The popularity of React Native is increasing at an astronomical rate. That’s because the platform focuses on easy-to-use tools and rapid development. An excellent performance, quicker development, and a timely release are all sought by business owners. 

Regarding mobile applications, developers have to choose between the user experience and development speed on the two major platforms – Android and iOS. There are many approaches to overcoming this obstacle. But React Native is by far one of the most popular ones. The extensive capabilities of React Native development make it possible to create a cross-platform app with a fantastic user experience.

If you are a company that wants to build a mobile app in 2022, you should look into React Native. However, I will also look at what alternatives have to offer.

When to use React Native?

React Native is a JavaScript-based mobile app framework that allows React developers to develop natively rendered iOS and Android apps. Using the same codebase, you may build applications for multiple platforms. It was created and launched by Facebook in 2015.

When React Native first came out, many thought it was a waste of effort and money. As a result, “native-like” apps could not be built or supported on the platform. However, times have changed. For mobile apps, React Native is fantastic. The user experience is enhanced with a fast, fluid, and responsive user interface. In addition to being more cost-effective and time-efficient, developing apps in React Native means you won’t have to sacrifice quality or functionality in the process. More advanced capabilities can be implemented by writing the code in an OS-native language (Kotlin and Java for Android, and Swift for iOS).

Cross-platform vs. native app development

Whereas native mobile apps are designed to run only on a certain operating system, cross-platform apps, on the other hand, can run on any operating system. Even though cross-platform mobile applications can now run on any platform, they still lack native apps’ level of adaptability and performance on a given operating system.

To make an accurate decision, you should compare the pros and cons of a cross-platform app vs. a native application, especially if you want to create a game, AR (Augmented Reality) software, or other high-demanding design. React Native is slowly but surely gaining ground on native applications when it comes to performance. Be also aware that performance differences are only noticeable in extreme circumstances, thus React Native may seem like a better idea from a business and development perspective if native performance is not absolutely important to your business.

Pros and cons of React Native in 2022

Developers appreciate React because they can reuse and recycle components built by them and the broad React Native ecosystem. This allows for faster and cheaper mobile app development. You also don’t need to recruit two separate development teams for native code. From a business perspective, a lot of CEOs and Product Owners also appreciate:

  • Great user experience – beautiful native-like design can be built with high performance, as long as you don’t utilize complex design ideas.
  • Rapid MVP development – your MVP may be tested, feedback obtained, and improvements made as a result without having to spend a lot of money upfront.
  • Maintenance costs – not only you will reduce development time and save the costs of hiring separate teams but also you can reduce upkeep costs because you only have to deal with one set of files.
  • Backed by a powerful community – the future of a framework appears bright, especially given how quickly it has taken over the industry and its straightforward approach to solving development challenges.

React Native framework, like any other technology, has its drawbacks that you should be aware of before making a final decision.

The performance is lower than that of a native app because it isn’t able to take advantage of all of the platform’s advantages and capabilities. If your business relies on complex designs or complex interactions, you should choose native development. Although many custom modules are currently available, there may be also a requirement for some specialized native components that you will have to design yourself.

Examples of React Native apps

React Native is being used by a wide range of businesses, from Fortune 500 corporations to up-and-coming startups. A whopping 7.69% of the top 500 US-installed applications are React Native-based. Here are some of the most popular React Native applications:

State of React Native in 2022

More than two-thirds (67.1 percent) of the world’s population already use a mobile phone, with unique users reaching 5.31 billion by the start of 2022. Over the past year, the global total has increased by 1.8%, with 95 million new mobile users since last year at this time. 

The most popular cross-platform tools are Flutter and React Native. With 12.57 percent of the votes in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022, React Native is ranked 8th in terms of popularity. It’s constantly updated and the newest React Native 0.69 supports React 18. New hooks like those used have been introduced in React 18 as part of a slew of new features. Also, new concurrency capabilities like useTransition and full Suspense support are part of React 18.

The React Native developers’ talent pool is evolving just like technology itself. The more reliable version of the framework, backed by Facebook, is preferred by many newcomers when deciding on a programming language to learn. Consequently, you may expect to find a large number of suggestions if you are looking for a new project or a new job.

Alternatives for React Native

React Native, of course, isn’t the only cross-platform option out there; there are many others.  Since there are so many variables to consider when selecting a technology for product development, asking “which one is the best” will not yield a conclusive answer. React Native’s main competitor is Flutter, possibly the most widely used cross-platform technology in the world. Flutter was developed by Google and is still in its infancy, making it less mature than React Native. The code is written in Dart, a language invented by Google and not even near to JavaScript’s popularity. Microsoft-developed Xamarin, in addition to Flutter, is also worth highlighting for its adaptability and scalability. But the lack of a large and active user base makes it less ideal for UI-heavy applications.

Speaking of frameworks’ future, Flutter will not be able to outlive React Native for now. As React Native has been the best choice for the past few years, one technology won’t make another disappear. Even if Flutter has become a hot topic in the tech industry, JavaScript-based technologies will not disappear overnight.

At Applover, after doing a thorough technical analysis of the project, we advise our clients on whether a specific technology is appropriate for their needs. For each project, we evaluate the technical specifications, deadlines, and financial resources that our clients are willing to commit.


Do you want to find out more about cross-platform mobile app development?

Talk to us!

The mobile app development process in 2022

React Native is fast and simple to learn, and it builds modern and professional-looking mobile apps with its flexible, powerful, and easy-to-use UI architecture. It will satisfy a startup or a company that is aiming to develop powerful and high-quality digital products. The framework makes it possible to work on projects for iOS and Android users at the same time, saving both time and money throughout the development process. The technology has been around for a while and isn’t going anywhere any time soon, as we know.