Before we proceed any further, here are some facts and figures for you to chew on:
- The number of smartphone users worldwide is 2.71 billion and that of tablet users is 1.23 billion. By 2020, this number is predicted to reach 2.87 billion for smartphone users and 1.26 billion for tablet users. (Source: Statista – Link 1, Link 2).
- Global Internet users stand at 4.39 billion in 2019. This is 9% higher than last year. 3.986 billion users are active on mobile devices. (Source: We Are Social and Hootsuite – Link 3)
- Mobile Internet usage is surpassing desktop Internet usage. In 2018, 58% of site visits were reported to be coming from mobile devices. (Source: SimilarWeb, Link 4).
- 205 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2018 compared to 178 billion in 2017. Of these, 105 billion mobile apps have been downloaded via Google Play Store and iOS App Store. By 2020, this number could reach 250 billion. (Source: App Annie, Link 5).
- The mobile app industry is projected to earn $188.9 billion revenue by 2020. (Source: Statista – Link 6)
If you have eyeballed the figures carefully enough, you would know the mobile app industry is currently running the show. Because the market is hyper competitive, app penetration is deepening at a steady pace without any sign of slowing down.
This is great news for developers as well as companies because app development in present times carries all the potential of dynamic pricing.
But, are we also going to discuss the research and development costs that come along? As app makers, ask yourselves these six questions:
- How do we meet the rising demand for mobile apps without going over the odds when it comes to investments?
- How do we convince SMBs to put money in app development when they are well aware of the high costs?
- How do we build an incredible mobile app that does exceptionally well with the audience without breaking the bank?
- Do we work on iOS and Android separately or go for hybrid apps with cross platform compatibility?
- Is there any way to decrease the development time and use as fewer resources as possible without diluting the UI/UX?
- How do we cut costs without cutting corners?
The answer is – with React Native!
Before we explain why, let us talk about cross platform compatibility first.
How is a Mobile App Developed to be Cross Platform Compatible?
A mobile app created to be functional across multiple mobile operating systems with equal efficacy is known to have cross platform compatibility. Such an app can be developed in relatively less time and at a cost that is significantly lower. In other words, this one is a cost effective way of developing apps.
Also, because this is the age of WORE (Write Once, Run Everywhere), the process of developing these apps usually involves just a single round of coding.
In modern times, this has become a business imperative instead of a choice. With mobile operating systems diversifying and apps needing the best of all platforms, this is a middle ground that delivers neutrality.
How Does Cross Platform App Development Reduce Costs?
Not many years ago, app development was an idea strictly limited to platform nativeness. Whenever a client approached app development company, a quick query used to follow – which platform first? – iOS or Android? And god forbid if the client chose both the platforms, development would cost a bomb. And that did not even include the annual maintenance charges!
However, times have changed now. Today, it is possible to avoid the high costs of developing native apps. With the concept of cross platform compatibility, developers can now use a single code to customize the mobile apps for both the platforms. Maintenance, too, is easy, quick, and affordable as the need to shut down operations temporarily is dismissed.
Basking in the convenience of WORE, the codes are now reusable. Developers can simply use them over and over again, never writing new unique codes that complement separate platforms.
This saves time and effort by 50 to 80%. It allows rapid app development at costs that do not burn a hole in your pocketbook. So, if yours is a blueprint for a feature rich app, cross platform compatibility ensures it gets developed in no time.
React Native: A Breakthrough Technology
Ever since programming came into being, coding has given people sleepless nights, regardless of whether they are programmers or non programmers. With programming languages and platforms rapidly mushrooming, the job is getting even more complicated.
The code of native mobile applications needs to be ‘fixed’ every now and then, which makes development cumbersome and slow.
Therefore, it has always been a developer’s dream to learn one language and wrap up everything using it – much like a ‘one size fits all’ formula.
However, cross platform app technologies have not been able to come up with something worthwhile; only apps with funny interfaces and scrappy compatibility throng devices.
In response to this chaos, Facebook introduced React Native in 2015 – a major breakaway from traditional app development tools.
This open source framework comes with an amazing ability to develop cross platform mobile apps that work on Android as well as iOS devices. It makes use of collective libraries of app development frameworks such as PhoneGap and Xamarin, which lets it deliver apps much faster.
Because this framework is efficient and enables building complex mobile apps with total scalability, it is a choice among mobile application developers. No wonder it is being used by biggies like Tesla, Pinterest, Instagram, Skype, Uber, Myntra, Discord, Vogue, and Walmart!
8 Ways React Native Contributes to Affordable App Development
Of all the benefits offered by React Native, cost efficiency is paramount. Of course, to develop mobile apps using the platform, a developer needs to consider multiple platforms so the outcome is an application that can manifest high performance. But, this still is a time saver! Let us study how React Native contributes to affordable app development.
1. Reusable Components
Like we discussed earlier, React Native offers app developers this incredible benefit of creating and reusing native components. In fact, this is the primary manner by which the framework can make cross platform compatibility happen smoothly. With React Native, each element from iOS and Android can be leveraged and reused.
For instance, the same code can be used for mobile application as well as desktop web views. This helps developers use web based agility to build packages. We all know coding is not cream puff; it requires precision and meticulous adherence to technicalities. But, with React Native, this gets easier.
According to Facebook, 85% of the written code can be reused. And lesser the code, quicker the development, lower the cost!
2. Quick Development Time
Since building individual apps for individual mobile platforms is not required anymore, it subsequently brings down development efforts and costs.
Moreover, this is a highly competitive industry where the time to market of an app is more important than the way it has been developed; after all, launch and marketing of an app requires solid strategies, which, in turn, require heavier investment of time.
So, the less time spent in developing the app, the more profitable it is for a business.
Also, in regards to the irregularities of the digital landscape, cross platform compatibility seems like a quicker and more effective solution than the age-old concept of nativeness.
Long story short, if you are looking to develop a high quality app that can run seamlessly across devices and can be created in lesser time with lesser resources and efforts, React Native is your best bet. It has been reported to reduce development time by 40%. That’s huge savings!
3. Easy Team Management
React Native Developers work on the same modules irrespective of the programming languages for Android or iOS app development.
In other words, discreet technologies, resources and tools are not needed to build a platform specific app, unlike that in native application development. This allows easy team management and reduces operational costs.
To add to this, native apps are built to be compatible with a certain generation of devices. Getting them to accommodate and support varied dimensions and configurations is a hassle and downright expensive on the development front.
But, React Native enables a digital ecosystem for cross platform apps where they are optimized to support as many devices as possible. This, further, saves the developer team a lot of time.
4. Low App Maintenance
The central philosophy of React Native is simple – one code, zero fuss. Likewise, maintenance of React Native borne mobile apps is quick and easy because these software pieces receive the best of both the platforms.
This is not the case with native apps; 9 out of 10 times, the maintenance strategies for Android and iOS apps would be poles apart, giving developers as well as users a tough time.
Also, native apps need regular updating, troubleshooting and patching, for which, the fundamental support is difficult and rather time consuming. But, cross platform apps can do without versioning, thus making maintenance a lot simpler.
With such flexibility, cross platform mobile apps are more scalable than native apps. Overall, low maintenance translates to lesser use of time, resources and effort along with low costs, ergo the popularity.
Read also: The Importance of Mobile App Maintenance
5. One Solution for UI/UX
UI/UX is the first impression an app creates on its users. Designing native apps for Android and iOS separately calls for discreet considerations for UI/UX.
Those who have used non optimized app would know horizontal scrolling of the full page on mobile devices is a pain. As such, app makers must consider the nuances of each platform so native apps function properly.
However, seeing one native app work seamlessly on a foreign platform only seems like a distant dream. Also, the costs are on the higher side compared to cross platform app designing.
This is where React Native steps in. Because it enables cross platform compatibility, the need to worry about discreet UI/UX is gone.
Such apps are fully optimized and run with absolute uniformity regardless of where they are installed. Also, they can display data way faster and adjust to varied screen configurations with utter promptness.
This fixes the issues that come with fluctuations in data streaming. They are further extremely lightweight and super supportive of high resolution graphics.
In short, when you choose React Native to develop cross platform apps, you can have the cake and eat it too.
6. Effortless Integration
Cross platform applications have an impact on the internal programming of devices, whether running on iOS or Android. This, in turn, minimizes the effort of mobile app developers in integrating and synchronizing such apps with other compatible apps.
In other words, a React Native mobile app will work just like a native app with default apps such as Camera, GPS and the likes. Because time is money, reduced effort definitely means lower costs.
7. Easy Debugging
React Native enables debugging via Chrome’s DevTools, which helps in smoother app development. Developers would see a ‘Debug JS remotely’ option on the in-app developer menu while working on an app in progress.
This is a unique feature, which lets them tap into a new webpage with debugging tools that can be promptly used. This is as effective as that in native Android or iOS environment and definitely saves the extra hours. If we go by the previous point, this one is a money saver, too.
8. Scalability and Availability
Cross platform mobile apps are easy to push into the app stores of Apple and Google. This is also the best way to maximize outreach and expand the user base. Ready availability of applications for installation can work wonders when it comes to monetizing.
Also, because such apps are relatively easier to create using recycled codes, they are highly scalable, which further lowers development costs. In both ways, it signifies profit pouring in!
Let us repeat this: React Native is a robust framework that allows quick creation of apps that are fast, easy to maintain and highly scalable. Because of single code management, they work across platforms and can be easily integrated with other default apps and device file system.
Such apps work by storing the API of the mobile device and thus, save data offline. This, in turn, helps the apps run fast with uninterrupted data access, especially when the network conditions are not so favorable.
Moreover, React Native enables assimilating codes written in Swift, Objective C, and Java. The framework also eliminates full scroll view of mobile apps on varied devices. React Native apps are lightweight and keep away fluctuations in data streaming.
App data is displayed faster and in high definition, never compromising on graphics, content, or user experience. This apart, versioning of apps can be avoided. All this contributes to the ultra high performance capabilities of React Native apps and their overall cost efficiency.
Lastly, if you wonder why React Native is better than other premier frameworks such as Flutter, here is the takeaway: This framework has an ecosystem that allows it to raise Java API for Android components and Objective C API for iOS components.
For missing features, it lets in third party packages in greater number than any other framework. Most of all, it has the additional support of a dedicated community for effective problem solving.
Welcome to this brand new age of mobile app development!
FAQs About React Native and Cross-Platform App Development
Cross-platform mobile app development is the process of developing mobile apps for multiple platforms using a single codebase.
React Native allows the reusability of code. After successful development of one mobile app, developers can reuse that code to develop an app on other mobile platforms. So, using React Native you can develop cost-effectively smart cross-platform apps.
React Native handles multiple platforms easily. Most React Native API is cross-platform so you need to write only one react native component and it will perform well on android and iOS both platforms. Plus, code can be reused in each operating system and ultimately it saves time and money both.