitors, and antiviruses. These apps require access to core mobile functionalities and sensors the Android or iOS operating system provides.

Our Experience with React Native

There are many React Native Advantages and Disadvantages. But when React Native is suitable for a project, we find it to be one of the best and most responsive frameworks on the market.

And when an app is developed well, it can be more than just a nice marketing embellishment for your company. It can be a key part of your product. An excellent example of this is a recent React Native product we developed for Roth River.

This American company is based on the ingenious idea that whiskey distilling can be enhanced with data. So Roth River developed a set of sensors that could measure the aging process occurring in each barrel, telling distillers when their barrels have reached the point of peak flavor and maturity.

The Roth River web and mobile applications case

Using React Native, ProCoders developed the mobile app that synthesized that data and made it available where distillers needed it—on the go. With the React Native framework, we could develop a supple, quick-running app with all the data security protocols needed for each of RothRiver’s clients.

The app quickly took over about 40% of the company’s workflows, and the innovative interface increased its sales by about 20%.

ProCoders' React Native development cases

The global COVID pandemic has also created an increased need for information traditionally only available through web interfaces to be available to remote workers through their mobile devices.

ProCoders recently developed a mobile app in React Native that serves this very purpose for a client involved in the fishing business in the United Kingdom. This company usually makes trades and deals through its web interface. And this is a key part of their business in an industry where the ability to procure and price your product is susceptible to the laws of supply and demand. Access counts. Minutes count.

So using the React Native framework, we created a mobile app that allows the secure client access to make trades and access their web interface through a mobile app.

Get our Clients’ Contacts to Discuss their Experience with Us!

With their workforce working remotely, the mobile app has been key to staying updated with critical competitive information. React Native also allows push notifications and texts to be sent to alert users to key changes in market conditions. This feature can also be useful if you want to create a transportation app, create a delivery app, or build a music streaming app.

The app can be personalized for each user, making it a vital tool for doing their job. Our client has enthusiastically embraced the new technology. In just one month, 35% of all the traffic going to their trade interface came through the mobile app. 

Cross-platform mobile applications have become very popular and have found applications around the globe in different industries because of their rapid implementation and high-grade functionality. You can consider cross-platform applications even when thinking about ‘How to create a fitness app?’.

FAQ
What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source platform that enables you to build apps for both the Android and iOS operating systems. These applications can be used on any device because they share the same codebase but use native application programming interfaces (APIs) from each platform’s ecosystem.

Are there any alternatives to React Native?

Xamarin, Ionic, Flutter, and React are the most popular alternatives and competitors to React Native. For example, Xamarin prides itself on allowing developers to reuse up to 96% of their C# code by leveraging the language. Xamarin also offers form components, making it better for code reuse than React Native and Flutter, which share an average of 60–90% of codes.

Is React Native outdated now?

React Native is not outdated because it is now the 2nd most used cross-platform mobile app development framework, with a 38% market share. This platform is still a popular choice in 2022, and you’ve probably seen React Native in operation when running the official Facebook app on iOS or Android.‌

Conclusion

As positive as we are about React Native, there are some questions we use to help uncover when a client is not a good candidate for it. If you answer yes to many of the questions below, it is possible the level of performance you need would make you a better candidate for native app development:

  • Do you need platform-specific features, such as FaceID?
  • Is the crispness of the image in your UI critical? Do you have complex animation or fast-breaking transitions?
  • Does the application require a customized or difficult security protocol?
  • Is the highest level of performance needed, even during high traffic?

If the answer to these questions is no, React Native may be for you. And at ProCoders, we’d love to be considered as outsourcing partners for your next React Native project. We have a deep stable of React Native programmers on our team, offering you a ready-made resource as you begin your next project. If you have already decided to hire react native app developers, check the React Native interview questions to be prepared. If you still want to study other options, then you can compare React Native vs. Flutter to ensure you make the right choice.

But what about payment? A React Native developer’s salary can vary dramatically according to the location and skills of the engineer. The low cost of living in Estonia means our developers can complete your next mobile app design for a fraction of what you might pay elsewhere. And our ability to staff up for your project means we can complete it faster, too.

When you work with ProCoders, you can control our activation level. Would you just hire our team to do research, planning, and project mapping? We can do that. Would you like to hire us to handle the turnkey development of your React Native project? We can do that, too, usually with a contract of just a few months.

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