A Guide to Dominating Development with React Native

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff Technology
12 Min Read

React Native has quickly become one of the most popular choices for building high-quality mobile apps. With its cross-platform capabilities and ability to leverage existing JavaScript knowledge, React Native makes mobile development faster, more efficient, and accessible to web developers.

If you’re looking to hire a React Native developer or utilize React Native application development services to build mobile apps that feel and perform like natively written Objective-C or Java, while using shared code across iOS and Android, React Native is a framework you need in your toolset. Let’s take a deep dive into React Native and how to utilize it for dominating mobile development.

What is React Native

React Native is an open-source framework created by Facebook that builds real, natively rendering mobile applications for iOS and Android using JavaScript and React. Instead of writing code in platform-specific languages like Swift, Kotlin, or Java, you can leverage your existing web development skills to build incredibly high-quality mobile apps.

At its core, React Native takes the declarative UI-building approach of React.js which has made it extremely popular for web development and makes it available in a mobile app context across both major platforms. The end result is you can write an entire mobile app from JavaScript, that looks, feels, and performs identically to an app written in Objective-C or Java. This allows mobile app developer company to reuse skills across platforms.

Why Use React Native for Mobile Development

There are many great options for writing mobile apps, from native languages to cross-platform tools built on web languages. React Native stands out for several reasons that make it an extremely compelling choice:

Cross-Platform Capabilities

The major incentive for considering React Native is that it lets you build apps for both iOS and Android platforms simultaneously while sharing most of your code. Instead of having to build two separate apps, you can write once and render natively on both operating systems. Being able to reuse 90% of your codebase allows building high-performance native apps for both iOS and Android.

This has enormous appeal for solo developers or small teams looking to efficiently build apps on multiple platforms. There is no need to build expertise across multiple native stacks and codebases. React Native makes cross-platform code reuse simple and efficient.

Faster Development

By using a JavaScript framework that renders native UI components, React Native provides much faster development than pure native approaches. There is no need to recompile code each time you make a change. With React Native’s hot reloading support, you can quickly preview changes in real time. And if leveraging services from a React Native application development company, new features can be built and deployed faster than ever.

Entire project screens can often be built with React Native with just a fraction of the code required by Objective-C or Java. This makes developers tremendously more productive and efficient. React Native is a great choice for building prototype or MVP versions of apps.

Code Reusability

With React Native, much of your business logic code can be shared across platforms, even if UI code needs to be customized. Things like data access layers, event handling, state management and more need only be written once. Reusable JS components further reduce duplication of efforts across iOS and Android apps.

If you have a website, huge amounts of front-end code and developers can be reused to accelerate mobile development. React Native makes cross-platform code reuse straightforward and efficient.

Code Reusability

With React Native, much of your business logic code can be shared across platforms, even if UI code needs to be customized. Things like data access layers, event handling, state management and more need only be written once. Reusable JS components further reduce duplication.

Getting Started with React Native

To start building apps with React Native, the following are needed to setup a development environment:

Installation and Setup

  • Node.js
  • Watchman
  • React Native command line tools
  • iOS and Android platform simulators/emulators
  • Code editor like VS Code

Setting these up takes just minutes to get everything installed and connected. Excellent documentation covers each environment.

Project Structure

Out of the box, React Native initializes a clear project structure with separate directories for components, actions, reducers and other application pieces. The entry App.js file kickstarts your application.

Basic Components

React Native ships with a set of common mobile components like View and Text that render to native UI elements. Building layouts uses JSX markup just like React web apps. Styling leverages CSS.

With just these basics you can quickly construction application screens and communicate with APIs. Let’s explore more advanced React Native development concepts.

Core React Native Concepts

Like React for the web, React Native has several key concepts worth understanding to leverage its capabilities:


This React extension to JavaScript allows writing markup and UI components in an elegant, declarative way. JSX provides efficiency and organization for component trees.


Reusable, nestable components make assembling complex UIs declarative. Components drive modularity and code reuse in React Native apps.

State and Props

The state and props systems central to React also empower React Native apps to efficiently handle data flow and rendering updates.


React Native handles styling through an extensions of CSS adapted for mobile context. Flexbox helps tremendously in building layouts as well.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at more advanced React Native development techniques.

Building Complex UIs

Large scale app user interfaces bring additional complexity. Thankfully React Native provides robust solutions in these areas:

Moving between screens requires navigation frameworks. React Navigation is a popular community solution, while React Native provides a robust navigation library as well.

Working with Data and APIs

React Native works seamlessly with external REST APIs, authentication providers like Firebase, and data libraries like Redux.


Complex gesture handling, transitions, and subtle UI animations are quite straightforward with the Animated API.

Platform Specific Code

While code is largely shared, platform-specific modules do allow customizing experiences for iOS versus Android.

Testing and Debugging

Robust apps require debugging tools and testing:

Debugging Tools

React Native Debugger and built-in remote debugging provide inspection capabilities finding issues quickly.

Testing Frameworks

Jest snapshot testing helps validate components. Detox enables reliable end-to-end mobile testing workflows.

Optimizing Performance

As apps grow, performance monitoring helps keep apps speedy:

Minifying Code

Minification strips unused code to optimize bundled files loaded at runtime.

Monitoring RAM Usage

React Native provides Chrome profiling integration showing memory consumption over time to identify leaks.

Avoiding Unnecessary Renders

Techniques like memoization cut back on expensive component re-rendering.

Deployment and Maintenance

Once built, apps require release processes and maintenance:

Building Production APK / IPAs

Bundling, minification, and compression prepare optimized production binaries for stores.

Enabling Hot Reloading

Over the air updates via CodePush allow releasing fixes and features instantly.

Handling Updates

Managed workflows handle migrating data, minimizing downtime during app upgrades.

Community and Support

React Native benefits from enormous community support, third party libraries, overflowing StackOverflow answers, and detailed documentation. Facebook drives continued platform improvement as well. React Native has strong future growth ahead.


React Native lowers mobile development barriers by enabling entire apps to be built from JavaScript. Leveraging existing web skills while still achieving native UI performance, React Native boosts productivity tremendously.

With excellent documentation, active maintenance by Facebook, and a strong community, React Native is an ideal framework for shipping mobile apps efficiently without sacrificing quality. If interested exploring React Native further, abundant learning resources exist online covering all aspects of development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does React Native work for complex, large-scale apps?

Yes, React Native has been used to build many high quality production mobile applications including apps from Facebook, Walmart, Bloomberg, UberEats and many more. The framework’s architecture is robust enough to handle everything from simple prototype UIs to the most complex applications.

Can I really share code across iOS and Android?

You can share the vast majority of application code across platforms with React Native, likely at least 90%. Some UI and platform-specific modules will need to be customized, but overall code reuse is very high.

How is performance compared to pure native apps?

React Native provides nearly identical performance to full native applications. By rendering UI using real native UI components, there is no compromise compared to Objective-C or Java. Of course, experience ultimately depends on how well the apps are coded, but the framework itself delivers excellent results.

What skills do I need to know to be productive with React Native?

If you are an experienced web developer with React knowledge, you can be incredibly productive building mobile apps with React Native. Much of that knowledge transfers directly over. Understanding mobile design patterns helps as well, but React Native makes building high quality mobile UIs very approachable.

Can I integrate React Native into an existing native app?

Yes, React Native integrates extremely well into existing native applications if migrating an entire large codebase is too difficult. New features or screens can leverage React Native while legacy sections remain in Objective-C or Java. This makes adoption incrementally without needing a full rewrite.

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