Should I use React Native?


This article is my curated list of articles about this subject. Plus a few rapid-fire thoughts from my experience with this framework (15 months and counting).

Why I’m writing it? Because I end up saving this kind of articles all over my internet (GKeep, Medium, Pocket, etc) and when I get asked “Should I use it?” I always end up sending him/her just a portion of the full list. And I alwaysforget that other one which was so good oh uhm where did I save it.

Let’s start easy: here’s the list of articles I found around the internet that have some actually interesting information about React Native, why it should be used or which drawbacks it has:

React Native: A Mobile Developer’s Perspective
Does React Native truly fulfill the needs of clients? Is the development time using React Native reduced significantly?

Investigating React Native
On the Twitch mobile team, we care a lot about making sure we use the best tools available to build our apps. React…

React Native at Instagram
React Native has come a long way since it was open-sourced in 2015. Fewer than two years later, it’s being used not…

Comparing the Performance between Native iOS (Swift) and React-Native
React-Native is a cross-platform mobile framework that lets you build apps using only JavaScript. However, unlike other…

React Native at WalmartLabs
Here at Walmart, the customer is always #1, so we’re constantly on the lookout for ways we can improve upon the…

Using React Native to increase mobile application build productivity
We needed to make our business more productive in the way we build our mobile apps. Here’s the journey we went on and…

React Native: Is it the end of native development?
People see React Native as a write-once-deploy-anywhere solution, potentially speeding up development for applications…

And here’s the harsh part, where I tell some quick things. They will be rapid because I don’t want to explain them. It’d probably take me 20 mins to dive-deep into each one of them, and when I get asked about React Native usually I have less than 30 seconds. So you’ll have to trust me. Or not.

Here we go:

  1. Yes, I think that for 90% of the apps React Native is more than enough. Saves you money while reaching broader market.
  2. There is no other viable alternative for truly native apps, aside from native itself. Probably in the future Flutter will be good, but yeah React Native doesn’t have any “true” rival at the moment. (flame wars in 3..2..1..)
  3. It’s HARD. You’ll probably spend 10/20% of the developing time keeping up with new versions, reading source code or going through issues in repos.
  4. I should have said 99% of the apps. Even apps that literally run an AI locally to understand if you are showing them an hotdogOr the Tesla app.

I hope that reading all of this helped figure out if you, your company or your flatmate should use React Native for a new mobile app.

I hope it provided enough of a wide range of feedbacks that you can take my opinion, mix it with the articles above, drop it on your particular situation and formulate your own answer.

Aaaaaaaaand then throw it away and try for yourself, if you are a developer. Snack Expo is awesome to get a first taste of what is it like; then you can head to my other article about what to do to learn it properly.


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