React Native in 2020: Pros and Cons

React Native in 2020: Pros and Cons. Frontend development
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Hey, guys! In this article, I’d like to shed light on React Native and its pros and cons. Furthermore, I want to tell about its benefits and share some opinions and views. 

You know, guys, one of my front-end developers Roman shared his experience and views after some period of work with React Native and I’ll try to display them as well here.

Short overview

For those who have nothing to do with React Native or just heard something about it, I will give a short overview. React Native is a framework for developing cross-platform applications for Android and iOS. This technology was released by Facebook in 2015 and combines some modern and more established methods of hybrid app development. 

All in all, React Native provides the opportunity to create cross-platform apps by using React and native iOS and Android features as well.

Even though React was released 5 years ago the Facebook team has had enough time to fix some of the issues, solve the problems and, what is also important, to stabilize the API.

It’s worth mentioning that such famous top applications were built with the help of React native as Instagram, Wix.com, Facebook and Facebook messenger, Skype, PhonePe, Pinterest, Tesla, Bloomberg, Flipkart, and Amazon Prime Video.

Support, community, and future

Now let’s take a short look at the support, community, and future of React Native. As for support, I’d like to say that React Native has really good support since new libraries, fixes, and solutions are developing all the time and if you need any kind of help you will get it without any headaches. 

Not a secret that React has a large community that grows every single day. Here you are able to find answers to various questions, some solutions if you need them for your project. 

When we are talking about the future of React Native I think, more coverage for the native APIs will be available as well as the speed improvement.

That’s necessary to point out such thing as “Hermes” which leads the work of React Native to a new level. “Hermes” is the open JavaScript engine that improves Android performance. 

Development

Despite all competitors on the market like Flutter and Ionic, React Native is still the most developed technology which uses one of the most popular languages -- JavaScript and that allows a developer to master React Native quite fast and simple.

Moreover, the Facebook team keeps working on various issues and updates and that will help to keep React Native head above the water.

It is necessary to take into account the fact that more and more businesses use this technology and in 2020 it will be still a rather popular solution, especially for the companies which invest in React Native applications.

 I’d like to notice that since the arrival of new updates React Native improves in every way and that is the main reason why different companies choose it as the main development option in 2020. When the new version was released users were able to apply some modifications in the present features of React 0.59.

My front-end developer Roman also admitted that in the last version the number of issues has been solved and corrected and this gives some kind of comfortable experience in developing.

Benefits of React Native

Now let’s take a look at the benefits of React Native for app development in 2020.

Fresh refresh

The first one is fresh refresh. This update was applied in September 2019. Honestly, that’s an amazing function! That’s a mix of “hot reloading” and “live reloading” with the full support for a present React. With this function, any developer can just inject the code or any kind of changes into a running app. So, you just don’t need to restart the whole app, it will reload automatically after every change.

New start screen

This function displays some valuable instructions as clear as possible. The UI of this function is aimed to show its own environment of React Native in an engaging way that allows you to understand everything.

Accessibility improvement

The release 0.60 has been implemented various changes for the accessibility improvement for both iOS and Android.

For example, some missing roles were added for some of the components and iOS will support the iOS accessibility flags and the reduction of motion.

Auto-linking for OS

The CLI team of React Native has shown the main ways for auto-linking. This function enables to find and delete some code in your project one more time.

“Hermes”

Also a few words about “Hermes” – an open-source engine that boosts the Android performance. In particular, it reduces memory utilization, the size of the application and improves the iteration time.

By the way, if you are looking for an outstanding front-end developer turn to our company ava.codes  and we will help you with pleasure.

And now let’s move to the pros and cons of React Native.

Pros of React Native

Speed

The first advantage of React Native is development speed. For sure, when you use React Native for app development you cover with the same codebase two platforms iOS and Android. You don’t need to spend more time writing different codes for both platforms like when using native app development. It means that your code becomes reusable.

In comparison to native app development, React Native takes 33% less time. What is also important that it needs up to 50% less testing. My team and I have written roughly 50% fewer automated tests because we can create the same tests to run on both platforms, reducing the requirements on our QA team.

It looks a bit the same as in Flutter app development but still, there are some differences here.

Updates

The second advantage – updates, some of them I have mentioned before like fast refresh, accessibility improvement, the new start screen and auto-linking to OS.

Developing team size

The third one is the size of a developing team. You know, when you work using React Native it’s obvious that you don’t need a big team. All developers have the same project, the same views, and codebase. A small or average team is more than enough.

In the case of separate development with native iOS and Android, it’s necessary for you to have two teams. These teams will be different and what is troubling, they can create different things because of their views, the differences in iOS and Android app development, furthermore, there will be less communication between these teams. Also, it takes more and money.

Performance

The fourth advantage is performance. As for me, it’s obvious that work with React Native needs not so much time. That’s better for you and for the business at all when you can save both time and money. React Native covers two platforms at the same time and it plays the main role in the performance.

Live update features

The next advantage is live update features. For a developer who uses JavaScript, it’s possible now to implement the changes without moving to the app store update process. Besides, the Facebook team currently works over various features and updates that’s why the work in React Native becomes more smooth and comfortable.

Simplified UI

One of the biggest advantages of React Native is simplified UI. All developers are aware that the native app development needs an order of actions in the application. For this purpose, React Native has declarative programming with obsolete order of actions.

Cons of React Native

“New” technology

The first thing I want to mention that React Native is still “new” technology. Due to the numerous updates, it is the most popular app development technology. At the moment it has just a few rivals on the market like Flutter or Ionic but still React Native is developing all the time and it has a bright future. Of course, there is a dependency on previous versions and honestly, it’s still in beta phase.

Need for Native developers

The next disadvantage is the need for Native developers still exists. For sure, people with deep knowledge of the platforms whether it is iOS or Android will be required always. As far as we know, some native app functionalities become an issue for React Native development. And I want to underline that for some works the help of a native developer might be required.

Absence of custom modules

That’s not a secret, React Native still doesn’t have some components or some of them are simply underdeveloped. In this case, you have to use libraries, other developers’ solutions or just build your own solution. Moreover, the need to build three codebases for iOS, Android and React of course. The problem is they might have differences in behavior and look.

JavaScript runs on a single thread

In React Native JavaScript is the bridge between it and native platforms and we all know, JavaScript has just one call stack and a memory heap and this can cause trouble. 

Size of applications

The size of applications is the next disadvantage. Apps built in React Native have a bigger size than in native iOS or Android. But hopefully, the Facebook team is going to fix that one. Currently, they are working on it.

Alternatives

No doubt, there are some alternatives to React Native nowadays. For instance, you can use native iOS or Android, Flutter becomes to be more and more popular and also do not forget about Ionic which is based on Angular.

Summary

React Native is a framework for cross-platform application development, released in 2015 by Facebook. It covers two platforms -- iOS and Android. React Native has some cool benefits like fast refresh -- the mix of “hot reloading” and “live reloading”, the new start screen, accessibility improvement, auto-linking for OS and open-source engine “Hermes”.

As for the pros and cons of React native, like the pros, we can define:

  • development speed;
  • updates and benefits;
  • team size;
  • performance;
  • simplified UI;
  • live update feature.

When we’re talking about cons here we can outline such points as:

  • still “new” technology;
  • need in Native iOS and Android developers;
  • absence of some custom modules;
  • JavaScript runs on a single thread;
  • size of applications.

Thank you very much, guys, for reading this long article! If you are interested in this topic this article will be useful too: Angular vs React: Which one to choose for your app in 2020?

Do not forget, if you are searching for a marvelous front-end developer refer to our company AVA codes and I’m sure we give you a hand here.

I’ m really grateful to you guys! Bye and have an amazing day! 

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