Choosing the right framework for your business’s mobile app may seem inconsequential. To non-developers, languages and frameworks may feel like interchangeable equal paths to building your web or mobile app. But the truth is there are significant business advantages to choosing the right technologies. React Native is a mobile framework that was introduced in 2015 and has built a significant reputation. But is it deserved? Is it the right solution for your business's app?
What is React Native?There are many viable mobile app frameworks, but a few things make React Native unique among the options. First and foremost is that React Native is a cross-platform framework, versatile for developing apps for both iOS and Android, as opposed to native apps built strictly for one platform. The code base requires some performance configuration between the platforms, but the bulk of it will apply to both systems - up to 95% shared code. While native apps are built to perform for their platform from inception, the decision to launch on a second platform can be a costly one, requiring an effort akin to rebuilding from scratch. React Native’s versatility affords a significant savings in time and money for a product with goals that include both platforms.
What makes React Native attractive?Having powerhouse players invested has its advantages. Uber Eats, Discord, Instagram, and Walmart are just a few of the giants that rely on React Native. That backing insures React Native’s longevity as a well-supported technology. As an open-source framework with wide usage in general, it benefits from a large community of developers providing constant attention and scrutiny.
There are also more tangible values that React Native offers, including cost-effectiveness, good availability of developer talent, shorter lead time to market, and regular code maintenance. For developers, the wide use means that there are a lot of other people out there solving the same problems, making the solutions to their puzzles easier to find. Live reload capacity in React Native also allows developers to view the latest code changes instantly, minimizing the lag cycle of staging and rework, and getting your features to market more quickly.
A significant saving of time, money, and heartache in the development process comes from the reusability of UI components, which allows iOS and Android to share so much code. With that structure, many bugs in your application can be fixed to both platforms with one effort.
Why is React Native a good business solution?With React Native, your business's strategic decision of choosing to reach either iOS or Android customers is no longer “if” but “when.” At this point, it’s pretty clear that there’s significant time and cost savings found in the mutual development for both platforms with React Native. And building a true mobile app has better performance and other advantages over other quicker, cheaper solutions such as web-based mobile. But there are also factors that make React Native the perfect choice for a startup.
Building with React Native provides quick-to-market capability. It’s a great platform for building an MVP due to code efficiency and quicker development timelines. React Native’s component structure allows a product to start small and build on it piece by piece, feature by feature in response to customer needs or investor requests. Building an MVP quickly is also a bonus to tight budgets, allowing you to collect feedback before prioritizing the next features.
Your app’s UX is important to investors, and making a good show is crucial to impressing them. Stability and good usability in a product translates to a good customer experience and good sales. React Native makes UX a priority. It's also versatile to allow quick implementation of new feature requests and other changes in business direction that necessitate changes in your app. This has been a particular asset during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has necessitated changes in business models and swift delivery of new features in mobile products in response to those shifts.
How do you ensure your business gets the most out of its application?There are some risks associated with React Native. An unskilled approach to the code could result in less than optimal app performance. It can perform more slowly than a native app, but the right developer will be able to configure a React Native app to perform comparably to a native one.
Scalability is another risk with React Native, and one that a startup especially will want to be wary of to avoid speed bumps at a time of accelerated growth. The community has responded to past scalability issues in React Native, but starting with a good foundation architecture is crucial to success.
While React Native is an excellent cross-platform framework, building for Android can be a heavier lift than for iOS. Having a team with experience in both will help prevent pitfalls.
As with any business investment, you need to be sure your team has the right skill set to provide something so crucial to the enterprise. Whether building an internal team or outsourcing development, onboarding a team with a deep bench in React Native is important to the success of your venture.
Notch8 has been building in React Native almost since its introduction as a viable platform. Our React Native mobile clients have included growing companies with unique visions like Vizer and Scientist.com, and the youth-oriented nonprofit Moishe House. Contact Us to discuss your development needs. We’d be happy to talk through React Native and the right solutions for your business.