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IT industry is all about trends! For example every IT firm might have received mails inquiring like, “I need to build replica of Uber”, “I need to build replica of Tinder” and “I need to build replica of Zomato”! And to be honest, trends are not just limited to the products; they are also followed in the development technologies.
For instance, IT companies are forced to hire the resources for React Native! The world is gaga about this development framework and has been in the spotlight for some time now. But, what is the reason of its popularity? What is the base of this framework? And is it really worth all the fuss around it? It is essential to get answers to all of these questions before you join the herd and follow the trend blindly.
React Native uses the React.js library to develop native applications. Instead of Native components, it is developed in a way web apps are written. With such a framework, it becomes easier, cheaper and faster to develop an application compared to Native applications.
If we are to analyse the scenario till now, it is all good and fair, then why this debate of which is better? Well, every coin has two sides and so has this coined concept. Now, let us understand what are the pros and cons of using React Native and for whom it is best fit and who can avoid this framework.
If you need an application within a limited time frame, with limited resources and you don’t mind if the application has similar UI and functionalities on both Android and iOS, then React Native is the best fit for you.
But, if you need an application that has a complex functionality and you need to cater a proper native experience for all the iOS and Android users, then native app development is the best for you. Also, the major benefit of React is its cross platform nature, so if you are to build an app for only one of the users, then Native is the best option.
Now the biggest myth is that people think that developers can make a complete application on React Native. For any standard application, there are certain material designs and User Interfaces that are platform specific and it is impossible to build all of the application interfaces and modules on React native.
According to a research, mostly all the application has a shared codebase range of 30-60% only. Rest are to be developed on native platforms only! But, even that range of the shared codebase can save a chuck load of time and money.
One of the biggest plus point of using React is that it provides a Hot Reload and Live reloading option. With this feature, the developers who had to spend a tons of tedious hours on rendering changes in the native applications, with React they can save the present state of the application and yet can inject changes in the view mode. So, if the change is accurate, then it can be rendered and if it is not, the application can be restored and reloaded in its previous state without any efforts.
While Hot Reload and Live reloading are one of the best features of the applications, the biggest drawback of React is that developers cannot have direct access to many of the cutting edge UI native APIs such as Camera, Touch ID and GPS, as well as tools for creating animations and complex user interface.
Also, React is a product of Facebook and they are under no obligation to update the framework according to the market trends. They are currently using it for Facebook hence developers have access to majority of the updates but if they change the language in future, there is a chance that React can become obsolete! While these are very big assumptions, one cannot completely deny the possibility of this scenario.
Although React is in its development stage and it has some amazing cross-platform use cases, it is not possible to eliminate the Native platforms. For instance, it is not possible to develop some modules on React like camera, native image picker, push notifications, deep linking, and third party services like Auth0 or Amplitude. They are to be developed on Native platform only! And so, they might be complementary to those who needs faster go to market and who want to save cost and time by getting advantage of shared codebase, the use of Native cannot be avoided. So, again the task becomes tough for the React Developers as they have to also master the native platforms to enable the above mentioned features for any application.
Now that you know the whole scenario, it is evident that if you need certain amount of money and time on the cost of application functionality, React can be your choice. Start-ups and corporate who are experimenting on an application and who needs MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to launch in the market, React is the best choice for them. But, if you need to perfect your application and render a perfect User Experience with all of the cutting edge features, it is best advised you choose native development frameworks. So, your winner between React Native and Native is dependent upon the purpose of your application.
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