The Newbie Intake: React Native

Sandip Modi, in Sandip ModiTechnology

The Newbie Intake React Native

Here’s why everyone is excited about React Native, a framework that lets you build mobile apps using only Javascript.

In many ways, React Native is for native mobile apps what React JS is for the web. Using the same architecture as React, React Native helps developers create user interfaces with declarative components. It is currently being used by various leading apps including Instagram, Skype and of course, Facebook.Announced in 2015, the React Native library was first developed in an internal hackathon at Facebook based on a discovery by Jordan Walke, who found a way to create UI elements in iOS by using a background javascript thread.

Before React Native, it was more difficult and time-consuming to build native apps, as opposed to developing for the web. It is advantageous to use React Native in a number of ways.

1. A react native app, unlike many other hybrid or web apps, is a real mobile app. This is because it uses the same components for the user interface as any regular iOS or Android app that is written in Objective-C or Java.

2. The native code can be combined with Objective-C, Java, or Swift. Meaning, you can have components written in Objective-C or Java and use them in React Native. Therefore, in effect, you can write part of your code in native while using the other three for writing the rest of your code.

3. The Native code is reusable between different platforms. 95% code is shared between iOS and Android, making it fast and easy to market.

4. Learning curve is easy as it’s based on Javascript, the most commonly used programming language on the web.

5. React Native supports live reloads, which mean that you can immediately preview the changes you make to the code.

6. It’s community driven. The framework created by Facebook is open source and therefore supported by the developer community.

Facebook claims that the React Native gives us the best of both worlds by combining the user experience of native mobile platforms with the developer experience of building with React on the web. Facebook notes that it is as difficult as it is necessary to have native apps and thus justifies the usage of React Native.

React Native has become a widely accepted framework for cross-platform app development. It is quite possibly the way forward for a new wave of app developers and firms as it follows Facebook’s mission for making the world more open and connected.

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