It is hard not to give in to the impression that the mobile market is developing at a dizzying pace. More and more mobile solutions appear around and make our lives easier. Many of us can no longer imagine an everyday reality without an application enabling convenient online shopping, contact with a doctor, access to test results, or accurate measurement of progress in sports training. The passing year has undoubtedly strengthened these trends due to the global pandemic and the loss of the possibility of direct contact with friends, participation in cultural events, and even running a business in the model we used to know. We discovered new mobile applications, which in many cases allowed us to continue most of our activities.

The growing number of users of mobile devices

The Digital 2020 report published by We are social shows that users’ networks and mobile devices grow year by year. At the beginning of 2020, 5.19 billion people used mobile devices, representing 67% of the total population. Compared to 2019, the number raised by 124 million, representing an increase of 2.4%. The share of web traffic by the device was 53.3%, a 9% increase compared to last year.

Last year’s data and growth rate of mobile users is quite impressive. However, we are sure that the pandemic, 2020 has significantly accelerated this process, convincing new crowds of users and, consequently, businesses that are more willing to create mobile applications than ever before.

React Native development

The downsides of mobile app development

In the context of mobile application development, apart from creating native apps with native code, there are also available cross-platform solutions worth considering when the budget is limited. Instead of developing two separate apps for iOS and Android with native Swift and Kotlin code, it’s possible to create apps in Flutter or React Native using a single codebase which is later compiled to native code. Some time ago there was also a lot of hype about hybrid applications, which are web apps running on mobile devices like native apps. The last and usually much easier to develop are progressive web apps (PWA) which are just web apps well adjusted for mobile devices and mimic native solutions that users can install on their devices when entering a website. It’s even possible to upload PWA apps into the store like Google Play or App Store. When it’s usually always good to develop PWA in your web project, technology is still evolving and its functionality as a native app is limited.

Behind each of the possibilities for software app development, there are advantages, but usually, they are not free of defects. For native development, the downside is the high development cost because development is done separately by two development teams. The cross-platform solutions might be less performant and your team might encounter difficulties while developing native features that natively would be much easier to develop. That’s why most of the cross-platform frameworks let you use native code even if you need just a single module or functionality. If you are thinking about developing your mobile project feel free to contact us and our team will help you choose the best technology for your project. You can read about the workshops here.

Hybrid vs. cross-platform vs. native development

Hybrid

Hybrid applications are web applications that work like native ones. Technically speaking, they are not native, but the average user will not distinguish between them. Developers embed code written in web programming languages (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) with various plugins that allow access to native platform functions. The challenge here, however, is to keep the UX and UI of the application high.

Cross-platform apps

In the case of cross-platform apps, usually created in Flutter or React Native, developers or teams of developers create a single codebase and compile it to the native code. This way, the apps written in React Native or Flutter will work on iOS and Android devices. Due to maintaining a great UI and high UX level, cross-platform apps in a visual context do not differ from the native apps.

An additional advantage is while most of the application can be written cross-platform, modules that require writing the native code can be implemented in Swift in the case of iOS and Kotlin in the case of Android. Since some elements can be written cross-platform and others can be created as native ones, it is possible to save a lot of money and time, which would be necessary to develop a completely native code.
Cross-platform development will be an excellent choice for applications where many UI elements are common for both platforms (iOS and Android). At the same time, when there is a need to write some features natively, there is also such a possibility. Yet, it is much better to focus on cross-platform development for time and budget savings.

React Native

Native

Native applications are, in turn, those that require a separate development for both iOS and Androiddevices. Therefore, customers who decide to implement a project of a native application should prepare for a much longer time and higher cost of their development. Native development will be an excellent choice for those considering creating an AR (Augmented Reality) application or one that depends on using a large amount of hardware. You can learn more about native apps for mobile devices with iOS and Android software from our blog.

React Native

Progressive web applications (PWA)

Progressive web apps are web applications that can also work on mobile devices. The user can install them from a browser and open them with an icon on the desktop. Progressive web applications are the cheapest when it comes to development, but several important limitations characterize them. For example, it is difficult and rather uncommon to publish such an application in Google Play or App Store. However, let’s imagine a situation where you run a small business, a local restaurant. A progressive web app can be a great solution here. PWA is the cheapest and quickest option for development, so it will be perfect for showing potential customers the menu.

If you want to find out more about the PWA development process – check out our Prismade case study.

Which option to choose?

At Applover, before the development process starts, we conduct an in-depth technical analysis of the project, after which we are ready to advise the client on the validity of the choice of a given technology. We consider the final product’s technical requirements, the deadline, and the budget the client is ready to allocate for the project.

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Why React Native?

Like Flutter, React Native allows you to create cross-platform apps, making it a perfect solution for creating multi-platform mobile apps with less budget burden. Unlike Flutter, React Native is much longer known on the market, which translates into thistechnology’s maturity. Just like Google stands behind Flutter, Facebook has React Native’s back. Besides, there are dozens of popular React Native apps. Let’s take only a few of them, such as Instagram, Skype, Walmart, Discord, TikTok, or Bloomberg. If you wonder what technology to choose to create your app, putting it in such a company can be a pretty good idea!

React Native is continuously growing

Facebook and a massive community around React Native are continually working to develop and improve this framework. If React Native does not provide a reasonable answer to the problem at this point, we can be sure that a new solution will be available within a few months.

The constant development of React Native is connected with the high performance of applications written in it. They work like native applications with the required functionality, appearance, and speed. React Native’s architecture is also adapted to demanding mobile gadgets while maintaining high performance for the mobile environment. Compared to other hybrid frameworks and technologies, React Native allows a high-speed application development, making them much more agile. For instance, Instagrams’ development team stated that by switching to React Native, their developers’ velocity significantly raised. Another tremendous advantage is that 85-99% of code is shared between iOS and Android apps. Yet, an undoubted disadvantage of this framework is that it is quite challenging to find developers who specialize in it and value their work relatively high. 

React Native

React Native as a top technology in 2021

React Native is a technology trusted by the world’s largest software producers. The framework allows for simultaneous implementation of projects aimed at users of both iOS and Android devices, translating into significant time and financial savings in the development process. The applications written in React Native run smoothly and are loaded faster with less memory demand. The technology has been present on the market for several years now, and what is more, we can be sure that it will not disappear soon.