React Native for a mobile app: 5 reasons why it’s great

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Speed matters. When you need to validate a brilliant business idea and build an MVP, development time is crucial. The sooner you launch, the faster you get feedback from users and improve the execution. That’s why many developers choose React Native to help you test a startup idea, because it is certainly one of the fastest ways to build a mobile app.

React Native is a cross-platform framework that was launched by Facebook in 2015. It’s an open-source JavaScript library for building reliable mobile apps. Developers love React Native for shared codebase, stability and native-like performance, while clients value its time and cost-efficiency. 

Soon after launching React Native was considered to be the best choice for small and middle-size startups and MVPs only. With time it has been expanding and improving, and now more and more well-known giants opt for React Native to deliver their mobile apps. Wondering why? Because this platform is stable and easy to use. Discord, UberEats, Wix, Tesla and even Instagram have been experimenting with React Native lately. The Walmart engineering team even published an article on Medium describing how they were choosing between native technologies and React Native, in favor of the second.

Yes, we know,  it’s 2020, the competition on the framework market is extremely high and there are a few options for mobile app development — like Flutter, Cordova, Ionic or Titanium. However, at Purrweb, we mostly work with React Native and can frankly say we enjoy it.

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We compiled a list of 5 reasons why React Native is the best thing that can happen to you when you need to build a mobile app.

5 pros of React Native

  • It is JavaScript-based 

React Native uses JavaScript, the fundamental and well-known programming language. With this framework you don’t need to look for developers that can code in different languages. Just find the one who already has a JavaScript background. Plus, React Native will map your JavaScript code to the native code. It will save your startup precious time you crave for testing and getting the feedback.

  • One shared codebase 

In React Native different operating systems share around 65-70% of codes. What does this mean for your business?  Well, it makes the entire development process much quicker and cheaper. 

First of all, native development usually requires two separate teams – one works with an iOS app, while another builds an Android  version. With React Native you no longer need to hire two separate teams –  the framework allows you to develop both Android and iOS apps with the same codebase. Secondly, from our experience, the shared codebase minimizes the potential number of bugs and errors during the development process. It means that you are unlikely to call your developers in the middle of the night asking to fix something ASAP. Instead, you can spend this time thinking about  marketing and other beneficial activities for your startup.

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  • Vast helpful community 

React Native is 100% community-driven. It has been on the market for 5 years and it has built a big active mature community of developers around. If you get stuck while developing an app, just go to a professional forum and ask any question – you are very likely to get the answer extremely soon. For example, there is a huge GitHub React Native community  where they share their experience and secrets. Plus, the React Native supporting team constantly improves and develops the framework so that developers could create great React Native mobile apps.

react native mobile appGitHub React Native community

  • Hot Reloading 

That’s another good thing about React Native – there is no need in rebuilding an app when making minor changes in the UI. Hot Reload allows you to fix everything right away. You or your developer just need to refresh the page with a command like you do in your Browser and voila! Speed is important when developing an MVP, and Hot Reload makes this process much faster.

  • Native UI elements 

This is what makes React Native framework stand out. While Cordova, Ionic or Titanium just imitate browser environments, React Natives uses native API. It’s like a chameleon mimicking nature, but it is not the real nature. So, the interface will look, scroll and behave like a native iOS or Android one. 

react native mobile appThis is how React Native can implement native UI elements. Yet you won’t say Instagram is a fully  React app, its development team used React Native to speed up the process

To sum things up

They say, it is difficult to please everyone. Although React Native certainly has some drawbacks that we are not mentioning here, we think it’s the best app development framework when you want to act quickly, test a hypothesis, launch an MVP and collect initial feedback.

Let’s reinforce the main points! To build a React Native app, you just need one developer who knows JavaScript (because it is JavaScript based!). No need to hire and pay two separate teams for iOS and Android apps, because React Native has one shared codebase for both. It definitely saves tons of money and time – that’s what startups desperately need  at early stages. If you face any obstacle while developing – active React Native community is always here to have your back and help you with your React Native mobile app. With Hot Reloading you don’t have to rebuild an app to make changes and native UI elements create smooth native-like performance.

So, the key word for React Native is fast. The developing process with React Native allows us to launch ready-to-go MVP to the market in 3 months. We choose React Native and highly recommend you to do the same if you value the time and you’re willing to release your idea as soon as possible.

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