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React Native Errors, Myths and Misconceptions

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Development
9 min read

React Native is a mobile development framework that allows developers to build cross-platform applications using JavaScript and React. React Native was created by Facebook and Instagram in 2013 and has become one of the most popular frameworks for mobile app development. Since then, React Native has been a crowd favorite, primarily because it lets you build applications for both iOS and Android within a single codebase with the familiar JavaScript programming language.

However, how exactly React Native works is not exactly common knowledge even amongst software engineers. This is because cross-platform mobile technologies typically have more unique architecture than, say, web applications or native mobile applications. Thus, a number of common errors and misconceptions about React Native have arisen due to misunderstandings.

React Native Errors, Myths, and Misconceptions

This guide will look at some of the more common React Native errors and myths and provide insight into what it means to build native apps using React Native. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about React Native today:

You Only Need to Build One App

React Native allows you to create cross-platform apps using JavaScript. The benefit of using this is that you can use the same codebase for iOS, Android, and any other platform that supports JavaScript.

However, it’s important to note that although React Native allows you to share code between platforms, it does not mean that you can have one app for both platforms. To release an app on both Apple App Store and Google Play Store, you’ll still need to create two separate apps (one for the iOS platform and another one for the Android operating system).

This myth is important to call out because the concept that you only have to build one app can lead to other misconceptions about time and cost. The truth is, you still need to take iOS and Android into consideration, and often times you need to understand how those platforms work. So, while React Native does an amazing job at extracting platform-specific implementation details from developers, you are still building and maintaining multiple apps. Building two apps with React Native will never be as efficient as it would be to build one.

React Native is Slow

This assertion can be true. However, pretty much any programming language or development platform can be slow when utilized incorrectly. Strong React Native developers can often create applications where you can’t tell the difference. Less capable Native or React Native devs. will provide a lesser experience.

React Native is a framework for building native apps using JavaScript. React Native uses components to make the UI, similar to how you’d use React to build web apps. This coding language lets you write a single codebase that runs on Android and iOS systems, which means you can ship your app faster and avoid maintaining separate codebases for each platform. One of the most compelling reasons you should use React Native is that it can achieve around 60 frames per second.

This is exactly how a Native would feel and look at the apps. However, though developers would like the language to do strictly as intended and keep its eye on performance optimization, this can’t be the case all the time.

Some areas were still unreached and would require manual intervention. This fact may be the reason behind this second myth. Then again, to clarify, it’s not true that it’s non-performant. The more apt of putting it is this: there are still areas that could be improved to deliver buttery-smooth developer experience and UI performance.

React Native Compiles to Native Code

Many engineers and business owners believe that React Native compiles native code. This is false. Technically speaking this would be hard to achieve.

The truth is that your JavaScript code is executed as JavaScript. However, the UI of your application is indeed built with native components. When your app runs, React Native uses a “bridge” to communicate between JavaScript and native components. This solution is not as performant as writing completely native code, but it’s also nowhere near as slow as running your entire application using a web view or depending entirely on web technologies for a mobile app.

You can also check here for an overview of React Native vs. Native.

You Can Easily Share React Web Code and React Native Code

If you’ve ever tried to share code between a website and a React Native app, though, you know that it’s not exactly an easy task. They’re both written in JavaScript but run-on different platforms. You can’t use one set of components with both types of apps because they’ll be compiled differently by each forum, which means they won’t work together correctly. Mobile and web are entirely different. Same framework, but it is hard to share code that works between both.

Is it possible to share code between React and React Native? Yes, absolutely. Many React or JavaScript libraries work completely fine with React Native. Where you really get into trouble when trying to share code between React Native and the web is when you get into UI creation. React Native provides its own set of components that represent Native UI elements. This is fundamentally different than building UI components for the web.

There are also some smaller libraries that try to bring React Native to the web instead of vice versa. The code-sharing process is possible, yet it’s not as straightforward as you want it to be. As an open-source project, web-based React Native allows you to use its core components. However, you need React DOM to render the React Native web browser-compatible JavaScript code. This rendering tool makes code-sharing seamless. Overall, this isn’t a great solution for most websites that are looking to build an app and simply want to share components back and forth.

Overall, cross-platform technologies are not yet at a place where a web developer can easily reuse mobile code.

Facebook is Written in React Native

This one is somewhat true. Meta maintains React Native; only parts of Facebook are in React Native. The great thing is that Facebook actively tries new React Native concepts on its own application. For example, the React Native community is hoping for a timely release of Fabric, a new rendering system that promises to eliminate the largest performance bottleneck in React Native. As of the time of this writing, Facebook has adjusted all of the React Native views in their app to use Fabric, so it is well under testing prior to being released to the greater React Native community.

React Native was created by Facebook and Instagram engineers, who needed a way to build mobile apps using the same codebase that powers Facebook’s web pages. Facebook’s mobile apps have been built with native code since 2012, but it wasn’t until 2015 that the company started using React Native for its iOS platform. It took them just six months to get their first React Native-powered app out the door: an update for the Messenger app for Android.

React Native Uses Web Views

These are terrible errors and misconception that makes React Native unattractive to business owners and developers alike. Web views are slow and clunky. Hence, React Native doesn’t use web views. Instead, it uses native components to create its UI. This means app developers don’t have to worry about how the app looks on each platform.

The app will look the same on every platform. This means that it’ll look and feel like a Native app. With this, React Native apps are speedy and responsive. It’s especially great for back and front-end development and developers who want to create mobile games or apps where speed is important.

React Native Provides a Worse User Experience

There can be both positive and negative aspects to the user experience when it comes to using React Native. However, if you have a performant React Native app, you actually mostly just get user experience benefits out of it rather than any drawbacks.

Most notably, user interfaces are only created once by one set of developers. This means you get a more consistent user experience across iOS and Android because the same components are deployed to each app. This isn’t true when you are building separate apps for iOS and Android. You not only have to program UIs twice, but you might even have different developers implementing the same UI for different platforms, leading to inconsistencies due to implementation details. For most apps, performance and user experience are indecipherable between React Native and Native.

React Native is a framework that allows developers to build native apps for Android and iOS using JavaScript and React. It is designed to be fast and easy to use and is compatible with many of the same tools web developers use, like Webpack and Babel.

This means that it’s easy for web developers to learn how to use React Native technology without having to learn new programming languages or tools.

With React Native, you can build high-performance, cross-platform apps using JavaScript and the same skillset you already have. This means you can build an app once and run it on Android and iOS devices without learning two separate programming languages.

React Native is Not a Magic Wand

React Native is a tool that makes it easy to build Native apps using JavaScript, but it’s no magic wand. It’s a powerful tool for developers to create mobile apps. It’s not just for creating apps that look like native ones, though. It can also create custom components and even add animations to your app.

The React Native errors and myths are that it’s a one-size-fits-all framework and can’t be used for production applications. React Native promises all of the benefits of cross-platform application development, as well as additional unique advantages over some of the other cross-platform solutions, but it is important to be aware of some of these common misconceptions when utilizing it.

Here you can learn more about the technologies backing up React Native.

Summary

React Native app development is an excellent fit for most businesses, and you can use React Native to build apps of all kinds, from prototypes all the way to finished products. Due to the complex nature of React Native and cross-platform mobile technologies, it is often subject to misconceptions, and it is important to know what you are getting into when you build a React Native app.

This post already debunked some of the errors about React Native apps. Hopefully, this will help you understand what it’s capable of when used out in the world. For help with your React Native needs, contact Flatirons.

Here you can also see an overview, of a complete guide to React Native.

React Native Development Experts

Elevate your mobile apps with Flatirons' React Native expertise for cross-platform solutions.

Learn more

React Native Development Experts

Elevate your mobile apps with Flatirons' React Native expertise for cross-platform solutions.

Learn more
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