Native vs. React native has been a topic of discussion for quite a while now. ‘React Native’ which started as one of the internal hackathon projects at Facebook is now competing with the native technologies of Mobility. So which one is better??? Is this 4 year old truly a Game Changer or not, we will see that in today’s blog.
Before discussing which one is better first let's talk about what exactly is React Native?
When we compare any two things, we compare them against a set of scenarios or parameters. We simply cannot generalize and say, that one is better than the other. They both hold their pros over each other in every scenario.
Let’s study the scenarios where we will be discussing on which one out of the two should be the ideal choice respectively.
SCENARIO 1: To develop a prototype of an application, impress the client and take the deal home.
There are a lot of scenarios when we need to show a mock up for an application and don’t have enough time to spend simply on prototyping. In that case, going with React native is the best option. Ask it to the developers and they will confirm that writing code on React Native is a bit faster compared to writing in Native.
Also, you can create a prototype for both the platforms, Android as well as IOS with one code base (Cherry on top!).
Winner: React native.
SCENARIO 2: The client wants a simple application to boost up his business.
If the scope of the application is not that complex, then React Native is a good fit here. The advantage React Native holds over Native in this case is that we get an application that will run on both the platforms (Android and IOS) at the cost of just one code. Also if there is a resource crunch, learning and implementing react native is very simple compared to native.
Winner: React Native wins again.
SCENARIO 3: The client’s budget is really tight and he wants the application for both the platforms.
As explained in the above scenario, when it comes to being cost effective and being cross-platform, React Native is best for the use. Because it requires writing one code base and we get two running applications. By far, this is the biggest advantage of going with React Native.
Winner: React Native wins anytime.
SCENARIO 4: There is a time crunch and the application needs to be developed and pushed as soon as possible.
When time is a big constraint for you, React Native is and should be the ideal choice. It will save a lot of time as you don’t have to write repetitive code and it is more efficient to focus on one thing at a time instead of two any day.
Also, when we compare time to write code, writing code in react native is a bit faster compared to writing in native.
Winner: React Native
SCENARIO 5: The client is very particular about what he wants and isn’t ready to compromise.
Native is De Facto or the Standard and, all other Cross platform technologies be it React Native tries to get to this standard.
In such a situation going with native Android/iOS is and will be the ideal choice of option. Talking about React Native, what exactly is React Native? It is nothing but a technology that acts like a bridge between some Java script like code and Native code. At the end this code gets converted to Native code.
To give an example of this, just like there is a TextView in Android, there is a Component called Text in React native which is mapped/converted to Textview in the case of Android and maybe UILabel in the case of iOS.
SCENARIO 6: Our application needs to be updated with the latest and greatest API's that are released. (Sometimes this is the need of the product)
In a constantly changing IT world what seems prominent today may become obsolete tomorrow. There are constant enhancements, updates happening in the Mobile world. Now how React native works is it maps or converts a Java script like code into the Native code. So definitely there is going to be some delay in this process. Let’s say a new API is released today, this API will surely not be available in React native immediately as it will take some time for the community to write the mapping to the new API.
In such a case going with the standard i.e. Native is the best option.
Winner: Native takes over react native in this scenario.
Now, having gone through all the scenarios it's time to talk whether React Native really is a Game Changer, does it have that big an impact or is just an experiment. We will also answer few other questions related to this.
The answer to this question is yes. React native is a Game Changer. When it comes to software development what matters most after quality is how early and how cost effectively are we able to deliver the application.
Looking at React native and the benefits it has companies are considering this as an option over native in most of the scenarios.
Can React native take over Native? The answer to this is NO. React native cannot take over native. In fact it exists because native is there. It's just a framework that takes code in one language and internally converts it to respective native code.
Is it time to adapt to react native? The answer to this is a BIG YES. In the emerging market this technology is trending and in the near future, there is going to be more demand for this technology because of the benefits it has.