React Native vs Native Apps: When To Use Which Mobile App Development
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React Native vs Native Apps: When To Use Which Mobile App Development Platform

Dileep Gupta
By Dileep Gupta| Monday, July 23, 2018 14:56 PM |7 min read
React Native vs Native Apps

The whole mobile app engineering ecosystem is made as a result of a choice between two decisions – Whether to develop two apps for iOS and Android (Native Development) or whether to develop one app and launch on both the platforms.

This decision is what lays the basis for everything that happens next in the mobile app development process.

[While we are at the point of discussion on choosing between Native and Cross Platform app, it won’t hurt to know the concept in depth and just for that, here is our 8 Minutes Guide to Cross Platform App Development.]

Now, whenever we talk about choosing between Native apps and Cross-Platform apps, there are three platforms that we keep our differentiation analysis restricted to – iOS & Android and React Native.

The reason why we limit ourselves to iOS and Android when it comes to Native development is primarily that in the present time, these are the only two platforms that are used. The years when we used to operate Blackberries and Windows phones are long gone and with them, gone are their stores.

Coming to our partiality towards React Native, now. Apart from the fact that we have over time established ourselves as the leading React Native App Development Company, the platform has grown to become the preferred choice of a number of industry leaders like Facebook (obviously) Uber, Bloomberg, UberEats, etc.

This is not all. Ever since React Native decided to Re-Architecture, the ease of development efforts has only grown.

Now that we have justified our choice of differentiating platforms, let us move ahead to a section that plays a rightful role in all differentiation articles – Knowing the Pros and Cons.

Associated Pros and Cons of React Native and Native Development

Pros of Investing in React Native Apps

Pros of Investing in React Native Apps

  • Single Code base

The best part about the platform which works perfectly well for the React Native developers is that they have to write a single codebase that then runs on both Android and iOS platforms.

  • Low Development Time

Since the developers have to write the code just once, it saves a lot of development efforts in terms of app development time.

  • Ease for Web Developers

Since a major part of the React Native app development is based on JavaScript framework, the transition for a developer to become a mobile app developer from a web developer is much easier.

  • Open Source

React Native, being open source comes with the benefit of inspecting the code. Also, since it is open source, the library is deemed to be a lot more compatible with other platforms like TvOS and Windows. 

  • Hot Reloading

React Native comes with the feature of Hot Reloading using which React Native Developers can view the changes they are making to the app in real time on their screens.

Cons of Investing in React Native Apps

Cons of Investing in React Native Apps

  • Native Elements

The biggest disadvantage of React native development is that it doesn’t allow developers to use the native elements of the device like Camera or Voice Recorder etc.

  • Third Party Library

Community wise React Native Development lags a lot behind Native Development and because of this, there is a serious lack of third-party libraries. To make use of the native libraries, the incorporation would have to be made in native modules which increases the development efforts.

  • No Support for All Native APIs

While React Native does support some of the most popular Native APIs, it doesn’t have the freedom to use all the APIs

Pros of Investing in Native Development

Pros of Investing in Native Development

  • API Access

All the device’s APIs and its inbuilt functionalities can be integrated with the native development environment.

  • Third Party Libraries

Community wise Native Android and iOS are much bigger and supported than their React Native counterpart. With the support comes the presence of a lot of third-party libraries to select from.

  • Robust Language

Both Swift and Kotlin are considered to be robust, both in terms of stability and when it comes to revealing the hidden errors in code. This robustness in the programming language is what React native suffers from.

Cons of Investing in Native Development

Cons of Investing in Native Development

  • Development of 2 Apps

One of the biggest cons of Native development for iOS and Android is that businesses have to invest in both Android app development and iOS app development individually.

  • High Development Time and Effort

Because the app development happens from the scratch twice, the cost of development and the associated app development efforts grow by manifold.

React Native vs Native Development

React Native vs Native Development

There are a number of instances where React Native over Native is preferred and many others in which Native over React Native gets all the brownie points. In the table below, we have enlisted the five differentiating factors under which two platforms usually compared to judge which is better than the other.

Now that we have seen the React Native vs Native equation, it is time to gauge when you should invest in a React Native App Development Company and when in a Native Development Company.

When to Use Which Platform

When is React Native a Good Choice for Mobile App Development

The two major events that majorly work in the favour of React Native Apps Development – A. When your app is complex and calls for reusable components and B. When your App Development budget restricts you to a team of 5 to 8 Mobile App Developers.

The app categories that are known to have profited from their React Native associations are –

  • e-Commerce – Since the app category makes use of a great number of reusable components, React Native is deemed ideal for the app market.
  • Social Media Apps – There are a number of features that can be shared between the social media platforms, such as logins, like, share, commenting, uploading photos, chat etc. and because of this, using react Native makes a lot of sense.
  • Messaging Platforms – The growth tangent that React Native is on,a long with the fact that React Native platform has now gained experienced with Facebook, makes it right for development of Messaging Platforms.
  • Uses Facebook Ads – For the most obvious reasons, if your app uses Facebook ads, React Native would be a better fit.

When is React Native NOT a Good Choice for Mobile App Development

When it comes to Native iOS/Android vs React Native development, there are two events that sway businesses in the Native development route – A. When businesses need to incorporate in complex technologies like Blockchain or IoT etc and B. When your app needs a lot of third party APIs and multiple library integrations.

Category wise, these are the categories that tend to benefit more with Native development of iOS and and Android apps –

  • Utility Apps – If your app is relying heavily on device’s in-built features like camera, playing videos in the background, brightness controller, etc. you will be more in profit if you invest in Native app development.
  • Uses Google Admobs – There is a lack of react native component for the integration of Google Admob in the app, so if your app monetization policy includes Google Admob, you will be better off with Native app development.
  • Connected Apps – When you are looking to develop IoT based connected apps, Native apps would be the ideal choice as it would require a number of technical complexities.

Since we have now looked into both Native and React Native in great details, it is now time that we give you some more alternatives than your usual trusted React Native App Development.

While when it comes to Native, the choices are limited to just two – Android and iOS, when we talk of Cross Platform App Development, the choices are a lot more such as Ionic, Cordova, and Xamarin, amongst a variety other others. But the one framework that has established itself as the cut-throat competition of React Native is Flutter.

Ever since Google revealed its true intention behind Flutter, the framework has found a whole set of profound demand from the mobile app development industry.

Even though it is fairly new, the speed at which Flutter is developing is commendable and has become responsible for the shifting user base of React Native to Flutter.

There are a number of other factors that have made Flutter a competition for React Native, which we have shown in an article where we have compared the two Cross platform app development platforms – Flutter vs React Native: Who is Winning?

Were you able to come to a decision of which to choose between React Native vs Native? Or do you still need some more clarifications? If first, contact our team of mobile app development experts to convert your decision into an app, if a second, contact us to help get closure.

React Native vs Native Apps

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Continue exploring the landscape of product design with these helpful resources: native developmentReact Native and native developmentReact Native app developersReact Native app evelopment companyreact native appsReact Native Developmentreact native vs native
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Dileep Gupta
About The Author

Dileep Gupta, the Chief Delivery Office at Appinventiv is someone who having worked with hundreds of clients worldwide, knows what they need in terms of product and service delivery. Having acknowledged himself with both the human and technical side of an app, Dileep is someone who gets things done to make an app reach its people and then the world, on time and above par met expectations.

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