It’s free and flourishing
React Native is fully open sourced so you can use it to develop your app for free. Moreover, it is available on MIT license which is one of the simplest and the most liberal one putting just minimal requirements on reuse the code. No wonder it has built a strong community with almost 2000 contributors from around the world willing to support React Native development. That gives this framework the second place in the list of top open source projects on GitHub.
Source: GitHub blog
With powerful Facebook’s engagement, React Native is quickly improved, errors are corrected forthwith and there’s a constant supply of new features. That ensures its credibility and a bright future which for the open-source technology developed for less than 4 years is pretty unique.
Wide and active community around React Native transfers not only for more effective debugging but also higher accessibility of ready-made components. There is a whole bunch of pre-written pieces of code created by Facebook’s programmers but also briskly expanding resource of those shared by independent devs. Of course, using this kind of components requires quality verification but by now some of them like NativeBase or react-native-elements have already gained approval from the software engineers community.
No matter who is the author, the components’ main goal is to make development with React Native even faster and smoother by delivering tried and true solutions. But the thing that speeds up creating apps with RN is above all...
Cross-platform mobile development - one code for all
That’s the essence of React Native’s values. As it is cross-platform mobile development technology it allows to write code once and then use it across different platforms. A React Native codebase can be shared in even 95% which is confirmed by case studies of big brands such as Wall Mart, Skype or of course Facebook. It is not hard to conclude that it takes less time and money to create one React Native app than two separate natives with Java and Swift. Although the estimations of how much work, time and costs the framework can save it’s usually between 30 to 50% less comparing to native apps.
Nevertheless, we can’t forget that even though React Native unables to provide native-like features e.g. push notifications and functionalities of camera or accelerometer for the more advanced one we will probably need to build some parts of the app with native languages. The same goes for delivering some of the UI designs as both iOS and Android has their own rules and guidelines and not all of them are yet supported by React Native.
Fewer people to engage in creating React Native apps
Easier to modify the app
You’re probably aware that deploying the app is not the end of the software development. Sooner or later you will have to improve it, add new features, fix bugs. It doesn’t matter what type of app it is you will have to to ensure its maintenance. This especially concerns apps made with React Native as it is still quite a fresh solution dynamically developed so the upgrades are more frequent. That is one of the most often mentioned objection to using Facebook’s framework for software development. However, RN quality raises briskly and anyways - you still need one kind of developers to maintain the product as there is no app versioning and the changes can be applied in both iOS and Android at once. What’s even more advantageous in modifying the apps created in React Native is that the framework has a feature of the hot reloading enabling software engineers to implement changes in code while the app is running. So it is possible to fix a bug or tweak the UI without the need to recompile the app and losing its state. The other way to improve the upgrade process is implementing OTA (Over-the-Air) updates with Expo, a free, open source toolchain or CodePush, a plugin made by Microsoft. OTA empowers to deploy updates directly to users’ devices so they can see the changes after the next opening the app. Devs don’t have to publish the modifications on the stores which usually takes the time necessary to get approval from Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
As you can see React Native can provide savings in multiple ways not only because of codebase reusing typical for cross-platform mobile development but also as a result of vital improvement and constant support from Facebook, third-party companies and individual programmers creating a huge community around the framework. Even though there are still issues that need enhancement React Native is able to offer cost and time effectiveness for today’s projects and with such a dynamic development engaging thousands of people it seems to be the future of app development. So React Native might be a good choice for startups requiring fast delivery of MVP but also for other companies looking for a prospective solution.