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For quite some time now, there has been a very good alternative for native development — and that is cross-platform development. Not only does platform-agnostic app development reduce expenses, but also provides code reusability, allows you to reach wider audiences, and speeds up time to market.

React Native application development is a thriving solution today. So, how does React Native work? In this article, we’ll discuss what is React Native, explore its benefits and popularity, and examine when it’s the right choice for you, and when it’s not a solution for your needs.

What is React Native?

Let’s begin with the definition. So, what is React Native? React Native is an open-source framework created by Meta (formerly Facebook) with a declarative programming paradigm for building native mobile apps using JavaScript. React Native combines the best parts of native development with React, a best-in-class JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

“Most companies developing mobile apps on the current native stacks must compromise in some way. Either on productivity (developing the same product multiple times with different engineers on different stacks), on quality (making low-quality apps), or on scope (focusing on a single platform). The path towards stopping these compromises is inventing new mobile stacks—like React Native,” says Tal Kol, ex-head of Mobile Engineering at in an interview.

Today, many companies prefer to build their apps using React Native as a solution because one can write nearly all of the code in JavaScript and share it across iOS and Android apps without needing to pay for two separate teams of developers to maintain two different code bases.

The reasons for React Native’s success are threefold: cost efficiency, short learning curve, and competitive performance. Creating a single code base for both platforms results in large monetary and time savings, while you can build robust and high-quality mobile applications. Additionally, the framework is based on React, a JavaScript library that has already been widely adopted by software engineers.

What is Cross-Platform Development?

Before diving into the usage of React Native app developmentand the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, let’s discuss cross-platform app development. A practice that enables simultaneous deployment across various operating systems, cross-platform application development delivers apps that run on iOS, Android, and various web solutions.

As opposed to building native apps, which requires hiring two separate teams to write the code for both iOS and Android apps, the platform-agnostic approach works with the same code base.

Benefits of Cross-platform Development

Numerous companies have discovered the benefits of cross-platform development solutions allowing them to build faster and cheaper. Let’s take a look at the advantages of cross-platform apps development in this next part.

Wider Reach

By targeting multiple platforms, including iOS and Android users at the same time, businesses can expand their potential audience pool without exceeding their budgets. Cross-platform development also shortens time to market, which allows organizations to achieve profitability faster.

Faster Time to Market

Sometimes, delaying the release by even a few weeks can be detrimental to the app’s overall success. By launching your product faster, you can take advantage of the current market situation and fill in the gap with your solution before anyone else beats you to it.

Cost Reduction

On average, cross-platform app development can save you up to 30-40% of project costs. Having the same code base across platforms significantly simplifies and accelerates the maintenance of the applications. Paired with code reusability, platform-agnostic apps are significantly cheaper compared to developing native elements separately.

When to Use React Native for Cross-platform Mobile Development

The choice of type of development comes at the very beginning of the project which makes it vital to make the right decision early on. While native mobile apps development suits solutions that require writing code for the majority of the solution’s functionality, cross-platform frameworks are perfect for projects that share the same business logic, functionality, and UI for all platforms. Is React Native good for mobile app developmentin your particular case?

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

React Native mobile application development is a great option for MVPs and proof of concepts (PoCs) that provide an affordable way of testing in the real world. Instead of launching a fully-fledged solution, companies release a simplified version of it to gather feedback and make improvements. React Native’s cost-efficiency and popularity allow businesses to create MVPs without much investment.

JavaScript Developers Available

Being among the most beloved programming languages, JavaScript is used by 63% of developers worldwide. This makes the hiring process substantially easier. If you already have JavaScript coders on staff or are working with an external partner who’s proficient in this technology, React Native mobile appbuilding is the right choice for you.

Custom Design with Standard UIs

React Native comes with a slew of UI components that make app creation easier and more effective. This technology is perfect for applications with straightforward user interfaces that can be quickly assembled by an engineer. The comprehensive suite of libraries and tools allows companies to build simple software solutions without breaking the bank.

When React Native is Not the Appropriate Choice

Consider opting out of React Native mobile app developmentwhen creating complex interfaces with sophisticated animations and hard computations. Although it doesn’t mean that this mobile framework cannot be used at all, app development will likely require more effort and expertise from the team. Let’s discuss the cases that aren’t suitable forReact Native, meaningyou should choose a different technology.

Native Dependency

Although React Native does provide numerous native components, some platform-specific functions may lack the required support. React Native developmentis still applicable in this case, but it demands additional expertise in writing custom code and including third-party libraries. 

Complex UIs

As mentioned before, React Native is not the best at handling complex user interfaces. If a complex custom design with heavy sophisticated animations is at the core of your product, React Native mobile development may be detrimental to meeting your objectives.

Who Uses React Native?

React Native was announced by Facebook in 2015. Facebook engineers Daniel Witte and Philipp von Weitershausen say in a blog post on the official Facebook Engineering blog, “We were able to ship Facebook’s first fully React Native app on two platforms, with native look and feel, built by the same team of JavaScript engineers. Not all of the engineers were familiar with React when they joined the team, yet they built an iOS app with a native look and feel in just five months. And after an additional three months, we released the Android version of the app.”

After a long time, hundreds of updates, fixes, and additions of functionality released, today, version РН 0.73.4/ February 2024 is the most up-to-date version of React Native.

Due to its popularity and convenience, thousands of apps are using React Native for mobile app development—be it Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Skype, Uber Eats, or Bloomberg, there are many brands and top-notch applications that use the React Native framework to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

React Native App Development Benefits

Below we list the major pros, or top reasons, why to choose React Native for mobile app development. So, why use React Native in your projects?

Reusable React Native Code

Using React Native, developers don’t need to create two separate native apps for different platforms (iOS or Android), as Javascript could be used for both. Specifically, the ability to reuse code increases efficiency, brings super-quick development results, and reduces cost. Also, the app development process considerably speeds up due to the existing open-source libraries, including UI ones.

Moreover, if a company already has a web app on React, some of this code can be reused to create a mobile application. Allowing the reuse of almost the entirety of the source code, React Native mobile development enables smooth and consistent performance on iOS and Android.

Hot and Live Reloading and Code Push

React Native app development has hot and live reloading functions at its core. This enables developers to work with code changes in real-time and make fixes while the app is loading: the live feature automatically reloads the entire application after changes are made, while hot reloading only reloads a specific area of the change, so it eases the development and testing process.

Additionally, React Native provides the code push function that aids developers in deploying changes and fixes directly to the app. Traditionally, apps have to go through the Google Play Store and App Store to release updates or security patches. On the contrary, React Native development allows businesses to circumvent this obstacle and deliver new features more frequently.

This makes the first point even more justifiable, making application development faster, more efficient, and more intuitive.

Truly Native Feel

React Native components map 1:1 with native ones. This allows developers to draw interfaces faster, increase the agility of the app, and create an authentic, native feel that is impalpable from the native app. React Native is also compliant with native software and can seamlessly integrate with the existing code, which makes it ideal for adding quick extensions to existing native applications.

Third-party Plugin Support

React Native is still evolving, so components that would meet some specific business needs may be missing. To overcome this, React Native provides two types of third-party plugins: JavaScript-based and native modules.

For example, if you need to integrate Google Maps into your application, React Native gives you the ability to link any plugin with a native or third-party module. 

Community Support and Industry Popularity

React Native has the biggest community among all cross-platforms. The greatest benefit of having a strong group of loyal contributors is the help available to developers. You can get help from React Native community experts or find libraries of relevant information that you can use to develop React Native-based applications, as it’s an open-source platform. There’s also the Reactiflux Discord Channel if you need to get an immediate answer to any question. Also worth mentioning is a large number of tutorials on React Native.

Cost Efficiency 

A React Native appunlocks striking cost savings that help companies build robust solutions on a tight budget. The platform agnosticism paired with code reusability makes this technology highly affordable for businesses. Moreover, with JavaScript being one of the most well-known languages among developers, finding the right talent will not be a problem.

UI Native Components

The production-ready UI native components significantly simplify the app’s interface design and building which in return saves resources. Furthermore, the components facilitate a responsive design and fast loading time which improves the overall performance of the React Native mobile app.

Near-native Speed

A common misconception is that React Native appsrun slower compared to native solutions. Although technically true, the difference is so minute that an average user will never notice it. Considering the generous cost reduction that cross-platform app development offers, React Native applications demonstrate near-native speeds. It’s important to mention that the performance of your application will vary depending on the device and the app’s complexity.

Downsides of React Native Mobile Application Development

No matter how great the technology seems to be, nothing comes without any shortcomings. Before investing in a new tech stack, take some time to thoroughly evaluate it and make sure it’s the right choice for you. In this next section, we’ll examine the disadvantages of building applications on React Native.

Lack of Support for iOS & Android Features

Using React Native for mobile app development can be hindered if platform-specific features are integral. Writing custom native modules and utilizing third-party libraries will help you circumvent this drawback albeit making the project more complex.

Performance is Lower than Native Apps

Importantly to note, despite all its advantages, JavaScript does perform slower than native apps. The main reason for the reduced performance is the bridge between JS and React Native. However, in 2022, React Native released a new version 0.68 that offers the New Architecture with a bridge update that has significantly boosted its performance.

Lack of Power for Complex UI

If you need many animations, integrations, and lots of processes in the background of your app—React Native isn’t a good choice here. In terms of screens with complex gestures, developers may have some difficulty, because the iOS and Android touch subsystems are too different to use a unified API.

Native Developers are Still Needed

In case your software solution requires a customer-native module, you’ll need a developer who’s proficient in the native language like Swift or Kotlin. Incorporating original code into React Native requires a great level of expertise and know-how and may increase the project budget. 

How Much Does React Native App Development Cost?

No one can tell you exactly how much it’ll cost to develop an application without studying your business, goals, and project ideas. Moreover, developer rates can largely differ from country to country, making the price range even bigger. Let’s investigate which factors can play a significant role in the final cost of React Native app development.


App complexity is measured by the number of advanced features and technologies involved in the app production. For example, third-party integrations will increase the final bill. Functionalities like payment systems, maps, and social media integrations are almost essential for many apps. While integrations are a much more affordable alternative to building from scratch, they do drive up the cost.

A comprehensive admin panel with data analytics features that help the business owner monitor and improve app performance is also a significant expense. Additionally, the latest technological breakthroughs like AR also make the development more expensive. However, it’s recommended to start with a simplified MVP before adding more complex features in the later stages.

App Maintenance

React Native application development does not end with the app launch. Mobile solutions require continuous and ongoing support and maintenance to ensure the application is running smoothly. The costs of maintenance are determined by the overall app complexity.

Development Team

While some businesses have a seasoned team of developers on their staff, others outsource their projects to IT agencies. If you decide to outsource, the costs are contingent on the company’s expertise, reputation, and experience. 

Another determinant is the location of your React Native IT partner. While tech companies in the US and Western Europe charge up to 55 USD per hour, their counterparts from Eastern Europe and Latin America offer the same services for 25 to 30 USD.

React Native’s Popularity and Perspective

The number of libraries and frameworks for JavaScript is steadily growing. Every year there are new “killers” that promise better performance, more usability, and fewer bugs. This process can’t be stopped, it just remains to be monitored so that you don’t end up in a situation where your stack is outdated.

Let’s look at the current state of the market. Based on 2023 statistics, it’s clear that React Native is widely used in mobile software development. You can learn more details about React vs Flutter features based on the opinion of NIX experts.

How to Choose the Right React Native Partner

When looking for a software development company to tackle your project, it’s imperative to test their technical acumen and soft skills. In the abundance of React Native specialists on the market, selecting the right agency may feel overwhelming. In this next section, we’ll offer some tips on how to test the potential partner to ensure a successful collaboration.


Considering that React Native is based on JavaScript, solid proficiency in this programming language is the number one prerequisite for a good developer. An in-depth understanding and lengthy experience with JavaScript are absolutely crucial for this role. Check the company’s website and references to determine how well it is familiar with the language.

ES6 and React

ES6 is an upgraded version of JavaScript that provides standardization. When looking for a development team, test their knowledge of both ES6 and React to make sure they have enough expertise to build your application.

React Native

Obviously, solid expertise in React Native itself is also vital for your project. From libraries and UI components to features like Hot Reloading and React Native CLI, test a potential partner on their skills, check their portfolio, and make sure their knowledge is up-to-date with recent releases.

Back End

In case your project requires backend development, choose a React Native team that has experience with back end technology. With the back end being the behind-the-curtains of the app, it’s crucial to cooperate with developers who can deliver a high-quality system.

State Management Tools

If you’re building an enterprise-level solution or a web application, you’ll require a clear understanding of state management tools. Although managing the React Native application state can be a challenging task, there are numerous solutions that will aid you. Make sure the React Native mobile app developmentcompany is well-versed in Redux, MobX, Zustand, and other tools for state management. 


React Native provides specific tools to create apps with easy navigation. Verify the IT partner’s experience with the React Navigation package to ensure your solution is easy to use.

Quality Assurance

Application testing is one of the most integral parts of the entireReact Native application development life cycle. Identifying issues, fixing bugs, and running rigorous tests will ensure that the app is ready for production. When interviewing a potential candidate, ask them about the QA procedures and best practices to build a high-performance application.

Soft Skills

Aside from technical prowess, a reliable partner needs to possess great communication skills to avoid misunderstandings, delays, and errors. While conducting interviews to choose a React Native team, pay close attention to the way they communicate with your company. An agency that responds to you promptly, is open about their previous projects, and answers questions regarding their mode of operations and practices can become a trustworthy partner.

Additionally, make sure the React Native company has a good command of English to establish easy communication. A language barrier can play a major role in the project’s success, especially in the discovery phase. Finally, evaluate how well the organization fits within your corporate culture, values, and vision.

B2B review platforms are a great source for businesses choosing an IT partner. Make sure to check sites like Clutch and G2 to get to know your future colleagues from the customer’s perspective.

Red Flags of a React Native App Development Company

How can you assess whether the company may not be a good fit for you? In this next part, we have compiled a few red flags that should deter you from partnering up with an agency.

Lack of React Native Projects

A prospective React Native partner should be able to demonstrate an extensive library of successful projects written with the framework. JavaScript knowledge is another essential part of the fruitful collaboration. If the company lacks solid experience in either technology, consider looking for someone else.

Poor Communication

An organization that takes too long to get back to your calls and emails and doesn’t share continuous updates will not make a good partner. During the vetting process, take note of how quickly and exhaustively they answer your questions and inquiries. If they seem evasive with some important questions, it can be considered a red flag.

Subpar Quality Assurance

A React Native tech company without a professional team of testers is a big red flag. Although coding is a vital competency, quality assurance is what makes the app ready for release. Inquire about the technologies they use for testing as well as the best practices they rely on to ensure the utmost security and performance of a mobile app.

Substandard Project Management

Another essential part of React Native development, project management can determine how smooth and effective the development is. App building involves multiple stages, strict deadlines, budget planning, and much more. All of these factors and procedures need to be constantly monitored and assessed to ensure the React Native project is moving in the right direction. Lack of project management will inevitably lead to delays, wasted resources, bugs in the app, and other harmful issues.

Lack of Post-release Maintenance

As already mentioned, software development does not end with the launch. In fact, your application will require ongoing updates to improve functionality and remove vulnerabilities. Without ongoing support, you can jeopardize the safety of your and your users’ data. Make sure your React Native partner will be there for you even after the successful launch to guarantee the app performs how it’s supposed to.

Too Good to Be True

If the company’s promises are too good to be true, they probably are. Stay away from agencies that agree to unrealistic timelines and budgets. Either they lack the experience to evaluate their resources or they will cut corners and deliver a poor final product.

Why You Should Use React Native App Development in Your Next Project

Let’s explore why you should use React Native in a real-life case study. An example that illustrates the implementation of React Native, is a mobile application for quest seekers.

The app needed two main features:

  • Anybody can become an author and create their own quests through the app
  • All interested parties can download the app, choose their location, pick one of the journeys, come to the starting point, and go on to solve the riddles

To get a maximum number of users without exceeding the client’s available resources like time and money, the NIX team offered to develop cross-platform mobile applications using React Native to cover both iOS and Android platforms.

Buildforce on React Native—NIX Expertise

Buildforce is a cross-Platform mobile app aimed to connect contractors and workers in the construction industry. Our experts tackled both front-end and back-end for seamless product development. Leveraging React Native and Bitrise, NIX built a cross-platform app with a user-friendly design, accelerating delivery and streamlining the process. Side-by-side with the client’s team, we developed a cross-platform app that helps electricians discover new opportunities effortlessly within the state. This collaborative effort is now live and empowering the Texas electrical workforce.

You can find out more details about the Buildforce project here.


React Native Mobile App Conclusion—When to Choose

React Native delivers a lot of unique benefits—however, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and your choice of technology stack largely depends on your business idea, whether you’re a start-up or a prosperous business guru.

What is React Native used for?

  • Projects with easy functionality
  • Attractive design and efficient interfaces, such as eCommerce and social media
  • Apps based on JavaScript
  • Rapid development in short iterations.

But React Native might be not a solution for the following: 

  • Complex visualization
  • Feature-heavy gaming
  • When building rich multimedia apps with a lot of background processes
  • Platform-specific apps

We hope you have fewer questions after reading this material, but if there are any left, contact NIX experts. We’ll guide you through the world of mobile software development, answer the question, ”How does React Native work?”, and share our in-depth expertise.


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