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What is React Native? – A Look at Facebook’s Mobile Application Framework

Read Time: 3 minutes

Developed by the tech team at Facebook and released in 2015, React Native is an open-source mobile app framework that allows developers to create dynamic mobile applications for iOS and Android. React Native has gained tremendous popularity in recent years because it is versatile and easy to use. It’s also one of our preferred mobile app frameworks here at SevenTablets.

Facebook reported that, “React Native had the second highest number of contributors for any repository in GitHub” throughout 2018, serving as a testament to its versatility. In fact, it’s possible to use React Native with an existing mobile app — a claim that’s relatively rare in the development world. 

What Are the Advantages of Using React Native to Develop a Mobile App? 

There are many benefits to using the React mobile framework for a mobile app development project. The first is that developers can use the framework in conjunction with React and native features. This expands the possibilities in terms of features and functionalities, since the app can access the device’s location, camera or speakers. 

This mobile application framework allows developers to create and re-use the many “blocks” that comprise a mobile app. The net effect is a more rapid development process — which usually translates into cost savings as well. 

React Native leverages JavaScript, which is friendly to both iOS and Android devices. Therefore, developers can use a single framework to build an Android or iOS mobile app. This is also ideal for anyone who’s interested in cross-platform development (also known as hybrid app development). 

App updates are dramatically simplified, resulting in a significantly lower cost to maintain React Native mobile apps. Traditionally, developers had to develop and test a new version of their mobile app whenever there was an update to Java, Swift/Objective-C or another mobile application framework. Then, the developers had to re-submit to the various app stores, which typically mandate a review of the updated application. In all, this process can take weeks, consuming a fair amount of time and money. 

With the React mobile framework, developers can sidestep the hassle. React Native apps have the ability to identify JavaScript code, which is downloaded when the app is actually launched on a device. Essentially, a mobile app on a React Native framework is programmed to automatically check for and download updates every time it’s launched. The result: developers won’t need to perform manual updates every time new technology becomes available. This translates into lower app maintenance costs. What’s more, users are afforded a better experience since they can benefit from the latest technology as soon as it’s available. There’s no need to wait for weeks as developers frantically update the mobile app and wait for it to be reviewed and approved by app stores. 

Is There a React Native for Web? 

While mobile is the primary platform for this framework, React Native components and APIs can run on the web using React DOM. This makes it possible for developers to offer a web-based version of their mobile app using a code snippet that embeds the app’s functionalities into a website. 

It’s important to note that the web-rendered version of a React Native mobile app may not include all features and functionalities that are present for users who are on a mobile device. But, for the most part, React Native allows for a relatively smooth transition to the web. 

React Native frameworks can be used to create native and cross-platform mobile apps, making it a preferred technology here at SevenTablets, and beyond. Our team takes great pride in our ability to leverage cutting-edge technologies to build all sorts of custom software. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, SaaS solutions and, of course, mobile apps

Based in Dallas, SevenTablets maintains regional offices located in Chicago and Houston. We work with clients worldwide in a variety of industries, so if you’re in search of an innovative development partner, we invite you to contact the team at SevenTablets today.

Reach out to our team today!

Harshit Gupta

Harshit Gupta

Harshit Gupta has more than eight years of experience as a Senior Developer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering and an MS degree in Computer Science from Arkansas State University. Some of his most notable accomplishments include his dissertation on 3-Tier MapReduce, being named runner-up in the SevenTablets Annual Hack-a-thon, and receiving the “think/WOW” award for his work on Lockton-Dunning Benefits.

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