All About React Native
All About React Native
All About React Native
All About React Native

What is React Native, Why should you learn it, where is it used? - Find out answers to all the questions you may have about React Native in this blog.

What is React Native?

React Native is a Facebook-created open-source framework that allows developers to create mobile apps using JavaScript. It allows developers to create native iOS and Android apps from a single codebase for multiple platforms. This can help reduce development time and costs and simplify mobile app maintenance and updates.

React Native uses a JavaScript runtime to interpret and execute code on the mobile device. This allows developers to write code in JavaScript, which is then compiled into native code for multiple platforms. It also provides a set of pre-built components and APIs that developers can use to build user interfaces and interact with device hardware, such as cameras, sensors, and GPS.

React Native History 

This JavaScript framework was created by Facebook in 2015. The initial goal of React Native team was to allow developers to build high-quality, cross-platform mobile applications with a single codebase. At the time, most mobile applications were developed natively for each platform, meaning developers had to write different codes for Android and iOS apps. This made development time-consuming and expensive, especially for smaller companies and individual developers.

The framework aimed to solve this problem by using a single codebase to develop applications for both iOS and Android platforms. By providing a set of pre-built components and APIs, Native development is made easier for developers to create a Native mobile app without learning platform-specific languages, such as Objective-C or Java.

Over the years, React Native has gained a lot of popularity and a strong community of developers since its release and has continued to evolve with new features and improvements being regularly added. The latest version of React Native as of February 2023 is 0.71. As for future versions, the React Native team constantly improves the mobile framework and adds new features to support web and desktop platforms, improve debugging tools, and enhance performance.

Why React Native?

React Native is a popular mobile application development framework because it offers developers several benefits. Here are some reasons developers might choose the JS framework:

  1. Cross-platform development: It allows developers to build apps for iOS and Android platforms using a single codebase. This makes development faster and more cost-effective, as Native mobile developers don't need to write and maintain separate codebases for each platform.
  2. Familiar development environment: The framework is built on top of React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces. This means that developers already familiar with React can easily transition to React Native and start building mobile applications.
  3. Hot reloading: React Native supports hot reloading, which means that changes made to the native code are immediately reflected in the running application. This makes iOS and Android development faster and more efficient, as developers can see the results of their changes in real-time without reloading the entire application.
  4. Native performance: React Native is designed to deliver high-performance and fast rendering on mobile devices. By using native components, it can achieve performance that is similar to applications developed natively for each platform.

Overall, this JavaScript framework provides a flexible and efficient way for developers to build high-quality mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms. Its cross-platform capabilities, familiar cross-platform development environment, and performance benefits make it an attractive option for many developers.

What Does a React Native Developer Do? 

React Native

A React Native developer is responsible for developing, designing, and maintaining mobile applications using the React Native framework. Some of the typical responsibilities of a React Native developer might include the following:

  • Developing new Native apps from scratch or working on existing applications to add new features and functionality.
  • Building user interfaces using pre-built components or creating custom components to meet specific requirements.
  • Writing high-quality, maintainable native code that follows industry best practices and coding standards.
  • Testing a React Native mobile app to ensure they meet performance and usability requirements.
  • Collaborating with other developers, designers, and stakeholders to ensure the app meets business requirements and user needs.
  • Staying updated with the latest best practices and trends in mobile development and the React Native framework.

In addition to these responsibilities, a React Native developer may also need to work on back-end development, integrating APIs, and troubleshooting technical issues. Effective communication and problem-solving skills are important for React Native developers, who must work closely with other development team members to create high-quality, user-friendly applications.

How to Become a React Native Developer? 

Becoming a React Native developer requires education, practice, and experience. Here are some steps you can take to become a React Native developer:

Learn the Fundamentals of JavaScript

React Native is built on top of JavaScript, so it's important to have a solid understanding of the language before diving into React Native development. There are many online resources and courses available to help you learn JavaScript.

Learn React and React Native

Because React Native is built on top of React, you'll need to understand this library. There are many online resources and courses available, including the React Native documentation, that can help you learn React. Once you have a good understanding of JavaScript and React, you can start learning React Native. Start by creating small separate native apps, then move on to more complex projects like an ads manager app using the React Native core.

Practice Coding

The best way to become a proficient React Native developer is to practice coding. Start by working on small projects and gradually work up to more complex ones. Many resources are available online, such as coding challenges and open-source projects, where you can practice your skills.

Build a Portfolio

As you gain experience and develop your skills, start building a portfolio of your work. This can include personal projects, open-source contributions, and any other projects you've worked on. Having a portfolio of your work can be helpful when applying for jobs and can demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

Participate in the Community

The React Native community is large and active, with many forums, meetups, and other resources available. Community participation can help you stay updated with the latest news and best practices and provide networking opportunities.

Advantages of React Native

Here are some more details for each advantage of React Native:

Cross-Platform Compatibility

This JavaScript framework uses a single codebase to build mobile apps for iOS and Android, making it easy to develop and maintain React Native apps for both platforms. This can significantly reduce development costs and speed up the time to market.

Faster Development

React Native's hot reloading feature allows developers to see changes in real time without the need to rebuild the entire app. This makes the Native app development process faster and more efficient, leading to faster time-to-market for more complex features and updates.

React Native uses native components, which means that the apps built using it perform better than hybrid apps built using other frameworks. This can lead to better user experience and higher user engagement.

Reusable Code

The React Native framework allows developers to reuse code across different platforms, significantly reducing development time and cost. This also makes it easier to maintain and update the codebase, as changes only need to be made once and are automatically applied to all platforms.

Large Community

The Native platform has a large and active community of developers who contribute to the framework, provide support, and develop third-party libraries and tools. This means that developers can access a wide range of resources and support when building Native apps.

Third-party Library Support

React Native has a wide range of third-party tools that make adding complex features and functionality to mobile apps easy. This includes libraries for things like maps, animations, and authentication, which can save developers time and effort when building complex apps.

Easy to Learn

React Native is built on top of React, so developers who are already familiar with React can quickly learn React Native. This can reduce the learning curve for developers new to mobile app development or transitioning from web development to mobile app development.

Installation of React Native

Installing React Native is as simple as running a simple command in the command prompt or terminal. However, the way to install React Native depends on your project. Additionally, before you can start using React Native, some prerequisites must be installed.

  1. Install JDK version 7 or newer.
  2. Install Node.
  3. Install Android Studio.

Next, set up all your environment variables. 

Once all your prerequisites have been met, open up the command line or bash. Next, run the following command to install React Native globally:

npm install -g react-native-cli

Components of React Native

React Native provides several built-in components developers can use to build an app's interface. Here are some of the most commonly used React Native components:

  1. View: The View component is the most basic component of the Native platform. It creates a container for other components and can be styled to control its layout and appearance.
  2. Text: The Text component displays text in the app. It can be styled to control its font, size, color, and other properties.
  3. Image: The Image component displays images in the app. It can load images from the network or the local file system.
  4. TextInput: The TextInput component allows the user to enter text. It can be styled to control its appearance and behavior.
  5. ScrollView: The ScrollView component creates a scrollable container for other components. It is often used to display long lists of items.
  6. FlatList: This component displays a scrolling list of data. It is highly optimized for performance and can easily handle large data sets.

Here is an example of how to use some of these components in a React Native app:

import React from 'react';
import { View, Text, Image, TextInput, ScrollView, FlatList } from 'react-native';

const App = () => {
  return (
    <View style={{ flex: 1, alignItems: 'center', justifyContent: 'center' }}>
      <Text style={{ fontSize: 24, fontWeight: 'bold', marginBottom: 16 }}>
        Welcome to my app!
        source={{ uri: '' }}
        style={{ width: 200, height: 200 }}
        placeholder="Enter your name"
        style={{ width: '100%', height: 40, borderColor: 'gray', borderWidth: 1, marginTop: 16 }}
      <ScrollView style={{ marginTop: 16 }}>
        <Text>Some text goes here.</Text>
        data={[{ key: 'item1' }, { key: 'item2' }, { key: 'item3' }]}
        renderItem={({ item }) => <Text>{item.key}</Text>}

export default App;

In this example, we import several components from the react-native package to create a simple app that displays some text, an image, a text input, a scrollable text view, and a flat list. The style prop is used to apply styles to each component.

Development Best Practices

Follow the Component-Based Architecture

The Native platform is built around the concept of components, which are reusable UI elements that can be combined to create complex user interfaces. Therefore, following a component-based architecture in your app development is recommended to create maintainable and reusable code. This means breaking down your app into small, reusable components that are easy to understand, test, and maintain.

Use the Latest Version of React Native

React Native is an actively developed framework, with new versions released frequently. Therefore, it's important to use the latest version of React Native to take advantage of bug fixes, new features, and performance improvements. In addition, upgrading to the latest version can help avoid compatibility issues with third-party libraries and dependencies.

Use a State Management Library

As your app grows in complexity, managing state can become difficult. Using a state management library like Redux, MobX, or Context API can help simplify state management and make it easier to share states across components. In addition, centralizing your app's state can reduce the risk of bugs and improve your app's performance.

Always Optimize Your App's Performance

Performance is critical in mobile app development, and React Native provides several tools to help you optimize your app's performance. React Native Performance Monitor is one of the framework's most important tools, providing real-time metrics on your app's performance. You can also use tools like the React Native Debugger to identify and fix performance issues in your code.

Use a Testing Framework

Testing is essential in app development, and React Native provides several testing frameworks like Jest, Enzyme, and React Native Testing Library. A testing framework can help you catch bugs early in development and ensure that your app works as expected.

Use third-party libraries and dependencies carefully

React Native provides a wide range of third-party libraries and dependencies that can help speed up development and add functionality to your app. However, it's important to use these libraries carefully and only include the ones you need. Including unnecessary libraries can bloat your app's size and increase the risk of bugs and performance issues.

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