- Why is cross-platform development so important in 2022?
- What’s the difference between Flutter and React Native?
- Advantages of React Native
- Top features of React Native you need to know
- What to expect from React Native in the near future?
In 2022, many business owners are taking a cross-platform approach to app development. And it makes perfect sense since you get two apps for the cost of one. And more importantly, you can reach a wider audience. But which framework should you choose for your development? In 2022, the world of frameworks saw success and failure in big ways. Some frameworks went unnoticed, and others, like React Native, created quite a stir.
So the question is, do developers still use React Native? The short answer is a resounding yes. It is one of the most loved and hated frameworks in the development world. But it is arguably the best option for developing cost-effective apps quickly. And there is no way that it will die anytime soon. It is most definitely alive and kicking in 2022. So why is this the case with so many other options available? To find the answer, we need to explore the features and advantages of React Native and the alternatives.
Why is cross-platform development so important in 2022?
We live in the information age. Everybody has an opinion, and they usually get that opinion online. Virtually every person you meet has a smartphone and uses it daily for various means. With so many users, it makes sense for any business to tap into this market. Everybody wants to have a mobile app, and rightly so. Apps are forecast to generate over $900 billion by the end of 2022.
Generally, if you want to get the most out of an app, you should develop a native app. You can harness the power of that platform’s frameworks and provide the ultimate user experience. But the downside is you limit your reach. You will need to develop different versions of your app for iOS and Android devices. And if you run out of budget, you might never reach the entire audience that is out there waiting.
This is where cross-platform app development comes in. You can produce a cost-effective mobile app that runs on both iOS and Android. A single team can produce the app making it easier to update and maintain. This also reduces inconsistencies between platforms and reinforces branding. And users do not want to feel limited if they use a particular device. So cross-platform development is a perfect choice for any startup in 2022. And even established companies are taking note. Crypto giants Coinbase have plans to we-write their app using React Native.
What’s the difference between Flutter and React Native?
Flutter and React are without doubt the best cross-platform development frameworks available. React Native is an open-source platform released by Facebook, now Meta, in 2015. You can use it to build cross-platform applications for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and the web. Similarly, Flutter is an open-source UI software development kit released by Google in 2015. It too can be used to develop apps for several platforms. So how do they differ?
Both are equally easy to learn and there are pros and cons to both. For developers starting from scratch with little coding experience, React Native may appeal more. It has predefined components you can use to build your apps. You can write something once and reuse the code without learning all the APIs used for rendering views. Flutter comes with its own set of widgets for rendering the user interface of your app. So you can reuse existing Android or iOS code. But is not easy to map the widgets to existing Android and iOS UI components.
Advantages of React Native
There are many advantages to using React Native from a business point of view. The most obvious advantage of any cross-platform development is speed and cost. React can get you a minimum viable product in a fast time frame. This allows you more time to obtain feedback and to adopt necessary tweaks and changes. And your mobile app is easy to list on both the AppStore and Google Play Store. All of this while saving money since you only need one development team.
New architecture for React Native
React Native’s new architecture brings several improvements including better app startup time. It also comes with a compatible version of Hermes to improve the developer experience. It includes support for M1 users developing for Android. And a key change is the new, native TurboModule system and the Fabric Renderer.
Native app vs Mobile vs Cross-platform
No matter which side of the fence you are on when it comes to app development, there are some things all developers can agree on. A native app is built for a specific platform and can access the available hardware for that device. So you get the most out of the built-in features. And you do not need an internet connection to run the app.
But web apps are cheaper, quicker to build, and easier to maintain. There is no download required and they run on any device with a browser and internet. But they run much slower than native apps and are of inferior quality. And security is an issue since they do not need approval from the app stores.
Cross-platform apps offer the best of both worlds. A single development process produces an app that operates on various platforms. So you get compatibility across multiple platforms just like a web app, but with the quality of a native app. And they come with the same security benefits as native apps.
Top features of React Native you need to know
- As an open-source project, there are countless forums and developers at hand to help with any issues
- The architecture is designed for use with mobile devices and makes use of the GPU
- The React Native framework lets you write code once and reuse that code in all platforms
- It is is extremely responsive and has great rendering capabilities
- It is compatible with third-party plugins
- You can push quick fixes to users without the need to wait for the App Store or Google Play to accept the changes
- Hot reloading allows changes to the code to be seen almost immediately
What to expect from React Native in the near future?
Ideal for mobile app and web developers, cross-platform development is growing more and more popular. And there are many frameworks to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. It is difficult to say which one is “the best” as there are many things to consider. But React Native is most certainly in the top two.
There are alternative choices for mobile app and web developers, but there are no obvious reasons why any of them are better. Flutter is the biggest competitor, but it will not cause React Native to die or disappear. Meta are no slouches, and they have huge plans for growing this framework. And with the power of Meta behind you, you can be sure that React Native is alive and kicking in 2022.