Building Native Mobile Apps with React Native

October 9, 2017 Appirio

By Sugam Kalra

We are living in the era of smartphones, where mobile has become an indispensable part of our lives. It’s been tough for developers to create native apps in different OS platforms. Moreover, developing the native apps for different platforms requires skill sets and experience pertinent to the OS platform. As a result, React Native is making progress by providing Real Native experience for different OS platforms. It can best be described as a “write once, deploy anywhere” software.

React Native – At a Glance

The beauty of React Native is that it allows developers to build native apps using JavaScript and React.Its main theme lies on utilizing the power of React in native platforms. It’s similar to React, but uses components of native as building blocks, instead of using the web.

React Native lets you programmatically create native views using JavaScript, while React holds command of the view controllers. In addition to this, it’s non-blocking in DOM, abstract, and loosely coupled to the DOM. These features provides ease of development as well as all the power and speed of native applications. In addition to this, it also provides us with the perfect programming model.

React Native’s framework is designed in a way that automatically updates the view when the state changes, so it’s easier to write state dependent views.

Features of React Native

1) Speed

As a native developer, I found learning React Native very easy. For those who are familiar with JavaScript, Redux, Saga, or FlowLayouts, it is much easier to grasp it, and start developing React Native apps.

2) Native Coding

Some features can’t be implemented using JavaScript alone, they need native code. Some of those features include:

  • Native UI components exposable to React
  • Push Notifications
  • Deep Linking

3) Third Party Libraries

Third Party Libraries are used to resolve many problems without creating new components. They reuse existing components that have already been implemented, tried, and tested. There are many third party libraries available for React Native.

4) Write Once, Deploy Anywhere

The most useful features of React Native are the capability to write source code only in React Native, and the ability to compile it on various OS platforms.

5) Hot Reloading

Hot Reloading is a concept which makes real-time changes in the source code that then get reflected in the application. This greatly enhances the capability of developer experience within the framework.

Pros of React Native

  • Open Source
  • Cross Platform
  • Hot Reloading
  • Faster development
  • Real native look and feel

Cons of React Native

  • Debugging can be a tedious task for developers
  • Component behavior is not predictable
  • Deployment can cause problems — like bundling the app — before submitting to the App Store.

The React Native framework has a great future in the mobility industry. It is truly making its presence felt in the native applications domain, and its “write once, deploy anywhere” feature creates a great experience for native developers like me.

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