Ever since its launch in 2015, React Native has gained popularity among developers.

According to a survey, 42% of software developers said that they use React Native for developing apps. So, what makes React Native developer’s favorite?

To begin with, React Native has some popular brands backing it. Originally popularized by Facebook, React Native is widely being used by brands like Walmart and Tesla.

It also has a thriving developer community on GitHub that exchanges new ideas and best practices, which ensures that the developers are not behind the race while developing apps.

Most importantly, it is a favorite among innovative and agile companies as it saves time, does not require too much effort during development, and is cost-effective. The best part is, it can give the app the same look and feel like a native app.

Although React Native App might seem like a perfect choice to develop apps, developers should be aware of its pros and cons before choosing it.

Let’s look at a few pros and cons that every developer must know about React Native.

The Pros of React Native Development

Reusable codes

The main advantage of a React Native app is that it uses just one codebase. Developers can share 80% of the codebase across platforms depending on the app’s complexity, which means they do not have to write codes separately for Android or iOS platforms. They have to write once and make it live on all platforms. It saves time and brings consistency in user experience across different devices.

Hot reload option to save time

Hot reload implies keeping the app running and adding new versions of files edited during runtime to see it in real-time. It is particularly useful while modifying the UI of the app as developers don’t need to spend time rebuilding the UI from scratch. They can also save time on the compilation. React Native offers the benefit of hot reload to the developers, which increases their productivity and reduces the overall development time.

Short development time

Time is money, and nothing can be farther than this truth when it comes to developing apps. The shorter the development lifecycle, the better for companies. We have already discussed how options such as code reuse and hot reload can save the developer’s time. React Native also offers more time-saving benefits such as ready-to-apply elements and live preview while making changes. The single codebase also reduces the development time as the company can manage the development and deployment process with a single team of developers instead of managing multiple teams working on different platforms.

Third-party plugin connectivity

React Native offers two types of third-party modules – Native modules and JavaScript modules. It can easily hook to the native modules using third-party libraries. This enables developers to create native apps using the React Native platform.

Easy learning curve

The best part about developing apps in React Native is that it automatically makes the developer proficient in building apps for different devices. Learning React Native is easier than learning Native app development. Since most of it uses JavaScript, it is easier for web developers to transition to mobile development. It is also easier for frontend developers to learn React Native as they will not have to learn a new language or framework.

Cons Of Using React Native 

Limited custom modules

Sometimes leveraging custom modules can become a challenge considering that React Native lacks a few components or have some that are not fully developed. They may have to resort to building it from scratch. Developing a custom module from scratch has its own challenge too. Developers may end up with different codebases – each with different behavior and appearance. That goes against the very nature of React Native, which provides consistent experience and interface across all platforms.

Friction in user experience

While third-party modules are useful, they can prove to be challenging if the plugins are updated.  It could lead to issues such as reloading failures and navigation issues, which could impact the user experience.

Limited scope to support native APIs

Unlike Native Apps that enjoy full access to APIs and functionalities of different devices, React Native has limited access to them. It has to use native modules to render platform-specific components.

Conclusion

In a fast-paced environment as today, the one who moves fast and responds to changing customer needs quickly is considered the industry leader. React Native has brought in a certain level of agility in the mobile application development process. It has also helped companies to save costs on adding and training more developers. It is a perfect solution for companies with limited time and resources. However, if a company is keen on developing an app with an excellent user experience, they will have to reconsider using React Native due to its limited capabilities.

The best way to get a solution is to weigh the pros and cons and determine if it meets the objective of developing the app. This will help in selecting the right platform.