When you have an app developed, the choice of technology is one of the most important choices you have to make. But which flavors can you choose from and what considerations do you make?

Difference between React Native and native development

The most important decision you make is whether you want the app native develop or not. Native development means that the app is programmed directly in Java (for Android) or in Swift (for iOS). You then have two codebases, because you are actually creating the same app twice.

An alternative is to have the app developed with React Native. React Native is a JavaScript framework whose codebase is converted into a native app for both Android and Apple. So one codebase is used to create an app that is suitable for both platforms.

Benefits of creating apps in React Native

React Native has a number of advantages over having an app made in Java or Swift. The most important is the aforementioned codebase. Because you only have one codebase, you don't have to invest money and energy on two variants of the app in two different programming languages. It simply saves time when you only have to create an app in React Native.

In addition, React Native is based on JavaScript and React. JavaScript is a programming language and React is a JavaScript framework that allows you to easily create interactive user interfaces. Both are very popular and widely used in website development. So many programmers can program in JavaScript and there are quite a few programmers who can create something with React Native. Java and Swift, on the other hand, have a steeper learning curve. As a result, there are fewer programmers who can really build a native app from A to Z.

Because there are simply more programmers who develop in React Native and because it is less complex, the hourly rates for that work are usually slightly lower. Native development in Java or Swift is slightly more specialized, so the prices are logically slightly higher.

Seamless integration of React Native apps with other digital channels

Just like native apps, React Native apps are very flexible. You can easily link your app to your website or to any other system. This way you can exchange data between one channel and another. And that is useful, for example when you also want to give your registered users access to your app. But even when you publish certain content on your website, you can easily present it in an app. An app in React Native can therefore be integrated with other systems and technologies just as flexibly as a native app.

Are there also limitations?

With React Native you can build a full-fledged app that provides a very good experience for the user, that is future-proof and that is easy to maintain. There are exceptions in which native development is preferred.

This is especially the case when you have an app that makes very intensive use of the certain hardware in the smartphone. Think of the gyroscope, microphone or advanced applications with the camera such as AR. When you develop in Java or Swift, you often have a little more control over the control of these components. With Java and Swift you can program 'closer to the hardware', so if you demand a lot from the hardware in your app, native development is preferred.

Games are also a category of apps that you prefer to develop natively. Games require a lot of computing power from the smartphone and must run very smoothly for the user, otherwise the user experience is reduced. Every millisecond in performance counts, so you want to program as efficiently as possible. Games are therefore almost always developed natively.

How do you make the right choice?

The most important first step is that you have a create functional design with wireframes of your app. You then know exactly which screens should be included in your app and which functionalities should be available to the user per screen.

Together with the use cases Then discuss with your internet agency which technology is most suitable. Do you want to do fancy things with AR, filters or audio? Then native development is probably the best choice for you. Do you want a branded content app, catalog or interactive platform? Then React Native can provide you with a full-fledged app!