Product Design

April 12, 2019

/ business & Agile

Is React Native a good choice for startups?

Karol Kamiński

Until recently startups had to face the challenge of creating a native app for both Android and iOS with an attractive UI/UX but also sticking to a tight budget. React Native has provided a powerful alternative even though it’s not like a knight in shining armor for all beginning companies. It’s rapidly gaining ground in the mobile app development and most of the best software houses use this framework. How can startup take advantage of that?

What is React Native?

In our other article about React Native vs. Native in app development, we have covered a large part of the topic related to this Facebook’s framework beginnings. You should acquaint yourself with it if, after reading mine, you have any other doubts about deciding between these solutions.

Here, above all, we will focus on finding out if React Native is a good choice for startups. So let’s have a short reminder - it is an open source framework developed by Facebook in 2015 during one of their hackathons. So, as you can see it’s a quite recent solution, but since then it has improved significantly. You may ask - ok, a giant social media company is the brains behind that solution, but what else makes it so unique that almost everyone praises it? React Native is here to help you build mobile apps using JavaScript and, of course, React. It allows you to create an Android and iOS version of the app at a stroke. And here come some essential benefits of React Native for startups. 

Who is using React Native?

React Native helped Airbnb create Experiences and lots of other features in their app. As they mentioned, 74% of their developers would consider React Native for a new project. Microsoft decided to use this framework for Skype although they already had their cross-platform development tool - Xamarin. And, of course, Facebook works with its framework. Among other things, their Event dashboard startup is twice as fast thanks to this solution. The fact that big companies are using React Native means that it framework could also fit your project well.

Take a look at other apps developed with this framework:

  • UberEats - React Native helped UberEats to rebuild their restaurant dashboard. Developers struggled with improving drivers communication with restaurants and implementation of a demo app allowed them, among others, to make use of crash reporting libraries. Although React Native is not a big part of their engineering ecosystem, Uber developers are looking forward to working with this framework more in the future. 
  • Instagram - it shouldn't be a surprise that Instagram, belonging to Facebook, also takes advantages of React Native’s functionalities. Their developers ported push notifications to React Native and implemented a new tab which allowed users to save posts that they found inspiring. This framework also solved their problem with Post Promote feature, earlier implemented as a WebView - with React Native they achieved faster startup time and more native feeling UX. 
  • Walmart - they implemented React Native mobile app because they were not satisfied at all with the hybrid app performance and already had a website codebase using React, so this cross-platform framework seemed a natural choice. Thanks to this solution 95% of mobile app codebase is shared between iOS and Android!

Which startups are using React Native?

At this point, a significant question may arise - companies mentioned above are tech leaders, what if I wanted to implement React Native mobile app for my startup? There is nothing to worry about, many startups have already done it with success.

Startups which use React Native

 

Here are some examples:

  • Soundcloud Pulse - Soundcloud, Berlin-based startup founded in 2007, needed a new app for creators and they decided to build it with React Native yet in 2015. The team of three developers delivered the first version after four months, two months before the estimated delivery time! 
  • Townske - if you are a traveler, you probably know this Australian startup. They received really positive feedback from their app users and appreciated especially the speed of React Native development. Moreover, they pointed out a helpful React Native community around the framework as one of its the main benefits of this framework. 
  • Huiseoul - this app is an excellent example that React Native works well with e-commerce projects - a Korean beauty store in this case. A team of three developers and one Project Manager, without former experience in app building, delivered the first version in 6 weeks. That’s how Johnwook Choi, who took part in the development process, describes working on that project

 

When I look back last two months, I feel like everything happened like magic. At the right time, we could find the right tools. Without them, I believe we would not have released our product on time

Why you should consider React Native for your startup?

As we’ve mentioned React Native is a relatively fresh solution in the field of software development, but many companies and startups have already had the opportunity to work with it. Their conclusions may be useful in considering whether it is a good choice for your startup. 

  • There is no risk involved - maybe there was in 2015 or early 2016. The possibility of using a cross-platform development framework, which offered the ability to share 95% of the codebase between iOS and Android versions of app seemed tempting, but not every developer was convinced of that. No one knew in which direction it would develop. Some of them took the risk, and it was worth it. Now the best software houses in Poland offer a mobile app development using this framework. 
  • Save time and money with React Native - most startups have a limited budget, and yours is probably not an exception. With React Native you can write code once and run an app on both iOS and Android. It makes the work much faster and smoother. Thanks to it you can focus more on details that matter. Furthermore, it means quicker delivery and lower expenses - writing codebase for both platforms would be much more expensive. From the business point of view, faster delivery of MVP version will allow you to tout for investors’ attention quicker. 
  • Cooperating with other solutions - the interesting thing in React Native is the fact that it performs well in combination with other frameworks, such as Django. SportsHi, a React Native app which we created in cooperation with US sports startup it’s a great proof. The result of our collaboration is an MVP app dedicated to iOS. What we’ve learned here is that this app is a perfect mix of JavaScript-based technology and Django backend technology. 
  • Ensuring Native UX feeling - first of all - React Native will help you deliver the MVP version of your app much faster, which is useful information for you and your future investors. And they will probably be much more willing to invest in an app with a good UX. This framework developed by Facebook allows you to create a fully responsive mobile UI thanks to its native environment and ReactJS UI library. It also can have access to other device’s features like maps or GPS, which provides a great user experience.
  • Dynamic development with an engaged community - React Native is still growing as Facebook works on it every day fixing the shortcomings which caused some problems for developers year or two years ago. It means that a question that you’ve met can be solved in close future. Statistics show that by 2020 mobile apps are projected to generate 188.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via app stores and in-app advertising. Your startup won’t exist without an app and React Native can be one of the solutions to solve this issue. What is more, there is a reliable and engaged React Native Community of developers. When you struggle with some task, you can check if someone else in the community had the same problem in the past and find a solution quickly.

Is React Native a good choice when developing a mobile app for a startup?

Answering the title question - yes, React Native might be a good choice for startups. It can help them to create mobile apps faster, easier and cheaper. It performs well as the only framework and in combination with others. No matter if you need an app for an e-commerce project, city guide or for some revolutionary idea that enraptures users - React Native’s flexibility ensures the creation of an app that will fit the bill of the most demanding customers and investors.

So if you are interested in building your React Native app contact us and let your startup grow!

 

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