Pros and Cons of React Native Development in 2023




Photo by <a href="">Shahadat Rahman</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo by <a href="">Shahadat Rahman</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo by <a href="">Shahadat Rahman</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

In the process of mobile application development, one often encounters decisions regarding the adoption of specific technologies. These choices, made by software engineering teams, are typically grounded in the unique advantages and capabilities that a technology offers to optimise the application's performance.

In this article, we will delve into an analysis of React Native (RN), a notable cross-platform framework that has significantly impacted the software development landscape. We will comprehensively examine its strengths, limitations, and assess its suitability for upcoming digital projects.

What is React Native

React Native is a cross-platform framework, enabling developers to craft applications with near-native performance for both Android and iOS using a singular codebase. Introduced by Facebook in 2015, React Native quickly amassed a significant community of enthusiasts.

A predominant factor in its rapid adoption is its foundation on JavaScript, one of the most widely-used programming languages. However, this alone doesn't account for its widespread acclaim. Let's delve deeper into the advantages of React Native to understand why it garners the favour of numerous software engineers.

Advantages of React Native

Opting for React Native as the framework for your mobile application development offers distinct advantages that can enhance the entirety of the development journey. Here are some prominent benefits you can leverage:

Acceleration of the development process

A primary benefit of React Native is its capability to utilize one codebase for developing applications on both iOS and Android platforms. This efficiency can result in a time and budget savings of up to 30%, effectively generating two applications for distinct mobile platforms simultaneously.

Furthermore, with the robust backing of its community, there's a continual expansion in the platforms compatible with React Native development. The integration process is made straightforward with just the requirement of installing supplementary libraries.

App development cost reduction

In contrast to native app development which demands distinct teams for both iOS and Android platforms, React Native mandates only a singular team proficient in JavaScript. This streamlined approach substantially reduces the overall cost of mobile application development, an economical advantage appealing to many business proprietors.

Having a unified team also enhances work coordination, mitigating potential issues leading to project delays. Consider a scenario where a member from one platform's development team is absent, potentially hindering that platform's progress. With native languages, switching between platforms for engineers is nearly implausible, but such challenges are negated with React Native, ensuring consistent progress and efficient scheduling.

Robust Support Ecosystem

Owing to its foundation in JavaScript, React Native benefits from an expansive set of libraries and tools that expedite the development trajectory and augment developer efficiency. Currently, the repository boasts around 30,000 libraries compatible with React Native.

While the sheer quantity of libraries doesn't invariably equate to quality, it undeniably amplifies the framework's versatility and epitomizes the community's dedication to enhancing its capabilities.

Additionally, React Native enjoys the backing of numerous external utilities that streamline various tasks like bug resolution, automated testing, and app store deployment. Some of the renowned tools facilitating the development process encompass CircleCI, AppCenter, Amplify, Bugsnag, Bitrise, and more.

Seamless Native Integration and Platform Uniformity

For developers, integrating React Native components into native applications poses no challenge. This capability holds immense business significance. To optimize cost-effectiveness, certain views of an application can be crafted using React Native and later integrated into a pre-existing native application. Meanwhile, views that the framework doesn't accommodate can remain native.

Furthermore, React Native ensures remarkable uniformity between iOS and Android iterations of mobile applications. This uniformity translates to a consistent user experience and interface across platforms. Application behavior, thanks to React Native's ability to render interfaces to wholly native components, parallels that of natively-built apps.

Expansive Developer Community

Being open-source, React Native offers unrestricted access, allowing developers globally to contribute towards its advancement and disseminate their expertise.

This open-access paradigm proves invaluable, especially during development roadblocks, granting developers the freedom to seek guidance within the community. Rest assured, assistance is typically at hand, given the extensive pool of community contributors. Moreover, bearing the endorsement of a tech giant like Facebook adds an additional layer of widespread support and credibility.

Limitations of React Native

While React Native offers numerous advantages for app development, it's essential to weigh its challenges against its strengths. Let's delve into some potential obstacles and limitations associated with React Native development.

You will still need a native developer

While JavaScript experience can take you far in developing with React Native, you still need the services of native developers to implement certain features of your application. Thus, if you need to implement some unique functionality, the average JavaScript developer will not be able to implement them. While developers can use libraries to perform many functions, they don't help much if they run into native problems. So keep in mind that on some app development projects you will need the help of native developers.

Potential Performance Lag

React Native shines for crafting uncomplicated, aesthetically appealing applications. However, when diving into intricate functionalities, achieving optimal performance might become challenging. Applications built with React Native could experience a marginal performance dip compared to their native counterparts. This is attributed to the bridge communication between native components and the JavaScript realm. Nonetheless, unless your application performs intense computations, such performance variations are likely negligible for the average user.

Reliance on Third-Party Components

React Native doesn't always offer built-in components required for specialized applications, leading developers to lean on third-party offerings. While these resources are accessible, integrating them might be labor-intensive and occasionally problematic, potentially leaving developers to devise their own solutions.

Testing issues

Even if React Native expedites development, testing durations mirror those in native development, and in some instances, might even elongate. React Native's interplay between native and JavaScript components spawns two potential error categories. The first concerns native components, and potential inefficiencies in their interaction with the JS layer. The vast support from Facebook and the React Native community, however, aids in refining these components. The second error category is rooted in the shared source code, which, if flawed, would manifest across all platforms. Nevertheless, the silver lining is that a singular fix applies universally.

Challenges in Upgrading

Transitioning between React Native versions can be daunting. While upgrading bolsters performance, security, and grants access to novel features, it might be a time-intensive endeavor. Any oversight during this process could lead to cumbersome debugging sessions. However, the predicament intensifies only if multiple versions have been skipped.

When should you choose React Native

Consider the following scenarios to determine if React Native is right for your project:

  1. React Native shines when creating custom applications for both iOS and Android. Not only does it streamline the development process, but it also offers significant cost savings. If launching your product quickly is a top priority, React Native can expedite the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

  2. For apps centered around user interfaces – like shopping apps – React Native is a solid choice. Such applications primarily fetch data, display it to users, and then send user input back to servers. Leveraging React Native allows for more shared code, leading to faster development and reduced expenses.

  3. If you're transitioning from a web application – particularly one built with ReactJS – to a mobile counterpart with similar features, React Native can ease this process. The shared language and ecosystem make it feasible to repurpose web app code for a React Native mobile app.

  4. React Native is well-suited for projects that don't demand intricate animations or deep integrations with native functionalities like Bluetooth or geolocation. While it's possible to incorporate these features using React Native, be prepared for additional developmental challenges.

In Conclusion

React Native, is a mature +five year technology, brings a range of advantages to your digital solutions. The standout perk? Its ability to simultaneously develop for multiple platforms, ensuring both time and cost savings. While alternatives like Flutter or Xamarin exist, what gives React Native its edge?

Foremost, its foundation in JavaScript—a language bolstered by an expansive community. The sheer number of JavaScript developers today far surpasses those proficient in Dart (the language behind Flutter). This large community directly influences the rapid evolution and enhancement of the framework.

Another vital point: React Native's origin in ReactJS. This means if you have a ReactJS developer arsenal, transitioning to React Native for mobile development is seamless.

There's no denying the robustness of React Native. Just look at Facebook's vast product suite, all developed using this framework, or other major brands like Microsoft and Airbnb that leverage its capabilities. Numerous success stories reinforce the idea of considering React Native for upcoming projects.

But like any technology, React Native isn't flawless. It sometimes falters with applications abundant in animations, leading to frequent view changes. Additionally, its primary development by Facebook to suit their requirements means certain features may not be immediately available. Some functions, such as background location tracking, may also have limited support. It's imperative to evaluate if React Native fully supports the specific tools your app requires or if you'll need third-party solutions.

However, any feature gaps in React Native shouldn't deter you entirely. Its ability to mesh with native solutions means you can create a native module tailored to a specific function, integrating it seamlessly with the existing JavaScript code.

In many scenarios, React Native's strengths overshadow its limitations. Key to navigating its weaknesses? Partnering with a seasoned team. Engaging professionals adept in React Native, ReactJS, and JavaScript paves the way for a successful React Native-built application.


WQA builds world-class digital products for growth driven companies around the world. Working with Startups, Scale-ups and Enterprise, we design, build and scale digital products, experiences and platforms used by millions of people.

WQA frequently employs React Native for diverse app development needs. If you're curious or have queries, chat to us or email us for a conversation and assessment of your unique digital context.

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Delivering End to End Software Solutions, with a Cloud Native Advantage

Copyright © WQA 2023. All Right Reserved.

Build Better, Grow Faster

Delivering End to End Software Solutions, with a Cloud Native Advantage

Copyright © WQA 2023. All Right Reserved.