React Native Vs Native: What To Choose For App Development

May 9, 2022

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With the growing popularity of these apps, more mobile applications are launching in the market with fresh new ideas. Several mobile app development companies are also introducing their software to make creating a mobile application easier. Developing an app is not a complex task now. Most of the mobile applications get created on ReactJS and React Native. These include most of the popular websites too.

With the introduction of React Native and Native, several models revolutionised their user interface. This helped them to introduce new features and run the application bug-free.

The prototype of ReactJS was introduced by Jordan Walke, a Facebook engineer, using XHP for creating FaxJS. After the successful experimentation, ReactJS was implemented by Facebook in 2011. Following the path, Instagram also started using it in 2012.

What is Native App Development?

With the Native approach, apps get coded in languages specific to a particular platform. They use advanced tools and offer the best performance with a customised look and feel that you don’t get easier with cross-platform app development approaches.

Apps like Twitter and Telegram have used Native app development. Apple and Google also use it in some of their products.

What is React Native App Development?

With React Native, you can utilize your already known coding skills to be more efficient in the development process. This offers greater performance and makes app development inexpensive – which is a boon for clients and any mobile app development company.

Facebook’s internal hackathon in the summer of 2013 gave rise to the React Native JavaScript framework for cross-platform app development. The open-source tech has then become quite popular. Airbnb, Elon Musk’s Tesla, the new version of Skype, and even Facebook and Instagram use React Native development services.

Factors For Differentiation:

React Native Vs Native React Native Native
Time Less Time-Consuming More Time-Consuming
Cost Less Expensive More Expensive
UI/UX Experience Good Better than React-Native
Scalability More scalable Not so scalable
Overall Performance Good Better than React-Native
Coding Language JavaScript Java, Kotlin, Swift
Debugging Methods More ways to Debug and less time-consuming Less ways to debug and more time-consuming
Security Less secure More secure
Maintenance Developers can’t do maintenance Developers can do maintenance
Deployment Methods Uses Javascript bundles Uses .apk file
  • Time required for developing a mobile application:

In comparison, React Native takes far less time to build a product.

Firstly, a mobile app development company will need to have two teams to code Natively for android and ios versions of the app. But with React Native, only one team and their time alone is enough. Also, whenever a change gets made in the code, unlike Native – you won’t have to build and run the whole project.

React Native technology supports Hot and Live Reloading. They allow coders to observe and test changes as they get made immediately. The ability to do so without manually reloading an app and losing its current state during development is a huge time saver.

The introduction of hot reloading in React gives it a distinct edge over Native IDEs’. Native can often get clunkier during development and debugging routines. Thus, react-Native saves a company more time.

  • Total Cost for developing a mobile application:

The main problem with Native app development is logistics. With Native, most things must get done twice if your target is Android and iOS.

You will need separate development teams and testing and deployment pipelines, among other things. This doubles the labor costs and the costs of managing and preparing the two teams that need to be in sync.

New features and updates must get coordinated well. Otherwise, if one side slips behind or diverges from the other, issues will occur quickly, making money a real problem. So, to keep everything moving smoothly, a solid set of processes is essential to reduce wastage of costs.

With React Native, all these costs can be reduced to quite an extent. After all, a mobile app development company only needs to coordinate one team for both ios and android developments. Changes also take less time with React Native. Plus, a big proportion of the code can get reused.

The less time spent, the more costs are reduced. So, this cross-platform app development approach is better for the cost than Native.

  • UI/UX Experience:

The React Native framework allows developers to reuse core code while writing platform-specific code independently. Yet, it’s challenging to create a complicated user interface with custom views, navigation patterns, flawless transitions, and animations, etc.

With Native, you get access to all Native APIs. These include the camera and GPS and capabilities for building animations and complicated user interfaces. You can use everything the mobile platform has to offer because there is no middle layer.

But complex UI and animations are not React Native’s strong suit. It does have the Animated API, which is a nice option, but it is still lacks compared to Native capabilities.

Additionally, each screen gets built separately for Android and iOS devices in Native app development, resulting in a better UI/UX experience for mobile apps. Otherwise, matching the UI/UX standards of both the Android and iOS platforms is tough using react-Native.

  • Scalability:

Thanks to the fact that you can reuse code with React Native, it becomes better at scalability than Native. After all, there is a limit to the number of developers, time, and cost they would require if a company goes with the Native approach, but not much with React Native.

Also, React Native’s cross-platform approach helps app developers work with various opportunities and features that assist in processing a ton of work. React Native is available for companies to launch better functionality updates in less time with its ever upgrading features and open-source nature.

  • Overall Performance:

When comparing Native development versus hybrid solutions, this is the determining factor: Native development always wins.

React Native exists based on JavaScript, which uses a single device thread. It is unable to carry out several asynchronous jobs at once.

Native apps, on the other hand, get built with Swift, Java, or Kotlin, which are considered superior to JavaScript when it comes to working with advanced features, doing complex computations, and integrating advanced hardware devices. This enables mobile app developers to construct any form of the app using Native technology.

Although React Native provides adequate performance for most applications, Native frameworks are better suited for resource-intensive apps. These include those that use 3D/AR/VR technology and data or animation-heavy apps.

So, for applications that can’t afford to have a slip in performance, React Native isn’t the ideal option. However, there will be mitigations for this (such as Native modules or the JSI).

Native modules can enhance a React Native app to help address performance concerns or give support for platform-specific functionality. Developers can now take advantage of (at least some of) the best of both worlds.

  • Coding language:

React Native got built on React.js, a JavaScript library. This is a significant benefit given that JavaScript is a widely used and widely used language, so it’s easy to find a developer who knows it.

While Java and Swift/Objective-C (Native languages) are strongly typed, compiler languages, JavaScript is an interpreted language frequently referred to as untyped. This means that your variables can be anything at any point, and a compiler will not aid you, so if you’re not extra careful when writing your programs, Javascript nightmares are waiting to happen.

JavaScript uses the programmer’s knowledge, Lint tools, and automated tests. In Java or Swift, you might not spend a lot of time looking for the app-breaking error that your compiler would have found for you.

And, unlike Native languages, javascript has limited and poor documentation, making it difficult for React Native app developers to grasp the language fully.

  • Debugging Methods:

Debugging in Android Studio (A native tool for Android app development) is quite convenient. You can insert breakpoints anywhere in the code and browse through current call stacks and field values (including the private ones).

The same is possible with XCode (A native tool for Apple app development). You can pause the app at any second. The feature allows you to track the errors related to incorrect displaying of elements by viewing the current hierarchy of elements on the screen.

The Chrome Developer Tool can also help to debug React Native apps on iOS devices or simulators.

The Developer Menu also contains the Network tab, which lets you track HTTP requests and inspect request parameters like type, method, URL, etc.

In addition, you can use React Developer Tools. This program lets you inspect and modify React components, including their properties and state.

Compared to Native development, which usually involves waiting while your app gets reconstructed, you save debugging time with this approach.

  • Security for developing a mobile application:

React Native is less secure than Native app development technologies. Several 3rd party libraries and APIs help build the app with React Native. These 3rd party tools may have loopholes and errors that are difficult to find. Native technologies like Android Studio and XCode ensure security is never an issue.

  • Maintenance required for developing a mobile application:

When using Native app development, a new capability will be immediately available to developers when a platform such as Android or iOS introduces it, sometimes even before it gets released. The new feature can even provide a competitive advantage if your app can attract more users. However, developers get forced to wait for the maintainers of React Native when you choose cross-platform app development to address issues and offer support for new features.

  • Deployment Methods:

The process for publishing a Native app involves building an application file. This will be a .apk file for Android and .ipa for iOS in an IDE. Then the company just uploads it to Google Play/iTunes. The app can also automatically update through Gradle plugins.

Rather than live-reload the deployment version, a mobile app development company will need to switch to bundled JavaScript when preparing a deployable bundle with cross-platform app development.

Following this, bundling procedures are identical to those for Native apps. So, after creating the bundle, you can upload it to Google Play and App Store.

Which Mobile App Development Approach To Select?

There are special scenarios depending upon which you can select one of the mobile development platforms.

You can prefer using Native mobile app development when developing a challenging mobile application. One that requires a lot of complex coding slots like Telegram. You can also use it when you want to launch an update for an already existing application regularly.

Sometimes a developer uses Native to focus on providing its unique user experience. You can also use it for developing a mobile application focusing on utility, IoT, and if the application exists for a particular platform.

However, if you are aiming to build a mobile application that is simple, uniform, and on cross-platforms, you may use React Native app development. It is also very efficient to use if you have a low budget and want to launch the application in the market as soon as possible.

React Native app development is preferred by developers developing social media apps like Instagram and e-Commerce applications. It also allows these applications to use advertisements for several brands.

Conclusion

You can’t just think of a mobile app as a bunch of lines of code; you have to think of it as a business. So, if you outsource App Development, you will have to choose between React Native (cross-platform app development) and traditional Native. You must consider the bigger picture.

A mobile app development company cannot move forward without sorting out all related implications. After all, it is a complex decision with multiple factors to consider.

About the Author Sandeep Kumar is a Director at RV Technologies. Having an inclination towards software development, Sandeep always ensures to stay on top of the latest development technologies and how to implement them in real-world projects. He is always ready to share his insight with the developers so that they can also leverage the modern-day tech stack and build futuristic digital solutions for clients. Apart from overseeing all the development projects, Sandeep also likes to write down and share his insights with the world to familiarize people with the latest technologies and their potential in our everyday lives.

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