React Native App Development – The Future?

Author: James TechnologyJune 28, 2017

What is React Native?

Essentially React Native is the next generation of hybrid apps. To understand this you must first understand the difference between native and hybrid app development.


This is where you code your apps in a mobile iOS’s native coding language. That means Swift and Objective-C for iOS and Java for Android.


This is where you code using web elements like HTML, CSS and Javascript but use a framework to convert this into a mobile application.

Historically hybrid apps have been cheap to build but generally of a low standard (in my opinion at least). They tend to not look great, be buggy and crash a lot. That’s because the framework would just wrap web elements inside am iOS or Android app, making it a mobile web app.

This is where React Native App Development differs! Whilst you do your coding using Javascript, the framework renders the UI using actual native views so the user experience is much better than its hybrid predecessors.

Should I Learn React Native App Development?

If you don’t have experience developing in native mobile languages, I would highly recommend looking into React Native first because it will take you far less time to learn! If you are to master React Native app development, you will be able to create both iOS and Android at will, without learning two different coding languages. You just need to have knowledge of JavaScript and an understanding of how to use the framework.

It’s most definitely a great starting point, particularly if you have experience with web development.

So how does it actually work?

If you’re not interested in the tech, I suggest skipping this section. I will endeavour to keep the explanation high end though.

The syntax used to describe components, render properties and so on in React Native App Development is React (a JavaScript library). However the UI components are specifically targeted towards native devices, meaning they are different to what you would use to describe UI components in a browser.

The process uses a bridge, one for iOS and one for Android, constructed in the respective native languages. It follows the React instructions and creates a native UI using native components and APIs.

I should note that right now React Native only covers about 80% of the code. There is still a need to know native languages for things like:

  • Push notifications
  • Deep linking
  • Various UI components.

How does it compare to Native App Development?

As for the performance, if we are talking about a “normal” app (ie something like a tool for business, messaging or social media), there is pretty much no difference. You can check out this report for an in depth analysis. This developer creates the same app using Swift and React Native and compares how they operate.

Where native coding becomes a little more necessary is where you are creating something extremely unique with customised animations and on-screen flow.

What Apps use React Native?

You can checkout a full showcase of apps here but the highlights are Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb and Uber Eats.

This should put your mind at ease. These are some are very popular and scalable apps using this method of coding.

The Cost

Coding your mobile apps this way will save you time. That means if you go to a developer it will also be cheaper. In my experience it’s roughly 60% cheaper, compared to coding both apps natively.

This means thats its a great solution for startups. You can validate your idea without spending a fortune and get it out quickly. Furthermore you won’t compromise on quality!

Finding the Right Developer

When looking for an actual service, my advice changes slightly. I highly recommend using React Native app development but don’t hire a company that is limited to just this method.

This is because each idea is different and your developers of choice should give you the pros, cons and pricing of each method.

You also want to ensure that you are hiring an actual mobile developer. You do not want a web developer that has recently transitioned across to mobile.

If you are interested in building a mobile app, please get in touch today. We will guide you through the process and talk you through all the options.

Tags: App Development, React Native