What are the Top React Native Features, limitations, PROS and CONS

What are the Top React Native Features, limitations, PROS and CONS. Let’s see Overview of React Native. React Native is a substructure or a framework that is used to develop mobile applications on multiple platforms. It is ranked as the most sought-after cross-platform applications development framework currently.

Conceptualized and delivered by Facebook in 2015, React Native quickly became recognised as one of the most reliable mobile development frameworks in the market. This encouraged Facebook to release the stable format of the same on April 8, 2020.

Features and Limitations of React Native

Let us dive deep into the history of React Native, its performance, features, and commonly noted limitations.

Birth of React Native

React Native was launched by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, forecasting the dependence and the vitality of cross-platform mobile applications amongst developers.

Considering Android and iOS are the two most important mobile platforms in use today, most mobile applications developed conform to either of these operating systems.

Up until 2015, Android applications were developed using Java and IOS applications were developed using the Swift programming language. Even though resulting applications were largely the same, they had to be built separately for both these platforms. This meant twice the effort on the developer’s part plus companies had to bear higher costs.

To address this concern, Facebook came up with the idea of one application capable of running on both the platforms and that is how React Native was born.

Features of React Native (PROS of React Native)

As per a 2020 survey, React Native is by far the most popular and widely used cross-platform mobile framework among developers, with 42% of software developers currently using the framework. It is followed by the likes of Flutter, Cordova, Ionic, and Xamarin.

JavaScript, C++, Objective C, C++, Java, and Python are the list of programming languages used in the development of React Native.

Here are the top features of React Native that contribute to its popularity:

  1. React Native is primarily known for its ability to generate applications that can operate both on Android and IOS operating systems. These are referred to as cross-platform applications. 
  2. React Native makes the job of application developers much easier when compared to native tools. 
  3. It is easy to learn since it has Java and JavaScript as its primary programming languages. Both languages are among the most loved programming languages in the tech community, therefore, the majority of developers are likely to be well-versed in them.
  4. The core technology used by the platform is the World Wide Web (WWW). Any layman with a basic knowledge of web development can handle JavaScript.
  5. The use of Node Package Manager or NPM makes the process of installation easier than any other framework.
  6. React Native-generated applications are GPU-based and thus, they deliver better performance when compared to those built using CPU.
  7. React Native is the choicest cross-platform development framework among budding software developers.
  8. React Native comes with no accountability issues, considering it’s been developed by Facebook — a pioneer in creating breakthrough technologies.

Now that we have spoken about the positive aspects, let us dig a little deeper and know the limitations of React Native.

Limitations of React Native (CONS of React Native)

1. The inevitable role of native developers

Although React Native is cross-platform, it uses native tools in mobile application development. Thus, the requirement of a react native developer with an expertise in native tools is necessary.

The issues with React Native begin with parameters as basic as allochronic communication, sequencing, and performance. JavaScript applications require native code for execution. This is particularly crucial in heavyweight applications that demand framework interfaces.

Not doing so results in the attachment of unwanted classes to mobile application codes. Therefore, the role of a native developer becomes indispensable in this scenario for removing unwanted classes and converting the application from being heavyweight to lightweight.

2. Complexity in debugging

As React Native is built using Java, Objective C/C++, the process of debugging codes is very complex and tedious. Errors associated with the cross-platform framework are also tougher to decipher as they result from the native source code.

In addition to this, the framework frequently communicates with the native thread in which the execution of JavaScript takes place. Therefore, basic knowledge of these programming languages is necessary.

3. Amateur support for Android development

React Native was initially designed to support only iOS applications development. Android was subsequently added and hence, the support system for Android is not as strong as it is for IOS. This does not intrude on Android applications developed by React Native, but accuracy and testing of this platform needs attention.

So far, the performance of React Native on Android is also not as competent when compared to the iOS operating system. This is mainly why developers opt for native technology for developing Android applications.

Should you use React Native?

React Native has a convincing edge over its peers because it utilizes JavaScript that has a large patronage. It is unlikely that there will be a shortage of JavaScript developers in the market, making the framework easily accessible. Also, codes are generated simultaneously for both the mobile platforms which in turn save developers money and time.

A major downside of this framework is its below-par performance when the components keep changing as in the case of large-scale animations.

There can never be any technology without limitations and React Native is not an exception. Therefore, it is on its users to analyze every aspect of React Native before giving it a nod.

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