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What is a React Native App?

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Mobile apps are a large part of our daily, personal lives—and businesses are increasingly relying on them to give customers and clients access to their e-commerce to social media platforms. Staying wired together is how many organizations are growing and reaching more potential customers and clients.

As a result, the demand for high-quality mobile apps has increased—and freelance React Native developers are constantly looking for ways to build apps faster and more efficiently. 

React Native Explained

React Native is a framework used by developers to build mobile apps. The biggest attraction of this platform is that it allows them to write code just once and then leverage that same code for both iOS and Android devices. React Native is widely used, including by the developers of Facebook, Skype, Instagram, and the Walmart app.

Comparing React Versus React Native 

React is essentially a JavaScript library used for building website frontends. React Native is not a newer version of React—it is a framework built on top of React that uses React’s components to create iOS and Android apps. 

Both React and React Native use JSX, a special markup language. React also uses HTML and CSS, while React Native supports native mobile UI elements.

A Closer Look at React Native 

There is a reason React Native is so often used to create mobile apps. Here are some of the key features that make it so attractive:

Prebuilt Components

React Native uses prebuilt components that are part of the platform’s software. These components include things such as menus, buttons, and text-input fields. By using native components, React Native can quickly create apps that are familiar to users.

Network of Third-Party Libraries

React Native has an extensive ecosystem of third-party libraries that developers can use to extend its functionality. These libraries include everything from user-interface (UI) components to tools for integrating back-end services. These libraries allow developers to save time and effort. The level of experience with these features can also factor in how much React Native developers cost.

Compatibility With Multiple Platforms

React Native allows developers to write code once and use it to build native apps for both iOS and Android. This saves developers a lot of time and effort because they don’t have to write different codes for each platform.

Real-Time Development

This feature allows developers to see changes to their code in real-time (without having to recompile the entire app each time a change is made), making it much easier for developers to test new features.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of React Native

There are always advantages and disadvantages to any tool you might use. Here are some of the issues you might encounter and should keep in mind before starting a project.

The Upside

Cross-platform compatibility allows developers to build native mobile apps for both iOS and Android using the same codebase, saving time and effort. 

In addition, React Native uses native components, which results in a fast and responsive application with a better user experience. Hot reloading also allows developers to see changes to their code in real time without recompiling the entire app, which saves time.

The Downside

For developers not already proficient with React Native, it has a longer learning curve than most other frameworks. Although React Native developers can access several native APIs, if some aren’t available at any given time, it can limit the app’s functionality.

React Native is also a large app, and debugging issues can be more challenging because the developer would have to work with both JavaScript and native code. The platform also depends on third-party libraries, which could be risky in theory.

How React Native is Used in the Real World

Now that you know what it is, you may be wondering what React Native is used in day-to-day business. For one, it is a great choice for businesses looking to build mobile apps that can run on both iOS and Android. React Native is well-suited for building social networking apps because it offers a lot of features (e.g., user authentication, real-time updates, and integration with third-party APIs) needed for these types of apps.

The platform can also be used to build educational apps that help students learn new skills or to gain access to education-related content, interactive lessons, progress tracking, and quizzes.

Many travel and healthcare apps have also leaned into React Native to develop their mobile services.

Final Thoughts

React Native is a robust framework for building mobile apps. It allows developers to write code that can be used for iOS and Android devices. However, building a React Native app requires certain skills and expertise. 

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