As mobile apps are increasingly becoming an important strategic decision for businesses, the decision of how to develop them is getting even more relevant. An important step in developing a successful mobile product is choosing between a Cross-Platform or a Native solution.
Since iOS and Android are two different platforms that require different programming languages, traditionally developers would have to build two entirely separate apps – Native apps – one for each platform. This also meant doubling development costs and time to market.
Luckily, this is not the case anymore – phew! There are new technologies now available that allow developers to build apps for both Android and iOS at the same time. These are called Hybrid apps or Cross-Platform apps.
For highly-complex projects that demand very high performances and bullet-proof cybersecurity, such as financial and banking apps, a native app might be more suitable – so you'll need to pay twice as much to have both your Android and iOS apps developed.
Generally, though, a cross-platform app will provide a much more efficient solution as they are faster and cheaper to build, with impressive high-performances.
Today, after only a few years since cross-platform technologies were first launched, over one third of mobile developers use cross-platform technologies, with the numbers increasing every year as more and more companies switch to increase their competitiveness.
Yet, you still see a lot of high-profile mobile development companies today using Native development and claiming that's the best way to build apps – so you might be scratching your head now wondering why.
The fact is that making that switch is not easy and requires training an entire team to work with new technologies. Established development companies struggle to make this jump since all their expertise was built within the realm Native development (plus, with Native apps, they can charge clients twice the price on each project – so better watch out for that!).
There are several types of frameworks for building cross-platforms apps today, and each has its pros and cons depending on the type of app that you're looking to develop. Choosing the right framework for your project can have a big short- and long-term impact on your app's development costs, performance, time to market and maintenance fees.
There are several reasons a development team might prefer one framework over another, such as the availability of talent for that given framework, its level of difficulty for learning and the size of the developer community supporting it.
React Native, which is the cross-platform framework we use at CodeLeap, enables our developers to write code for both iOS and Android platforms at an impressively fast-pace, lowering our development costs while maintaining excellent performance and reliability.
We are in great company too, since some of the world's leading tech firms are also using React Native, such as Facebook, Instagram, Shopify, Pinterest, Uber Eats, Tesla, Bloomberg, Coinbase, NerdWallet and many more.
"After years of native mobile development, we’ve decided to go full steam ahead building all of our new mobile apps using React Native." - Shopify
No wonder React Native has been growing so much in popularity in recent years, with over 40% of cross-platform developers using it, which makes it the most popular framework in the market.
It all sounds great – but what exactly is React Native and why does it matter to you or your business?
React Native is a free and open-source framework for mobile app development released by Facebook in 2015. It compiles one single codebase into Native elements for both iOS and Android apps, which is the reason it performs so well in both platforms.
Since its launch, Facebook has been releasing new versions of React Native, continually improving performance and support for developers.
React Native has many advantages to developers – but most importantly, it has many advantages for businesses too. Let's take a look into some of them.
As we mentioned several times above, development with React Native is very efficient. Developers can use nearly 95% of the same code for both iOS and Android, with very few changes between the platforms. For businesses, it means you're saving an astonishing 95% of costs compared to Native development.
The cost-saving advantages don't stop there: React Native will also save you money in the long-term, since whenever you want to ship new features, they'll be done faster and cheaper.
Lastly, as your developers only need to maintain one codebase, this will also cut your long-term maintenance costs by half.
No one wants a slow and glitchy app. One of the most interesting benefits of React Native is that it provides near-native performance.
Although React Native isn’t a mobile app native language, it lets you achieve a performance similar to that of a truly native app, with the benefits of a framework – increased productivity, faster, easier development. It allows you to optimize your app’s performance by including native code in some areas of your app. That’s how the Facebook app was built.
As an important disclaimer here, React Native doesn't automatically make an app fast-performing, so choosing the right development team that has the experience required to optimise the efficiency of your app is crucial to ensure it will run smoothly.
This is an area where React Native scores big time: React Native is one of the best frameworks for creating great user-friendly mobile experiences. Compared to other frameworks, app interfaces designed in React Native provides a smoother feel, minimizes the load time, and is highly responsive.
This is a result of the fact that React Native allows your app to use elements that are native to the mobile design, so the user experience always feel like that of a native app. The result? Apps look and work like native apps, and the user experience is greatly enhanced. Add to this the fact that React uses the same building blocks for iOS as well as Android, the look and feel that the users expect will be the same across both platforms.
Long-term support is another topic where React Native has proved itself. After being around for over 5 years, it has gained widespread adoption by organisations large and small. Facebook has proven its commitment to the framework by continuing to address the community’s issues. By each passing day, the framework is developed more and more giving us solutions to all our problems.
React native mobile app developer is in for more and more decades to come. If you’re considering React Native for the next project in your organisation, be confident in knowing that other organisations have gone through the adoption journey and are loving it.
To summarise it all, if you want to develop a high-performing user-friendly mobile app that will be efficiently developed and sustainable in the long-term, you know where to turn to.
Hope you have got a crystal-clear picture to what React Native is all about and why you should go for it for creating your mobile apps.
We would love to assist you with your project! If you have any questions about the development of your mobile app, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.