Which One to Choose – Native or React Native for Mobile App Development

Often the app developers; both Android and iOS are perplexed over the choice of platforms, frameworks or tools. But the key selection they have to precisely make is regarding the platform – React Native or Native.

If you are an experienced app developer, you should be well familiar with both these used application tools; however, if you are a newcomer then it would be viable to upgrade your knowledge comprehensively, before diving deep into the water.

As you know that both Android and iOS are strong competitors, the same can be said about Native and React Native. So, first let‘s briefly discuss both the platforms and then make a comparative study by going into the details:

The Native Application is developed for a specific platform and the app developer has to make use of a particular tool for developing the apps. For instance, the Android app developers need to do coding in Java or Kotlin with the help of Android Studio as the environment.

On the other hand, iOS app developers will have to make use of Objective-C or Swift. Xcode is the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) here. Therefore, it has been seen that in both popular Operating Systems, (Android or iOS), you get different programming languages and environments.

If we talk about the React Native, it is an open source framework that has been developed by the Facebook. It introduced the concept of web development into mobile app building using the JavaScript.

React Native offers you the opportunity to create applications simultaneously at one time and so you don’t need to develop two different applications. Only a single code is enough for both the Android and iOS platforms.

In fact, it can be said that the User Interface (UI) of mobile applications got better with the arrival of React Native as it brought improves the graphical elements so as to match with the platform.

Which is Easier – React Native or Native as Programming Language

Well, if you take an expert opinion from a professional app developer, then yes, the answer straightforwardly is React Native. The reason – JavaScript is a much simpler programming language both in terms of learning as well as debugging. The errors during the compiling tend to get hidden inside the codes, which you can detect later.

Talking of Objective-C or Swift, it is considered a hard and strict language but becomes easier to catch with the faults at an early stage while compiling. And also, Objective C and Java are getting upgraded to match the standards of the modern language.

React Native again is a winner as it reduces the time of app development and the cost because the app developers can develop one app for two platforms.

Read also: What Makes React Native the Future of Hybrid App Development?

Comparison on the Basis of Documentation

Well, here in this segment both React Native and Native applications actually give a tough competition to each other. The Swift has been cordially received by the app development industry, in spite of the fact that, it has just made an entry.

So, far it is doing a good job as far as documentation is concerned. On the other hand, React Native is equally matching its levels by providing code samples, tips, and regular docs. So, here the match seems to be tied.

Integrating Functionality Through API or Third Party Library

Well, now in this round the Native Application exceeds over the React Native. When you are developing an app using Native and adding functionality, you will get full support from API or third party library.

The third party element does not require any further integration. Apart from that if you are choosing a hybrid platform for app building, you won’t face any such limitation as in case of React Native.

Another disadvantage of React Native is that it does not support APIs. The issue will be only be sorted out if the native modules are embedded in React Native. But for that to happen, you first have to code Android and iOS, which is a daunting task.

Again the native application is a time and effort saver when it comes to using APIs in the app. React Native provides you the option of developing a customizable app for optimal performance.

Issues Related to Web App: Who’s the Winner

When it comes to web app development, React Native yet again steals the show from Native Application. It has been mentioned earlier that programming in React Native is simpler. Here too, a good comprehensive knowledge of web app development will prove beneficial as debugging flows and toolset architecture becomes easier. Plus, if you are also teaming up with a React.js developer, you don’t need to do web programming.

As far as Native Application is concerned, it has got no link with web development.

Comparison on the Basis of Community Size

You know that React Native has been developed by none other than the top-notch social media platform Facebook. Therefore, the name is adequately enough to describe the number of members active on the React Native Community, which is at present somewhat close to 32k.

The React Native also provides you the scope of using the reusable components in your applications because of its open source nature. The native applications does not enjoy the support of such large community and support from peer engineers.

The Battle Over Performance of the Apps

So, when you compare both programming languages on the basis of performance, Native Applications outclasses React Native. Of course, you can develop simple apps using the React Native, but as soon as you try to implement the advanced technologies such as AR/VR, IoT or Blockchain, it will start creating difficulties.

This is where native applications provide a smooth passage for the developers, as incorporating the techniques becomes easier.

Publishing on the App Store

Once the app development is complete and tested, it’s time for it to get published or released on the App Store; Google Play and Apple Store.

However, if you are apprehended whether your app will be accepted by the Play Store using Native or React Native, then, just sit back and relax. Both Google Play Store and Apple App Store will accept your apps comfortably.

When Developing Cross-Platform Apps

Well, when an app developer is deciding to create a cross-platform app, you need to opt for the native applications because of the different types of complexities involved there.

Any of the apps have backend and server side and the backend comprises 50% of the mobile development effort. Native apps also provide you the freedom of the coding process.

Updating the Apps

Updating the apps is a regular practice to maintain the better performance of it. However, considering the two programs, one would suggest going for Native Applications. Updating the app is easier as Apple and Google both provide updates with maximum backward compatibility. This allows your app to run longer.

React Native on the other hand, is not so much concerned about the app updates and all.

Read also: How Would You Know When Your App Needs A Major Update

So, the Winner is

We had a tough competition between Native Application and React Native. So far what we have seen is that on some fronts the React Native emerged victorious, whereas on some aspects Native Application proved why it is better. So, as an app developer, you are free to choose any of the programming languages you want to according to the project.

React Native will be best suited for if you are interested in making an app similar to Facebook or Instagram having a large community with reusable elements.

At the same time, Native Application will be a better option if you are developing a technically advanced app with AR and IoT features or if you are using APIs and third-party libraries.

Summary

Both Native Application as well as React Native have their advantages and disadvantages. However, it is for the app developer to decide which one he wants to opt for.

Mehul Rajput is a CEO and Co-founder of Mindinventory, a leading web and mobile app development company specialized in android and iOS app development. Delivering best solutions to its local and global clients it leads to better business all around.