Welcome to the coding universe again. In this article, I will try to briefly and clearly explain what is exactly React Native and how it works. Besides, we will figure out if this framework is the right choice for any aim in mobile app development. Let’s start!
A bit of history
Back in the days before there were technologies for cross-platform development (such as Apache Cordova and React Native), you had to learn the Java programming language to write an Android application and Objective-C to write an iPhone application. No doubt that it will take a long time to learn two languages and write the same application twice: for Android and iPhone. How tough!
- existing plugins for Cordova quickly became outdated, and you needed to write your own ones;
- since the application is launched in a browser, it becomes difficult to get feedback from the native application;
- you need to try to optimize the application so that it works quickly and stably.
- Apache Cordova applications look practically all the same way and are not as pleasant to use as native applications.
Therefore, the guys from Facebook decided to do a thing that will allow you to write the code once, and it will work everywhere. And this thing should be free of the disadvantages of Cordova. This is how React Native was born.
React Native: overview of the framework
Every React Native app has two important streams:
- The main thread that it runs in absolutely every native application. It handles the display of UI elements and user gestures.
The so-called bridge is responsible for communication between the two threads; this is the core of React Native. The bridge allows streams to communicate in the best possible, optimized way. It serves as an intermediary that resolves requests and incoming data from two streams. This approach allows them to communicate asynchronously, which leads to stable operation because threads can never block each other.
To make it clearer, imagine a bridge with border control in the middle. He decides who goes across the bridge and who doesn’t.
How does React Native work?
Below I’ll give you some kind of illustration of how React Native works.
What are the crucial features of React Native that make it so attractive for many developers?
- Exporting native modules
- Layout in React Native
I would like to note the great pleasure of working with the layout. When creating a user interface in native code, developers must specify the exact coordinates of each UI element, whether they use AutoLayout or directly change coordinates and size. React Native components are added to the component tree as HTML elements and each component appears below the previous one. To manipulate layouts, the developer uses a subset of flexbox borrowed from CSS. This makes building the user interface much easier. Finally, you can forget about a hundred and one ways to do this in iOS.
- Compilation time
Finally, here’s a shortlist of the advantages of React Native development:
- Reuse code between iOS and Android.
If I was unable to convince you, take a look at the list of apps using React Native on the official site. This list includes mobile clients for Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, and many more.
After all the text of this article, let’s finally summarize. Why is React Native cool?
The creator of React Native is Facebook, a front-end leader, a company that invests enormous resources in the development of its technologies. Facebook is actively developing React and React Native, creating a whole infrastructure and a powerful IT community around them.
Another advantage of the technology is a fast-growing community of companies that use the technology, invest in it, and support its development: GeekBrains, Yandex, Airbnb, Wix, Tesla, SoundCloud, Walmart. What is more, UberEats, FacebookGroups, and partly Instagram and Facebook are written on this framework.
So, when such commercial giants use React Native, then why are you still stopping yourself, hire your best react native development company?