React Native – The Future of Mobile Development
What is React Native?
React Native is a native version of the popular web library of the same name and its main purpose is to bring the power of React to native development. React Native components are pure, side-effect-free functions that return what the views look like at any point in time. For this reason it is easier to write state-dependent views, as you don’t have to care about updating the view when the state changes since the framework does this for you. The UI is rendered using actual native views, so the final user experience is not as bad as other solutions that simply render a web component inside a WebView.
Benefits of React Native.
1.Cross Platform Compatibility
Majority of the React Native APIs are cross platform, which means that your one component will work on both iOS and Android. You can develop complete, full blown applications that look, run and feel native – without writing a single line of platform specific code.
There are instances, though, when you need to be platform specific. Design implications, for instance, are different on Android and iOS. React provides for such cases with its Platform module and Platform specific file extensions. The Platform module can detect the OS the app is running on, which can then be used to define platform specific implementations. Platform specific file extensions let you define files for specific platforms. React automatically picks up the correct file depending on the OS the app is running on.
2.Shorter Development Cycles
React Native makes the process of developing mobile apps much faster. There’s a huge developer community supporting React, and being an open source project – it has a lot of components available for use. We’ve seen development times drop by around 30% using open source components.
Using Redux – the state management tool, has also helped reduce development times drastically. Creating one shared data layer for both iOS and Android makes it faster, with lower chances of failure.
3.Live Updates and CodePush
Longer approval times is more specific to iOS. But updating all your user’s apps on the fly ensures that you won’t have to deal with older version problems.
4.React Native Builds Near Native Apps
5.Better Development Environment
Developers are having a better time developing on the React Native environment. Hot reloading refreshes the UI instantly when any changes are made to the file. Removing the mundane re-build and deploy from the iteration cycle makes for a pleasant development experience.
React Native uses the Flexbox layout engine for both the platforms. This means you need to learn just one layout engine to develop on both iOS and Android. Flatter learning curves FTW!
While there is no doubt that React Native makes developing mobile apps a breeze, the apps so developed are also very high quality. A lot of development companies are switching to React Native. The rich ecosystem and the vibrant, growing community are tell tale signs that React Native will soon become a norm for mobile app development.