Mobile app development has become critical to every business's success. With millions of users accessing apps daily, creating high-quality mobile applications that work across multiple platforms is essential. 

One of the most popular frameworks for cross-platform app development is React Native. In this article, we'll dive into what React Native is, its benefits and popular apps built with it.

Looking for a non-techie guide to app development? Click here.

Understanding React Native

What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source mobile application framework created by Facebook/Meta. It is used for building cross-platform mobile apps for iOS, Android, and other platforms using JavaScript and React. And recently, the emergence of React-Native for Web expanded this cross-platform capability to include web applications.

React Native has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering several advantages over traditional mobile app development. For one, it allows developers to write code once and use it across multiple platforms, saving time and resources. Additionally, React Native's use of JavaScript and React makes it easier for developers to learn and use.

One of the key benefits of React Native is its ability to translate code directly into native code, which allows for improved performance and speed. This means that React Native apps can run just as smoothly as apps built using traditional mobile app development frameworks.

How does React Native work?

React Native allows developers to build mobile apps using the same principles as web development, focusing on reusable components and modular architecture. React Native uses JavaScript to create a bridge between the app's JavaScript code and the native platform code, allowing developers to build cross-platform apps with a native look and feel.
Because React Native uses native code, it can take full advantage of the device's capabilities, such as the camera, accelerometer, and GPS. This makes it possible for developers to create mobile apps that are just as powerful and feature-rich as native apps.

And the upcoming React Native's new architecture will provide even more efficiency and performance.

React Native vs React

React Native and React are two different technologies, although they share the same syntax. React is a JavaScript library used for building web applications, while React Native is a framework specifically for creating mobile apps.

Despite their differences, React and React Native share some similarities. For one, they both use a component-based architecture, which makes it easy for developers to create reusable code. Additionally, both technologies use a virtual DOM, which helps to improve performance and make updates faster.

However, there are also some key differences between the two. For example, React Native uses native components, which means it can fully utilise the device's capabilities. React, on the other hand, uses HTML and CSS to create web-based components.

It is worth noting that with the advent of React Native for Web, it is now possible to write with React Native components that translate into web components, thus enabling one single codebase for all three platforms (iOS, Android, Web).

React and React Native are powerful tools for developers looking to create high-quality, efficient applications. While they may differ in some ways, they both offer many advantages over traditional development frameworks.

Benefits of using React Native to develop your mobile app

Cross-platform compatibility

One of the most significant benefits of using React Native is its ability to work across multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android and Web. This saves developers time and resources, as they can create one codebase that can be used across different devices rather than creating separate codebases for each platform.

Moreover, cross-platform compatibility means your app will be accessible to a broader audience. You can reach iOS and Android users with a single codebase, increasing user engagement and revenue.

Faster development time

With React Native, developers can build apps with faster development times, as they only need to write one codebase instead of separate ones for different platforms. This means you can launch your app on multiple platforms faster than if you were to develop individual apps for each platform.

Furthermore, React Native comes with built-in libraries and tools supported by the ecosystem with powerful tools such as the Expo SDK, making creating and deploying apps even faster. This allows developers to focus on creating unique features and functionalities for their app rather than spending time on repetitive tasks.

Improved performance

React Native apps can run more smoothly and efficiently because they translate directly into native code, allowing them to run much faster than apps created using other frameworks, such as Cordova.

In addition, React Native provides a more seamless user interface experience. React Native apps are built with a native feel and look, which makes them more user-friendly and intuitive. This can lead to better user engagement and satisfaction.

According to Appfigures, 11% of the developer apps in Google Play and Apple's App Store utilise React Native. React Native is a popular choice for cross-platform mobile applications, allowing developers to build on two operating systems using a single platform.Thousands of apps use React Native, from established Fortune 500 companies to hot new startups.

Large community and support

React Native has a vast community of developers and support from Meta, making it easy to find solutions to almost any problem or issue that may arise during development. Additionally, many third-party libraries and tools are available to make development even easier.

The community also provides a wealth of resources, including tutorials, documentation, and code samples, which can help developers learn and implement React Native more quickly and efficiently.

Check out our blog for React Native development tutorials written by our experienced devs here.

Popular apps built with React Native

Meta apps

Meta first launched React Native in 2015 and has since used it to develop many of their own apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. React Native has allowed Meta to build high-quality, fast, efficient cross-platform apps. The Facebook app, for example, has over 2.8 billion monthly active users and is one of the most widely used apps in the world.

Instagram app


Airbnb, the popular home-sharing platform, also uses React Native. React Native has allowed Airbnb to deliver a consistent user experience across both iOS and Android platforms, making it easy for its 150 million users to find and book their perfect vacation rental.

Airbnb app

React Native is a powerful and efficient mobile app framework that can quickly help you build high-quality apps for multiple platforms. With its cross-platform compatibility, fast development time, improved performance, and extensive community, React Native is a top choice for developers looking to create successful mobile apps.

Looking to start building your app but not sure where to start? Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.

Download our free CTO’s Guide to React Native app development for 2023 here.

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