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React Native Tutorial For Beginners

What is React Native?

React Native is a JavaScript framework which is used for developing mobile applications for iOS and Android.  It uses the React framework and offers large amount of inbuilt components and APIs.

Discovery of React Native by Facebook was an intriguing phenomenon since Mark Zuckerberg announced how amazing this framework is for mobile app developers.

react native

It is because of its potential to bring all the basic features of web development in mobile platform that captured a lot of attention among both app entrepreneurs and developers.

Ever since its introduction to mobility world, React Native as a complete cross-platform app development framework continued to drive a lot of interest and global adoption.

mobile app development

When a framework is believed to be beneficial for mobile app developers, its myriad benefits also automatically appeal to entrepreneurs with its ability to reduce cost and time.

However, to understand that the limelight React Native is getting is not too exaggerated and it is comparatively better than native app development, we are going to go through a tutorial of this framework in the following discussion.

This tutorial will help beginners in the space of React Native development broaden their perspective about the technology and know what all factors they should consider when opting for React Native for mobile app development through this tutorial.

Who Invented React Native?

This open-source mobile application framework was created by Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Facebook.   He released an early prototype of React called “FaxJS“.

React was first deployed on Facebook’s News Feed in 2011 and later on Instagram in 2012.  In May 2013, React was open-sourced at JSConf US.

In this tutorial, we shall have a broad view about react native and also have some topics  should go through before starting learning.

What is difference between React JS and react native?

react native tutorial

Due to obvious presence of React in React Native framework, entrepreneurs and beginners often get confused about their exact use and applications in the world of development.

It is therefore important to imbibe the fundamental difference between React and React Native technologies. React uses React DOM for rendering web development solutions while React Native stands as a custom solution for rendering React files for mobile equivalent.

React Native uses native components as building blocks for developing mobile apps unlike React that uses web components. As a first-time learner of React Native, it is inevitable that you must gather enough basic overview of the React concepts such as its class, components, JSX, state and more.

Even if you have know how about React, you will have to explore the Native components of React Native that makes React code work for Android and iOS.

Read Also: Difference Between React JS and React Native

With the deep confusion around React Native now clarified, it is time to focus on the business-oriented benefits of using React Native over other cross-platform frameworks and tools.

The upper hand of React Native over other frameworks

react native tutorial

  • Intuitive User Interface
  • Advantage of JavaScript
  • Ease of setup and configuration
  • Mature, impeccable structure
  • User-friendly development environment
  • Diversity of invaluable tools
  • Easy to learn and adopt
  • Impressive performance
  • Community Support
  • Efficient Testing
  • Proper Documentation
  • Affordability and economy
  • Better Lifecycle Management

React Native: Pros and Cons

Of course, like any framework, perfection and imperfection both co-exists in React Native framework although the cross-platform technology boasts of more pros than cons for active react native app developers.

Cultivating basic insight into all the benefits and limitations will help fuel the development process and make developers more proactive, vigilant and confident in their space.

Pros

Slim Coding: Write once run everywhere

The most exhilarating part about working with React Native app development is that it allows you to adopt single code base for all platforms (Android, iOS, Windows).

This goes to imply that the team of Native developers would not have to write separate codes for different target platforms. They can follow write-once-run-everywhere approach, having to code the app just once and make it live across available platforms.

Rapid App Development

react native tutorial

Another pro that is most likely to be the comforting answer to React Native conundrum is that the framework facilitates rapid app development, minimizing both the team size as well as time required to finish the project.

The mobile app development company does not need to involve too many developers especially to individually work for all platforms. As single team is enough to look after all the requirements efficiently and project doesn’t demand extensive timeline, the overall efforts for design, development and testing are too massive.

Lean Learning Curve for Web Developers

React Native is based on JavaScript and existing web developers who possess good familiarity with this JS can easily get their hands on React Native app development.

Hence, it is not a massive struggle if you want to learn and eventually switch to mobile app development using React Native as a core technology in this tutorial.

Open Source

react native tutorial

At the start of any mobile app development project, developers emphatically seek open source nature of the technologies being used. React Native, being the open source, thus pleases developers by allowing them to freely inspect code.

Not only that, due to being open source, its library is generous and updated with components that even work for rare platforms like tvOS.

Comfortable team composition

The nature of React native development is such that it also comforts entrepreneurs who often brood over assembling great number of developers to create a huge team.

The framework allows you to dispense with a small size of development team which is composed with merely:

  • Tech consultant
  • Project Manager
  • React Native Developer
  • UI/UX Designers
  • Business Analyst
  • QA Specialist

In case of pure native app development, you may end up choosing almost double the number or more is depending on the project size.

How much does react native cost?

react nattive tutorial

The cost factor of mobile app development that drives major concern for businesses also works in their favor. React native app development brings down the spending which is another great benefit for both developers building the app and entrepreneurs worried about ROI.

This means having a dream about mobile app development does not necessarily mean you will bear enormous cost if it is done using React Native – another reason why the technology is so popular as an effective way to reduce the investment.

app development cost

React Native example

Here are a list of some popular apps built using React Native

  • Snapchat
  • Tinder
  • Instagram
  • AirBnB
  • Myntra

Read Also: 13 Famous Apps Built With React Native

Scalability for future

Even after hearing about its several incredible benefits, what developers and app entrepreneurs worry about is whether or not React Native is flexible and versatile enough to fulfill unpredictable scope of app scalability in future.

As business grows and marketplace evolves, the need to meet the loads of requirements of increased real-time users becomes inevitable. To their relief, this overwhelming expectation is fulfilled efficiently by the flexible capability of React Native cross-platform framework.

If developers are experienced and aware of how they can tune React Native structure to handle increased volume of customer activities, your app can be as successful as one of those big brands like Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb or Walmart. They are all powered by versatile React Native.

Hot Reload Option

Another technical aspect that developers ponder over while figuring out technologies is the amount of time consumed when actually writing and running application code. Thankfully enough, React Native affords hot reload solution which is a brilliant time-saving functionality.

With this capability in place, developers find it easy to view in real time how any change in code appears in target device. The action of checking the effect does not demand burdensome efforts, which lucidly proves that React Native has developer-friendly environment.

Cons

Poor connection with device’s Native environment

react native tutorial

A little unpleasant blow for React Native developers is that it does not directly interact with device’s native elements such as Camera, Voice recorder, etc. this is the kind of challenge that even its closest alternatives like Xamarin and Flutter don’t seem to solve completely.

Hence, in certain technical dilemma, native app development outweighs the cross-platform capability of React Native to an extent.

Limited Native APIs

In React Native, developers are restricted from using certain Native APIs as there isn’t much support for all Native APIs. However, the technology is working on providing support for those Native APIs. For now, this is one of the plights where Native app development seems to overshadow React Native power.

Insufficient Third-Party Libraries

third party

Another down point in React Native development is that it lacks third-party libraries. Developers have to depend on native modules to leverage libraries – which somewhat adds to development efforts in the long run.

Adoption rate of React Native

By mentioning all the pros and limitations associated with using React Native for cross-platform development, we could clearly see how React Native, when compared with other tools or app development methods, emerges stronger and more reliable.

The reason why React Native still holds its significance and is widely adopted is that it has all the functionalities developers need for cross-platform development process.

Pros the framework offers are too great to be overwhelmed by its limitations, or by native app development approach. This is why there is a steep rise and interest in adopting React Native for creating sophisticated, business-class mobile apps.

To understand the size of React Native’s adoption by global businesses, we must be driven to take a good look at those eminent big brand names that turned to RN to build the backbone of their applications.

Who are using react native?

Apart from the companies that are now starting to feel positive about React Native for mobile app development, here is the glance at globally recognized applications:

  • Facebook
  • Bloomberg
  • Tesla
  • Uber
  • Walmart
  • Instagram
  • SoundCloud
  • Townske
  • Gyroscope
  • Vogue

Why we use React Native?

The reasons to use React Native are that it is a popular framework that is used to build web applications. React popularized the use of a virtual DOM, this in turn greatly increased render performance for web apps.

This open-source mobile application framework maintains a virtual representation of the view hierarchy.  So, when changes are made, you no longer have to do expensive operations on the view hierarchy.

React uses an efficient diffing algorithm to compare the virtual hierarchy and then necessary changes are made to the actual view hierarchy.

Encapsulation of components is another fascinating principle of React. React encapsulates each single component into a single file.  With React Native, you can save a lot of compile time.

React Native helps build app that can work across multiple types of platforms including iOS and Android.   This cross-platform feature helps large or small company to save their time and money.

React Native has Rich Text Editor which helps increase the overall productivity.  The key benefits of Rich Text Editor are that it will not crash, hang and lose syntax highlighting.

React Native: Possibilities and Potential

While the world of developers and entrepreneurs are still hoping to use React Native for applications of any kind, in the moment the type of mobile apps that can be built with the framework are categorized as:

Simple and intuitive UI

ui ux

React Native helps develop mobile apps with simple, interactive and intuitive user interface. Since the technology offers unparalleled capabilities like hot reloading and slim coding, it is a viable solution for building a high-performance mobile app with best UI elements and features.

Strategic Prototypes

The mobile app industry deeply believes in first generating the app prototypes in order to validate the idea before plunging further in. App prototyping is another need addressed by React Native because of its ability to deliver the software model in less time.

Also, the cross-platform framework makes the entire process of prototype creation less costly than other frameworks in the app development market.

Basic functionalities

For an app built without deep complexities or any challenging functionalities, React Native could be the best option to look forward to. You can easily consider it suitable for mobile apps with not many heavy functionalities to go.

Industry-specific apps

Since React Native does not typically provide you with much ground to fiddle with native device elements, apps that don’t directly interact with native features can be perfect for React Native development.

Still, React Native has bred apps for huge brands as seen above – apps that don’t solely exist as an independent software. For instance, Facebook, Instagram and Uber are all using real-time features that require making connection with local device setup.

Hence, it is important to notice that React Native framework can be used as a versatile and adaptive structure to build industry-specific apps.

Read Also: Comparison Between Flutter Vs React Native

What is the future of react native?

A survey conducted by Stack Overflow Developer in 2018 reveals that React is the framework that every developers wants to work with and also  many developers are interested in React Native.  The future of React Native is fabric and it boils down to three major internal changes.

  • New threading model – A new threading model makes it possible to call synchronously into JavaScript on any thread, maintaining responsiveness while keeping low-priority work off the main thread.
  • Async rendering capabilities – Async rendering capabilities will be incorporated into React Native.
  • Simplified bridge – A new simplified bridge will make direct calls between native and JavaScript and make it easier to build various debugging tools.

Sophie Alpert, Engineering Manager on React at Facebook says that existing React Native apps will remain fully functional with no or just a few changes.

How do I become a React Native developer?

The following step by step procedure will help you become a good React Native developer.

  • Sharpen your basics from tutorial on react native app development
  • Learn to build static web pages such as Html, CSS
  • Learn Javascript-ES6/7/8
  • Learn basic Nodejs and npm
  • Learn basic React
  • Learn Redux
  • Dive in to React Native
  • Learn React Navigation

Words in nutshell

By ending the tutorial, we can firmly say that Facebook’s React Native equally benefits both front-end developers and web developers wanting to dip into the pool of opportunities pertaining to mobile app development.

Having in-depth knowledge about React, which is a declarative view library of Facebook for web development, can also lead to gaining mastery in native mobile app development with React Native.

hire mobile app developers

Given how React Native triumphs over other cross-platform tools when it comes to building diverse mobile apps for iOS and Android, it is crucial to learn this incredible framework and ensure a competitive advantage in the business.

The framework also offers simplicity and flexibility along with the power to create the imagined. Hope in this tutorial about react native app development, we cover all the basics that one should consider before learning it.

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15 Famous Apps Built with React Native

React Native has evolved to be a fascinating lynchpin amid the most preferable and trending technologies today ever since Facebook developed it for its own internal app projects in 2013.

Developers adopted this powerful framework for iOS and Android app development. The technology was made available on GitHub in 2015 as announced by Facebook in F8 conference and now it is vibrant with 1,408 contributors.

portfolio

The future possibilities of what React Native development can produce add thrill to the anticipation around its potential among mobile app developers, which makes the technology quite popular across the globe.

The big brands including Fortune 500 companies have already leveraged the power of this incredible tool and created compelling apps.

Read Also: Comparison Between Flutter & React Native

We have put together a list of 13 famous apps built with React Native here.

1) Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook has leveraged React Native framework to build its first ever cross platform app Facebook Ads manager. Based on JavaScript, React Native framework efficiently handles the different formats in ads, dates and currencies along with time zones.

Facebook ads manager - react native app

Its clutter-free interface, easy navigation and intuitive UX and overall simplicity results into amazing experience for app users.

Facebook ads manager - rating - react native app

Even its animation and transitions were made flawless, smooth and seamless. React Native has become a perfect solution for Facebook Ads Manager.

Google PlayApp Store

 

2) Instagram

It was a big challenge for Instagram to shift its entire existing app to React Native, but Instagram did have an added advantage in the process. It has a simple interface which made the adoption of new technology a little easier than imagined.

Insta - react native app

It transformed its push notification view which was originally a WebView and didn’t need a new navigational infrastructure. With React Native, the app grew more maintainable across both Android and iOS platforms.

Instagram - rating - react native app

Although developers nonetheless confronted a few predicaments down the path, they could successfully share 85% and more of its code between iOS and Android.

Google PlayApp Store

 

3) Bloomberg

Bloomberg has achieved a great milestone in global business and finance news space.

Bloomberg - react native app

Bloomberg went through the ordeal of individually developing both iOS and Android apps updated to the latest version before opting for Native for their mobile app development.

Bloomberg - rating - react native app

The prototype built with React native was thoroughly tested before they adopted RN for simultaneously updating the app for cross-platform performance.

Google PlayApp Store

 

4) AirBnB

AirBnB is another remarkable examples of React Native success for mobile app development. the company uses RN to build its service booking app that demanded real-time performance.

Airbnb - react native app

React Native worked miraculously and brought delight for software engineers at AirBnB. The company has an extensive development team that involves as many as 60 individuals who are all dedicated to working on this JavaScript technology.

airbnb - rating - react native app

The technology helped them to build reusable code across iOS and Android platforms and refactor them, saving a lot on their development cycle.

Google PlayApp Store

 

android app development

5) Gyroscope

Considered as an incredible app for health conscious minds, Gyroscope perfectly integrates with HealthKit to help users view the complete health profile through their life.

Gyroscope - react native app

The whole health-related data is shown in two simple views: Simple and Cards mode. Users are thus allowed to track their vitals such as steps, heart rate, activities like meditation and fitness Yoga, productivity, weight management, etc.

Gyroscope - rating - react native app

The user data can be tracked in a daily/weekly/monthly reports that can help users maintain their health status.

Google PlayApp Store

 

6) Myntra

Myntra redefines the ecommerce shopping experience delivered on a stunning mobile app. By giving users an intuitive, clean and simplified interface, Myntra makes for an online shopping app with great look, feel and fascinating users experience.

myntra - react native app

React Native has worked wonders for Myntra when it comes to enable shopping convenience for users with engaging presentation of catalogs, categories and order placement.

myntra - rating - react native app

Let alone, its UI and UX truly stand out for Android and iOS apps.

Google PlayApp Store

 

7) UberEats

React Native adds a great value to the food delivery app UberEats even though it constitutes a small part of the overall tech stack used to build the app. It enhances user experience and UI for both end users and restaurant operators.

Uber eats - react native app

Due to involvement of three parties (restaurants, delivery partners and customers), the app needed a new comprehensive and intuitive dashboard for restaurant part with more access and native functions such as push notifications and sound alerts.

Uber eats - rating - react native app

Its early web-based dashboard had limited experience. UberEats team already had worked on React extensively which empowered them to deliver app rapidly. They are satisfied with its performance and are keen on its potential for future possibilities that can help them meet demands of growing marketplace.

Google PlayApp Store

 

 

Read Also: React Native Vs Xamarin

 

8) Discord

Discord sets another bright example of cross-platform app development by React Native. The app is intended for voice and chat app for gamers.

Discord - react native app

So Discord enables users to chat among team members, check online availability and engage in conversations. The great thing about Discord is that its iOS and Android apps have 98% of shared code.

Discord - rating - react native app

This indicates how RN helps build mobile apps even in tight deadlines.

Google PlayApp Store

 

 

mobile app development

9) Shine

Shine is quite a mature, content-rich and glorious mindfulness app packed with awesome motivational mottos and articles for users. It has relaxing meditation activities and inspiring recordings and guide by experts that help you deal with everyday stress of life. You can ‘check in’ for the day and get started.

Shine - react native app

The creators aimed to hit U.S. market with iOS app first since it provides maximum market share, and were planning to build Android app quickly after gaining enough traction on iOS.

Shine - rating - react native app

React Native blessed their strategy and helped them launch Android app successfully in the App Store. In 2018, Shine was chosen as one of the best apps by Apple.

Google PlayApp Store

 

10) SoundCloud

SoundCloud is a brilliant app for artistic creators where they can create and manage their accounts and keep their community alive. React came handy when the company struggled with the lack of enough developers to design the second set of native apps.

Soundcloud - react native app

Due to insufficient number of iOS developers, they faced the possibility of a large gap between iOS and Android release. The SoundCloud research team tested React Native prototypes for user experience and found a few challenges.

Soundcloud - rating - react native app

Even then, they found themselves positive about the technology since working with React Native application was easier than a pure native approach. To top it all, SoundCloud team was able to successfully build the complete app without much efforts from specialized developers.

Google PlayApp Store

 

11) Yeti Smart home

Like SoundCloud, Yeti Smart Home creators also share the similar story about how they were driven by the lack of iOS and Android developers when they wanted to build native apps in no time.

yeti - react native app

They leaned on React Native and found that the technology saves from the hassle of learning from scratch while creating applications in Java (Android) and Swift (iOS). RN was still a fairly challenging due to its still growing structure.

But thanks to the support of its flourishing community, Yeti came into existence much faster than expected. Due to the modular construction of React, the team could focus on design components targeting different devices and reuse those bricks to build unified interface.

Google PlayApp Store

 

12) Walmart

While trading on a future path to becoming the global leader in online retail space, Walmart wanted to make a bold move that puts them on top of the competition.

Walmart - react native app

They turned to technology as it always does to redefine their customer experience and take it to the next level with innovative technologies. After adding Node.js to their tech stack, Walmart decided to write the entire app in React Native.

Walmart - rating - react native app

By doing so, it improved its performance on iOS and Android and finished the project in short time span. The greatest advantage for Walmart with RN is that the app had 95% of shared codebase across platforms.

Google PlayApp Store

 

13) Tesla

The world’s most talked about creators of electric cars, Tesla has also signed up for React Native club. By leveraging Facebook’s powerful framework, Tesla developed the application for its electric car and Powerwall battery owners.

Tesla - react native app

At the core of this app lies the function of diagnosing and locating vehicles. It also allows users to control certain parameters to an extent using smartphone.

Tesla - rating - react native app

Though much of the effect of React Native is still undeclared, the customer feedback for the app is quite positive.

Google PlayApp Store

 

 

Read Also: React Js Vs React Native

14.) Skype

This telecommunications application is mainly used for video chats and voice calls over the internet, using devices like phones, PCs, and smartwatches.

Skype

It offers instant messaging services and allows users to transmit and receive multimedia messages. Currently, there are approximately 4.9 million active users.

Skype - rating

Features

  • Let users to make free or low-cost calls locally or internationally
  • Offers a large selection of emoticons and emojis to express yourself
  • Anyone who has Skype and a webcam or compatible smartphone can make free video calls
  • Anyone who has Skype on a mobile device or computer can make free group video calls with friends and family

Google PlayApp Store

 

15) Townske

This social media publishing platform allows people to share and discover any city on earth. In other words, Townske is a community of thousands of local people blogging about the places they love.

townske

With this app, people can share their curated recommendations of a city through beautiful little city guides of up to 11 venues. People searches Townske for recommendations, which gives back the most relevant city guides.

You can look quickly through city guides and ‘like’ anything that you may like to visit later.

Makemytrip - rating

Features

  • No need to create account
  • Allows you to create a list of the places that you may like to visit and share it with your friends
  • Helps you to discover nearby places

Google PlayApp Store

 

Conclusion

With React Native gaining massive traction already in the most dynamic space of mobile app development, there is no wonder we will see more custom applications written using this framework.

mobile app development

These big names are enough to explain what the technology is worth and what it can do for your future projects. Its wide community of active contributors presents as another strong reason to choose it.

But to make the most of its potential and trusted performance, you will need to collaborate with a technology partner versed in developing React Native applications.