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When React Native is not a Good Choice for a Mobile Application Development

React Native has been hailed as the next big thing in mobile app development. It’s an open-source programming language, which utilizes JavaScript and is maintained by Facebook. It has been praised for how relatively easy it is to learn (compared to platforms native to Android and iOS) and for a serious competition it posed for an already established cross-platform tool: Xamarin.

But can React Native be successfully used for building any kind of app? In this article, we will describe the three types of apps that React Native is not the best choice for.


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Apps with complex User Interfaces

JavaScript allows for building smooth and fast apps. Yet, the established building platforms, which are native to Android and iOS – Java, Objective-C and Swift – are much better for apps that are calculation-intensive.  If your app’s User Interface requires a lot of interactions, then React Native is most likely not the best choice for you. Think of messaging apps, which usually allow for a high degree of customization and have a lot of background processes going on at any given moment.

Apps that are designed for a single OS

There’s a number of apps that you can only download on your iPhone or Android device. Weather Timeline, praised as one of the best weather apps is only available on Android. Its creator, Sam Ruston, used Java to build it. On the other hand, there’s Bear, a simple app designed for notetaking and writing. It has several functions that your typical built-in notepad doesn’t have, such as iCloud sync or tying several connected pieces of text (and some other useful stuff!). Built by Shiny Frog, it uses a solution native to iOS.

One of the biggest benefits of React Native is the fact that it allows for building a single app and releasing it for both Android and iOS. However, the performance really depends on the app you’re developing, and for more complex apps (especially when it comes to the UI), you might be better-off sticking to native languages.

See also: React Native vs Swift comparison

Apps that are to be maintained over a long period of time

React Native is still in development and has a lot of catching up to do. However, if you plan to build an app with RN and maintain it over a longer period of time, you need to prepare for constant checking whether the platform has been updated and any new components have been added. This is not that much of a disadvantage, as React Native is regularly updated – reportedly, a new version comes out monthly! It’s more of a commitment to keep updating your code. RN may be behind the established mobile app development platforms. However, it doesn’t mean, that it won’t catch up! It might take some time, though.

Conclusion

Despite it not being a one-size-fits-all kind of platform, React Native is still a great and promising programming language. The key thing about it is that it’s still in development and we are yet to see its full potential. The community and the team behind it are great and are working hard to fix bugs and implement updates. On top of that, there’s a plethora of courses on React Native that cover its operations extensively. With such a strong commitment to improving the platform, it’s quite likely that the issues we covered in this article will stop being relevant before you even know it!

React Native - New Mobile Applications Standard
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