When a new mobile project arrive, what’s the first question you ask? “How we should do this?”. Not so long ago, you had 2 choices. Go native, and that would take 2 different teams (one for iOS and another for Android) working simultaneously and probably delivering it in different deadlines. Or go hybrid. Hybrid apps, developed in Ionic, phonegap, etc., filled a space not attended by a native app. Quality products without the necessity of 2 teams and using less resources.

In March 2015 another option came up. Facebook release the first version of React Native, which is a Facebook’s mobile framework using their React library.

What’s React Native?

React Native is a Facebook’s mobile framework for a faster development. The central ideia of this framework is “Learn once, write everywhere”. Behind the idea there is an objective: Make development for mobile applications more practical and easier to adept to other devices.

Is it good?

Some developers thinks that’s better than a native app. Unless you have a very specific problem, the results with React Native are similar than a native app, but more practical when executed.

Different than React, a Facebook’s library for web development, whose idea is confused by part of the community as being the same thing but in a different way.
React Native is revolutionary. With potential to change the way that mobile applications are developed.

The Internet is full of developers telling their experiences with React Native. At first they didn’t believe that was possible to deliver what they were expecting, but were surprised with the results. The real framework’s power. After the adaptation, they aren’t going back to another way of development.

Live reloading tool also changed the way to develop. Be able to see instant changes make the process faster and fluid.

User can’t see the difference between a native and a React Native app. In addition to similar behavior, React Native apps are smaller. Something essential to new companies. Because of device’s storage limitations, peripheral apps (not used often) are the first deleted when there is no more space available.

Vizir experience:

Here at Vizir one of our developers, Felipe Chagas, had a great experience with React Native. Even being a fan of Ionic and missing some templates that he created to start a project, what made the beginning more practical, he was happy with the experience. Achieving better results than expected.

We also create a GitHub repository for payment via PayPal using React Native

Nothing can be perfect:

Like others frameworks, React Native have some problems. Despite having a consistent library, a lot of things need to be developed. Depending on the kind of project that you are doing, using a conventional hybrid app is the right way to do it.

Another problem is to keep updated. Everything is still changing. If you’re thinking about a enterprise application, for example, this will be a barrier. Is not quite simple to update in this scenario.

What apps are already using React Native?

Every day, another app adopt React Native. Just to mention a few, CBS is using at theirs Fantasy Football Android app, Discovery in theirs VR app. You can see a broader list here.

Do you know the events area of the Facebook app? Is all made with React Native. You can think that is just little piece of the app from who created it, but you can be sure that will not take long for other parts, even the whole app, to migrate to React Native.

Vizir opinion:

We can’t be sure that condovas’s hybrid development will be vanish but the results with React Native until now are quite impressive. Ionic and Phonegap will have to do something different to turn things to their side. Future doesn’t look so bright for them right now.

In some cases still makes perfect sense to use Ionic or Phonegap. If you don’t have a truck full of money or wants to release an MVP or something in a short amount of time, chose traditional hybrid development.

React Native’s knowledge are not fully spread. Just a tiny part of the mobile development community knows how to use it’s full potential.

React Native is revolutionary with the potential to change the way we develop apps. It can help React, web library, gain traction. We’re excited about it.