React Native vs Native: Which is Better for App Development?

If you’re in the market for a new app development project, or just curious about what it’s like to build apps for each platform you might be wondering how they stack up against each other. Well, we can help with that! In this article, we will look at how they work and what pros and cons come with each before deciding which is best for your project.

It’s no secret that the world of mobile app development has changed dramatically over the last decade. It used to be that “native apps” were king, but now with the advent of new technologies like React Native, hybrid app development is on the rise.

React Native is the practical alternative to building native mobile apps. And it’s becoming more popular for your everyday developer. But is it really better than native app development? Let’s break down the pros and cons of both.

What is Native App Development?

Native app development is a type of mobile application development in which a mobile app is developed using the programming language(s) supported by the target platform(s).

What this means is that the apps are programmed specifically for each Operating System (i.e., iOS or Android for example), using the languages that are native to each one. For example, in building an app for iOS, you would use languages like Swift. With Android, it’s Kotlin. 

Pros of Native App Development

Native apps offer superior performance

This is because they are compiled to the platform’s native bytecode rather than being interpreted at run-time.

Native apps are also more secure, due to the fact that they don’t need to rely on an interpreter. Instead, their code can be compiled and optimized to run on a specific platform.

Better Integration

Native apps offer better integration with the platform they’re running on. They also have access to APIs and frameworks which are unique to each OS.

This makes it easier to access a device’s hardware and software features, such as location services for better geolocation.

For instance: There are many Android-specific APIs that React Native doesn’t have access to. Even on iOS, there are certain APIs that only work if the app is programmed in Objective-C or Swift.

Access to new platform-specific features

Developers can take advantage of new features as soon as they are released by either Android or iOS rather than waiting for a public release. This could prove to be beneficial if your project is time-sensitive or you want to gain a competitive edge.

More convenient for users

A user can get access to an entire app’s features without having to download anything extra. This can help users avoid data overage charges, especially if they are on a limited plan.Cons of Native App Development

Native Development is expensive

When you develop native apps, it often means you’ll build two separate versions of the same app: one for iOS and one for Android. This can be a costly process that requires hiring different teams of react developers.

Logistical headache and time-consuming

Because each platform has its own specific language and frameworks, it takes more time to develop. 

It also means you have to manage two different codebases which means more logistical headaches dealing with the differences of each

Native apps are not cross-platform compatible

Unfortunately, native apps only work on the platform they’re designed for. So, if you want to use an app on multiple devices it will have to be re-written for each platform.

What is React Native App Development?

React Native allows developers to build mobile apps for both iOS and Android using JavaScript to write a single codebase for both platforms. 

This means that instead of writing separate codebases, the app can be written in one shared codebase that will then be compiled into native components for each OS.

Pros of React Native App Development

Cross-platform compatible

One of the pros of React Native app development is cross-platform compatible. When your app is compatible with different mobile OS platforms, you can develop a single application that can be downloaded from App Store or Google Play Store, and used on diverse mobile OS without writing a new code for each OS.

Consequently, it can be easier to build a good product and get far more exposure for it. This is arguably one of the biggest advantages of React Native Development – the ability to create apps that are optimized for a variety of devices.

Lower cost

It might be surprising to learn that one of the key advantages of developing applications in React Native is lower cost of development. The reason is that, unlike with native apps, there’s no additional coding required creating an app for the various platforms. All that is required is a single codebase and your app would work on both Android and iOS thereby saving you money in hiring multiple app developers.

Hot Reloading

Hot Reloading is one of the biggest benefits of React Native development. As you make changes to your app’s code, its components are automatically refreshed on your device without the need for a full redeploy. This allows you to quickly experiment with new designs and features.

Cons of React Native App Development

Lower app performance

One of the main drawbacks of apps built with react-native is that performance can be affected since the apps can’t take full advantage of capabilities dedicated to the various platforms and devices. This is why React Native development might not be the best option for building resource-intensive apps like games.

Device-related app problems is common

Because React Native is a modification of native code, there are plenty of compatibility issues with native devices. Identifying and fixing these issues can also be more complicated than in Native applications.

Knowledge of Native Development still required

Despite all the claims, React Native developers still need to get familiar with Native Development processes. This means understanding how native platforms work under-the-hood, as well as knowing some relevant technologies.

So which is better? Native or React Native App Development?

Since both have their pros and cons, it really comes down to the specifics of the project. The best way to decide is by taking a look at your specific needs and goals for each app.

For simple cross-platform apps that don’t require much interactivity, React Native might be the way to go. The same also applies if you want to quickly create a prototype or MVP.

But if you’re looking for something that is more complex in terms of design, data usage and the types of app features you are including, native could be the better choice. Also, if you want to create something that has a better chance at standing out, you might want to go with native app development.