In this article, we will address why React JS and React Native are the best tools for hybrid app development. You can learn the features, pros and cons of this library and framework in this content.
Introduction to React JS:
It provides a great platform to create single-page applications and much popular for front-end development.
React JS is much faster than any other framework or library because of its main feature i.e. virtual DOM. Virtual DOM is just a clone of actual DOM. After the change in the state of the application, virtual DOM gets updated instead of real DOM. It is much faster and efficient than real DOM. This feature makes React JS different and popular than other libraries.
The other features which make React JS popular among developers are:
- One way data binding
React JS follows unidirectional data flow which is also called flux. It helps in increasing the efficiency of the application.
React JS is comprised of components like class component and functional component which are reusable and helps in maintaining the code.
As mentioned above, it’s a great perfomer. This is because of it’s virtual DOM feature.
Unidirectional data flow in React JS:
Let’s understand the unidirectional data flow. Consider we have three components: app component, parent component and child component.
The data flow goes like this:
Unlike angularjs and other frameworks which uses two-way data binding, the data flows in one direction (from high to low). Means, data flows from app to parent to child. Change in data in app component affects both parent and child component. But the change in data in parent affects only the child component but not the app. Similarly, change in child component doesn’t affect any component. Rather, it makes changes to its own component. This process gives control over data to the developers and makes the application efficient.
In the latest versions of React JS i.e. React 16.8 and further, there is a new addition of hooks. They let you use state and other features without class component. If you are a functional component lover who doesn’t wanna mess around with class component and haven’t gone through hooks then it’s my suggestion, please go through it. You will definitely love it.
These are all about React JS and its pros. Besides, it has fewer cons too.
Cons of React JS:
- Poor documentation: With no doubt, React JS is developing much faster but unfortunately, proper instruction in its documentation is lacking. Fresh learners of React JS are facing many problems while learning step by step through documentation.
- JSX as a barrier: React JS uses JSX which has its own advantages but some developers have complained about its complexity and consequent steep learning curve.
So, now the question comes, whether to use this library of JS or not?
Well, in my view, React JS currently is the safest tool you can learn to work with front-end or single page application. But, one thing to keep in mind is that it is responsible for creating UIs components. If you want to connect the database to reactjs then it can be painful for you.
Now, before diving into React Native first, let’s get cleared about the differences between React JS and React Native.
React Native was also developed by the same group later in 2015. It is a framework for hybrid mobile app-development.
Differences between React JS and React Native:
- React JS uses virtual DOM to render code whereas React Native uses native APIs as a bridge to render components in mobile. For example: it uses Java APIs to render to android platform and objective-C APIs to render to IOS platform.
- React JS uses JSX which is similar to HTML like <p>, <h>, <div> etc. But its different with React Native. It uses react native syntax like <Text> instead of <p> and <View> instead of <div>.
React Native is an open source mobile application framework used to develop application for android, ios, web and UWP. It is analogous to React JS.
React Native apps are much faster to develop than any other Native apps. It’s because of a single codebase which helps in speeding up the development for all the platform at once.
If we talk about cross platform app development, there are very few frameworks that can give you native like experience. React Native is one of those platforms.
- Single codebase: Usually, there are frameworks which is not single codebase. You may need to code multiple times for multiple platforms like android and IOS. But React Native provides you the platform where you can run your single code in multiple platform. This saves your time and effort from writing codes twice. Developers also have the advantage of hot reloading. Users can keep running the app while they are implementing new versions.
- Third party plugin support: React Native gives provision to use third party plugin. It helps the developer to incorporate device inbuilt elements like GPS, camera, Bluetooth etc. in the app. Developers usually don’t face issue regarding the speed with the use of third party plugin.
- Community support: React Native has huge and great community to work with. Being a developer, if you face any problem in future then you can find the support you want from this community. You can find them on Github, Reddit, etc.
These are all pros of React Native. Now, let’s talk about their cons.
Cons of React Native:
- First of all, it’s not Native. It has fewer components in comparison to Native platform.
- React Native apps are usually bigger than Native ones. Sometimes it becomes difficult to manage the memory.
- React Native, being a new technology relatively, the app built with this is less interactive than Native apps. But, it’s getting better every day.
Combining React Native with React JS which knows how to update User Interface or how to control, it gives you everything you need to compile the real mobile app. Then the apps can be shipped to the app store for IOS and google play store for android.
Therefore, we get real Native app as a result in the end.
Some amazing apps built using React JS and React Native
- Uber eats
This is Aarati Shah, a content writer and designer at Modern Writes. I am an undergraduate student at Kathmandu University currently enrolled in the department of computer science and engineering. I love to write on topic related to programming and technology.