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Why React Native Is The Future Of App Building


Isadora Teich wrote this article


At ChopDawg, we build 99.9% of our mobile apps using React Native.

However, this is not a decision that we make lightly.

When it comes to app development, there are more options out there than many people realize.

Apps are built with code.

When it comes to coding languages, there are more than 700 you could potentially choose from.

There are also millions of programming tools to choose from.

So, why React Native, you might ask.

First, What is React Native?


React Native is a framework that lets you build apps using JavaScript.

JavaScript, often called JS, is one of the most commonly used programming languages. In 2015, React Native was announced and open-sourced by Facebook, who had already been using it internally for mobile engineering.

It’s common knowledge that Apple and other company’s products are different, and sometimes incompatible.

For example, if you have an Android phone but a Macbook Air, you often have to take extra steps to transfer files between them.

There was also never an iTunes app created for Android.

In the case of app building, if you want to make an app for your business that works for both Apple and Android devices, you would essentially have to make the same app twice using different programming languages for each platform.

React Native solves this problem.

It enables us to build an app that will work on both platforms, without having to go down the same way twice.

This means that we can build apps more efficiently and for less cost upfront and over time for our clients, many of them bootstrapped startups and growing businesses with a careful eye on their bottom line.

Instead of having two apps to worry about, you only have one codebase to maintain.

React Native also simplifies the process of creating a web app to match your mobile app.

Many major companies are starting to take note of the power and benefits of using React Native, such as Shopify.

Here is why the e-commerce company says this powerful framework is the key to their company’s future.

Shopify’s History With React Native

In 2015, when Facebook first announced and open-sourced React Native, Shopify investigated it to see if they felt it would be a good choice for them to use.

While it did inspire them to tweak some of their own technologies, ultimately they decided it was not a good fit at the time.

This was largely because, back then, they felt that its performance and Android-support were lacking.

However, a lot has changed with React Native in the past five years.

Facebook actually released a more stable version of it back in March of 2019. Shopify saw this first hand when they acquired Tictail ( a mobile-first company that focused entirely on React Native) in 2018.

Its transferability between mobile and web and upward curve in performance convinced them to invest throughout 2019.

In 2019, they experimented with React Native with three separate teams over three different apps.

The results of their experiments proved the power and versatility of React Native. They found that the teams felt they were twice as productive using React Native.

Also, code sharing between iOS and Android was virtually seamless.

Shopify and Arrive

In 2018, Shopify decided to rewrite their incredibly popular consumer app, Arrive, in React Native.

Arrive was highly rated, high-performing, and massively popular at the time.

It still is.

On the app store, it currently has a nearly 5-star rating and over 250,000 reviews.

However, at the time, there was no Android version of it.

Shopify created an Android version of the app using React Native. They found that both versions of the app were able to share 95% of the same code.

The rewrite also had powerful results.

It led to fewer crashes on iOS than their native app, the launch of their Android version, and a team made up of mobile and non-mobile developers. Since then, Shopify has made the official declaration that they will be going full steam ahead with React Native in all of their apps.

Beyond Shopify

Many other companies have taken notice of React Native.

In fact, over the past few years, the usage of React Native has boomed.

Even back in 2015, it was ranked the fastest-growing open-source platform.

It had over 30,000 stars on GitHub.

Many of the biggest businesses in the world use it for their apps.

It is also used for apps across a wide range of niches, such as social media, ecommerce, entertainment, and more.

React Native has been used in apps launched by Walmart, Bloomberg, Airbnb, Uber, Tesla, Vogue, and Wix, nabbing the spot of second most popular framework in the Top 500 US apps.

Even Microsoft has taken notice.

They released React Native for Windows in 2019. This made it possible for developers to create apps for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile and Xbox One easily.

What Else Can React Native Offer You?

React Native is known for having the best performance in the industry.

It has worked wonderfully for Shopify and many other businesses.

This is, in part,  because it is so highly versatile. The JavaScript involved enables developers to create a friendly, easy to use UI/UX.

React Native also connects the native components of both iOS and Android.

It generates the respective code, meaning that you can make apps for both iOS and Android much easier. It also makes it possible to reuse customized code. It enables you to reuse 90% of your native framework between iOS and Android, rather than having to recreate the same app twice.

The framework also supports community-driven technology.

This means that you can freely contribute to the existing framework if you choose to do so.

They say that two heads are better than one for a reason. The doors become open to incredible innovation when brilliant minds are invited to play with technology.

For all of these reasons, it lessens the cost of entry when it comes to app development.

Being able to design one codebase that works universally saves time, money, and resources. Also, it is totally open to innovation and actively being worked on. You can not only benefit from the work of others in the community but use React Native to create your own versatile, cross-platform code.

Final Thoughts

At ChopDawg, we use React Native because it is an exciting framework that allows for collaborative and versatile app creation.

It lets growing businesses create better and more seamless apps faster that work for both iOS and Android.

With React Native, it’s no longer a question of, “iPhone or Android”.

Have you worked with React Native before? What are your thoughts on this framework?

Talk to me. 

About Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


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