In today’s ultra-tech, super-modernized and wild-paced world, the need for technologizing businesses is becoming a need as basic as oxygen for human survival. No business, firm, enterprise and organization can survive or succeed without a mobile/web/desktop application. A business can survive without a concrete office, but its chance of survival is slim to none without an online presence.
But the question of how to build a mobile app arises. While some businesses choose to go for native framework since they deliver outstanding performance, others go for hybrid app development for getting the app up and running quickly and additionally some businesses opt for a cross-platform app development framework since they cost less.
But if you wish to combine the benefits of both native and cross-platform development frameworks, then React Native app development framework is the way to go for you.
What is React Native Framework?
React Native app development is currently the most popular web development framework due to its ability to develop mobile apps for iOS and Android simultaneously. The same codebase can be used to develop mobile applications for various platforms. Immediately after its inception, React Native framework became one of the most sought after solutions for android app development.
Most Popular Apps Built on React Native
Some of the most popular apps today are developed using React Native app development. To name a few:
- Uber Eats
- Streetcred and many more.
We are not saying that the React Native framework is the ultimate end game for everybody, every business and certainly not for all mobile applications since like any other framework, React Native development also comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at React Native pros and cons which have been discussed briefly here:
Pros of React Native/Benefits of React Native Development
#1 Community Support
React Native has a huge community and young, budding and inexperienced React Native developers can always reach out for guidance from other already established developers. The community of React Native developers and followers is indeed very huge and extremely active and quick at feedback, thus offering tremendous community support.
#2 Optimal Performance
The effectiveness of the platform is directly proportional to its performance. Higher the effectiveness, more optimal will be the performance of the platform. As React Native promotes and renders high usage of native modules, native controls, and native components, the effectiveness of this platform increases and in return, the React Native Performance escalates.
#3 Code Reusability and Pre Developed Components
One of the biggest advantages of using React Native framework for the React Native developer community is code reusability. All that the React Native App developers have to do is reuse 90% of the React Native codes for both iOS and android apps, instead of creating different React Native codes for iOS and android separately. This in turn reduces development cost and development time of the project for businesses.
#4 Cross-Platform App Development
With the added functionality of cross platform App development, the mobile app developers can build code base once and then run it on any platform. A cross platform application will run on any platform ranging from android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, Linux etc. This kind of functionality is a boon for app and software developers since it not only saves time and costs by half, but also puts a stop on unnecessary and redundant efforts required to build an app.
#5 Live & Hot Reloading
React Native supports both live and hot reloading, even though the two concepts are at odds. Live reloading can compile and read any changes made by the coder and furnishes a new file to the simulator, which reads the app from the start automatically. While hot reloading ensures that the wait time is reduced radically, as the React Native developers can instantly see the effects of his changes in the code even if he has two or more React Native Windows open for the code.
#6 Cost Effective Solution
Cost is reduced substantially due to the benefit of code reusability features offered by React Native. Since the same code can be used for both Android and iOS app development, a smaller team of code developers is required and moreover reduces the time taken for project completion.
#7 Simplified UI
Applications built in React Native offer a highly responsive User interface, unified UX and take quite less time to load.
#8 Third Party Plug-in Support
#9 Modular Architecture
The modular programming approach of React Native ensures the segregation of programming functions into inter-changeable and free blocks called modules. Thus making codes reusable and programming intuitive and interactive.
#10 Increased Stability & Reliability
React Native renders data simplification via data binding in a manner that secures the parent data in such a way that it doesn’t get affected by the child component. This in turns makes the apps secure, robust and dependable.
#11 Easy Accessibility to Libraries and Ready-Made Solutions
React Native offers libraries and ready-made solutions that are available for free, for any developer to use as they may wish to.
Cons of React Native Application Development
1. Compatibility and Debugging Issues
React Native is still in its beta phase. Hence developers might have to face issues with package compatibility or debugging tools.
2. Lack of Some Custom Modules
React Native app development still lacks some components and some are still under- developed. You might come across certain modules which will be ill-documented or unavailable or not working properly.
3. Native Developers Are Still Needed
Implementing features and modules requires detailed knowledge of React Native platforms. Despite its maturity, React Native developers with in-depth knowledge and high skills are needed.
Moving on to the next segment of our discussion, we have described 7 React Native app development mistakes that occur frequently and universally.
7 Common Mistakes Developers Make While Developing React Native Mobile App
#1 Wrong Estimation
Certain wrong estimations are very frequently made by React Native developers and react Native mobile app development companies as well, prior to the start of the React Native app development project. They are discussed below:
- Wrong estimation 1 – The most common mistake while you are making estimations is thinking that the same set of codebase can be used for iOS and android. Since the two systems differ entirely in terms of their page structure and layout, as a developer you should be prepared to write separate codes for layout and make considerations and accommodations for differences in databases and backend points.
- Wrong estimation 2 – Validation layout needs to be estimated as well. While working with React Native app development, a developer or react native development agency needs to write more codes in comparison to codes written for a Hybrid app designed on Cordova.
#2 Erroneous Redux Store Planning
Most of the developers obsess over planning the app layout rather than focusing on the most important aspect which is data handling. For React Native app development, Redux is the tool handling data. When planned right with proper precision, Redux can be a powerful tool for managing app data and ensuring the smooth functioning of the app. If Redux is not used with proper planning, then developers might have to face many issues.
Although, over time, Redux has changed a lot but when it comes down to understanding and working with it, the fundamental building blocks of Redux are the same, i.e. actions, reducers, middleware and the store. To work with React Native, developers must have a comprehensive knowledge of Redux.
For correct integration of Redux within a React Native environment, you need to focus on the following aspects:
- Build a store hierarchy
- File organization within store hierarchy
- Include first reducer function with extra caution and focus
- Add more reducers and focus on combining them
- Add middleware
- Store configuration.
Furthermore, Redux is ill suited for app development of small projects since Redux has a habit of complicating things beyond necessity. Even if you have to make a small change/update/correction/modification, Redux will require you to write many lines of long code. So it’s advised for the react native app development company and its developers to use Redux while working on large scale projects and avoid using it for apps to be built for startups or for apps to be built on a limited budget.
#3 Not Reading External Module’s Codes
One of the most common mistakes is made when the developers are attempting to save time by using external modules but fail to undergo complete reading of its code. Although, external modules make the React Native development process faster and easier since they come along with complete documentation, forgetting to thoroughly read the code of the module, might cause issues later on.
External modules sometimes possess the tendency to interfere with the existing code and hinder its functionality. External modules could also break down or they might not work as anticipated. Thus, by not paying attention to details, developers can create a big mess down the road which involves more time and effort to clear, hence defying the entire purpose of saving time.
Continue Reading: Mobile App Development Process
#4 State Mutation Inside Render Function
As seen in the image above, that view and state store are connected with each other. The data store contains all of your data in the component and the view will be rendered based on the state. It then consumes new state from the data store and shows it on the screen.
In order for the above to happen, React has a setState() function where the new object State is taken and compared to the previous state.
A new is added after merger with the previous state and further sent to the data store.
When you develop an app using React Native framework, this cycle continues throughout the lifetime of a component.
If the state is mutated directly, the lifecycle gets corrupted and it further corrupts all the previous states. This results in abnormal behavior of the app or even leads to app crashing. It can even result in losing track of states across components. Ultimately, leading to unmanageable code and heavy apps.
#5 Left “Console.Log” Statements
Console.Log statements are extremely handy and helps in app debugging and tracking of app execution. But what will happen if you leave the log statements in the app?
#6 Using Stateless Components for React Native Development Performance Enhancement
Components can be defined in three ways:
- Stateless components
- Pure components
- Component extending the component class
Stateless components are the components that don’t extend any class. Basically, it takes the argument as display and props in the DOM. Benefits of Stateless Components are listed below:
- They are Easy to test.
- They have Faster implementation.
- They don’t use state or local variables.
- Usage of stateless components leads to Less performance issues.
- They Render values given as props.
But Pure components are known to provide better performance. This is mainly due to two key reasons:
- Performs shallow compare – Pure Components are a better way for optimization of React Native apps. Due to shallow comparison it increases the React Native app performance by a considerable amount. This is because a pure component comes with a life cycle method called as shouldComponentUpdate which does shallow comparison automatically and checks if re-render is needed.
- Stateless components exhibit certain negative tendencies as well. If you use stateless components, it will re-render when the parent component re-renders but the pure component will not. Pure components re-render only when they detect any change in props or state.
Performs side effects- Developers can send AJAX request inside componentDidmount or can perform some other DOM operations.
#7 Non Optimization of React Native Images
Optimization of images in React Native app development is a task that should be taken on priority since image optimization directly influences app’ performance. Non-optimized images tend to take up a lot of memory, space and storage. Hence, image optimization needs to be dealt carefully because if not, memory and storage of the app will be compromised.
Image optimization is not a difficult or overly complicated task. In fact, it can be done in a few simple steps:
- Change image size before uploading them to React Native App.
- Use images in only WebP format which leads to reduced loading time and reduced bundle as well as binary size for both iOS and android.
- Try to use PNG images over PNG images.
- Cache images locally for fast loading.
Although image optimization is an easy process most developers tend to skip out of this step because they think it’s unnecessary and find it uninteresting. It’s a very common mistake that if not paid attention to, will cause you to lose your precious memory and storage that will be needed for other important elements.
How to avoid mistakes while working with React Native application development?
- If you are a React Native Mobile App Development company, then hire React Native developers who have the right skill set and optimum knowledge of how to work with React Native. Verify their credentials and cross examine their CV and experience certificate before keeping them on the job. Right workforce ensures the right results.
- As an up and coming dedicated mobile app developer enroll yourself in courses and get the right education with regards to React Native App development. Only if your foundation is strong and programming logics are clear you can think of making a career as React Native App developer.
- If you are a seasoned developer, keep brushing up your skills and knowledge. Even with years of experience and despite working on many projects as a developer, you often lose sight of technical understanding and forget developing innovative solutions. Thus, it’s always a good idea to get back to basics and hit the books again.
- Developers need to choose such a React Native mobile app development company for a job which lets them grow and spread their wings. Developers need to choose a mobile app development company which offers on the job training, understands that making mistakes is part of learning and also doesn’t compartmentalize your skills in one specific skill box but rather lets you find your niche.