React Native, hybrid, fully native – there’s more than one way to go about building a mobile app, and every developer has their own opinion on which one is best. As React Native specialists, that’s obviously the way we lean, but we don’t just love React Native for the sake of it. From its developer-friendly framework, to the performance it brings to your product, there are plenty of reasons why we think React Native is the way forward for mobile app development.

Read: "How to improve your React Native 3D animations: camera control with Three.js."

Cross-platform development

The beauty of React Native is in its flexibility. As we explained in our non-techie guide to mobile development methods, instead of building two separate apps for iOS and Android, React Native allows you to use a single code base that can be deployed to both platforms.

That means you only need a single development team with one skill set, and you only have to take the time to build the app once.

React Native can also be written to run on the web, so you can keep the same team and nail your app and website in one shot. And if in the future you want to move your app to be fully native, you can easily eject a React Native project into Xcode or Android Studio.

Development speed

When you’ve got an app framework that’s incredibly versatile, it massively speeds up development. With React Native, cleanly written app components can be easily reused – this means that when a new project is started, components that work well in an existing React Native project can be dropped in to get you started quickly.

This works especially well if your business is creating an additional app that must follow the same brand guidelines. If one of our clients wants to build another product, we can reuse components like headers, logos and buttons that we already created for their first app. It’s not about taking shortcuts necessarily, but about not wasting valuable resources trying to reinvent the wheel every time you start a fresh project.

Mobile performance

When it comes to making a mobile app that runs super fast and super smooth no matter where it’s deployed, it’s tough to beat React Native.

React Native makes use of the graphics processing unit (GPU) to compile an app, so it can run quicker than native solutions, which are typically CPU intensive. This gives the end user a better overall experience. And because a React Native app compiles to native code underneath, you can easily interact with device facilities like the camera, microphone, accelerometer and more.

Read: Enhancing Your Tamagui Apps: Media Queries and Animations.

A common coding language

React Native is written in JavaScript, a really well-trodden path among developers. Finding developers who understand JavaScript won’t be nearly as tough as finding specialists for a fully native build – which typically demands its own skill set, tools, and languages.

And because the JavaScript ecosystem is so rich, connecting a React Native app to the plethora of available microservices, frameworks and database providers is pretty seamless. This empowers scaling because you can plumb new services in as and when you need to grow.

Open-source support

React Native is an open-source framework. This means that any developer can contribute to it, adding features and improvements that all React Native developers can benefit from.

Because of this, there’s a huge support network out there making sure React Native is maintained as a framework. Documentation is kept relevant, and the framework is constantly evolving in a way that developers need it to.

Package library components

Even if the idea behind an app is completely revolutionary, chances are you’ll eventually need components and app features that have been done before. For example, if you need to add a common feature like maps, or a calendar interface, you’ll probably find what you need in the package library.

The package library is kind of like an app store for React Native components. Once you’ve found the package that does what you need, all it takes is a few terminal commands to install and you’re ready to go. Just like with reusing components from existing projects, the package library is there to help you avoid wasting precious development time building a feature from scratch when it’s already out there and available to use commercially.

I would always recommend having a quick look for an existing package before starting a potentially complex implementation of a component that likely already exists.

Business benefits

React Native isn’t just good for developers, it also makes sense for business. As previously mentioned, you only need to find a single team of developers with a single skillset. Better yet, find yourself a specialist agency and reap all of the above benefits of React Native from project kick-off, without the costly and time-consuming recruitment process required to form an in-house team.

It’s also the least risky option by far, and that counts for a lot in an app build. React Native is well-established and has been around long enough to become a rock-solid framework for building apps that just work – after all, there’s a reason it’s trusted by huge brands like Instagram, Pinterest and Uber.

If you’re looking for React Native specialists to help you with your next app project, get in touch and we’ll talk you through it.

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