Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Is React Native the Best Idea for Your Next Mobile App?

Is React Native the Best Idea for Your Next Mobile App?

Before building an app, be sure you’re using the right framework

Developing mobile applications that can be seamlessly integrated into the range of devices your users are employing can be  difficult. Android and iOS are the two most popular mobile operating systems, and each has a very different programming method. Many companies can’t afford to hire developers for both platforms, making cross-platform mobile app development difficult.

Thankfully, Facebook released a solution back in 2015 that’s been gaining popularity in the past year. React Native is an open-sourced development platform that’s based on JavaScript. It has been used for Facebook and Facebook Ads, along with popular apps like Instagram, Airbnb, Walmart, and Skype. Buoy’s direct experience with the toolchain came from building and shipping Flocabulary’s iOS and Android applications, the former of which was featured in the App Store and can be found pre-installed on iOS devices at Apple stores..

In the case of Flocabulary, (and the companies ranging from small startups to major enterprises who are using React Native), the toolchain can allow businesses to hit their mark. However,, it’s not necessarily the right tool for every job. The purpose of this article is to analyze the pros and cons of React Native so you understand when it makes sense to use.



What React Native does right

While allowing your Javascript-familiar web engineers (who are apparently the most plentiful kind of engineer) to build your native mobile application is a leading selling point of React Native, in our experience the benefits are three-fold:  cross-platform functionality, ease of exploration, and maintenance.

Cross-platform functionality

Building two separate native programs for each platform typically means spending twice the amount of money. Businesses that aren’t tech-based will have problems dedicating the resources to such a massive undertaking. React Native enables a cross-platform app within budget.

Ease of exploration

With React Native, you can leverage non-mobile engineers to build a quick proof of concept or prototype. Cocoa APIs are the easiest part of iOS development, and learning these while writing React JS is a seamless process.


When outsourcing app development, there’s always an eye on who is going to maintain it after the release. It’s difficult coming in after a developer to fix Swift or Java code, especially when it’s not well annotated. React Native makes bug fixes easier to own after the fact with a team of non-mobile engineers.

There are, however, some instances in which React Native doesn’t quite hit the mark.

When to avoid React Native

React Native is great for basic CRUD applications. However, because it’s still a relatively new platform, it doesn’t handle complex operations like video streaming, non-standard navigation, etc. very well outside the box. The pre-packaged elements are limited, and you may find yourself needing a developer familiar with native programming on hand to take on the more technical issues, negating some of the key benefits of using the tool in the first place.

React Native is one of the most convenient development platforms on the market. It’s definitely something to consider for your next mobile app. And if you’re still unsure if it’ll work for you, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.

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