Advantages and Disadvantages of React Native Development in 2022

Krunal Shah

May 20, 2021

10 min readLast Updated Jan 07, 2022

React Native is a revolutionary cross-platform app development framework, perhaps at par with Flutter. Now more than ever, the usage of React Native is skyrocketing thanks to the popularity of cross-platform development. Be it reusable components or having a code repository that is shareable, mobile app development with react native is tempting.

It has immaculate and seemingly unparalleled benefits. Because of this, React Native is one of the most preferred cross-platform app development frameworks. React Native app developers now have the opportunity to build path-breaking Android and iOS apps using React Native.

But like everything in life, app development using React Native has some positives as well as negatives. So are you ready to dive into understanding the React Native advantages and disadvantages? In this blog, we will discuss both the merits and demerits of React Native.

This will help you analyse whether or not you should opt for the framework or go for its contemporaries. Moreover, it is important to choose the right cross-platform app development framework since it will play a major role in deciding the future of your product.

Let us begin!

A Brief Journey of React Native

React Native Time and Future

React Native actually began as an internal summer hackathon project at Facebook in 2013. Two years later, the first preview of React Native 1 was released. After the release in January 2015, Facebook officially launched React Native in March 2015 at the F8 conference.

React Native was launched with a view to make the app development process smoother than ever. The framework being an open-source platform presents the React Native app developers with an all-time access to a super large community of the React world.

In addition to this, the social media giant is now working on several other enhancement aspects of React Native such as:

  • React Native fabric: This is a re-designed architecture user interface layer
  • Lean Core: It assists in reducing the size of the mobile app. It does so by moving the features (movable) to different repositories
  • TurboModules: It is used to enhance the handling of the other native modules

With the backing of Facebook, React Native has a better and stable API as compared to its peers. Besides this, the framework focuses greatly on fixing any kind of underlying issues.

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Important Facts About React Native App development

React Native app development

Let’s walk through some astonishing facts about React Native. This information is important because it will help you understand the nuances of the framework in detail.

  • Mobile app development with React Native is done by using the same fundamental blocks. These UI blocks are the same for both Android and iOS apps.
  • Therefore developers need not build blocks in Java, Swift or Kotlin separately.
  • The widgets in React Native are analogous to the ones in Flutter.
  • Apps in react native look exactly same in both iOS and android.
  • 96% of code base is shared between the iOS and android apps.
  • Development time is faster in react native than native.
  • The core logic of the react native can be shared between mobile app, web app and desktop app.

The tech world after the pandemic has seen a paradigm shift. Thus in 2022, it has become even more important to know everything about a framework including its advantages and disadvantages before opting for it. Here are all the key React Native advantages and disadvantages worth paying attention too.

Also Read: React Native App development- How it differs from Native development?

Advantages of React Native App Development

There are immense reasons and perks of working with React Native for mobile app development. It certainly provides the cushion to innovate to the developers as well. Good things first, so let’s take a look at all the top rated advantages of React Native app development.

Advantages of react native app development

Ensures stable mobile app growth

The realm of mobile app development is highly dynamic as well as highly unstable. One of the greatest perks of using React Native for mobile app development is that it ensures a stable growth. This is because the components of the framework know the art of displaying an app on a popular platform.

Being assured about the framework’s functionality allows the developers to focus on app development rather than thinking about other details. This in turns leads to the features of the app being more resistive discrepancies and remaining consistent. Because of the resistance, the hybrid apps give a similar experience as the native apps.

Since everyone is on the same page during the app development process, the entire development is synchronized. The marketing team can skilfully plan the release of the app so that it could get the maximum attraction. Stability also increases the chance of better feature upgrades in the future.

Code reuse and pre-developed component

code reuse and pre-developed components

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Code reusability is another great advantage of React Native mobile app development. Developers enjoy the luxury of writing code just once and reusing it many times. The code reusability feature is instrumental in saving the developers’ time since they no longer need to write separate codes for different platforms.

React Native app developers reuse almost 90% of the codes on both the OS platforms. What’s even more interesting is that code reusability is not restricted to just mobile apps. The developers can use them for website development as well.

React Native mobile apps are much faster as they have a set of pre-developed components. It’s open-source library also becomes easier for developers to write the codes in advance therefore enabling them to use these pre-written codes as and when required.

Live and hot reloading

In the mobile app development realm, React Native is famous for these feature. Live and hot reloading are the features that make React Native distinct. There’s also no confusion as to which is what since both these features have a different name.

The hot reloading feature is derived from the Hot Module Replacement (HMR). It is simply based on the inception that after the first reloading process the HMR is nothing but an inter-mediator. It helps in updating the files and keeping them at a certain place while the app is functioning. This makes it clear that React Native apps can handle multiple tasks easily.

Hot reloading allows the react native app developers to see the changes they make in real time. There’s no doubt about the fact that the best part about this salient feature is that it decreases the waiting time on the app.

On the other hand, live reloading is a tool used for compiling and reading the file. This process takes place where there are changes made by the developer. It also offers a new file to the simulator. Through this file, the simulator automatically reads the app from the beginning.

Ready-made solutions and a vibrant library

React Native has a myriad of ready-made solutions that help in enhancing the mobile app development process. As for instance, the framework has a testing library that enables the developers to write bug-free code. Flawless coding helps in enhancing the credibility of the end product.

Some of the most versatile testing tools are:

  • Chai
  • Mocha
  • Jest
  • Enzyme

In addition to testing, if the developers wish to see successful type checking, there are tools for that as well. Tools such as Prototype, Flow, ESLint, and Axios are used for type checking.

Large developer community

Apart from having the advantage of being backed by Facebook, React Native boasts of a large developer community. It being an open-source free platform for everyone to use is like the cherry on top of the cake. One of the greatest advantages of mobile app development using React Native is being a part of a community-driven technology.

An open-source platform also helps in recognition for writing codes. The developers can use the platform to create their portfolios and share their experiences. These engagement activities inspires them to write better codes with time.

React Native’s community driven technology will not let any developer walk alone. Developers are encouraged to connect with other developers if they face any difficulty during the development process.

Saves you a fortune on application development

React Native’s code reusability feature saves you additional code writing time which translates to your business saving a fortune as well. Thus, unlike native development, you can work with smaller teams and expand your app at the same time.

Having to work on one programming language has its own perks. It completely eliminates the glitches that disturbs the development between two platforms thereby maintaining clear communication between the team during the course of app development.

Besides, in the case of React Native there is no down time hence developers can switch between platforms according as per needs.

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Disadvantages of React Native App Development

Disadvantages of React Native app development

Along with all the advantages, React Native app development has its own set of challenges as well. As a business you need to take account of everything there is. For your benefit we have listed some of the highlighted disadvantages of React Native. Let us have a look:

Difficult to debug

Mobile app development done using React Native is very hard to debug.The process of debugging becomes very tedious as these apps are built using Java, C/C++, JavaScript, etc. This is why developers must have sound knowledge of the Native language of the platform.

Another problem with React Native is that it constantly goes to and fro between the thread of JavaScript and Native environment. To overcome this issue React Native app developers must enable an integration with Flipper, a tool that can help manage the debugging process.

Hard to determine user interface

If your mobile app requires features such as multiple screen transitions, animations and interactions then choosing React Native for your app development might not be the right choice for you. Mobile apps with complex gestures are not built using React Native.

Although there is a solution to this problem. React Native has a gesture responder system. It will run the entire lifecycle of all the gestures in the mobile applications. But when it comes to complex ones, the developers will still face some difficulties. This is because iOS and Android apps have a unified API which are quite different from each other.

The framework is immature

The are many new advanced and updates that the framework experiences on a rapid pace. Every new release or update has so many significant changes that they may end up taking a toll on the developers. Since the updates happen at a faster pace, developers do not get adequate time to adjust to the changes and even before they do, they have to deal with another one.

There are instances where the developers cannot write codes only for React Native because they are required to write additional codes for components that are incompatible.

React Native is in every sense faster and newer. But in quest to be quick, the framework tends to lose its credibility and becomes too immature for Android and iOS apps. Moreover, the flexibility of the React mobile applications are below par as compared to Native apps.

The curious case of JavaScript

There is no doubt about the fact that JavaScript is a powerful and flexible programming language. However,  it is a loosely typed one. There might be cases where engineers feel that there is no type safety thereby making it difficult to scale the React Native apps.

This makes it inevitable for the engineers to opt for other third-party integrations and tools like Flow and TypeScript which can be used for an already existing infrastructure.

Tougher to build a cross-platform team

At its core, React Native is nothing but a cross-platform app development technology. For which developers must have concrete knowledge of both web and native technologies. They must know how to work on JavaScript, project configuration, CI, UX guidelines, etc.

In today’s time it is rather difficult to find developers who have an in-depth knowledge of both making it although important for you to choose an experienced app development firm.

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When Should You Opt for React Native App Development?

React native app development

React Native has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The decision lies on the business organization to choose what they feel is best for their business. What we can do is help you make an ideal decision:

  • If you are building native apps, React Native app development can be used to create individual or group of views. It will help in lowering the cost of mobile app development.
  • If the target audience of your website and mobile apps are same, React Native applications would be more beneficial.There are certain mobile apps having data downloading, displaying it to the user as their main function. In this case, you can use React Native app development.
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Conclusion

The tug of war between React Native advantages and disadvantages has almost come to an end. React Native app development renders great productivity and is very easy to set up. On the other hand, it has loose documentation. Which is why it is important for a business organization first determine their objective. Then and only then, they should move ahead in React Native app development. Also, if you are feeling confused, you can always consult an experienced custom software development company.

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Krunal Shah

Krunal Shah is the CTO and Co-founder at Third Rock Techkno. With extensive experience gained over a decade, Krunal helps his clients build software solutions that stand out in the industry and are lighter on the pocket.

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