When they decide to build a mobile application most businesses are, almost always, faced with this muddling question.
Should I build two apps, one in Android and one in iOS? Or should I build a hybrid application that works on both?
Which means should they build a Native app (either Android or iOS), or should they settle for React Native app (cross platform), a single program that can work on both platforms.
Native apps and React Native have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. As a business owner or an app developer – you need to have a clear knowledge of which one to choose when.
This blog will help you gain that knowledge.
Here’s an in-depth analysis of what each has, and what each lack. And above all, here’s it, to help you determine which would work best for your business.
Native apps and React Native, what are they?
Native app are apps that are exclusively built on either Android or iOS platform. If you want to reach out to the users of both these platforms, you have to practically build two different applications.
React Native on the other hand was developed to make the app work on both Android and iOS platforms. Using React Native you just build one application and have it run on both Android and iOS. It’s like having a car that runs on both petrol and batteries. But you should bear in mind that it neither has the full potential of a petrol car, nor the full potential of an electric car.
So, let’s get started.
What it has
* Third Party Libraries
* API Access
* Robust Language
Third Party Libraries
Android and iOS are two biggest mobile app platforms in the world. And both has a large community bases, and they are well supported by several groups. As a result, Native app developers have convenient access to a wide range of third party libraries they can choose from.
Mobile devices come with built-in features. With Native app framework, the developers can access and integrate all those features and APIs pretty easily.
The languages employed in Native apps are robust and stable, and they can yield excellent outputs in detecting and revealing obscure errors in coding. Apps built using native language prove to be sturdy and stable.
What it lacks
* High development cost
* Consumes more time and effort
* Required to develop 2 apps
High development cost
This is the area where businesses begin to feel the pinch, unless they have a lot of money to splurge. In general, Native apps are expensive to build, and if wish to opt native apps, it is advisable to go with a good budget in your hand.
Consumes more time and effort
Building a normal app from the scratch itself is a time consuming process, let alone building an app that has complex functionality and features. By and large, Native apps consume more development time and effort than React Native.
Requires to develop 2 apps
Capturing a wider app market is the aim of every business. If you want to reach out to users of both Android and iOS with your Native app, there is no other way than to build two apps.
What it has
* Low development cost, time, and effort
* Open source
* Single code
* Hot Reloading
* Ease for Web developers
Low development cost, time, and effort
Building and deploying apps in React Native is much easier and cheaper compared to Native method. The developers are required to write the code just once, and deploy it on both Android and iOS, thus saving enormous cost, time, and effort in building the app.
React Native, apart from being free, it also offers the benefit of inspecting the code, and its library is compatible with other platforms such as Windows and TvOS.
This is this most significant aspect of the React Native, where a single codebase can be run on both Android and iOS platforms.
Hot Reloading is a valuable feature, which allow developers to view all the changes they are making in the app in real time.
What it lacks
* Limited Third Party Libraries
* No Native elements
* Limited Native API support
Limited Third Party Libraries
Unlike Native apps, React Native does not give access to a large number of third party libraries, which are crucial to developers in facilitating the building process.
No Native Elements
The Native app allows developers to access most of its device’s features, such as camera, voice recorder etc. Whereas React Native does not allow developers to access device features.
Limited Native API support
Though React Native does support some popular Native API’s, you may not be able to use all APIs.
Native apps & React Native
In Native app development the code is written separately for both Android and iOS, which means the app requires two different teams to work on each platform. This, increases the cost and overall development time. Also, you need to build and run the project everytime you make any changes to the code.
In React Native, a common code is written and used for both Android and iOS. Meaning, you just need one team to build the entire app. Moreover, React Native’s Hotloading feature makes it all the more easier to deploy the project without having to rebuild and run everytime you make any changes.
Native apps deliver high quality output. You can add complex interactivity and maintain superior UI/UX functionalities in both Android and iOS, and they are more detailed than React Native. Hence, it is expensive than the latter.
React Native, on the other hand, is a cost effective alternative. It is said that React Native costs about 30% – 35% lesser than Native app.
When it comes to framework and performing multiple asynchronous tasks Native wins over React Native on several levels. Though React Native is easier to build, it does not support many trending modules and functionalities, especially dealing with complex functionalities and cutting-edge technologies.
The upshot: When it comes to performance Native app emerge as a clear winner.
App Update & Usability
Does your app requires regular update, or need them at the short notice? If yes, then you might have to settle for Native apps. Native apps are well-supported by Apple and Google, so it has no issues in gaining access to relevant tools to fix errors, implement functionality and launch updates quickly.
React Native is not so good at launching updates, and are not cut out for quick fixes. Its tools and updates are not in sync with Google and Apple, and has no guarantee how long it’s support would continue. Hence, when it comes to app updates and maintaining good usability, React Native may not be a good option.
Unlike Native apps, React Native uses several third party libraries and APIs. This makes it difficult to detect errors and flaws during the development process, which might make the app vulnerable.
Native apps on the other hand are known for their safety and security. It deploys reliable libraries and APIs, which makes them more secure than React Native.
Since Native apps are usually complex in nature, maintaining them is a time-consuming affair. If bugs are found, and if you’ve build your app in both Android and iOS, you have to fix the bugs on the both.
App maintenance is relatively easy with Reach Native. They are simple and easy to maintain. Bug fixing also becomes easy as you need to fix bugs once and it should do for both platforms.
Choosing the one that works for you
When to choose Native Apps
* If your app demands complex functionalities, navigation, design and good support from Google or Apple
* If you need to launch regular updates
* If your app is more focused on native user experience and demands solid performance
* If you are building a IoT-based app
* If yours is a utility app, or any other app that relies on the device’s native features, such as: Playing videos, leveraging camera, brightness controller features, GPS etc.
When to choose React Native Apps
* If you are planning to build a simple app with simple interfaces
* When you are tight on budget and running short on time (and do not expect to have all those advanced Native features in your app)
* If you want to build an app that simultaneously works on both Android and iOS, at a lesser cost
* If you want to quickly develop and deploy the app in the market
* When you want to build a simple e-Commerce app OR a messenger app like Instagram/Facebook
We believe, by now, you would have gained a fair idea about the difference between React Native and Native apps, and how each framework will help businesses in their pursuit of building the ideal app. No application framework is absolute, it is up to the businesses to do some research and choose a framework that best suits their budget and goal.
Ideaplunge is a rapidly growing tech solution company, which continuously delivers innovative software development solutions to national and international businesses. Be it consumer apps or enterprise apps, Android, iOS or Hybrid, our solutions have helped several businesses reach their goals and go beyond. Today, Ideaplunge is one of the sought-after mobile app development companies in the Silicon city, with clients from seven different countries.
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