I have been developing React Native apps for the last three years and in this article I am going to describe why developers like React Native and why it is relevant in 2020. You have to take this article with a grain of salt, because it is my personal opinion and comes from my experience using React Native. Ofcourse there are other frameworks and alternatives, but that is out of scope for this article.
Back in 2016, when I started developing React Native apps, it was a whole different world than what it is today. Everything was new, things were not stable and there were lots of problems. But today, React Native has evolved a lot and it provides one of the top developer experience in building cross-platform apps.
2. Uses React
3. Backed by Facebook
These initiatives have all come from the team at Facebook, hence building a lot of trust in the community. Facebook also uses React Native in many of their products. The Marketplace in the Facebook app is coded in React Native and many more.
4. Superior Developer Experience
The developer experience with React Native has increased exponentially over the years. With React Native some of the tools and features that have helped me have a great developer experience are listed below:
React Native Debugger:
React Native Debugger is an awesome standalone app for debugging React Native apps. It includes React Inspector and Redux Dev tools as well out of the box. The seamless debugging experience is far better than the regular chrome debugging with this app. I highly recommend it if you are developing React Native apps.
Expo has played a major role in making React Native better and more usable for developers. With Expo, you can build React Native apps, without touching any of the native code. It is a wrapper on top of React Native, with which you can build apps, without worrying about any of the native code or tools like Xcode and Android Studio. This works out well for developers with no native mobile experience. Expo has plenty of APIs that help you build your app seamlessly.
Expo is the fastest way to build a React Native app, providing a great developer experience.
Fast Refresh is a React Native feature that allows you to get near-instant feedback for changes in your React components. It is enabled by default, and you can toggle “Enable Fast Refresh” in the React Native developer menu. With Fast Refresh enabled, most edits should be visible within a second or two. This speeds up development drastically.
5. Code Once – Build iOS and Android Native Apps
React Native’s cross-platform capabilities is the biggest highlight of the framework.
Instead, you have one team and one codebase that works on both the iOS and Android versions of the app. This is a huge win for small companies and a cost and time saver.
Moreover the apps that you build are native apps and not web apps. With React Native the underlying widgets are all native components, hence giving the user a seamless experience. This truly makes a huge difference, in comparison with some other counterparts that build web views.
6. Excellent Community
Over the last few years, React Native has gained so much popularity, that there are plenty of developers contributing to make React Native better everyday. The React Native GitHub repo is open source and has over two thousand active contributors. This number is huge for an open source project. React Native is also an extended part of the React community. Most questions one may have, can usually be answered by the general React community, unless they are very specific to React Native.
Stack Overflow is another place which has plenty of resources and questions answered on React Native. You can also join the
I have to mention Expo which has been a huge player in the React Native community. If you wanted the best developer experience with React Native, I would suggest you pick Expo for your app. This means you can get rid of any native coding on your end.
Overall, the community is huge and growing. Many problems have already been solved, and you are most likely not going to re-invent the wheel during your development experience.
It is an interesting time in mobile development. We are moving away from just native development for iOS or Android and embracing newer technologies that build cross-platform mobile apps. I think 2020 will be a great year for React Native, as the library gets more developers interested in it.
You can checkout my latest course on React Native below:
I hope you enjoyed this article. See you again with more articles. If you liked this post, don’t forget to share it with your network. You can follow me on twitter @AdhithiRavi for more updates or if you have any questions.