What is React Native

Updated: Jun 23, 2019

React Native is an open-source mobile application framework created by Facebook. It is used to develop applications for Android, iOS and UWP by enabling developers to use React along with native platform capabilities.

React Native is a JavaScript framework for writing real, natively rendering mobile applications for iOS and Android. It’s based on React, Facebook’s JavaScript library for building user interfaces, but instead of targeting the browser, it targets mobile platforms. In other words: web developers can now write mobile applications that look and feel truly “native,” all from the comfort of a JavaScript library that we already know and love. Plus, because most of the code you write can be shared between platforms, React Native makes it easy to simultaneously develop for both Android and iOS.

Advantages of React Native

​The fact that React Native actually renders using its host platform’s standard rendering APIs enables it to stand out from most existing methods of cross-platform application development, like Cordova or Ionic. Existing methods of writing mobile applications using combinations of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS typically render using webviews. While this approach can work, it also comes with drawbacks, especially around performance. Additionally, they do not usually have access to the host platform’s set of native UI elements. When these frameworks do try to mimic native UI elements, the results usually “feel” just a little off; reverse-engineering all the fine details of things like animations takes an enormous amount of effort, and they can quickly become out of date.

  • Mobile app can be built with the help of Web technology which enables any web developer to easily enhance his/her skills and create React apps.

  • React Native helps in building cross platform mobile apps.

  • Saves time and cost to build mobile apps on multiple platforms.

  • Building blocks which are used in iOS and Android apps are also used while creating React Native based apps which means that React Native is a mobile framework that compiles app components for native mobile applications in JavaScript

Disadvantages of React Native
  • Facebook’s long term commitment to React Native is still not clear.

  • The Patent Rights of the platform are also slightly unclear.

  • Businesses that require any Type A security like Banking apps or Finance management apps will need to look at additional precautions.

  • One major drawback of JavaScript is no support for decimals. This could cause some serious problems for mobile apps that needs any kind of computation.

Developer Experience​

React Native lets you take advantage of intelligent debugging tools and error reporting. If you are comfortable with Chrome or Safari’s developer tools below figure. you will be happy to know that you can use them for mobile development, as well. Likewise, you can use whatever text editor you prefer for JavaScript editing: React Native does not force you to work in Xcode to develop for iOS, or Android Studio for Android development.


React Native is an exciting framework that enables web developers to create robust mobile applications using their existing JavaScript knowledge. It offers faster mobile development, and more efficient code sharing across iOS, Android, and the Web, without sacrificing the end user’s experience or application quality. The tradeoff is that it’s new, and still a work in progress. If your team can handle the uncertainty that comes with working with a new technology, and wants to develop mobile applications for more than just one platform, you should be looking at React Native.

Overall, businesses have started considering React Native development for developing cross platform mobile apps, as the platform offers many advantages which also includes considerable cost and time savings. Additionally it is an Open Source platform which also allow integration of third party plugins.

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