Cross-platform mobile app development is one of the most popular spheres in present-day IT-companies activities. It can be explained, first of all, with an additional cost effectiveness of such solutions and less time spent on their creation, in comparison with native. The best framework which is used for cross-platform development continually obtained superb Facebook project – React Native which uses JavaScript API over native components. As a result, a quite frequently asked question from beginner developers “Is React Native native?” has a favourable answer and gives the number of advantages by contrast with the other cross-platform frameworks.

React Native vs native: what to choose?

So what to choose – react native vs native app development and why? In this article, we will provide a number of advantages related to these two absolutely different from each other development types and also figure out which of them will be more efficient in your case exactly.

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Native development: pros and cons

Let’s review the main pros and cons of native development.

Advantages of native applications development for iOS and Android platforms

High productivity. One of the distinctive features in native applications is their high productivity, which fundamentally exceeds cross-platform solutions (it applies primarily to gaming applications, as well as applications with multiple animation elements at a speed of 60 fps and/or with active touch screen usage for smooth lines). Therefore, if your idea implies required components engagement – cross-platform development is not the best option for you. The fact that the creators of React Native are working hard on the React Fiber algorithm should not go unnoticed because it is aimed to increase the responsiveness of such capacitive applications, but at the moment it is at the testing stage and hasn’t reached its official release yet.

Enhanced security. It is believed that cross-platform solutions that are not equipped with a set of special plug-ins for secure communication with the server are vulnerable enough to the injection code and can be subjected to SSL configurations. In turn, native applications use built-in security mechanisms, so they are more often used to create applications that actively involve user private data (for example, payment card information).

Native design. The design development for native applications allows you to take into account the smallest stylistic subtleties of a particular platform. For example, the latest iOS versions have minimalistic Flat Design, with its inherent thin lines, lack of shadows and simple shapes with clear outlines. Therefore, the Android interface, despite the fact that is inspired by laconicism, uses a different stylistic direction – Material Design, the main attribute for which is that graphic elements throw the shadows.

Own SDK. Using your own SDK and other specific tools to create applications for native platforms provides more productiveness of the development team. These software solutions are usually already embedded in the development environments which are used to create applications based on iOS or Android, and consequently work faster on user devices.

Developer communities support. Applications for Android are created in Java, and for iOS – on Swift or Objective-C. Anyway, all these three languages have huge online communities, so there is almost a 100% guarantee that you can probably find the solution on topic forums for the current task related to writing the code.

Disadvantages of native applications development for iOS and Android platforms

Higher cost. The main, and perhaps the only significant drawback of native development is its higher cost in comparison with cross-platform, which is especially felt while creating fairly simple applications in terms of functionality.

Read also: How to Make a Mobile App with React JS?

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React native pros and cons

Now let’s find out main react native advantages and disadvantages.

Cross-platform development advantages with React Native

Relative low-budget. The simplest applications created by React Native can have a substantially lower cost than two native platforms created for iOS and Android (the price ratio will be approximately 1:2). However, for complex projects that involve the presence of difficult and numerous logical constructions and/or functionality using data obtained from cameras, GPS and other sensors built into user’s mobile devices, they will, at best, be 10% cheaper than native ones.

Easy code creation. In order to create a cross-platform application with React Native, the developer does not need any specific knowledge of programming for Android or iOS. To do this, you just need to be well “pumped” in working with JavaScript and know the basics of working with the React library. The articular attention we should pay to such stages of the development process as the animation and styles creation. As well as routing which uses techniques that are different from those that web developers are used to, so they will have to be learned from scratch.

Fast updates download in App Store. The next updates of the application created by React Native in the App Store are bypassed by its main policy (meaning the standard waiting time is 2 weeks, which is necessary to approve the access rights to the application for this Internet platform visitors). With the help of React Native, you can create “live” updates that will be seamlessly downloaded to the App Store via AppHub or another similar service.

Improved debugging process. An improved debugging process is one of the main advantages for developers dealing with React Native. The option Hot Reload, which is used in this framework, allows you to connect the updated files during the runtime without losing the current state of the application.

Reduction of labor resources. To create an application with React Native, you need only one development team instead of two. Moreover, the choice of suitable specialists will be more extensive (in comparison with those who create native solutions), because for today the market is literally overflowed with good programmers working with JavaScript.

Disadvantages of cross-platform development with React Native

Deployment issues. The finished product testing created with React Native for the Android platform is smooth and painless for the developers themselves. On the other hand, in the case of iOS, there may be problems with obtaining the necessary certificates if you decide to test your application (here we mean beta testing) with using the services of your own volunteer testers team, rather than those that were approved by Apple’s TestFlight.

Reduced speed. Reduced speed is not specifically a defect of React Native, but a common flaw in cross-platform development. React native performance for applications characterized by multitasking, sometimes loses in comparison with the same showings for native applications.

Read also: How Much Does It Cost to Make an App with ReactJS / React Native?

How to choose the best mobile app development option?

So, is it possible to find a compromise in the confrontation of react native vs Swift and Objective-C or Java native frameworks? Of course, yes.

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Cross-platform development with React Native will be most suitable for creating simple applications from the point of functionality, such as news portals, weather forecasting applications, etc. In other words, those apps that have regularly updated content and do not use too much server resources.

However, for applications which are made from scratch, have complex navigation and require enough productive computing power, it is better to use native development. In this case, you will get corrected and fast working product that will have an extremely identical native platform design.

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A Hard Choice to Make: React Native vs Native
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