Start Using React Native For Your Mobile Applications begins our new segment on React-Native. In this introductory episode we begin our journey by looking at what React Native is and why you should consider React Native for Mobile Development. Including a complete hands on session covering everything you need to start; such as environments setup, libraries, etc. In order to jump right in and begin writing your first application.

What is React-Native

React Native is an open-source mobile application framework created by Facebook, Inc. It is used to develop applications for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows and UWP by enabling developers to use React’s framework along with native platform capabilities.

What React Native Can Do?

1. Establishes Platform Independence

React Native was initially developed by Facebook to sustain iOS. However, it now supports all the methods specific to the Android operating system. So, it’s just like building a native app with a single codebase that works on both iOS and Android platforms.

2. Readily Available Reusable Components

Built with re-usability at its core, React Native enables you to make use of plug and play like features corresponding to iOS and Android. This makes the app architecture consistent with the following features:

      • Responsive UI and UX
      • Web-like style of development as compared to hybrid frameworks
      • Look, speed and feel of the native widgets

3. Revamp Existing Code

You can apply the UI components of React Native to an app code that already exists. This is an added advantage to businesses that need to supplement an app that exists but do not want to rebuild it. Embedding React Native UI components is a quick process and does not require re-writing.

4. Fast Compilation Through Hot Reloading

JavaScript is one of the fastest programming languages. It introduces another unique concept of Hot Reloading to provide better development experience. Which combines the small compilation time of JavaScript and other capabilities. That means, you can make edits simultaneously without having to recompile it altogether. React Native brings the speed and agility of web app to the hybrid space and with the results of a native app.

What React Native Can’t Do?

1. Not Fully Scaled for Custom Modules

React Native has not addressed all its glitches. It also has missing custom modules which may take a lot of your time to build as well as to create modules of your own. You will require a specialized developer to address the technical challenges and bugs from time to time.

2. Guarantee Certainty

Even if Facebook has a developed framework, there is an uncertainty of its permanence because it still has the rights to do away with the project at any time. However, this is not likely to occur because of the technology popularity it has gained with time.

3. Handling Complex UI and Background Processing

If your apps are more interaction-intensive, then React Native might not be able to provide the best native experience. Also, apps that require a lot of background processes to work should not be built with React Native. It is even harder to get that performance benchmark for heavier apps.

4. Mitigate Heavy CPU Usage

React Native works on the interconnected Native and JavaScript modules that combine the power of script compilation and provide a native feel to the app. Therefore, this process is highly CPU intensive and is a major cause of low app performance.

When To Start Using React Native Apps

React Native should only be used for apps that fit into these categories:

      • Traditional native-like apps for cross platforms with lesser views
      • Less Hardware API access
      • Budget apps
      • Apps that require short development cycle

When To Build Native Apps

Native apps should be your first choice if you have a budget that supports long term app development without compromising on specific features like:

      • Faster and heavy calculations
      • Multi-threaded processes
      • Easy and parallel updates with SDKs
      • Strongly coded app with less bugs
      • Apps with heavy UI and a lot of animations

Additional Resources

  • React is an open-source, front end, JavaScript library for building user interfaces or UI components. In addition, Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies help maintain it. React can be useful as a base in the development of single-page or mobile applications. 
  • Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environment that runs on Chrome V8 engine and executes JavaScript code outside a web browser. 
  • Visual Studio Code is a free source-code editor made by Microsoft for Windows, Linux and macOS. In addition it includes support for debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, code refactoring, and embedded Git.
  • Android software development is the process by which applications are created for devices running the Android operating system. Google states that “Android apps can be written using Kotlin, Java, and C++ languages” using the Android software development kit, while using other languages is also possible.
  • Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment for macOS and is used to develop software for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. In fact, it was first released in 2003;  with the latest stable release is version 12.3, released on December 14, 2020, and is available via the Mac App Store free of charge for macOS Big Sur users.

This series comes from our mentoring/mastermind classes.  These classes are virtual meetings that focus on how to improve our technical skills and build our businesses.  After all the goals of each member vary.  However, this diversity makes for great discussions and a ton of educational value every time we meet.  We hope you enjoy viewing this series as much as we enjoy creating it.  As always, this may not be all new to you, but we hope it helps you be a better developer.

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