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React Native—the new technological solution for mobile app development

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React Native—the new technological solution for mobile app development

The current mobile development space

So you’ve probably heard of the few different mobile app development options Hybrid, HTML5, or Native. If you haven’t, no worries, here’s a quick overview:

Native apps are developed specifically for one platform, iOS or Android, by using its own building language, and can take full advantage of all the device features, like the camera, GPS, accelerometer, and so on. They can also incorporate gestures, either standard operating-system gestures or new, app-defined gestures. They can use the device’s notification system and work offline as well. Native apps provide advanced UI interactions, the fastest performance, app store distribution, along with the best usability, best features, and best overall mobile experience. Unfortunately there’s no cross-platform diversity.

HTML5 apps use standard web technologies, typically HTML5, JavaScript for mobile app development. This approach creates cross-platform mobile applications that can work on multiple devices. Although developers can create sophisticated apps with the JavaScript alone, there are some vital limitations including the writing time, session management, secure offline storage, and access to the device features (camera, GPS, etc.). HTML5 apps really showcase web developer skills and provide instant updates as well as unrestricted distribution.

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Hybrid apps, like Cordova and PhoneGap, make it possible to embed HTML5 apps inside a thin native container, allowing us to build mobile apps with standard web technology like JavaScript. The hybrid development combines the best and worst of the native and HTML5 worlds. Hybrid apps also showcase web developer skills, while providing access to the native platform and app store distribution.

Mobile app development is a constant moving target; there must be a more cost efficient, new technological solution on the market.

What is React Native?

React Native is a new framework for building mobile apps using JavaScript and React Library. It allows us to create cross-platform applications, meaning that we can build one app that will run on both Android and iOS devices. It uses almost all React.js concepts including components, state, props, lifecycles, etc. React Native is focused solely on building a mobile UI, resulting with a highly responsive and fluid app.

React Native apps aren’t hybrid apps—they use the same fundamental building blocks as native apps while showcasing huge advantages in their framework:

  • Cross-platform diversity
  • Less expensive
  • Time saving
  • Open source

Notable UI components of React Native:

  • Text input, Picker, Switch, Slider
  • Touchable elements
  • List view & scroll view
  • Alerts, Modals, Progress Bars
  • Statusbar
  • Tab bar iOS (only iOS capable)
  • Toolbar Android (only Android capable)

APIS for device interaction:

  • Camera roll
  • Async storage
  • Geolocation
  • Image editor
  • Push notification
  • Vibration
  • Share / Messages

This framework can be used on both Windows and Mac development environments, taking the advantages and features of Native apps to the next level. To introduce and explain the setup process, our extremely skilled developer Ahmed Mahmoud has created a remarkably easy-to-grasp guide on React Native.

To learn more about React Native and discover how to build your first app using this amazing technological advancement, check out our developer Ahmed’s tutorial on how to build a ToDo app over at Codeburst.

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