The mobile app industry is enhanced with brand-new technologies every single day. The IT world is developing with great speed, and it’s extremely important to keep your finger on the pulse and update your skill set and knowledge frequently.
The React Native framework attracted a lot of attention and is continually being discussed by many mobile development industry leaders. The situation is quite ordinary: some developers adore working with React Native; others reject taking part in React Native development. Besides, software engineers are not the only people who have been divided into two completely different camps. Product owners and entrepreneurs are highly interested in this topic as well. Everyone wants to build an impeccable solution within the shortest terms and with the help of highly skilled professionals, and they wonder which approach is better.
Let’s dive into the depths of the mobile development ocean and find out which approach suits you the best.
Short Intro to Native Mobile Applications
For those who have just arrived to the party and do not know for sure how things are going on here, let’s take a short tour through the native mobile development basics.
A native application is a software solution created for a certain mobile platform. These days, there are two platforms in front of the races: Android and iOS. Therefore, we are going to devote our attention to these platforms mainly.
Android application development requires a good knowledge of Java or Kotlin programming languages. iOS development is impossible without Objective-C or Swift programming skills.
As you can see, it is necessary to possess a wide set of skills to create an app that will work seamlessly on both Android and iOS devices. This fact makes the development process harder. The company must hire at least two skilled specialists to implement one single idea on two different platforms. Take note that it is almost impossible to hire a candidate that has proven experience with developing native apps for both platforms.
React Native Essentials
A detailed picture of React Native needs to be created before we can proceed to the React Native vs Native mobile development topic.
React Native is a Facebook product, so it was meant to succeed from the moment it was released. The most considerable feature of React Native is that it brought two different concepts together. React Native connects web and mobile development and opens new horizons and opportunities for the whole industry.
Native Development Pros and Cons
There is no better way to compare two opposite points of view than to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. As such, we decided to implement this rule here. Let’s start with the analysis of Native apps.
- Good Old Technologies
New ideas and technologies can come and go. But Java/Android development, as well as, Objective-C/iOS, is something unchangeable, something that can't possibly lose its popularity and mightiness. Additionally, native mobile experts are always in demand as there is a huge number of solutions built for Android or iOS specifically, and those solutions need to be supported.
- Strict Languages to Stay with
Java, iOS, and Objective-C make the development process even more satisfying. These languages are strict, which means their syntax allows for simple error detection.
- Extensions & Libraries
Powerful Android and iOS communities have created many of the third-party solutions for various needs. All of them are tested and approved, and each one has its own purpose.
- Accessible API
The native environment provides you with full access to the needed functionality and APIs. No additional efforts are required for updating the functionality or implementing changes, etc.
- Extra Opportunities
There are some specific features and peculiarities that can be achieved only by using the native development approach.
Native development has one considerable disadvantage. As we have mentioned above, native development requires the participation of 2 independent teams to launch an app that would run on both Android and iOS platforms.
React Native Development Pros and Cons
But let’s be honest. Software development has been never a piece of cake, so it is time to take a look at more serious reasons to choose or not to choose React Native framework.
- One Codebase – Two Applications
The applications for Android and iOS platforms can be written with no overtime, hassles, or extra effort. One team can perform various tasks for you and produce an app that demonstrates great functionality and lovely design. React Native saves your and your developers’ time.
- Simple Migration from Web to Mobile
It is not so difficult to switch to mobile app development, and toadd a new section to the resume for a software specialist that is familiar with JS.
- Immediate Reloading
The development process with React Native is quite well optimized. When you modify a piece of React Native code and save it, the changes can be automatically seen in the app.
- Accessible Code
The Facebook community made React Native an open source solution. So, anyone interested can study its core code, specifics, and peculiarities. This advantage provides you with a better understanding of how the framework works, as well as allowing contribution to its development and improvement.
- Abandoned Native APIs
Unfortunately, React Native supports only some of the native APIs.
- Lack of Extensions
React Native is relatively young, as well as its community. The number of external libraries is limited. So, if a developer needs a special additional library, he or she has to turn to native solutions.
- Poor Interaction with Other Apps
Native apps can seamlessly interact with one another. However, when it comes to the interaction between a React Native app and a native app, things get pretty tough. Your React Native app can hardly reach the Camera app which, for example, is native.
- Design Damages
Even though React Native is supposed to make apps look great on any device, some design troubles may occur. So, there is no guarantee you will get a flawlessly-looking app as the result of React Native development
We have not highlighted the performance as there is no obvious winner in React Native vs native performance competition. In some particular cases, the React Native app may demonstrate a slightly lower performance. However, it does not seriously affect the app’s popularity.
Now that you have the basic comparison data, we would like to sum everything up.
Go Native if you:
- have teams of skilled professionals in particular fields of mobile development (Android, iOS, etc.);
- want a higher capability to integrate with third parties;
- would like for your developers to gain access to new features of mobile operating systems earlier;
- plan to create complex design and animation;
- lack the speed of performance;
- would like to give a preference to traditional technologies;
- do not trust JS.
Go React Native if you:
- love trendy tools and approaches;
- believe that JS is the future of the IT industry;
- prefer time-efficient and inexpensive solutions;
- do not want to hire two different teams for one project.
If you still have some doubts concerning native vs React Native app's topic, then find a reliable IT development partner. Let the professionals provide you with significant information and build a glorious solution for your needs and business success.