As an apprentice level mobile app developer, there will always be doubt whether to develop using native language and its tool or using React Native. A developer focusing on mobile app should learn from various approaches regarding this issue. There are different opinions stating that you should use either one. First, let's talk about what is native and React native.
So what is the pros and cons of using native or React native? Read on!
You can access all of APIs functionality and there's no restrictions or dependencies other than those of native environment.
There are many third party library to choose and many community out there offering help and resources to improve development process.
While you can develop apps through other frameworks, some functionality cannot be done unless on a native framework. Therefore knowing native language is necessary.
Sticking to native environment can be considered the safest option when we talk about long term. There may be changes, but it's often backwards compatible.
Native languages for Android and iOS are called strict language and made to detect errors easier and we can distinguish one language from another.
One big disadvantage when developing application using native is that it's designed for specific platform. Meaning that if you want to develop application using native for Android and iOS, you have to build two application. Unfortunately, these two application will have big difference and no code can be shared between them.
With React native, you can make one application for both Android and iOS platform. The advantage is that there is no need to learn two different languages and platform.
Time used when developing mobile app from start to market introduction is shorter due to the fact that only one application has to be developed.
As it is open source, React Native comes with the opportunity to inspect the code. This can be helpful when understanding and improving framework by fixing or adding features.
React Native support most used APIs, but sometimes there is a need to access other APIs or functionality, but React native cannot access all of it.
React Native has a relatively smaller community than native, and also less third party libraries.
There is an uncertainty concerning the long-term support for React Native. Facebook could one day decide to stop updating the framework or the native platform could make changes that are hard to follow.
If you're tight on budget and time, and need a rather simple application without complex functionality, React native has its advantages. On the other hand, Native is the preferred choice in most other cases. Having knowledge in the native language and the native APIs is needed when developing in React Native as well. This means that if you are a beginner it is strongly recommended to start by developing a native application.