How to Choose the Best Mobile Programming Language for Your Project
Research shows that digital consumers, on average, own at least 3 connected devices. It’s no surprise then that the demand for high-quality mobile app development has never been higher. In this article, we’ll discuss what a React Native app development company might experience building a winning product versus an Android or iPhone app development company. With a comprehensive list of criteria, we’re putting our comparison skills to work and evaluating every aspect from animation capabilities to speed of development, API support, documentation, and much more.
How to compare React Native vs. native iOS/Android app development?
React Native Performance: animations, CPU, GPU and memory usage
Still, problems may arise with larger applications that have more animations, effects or transitions. The reason is that React Native uses native drivers through a bridge transpiler, which works well for one or two animations but starts to have trouble the more that are added. This puts extra stress on the GPU and CPU, causing the device to lag. Please note that you can still have multiple animations in native code that can also cause lagging.
Besides animations, React Native, Objective-C/Swift and Java use about the same amount of device memory and processing power, so in terms of performance, it comes out to about a tie.
UI/UX design process
Documentation and packages
Coding skills required
It’s important to remember that even if most of the development is done using the cross-platform framework, knowing native languages might still be necessary to make the app work with other areas of the phone, like the camera, pushing notifications or building a custom native library. Nevertheless, you can definitely develop an application without any knowledge of Swift or Java, unless you need something that is extremely customized.
Speed of development
With native mobile development, the underlying APIs for Android and iOS are vastly different from that of the other platform. For example, the differences in the ways an engineer creates animations, how GPS is used or the way you make network calls are different between Java and Objective-C/Swift. With React Native, the mobile development process can take less time because the two applications share most of the same code base. You can think of it like this. Just compare these two situations — two separate projects where each of the underlying APIs are vastly different vs. one common/shared code base with a few platform-specific add-ons.
Speed of releasing updates
When should a business use Swift/Objective-C and Java (Android) instead of React Native?
OK, we’ve just figured out the major differences between React Native and real native mobile app development in iOS and Android. To sum this up, let’s get a list of situations when a company shouldn’t use React Native, either because of the nature of the app or its specific functionality.
Obviously, when you need to build a single platform app, you might be tempted to use React’s advantages everywhere. However, if you don’t plan to release an app for both platforms, using the cross-platform framework might be overkill. You already have an in-house team of Java or Objective-C/Swift developers with no experience with JS or React Native.
The app is computation-heavy or has a lot of animations, effects or complex transitions. In this case, the application could drag along. Some critical functionality requires a native tool to be built. For example, media players use a lot of GPU, background processing, device-controlling capabilities, and more.
The app is intended to work in the background, like messengers or some other utilities. Background processes are harder to implement using RN than coding natively.
How to Know When to Use React Native?
The framework is extremely useful for an app development company looking to build a small or medium-sized application that needs to be available on both platforms.
Still can’t decide between React Native vs. native iOS or Android mobile application development? Reach out to us at Spiral Scout, a leading software development company in San Francisco. We’ll be happy to provide you with a thorough consultation on the technology stack that’s best suited for your company’s mobile app development project.