Senior Frontend Developer at Ideamotive.
To help our clients grow their businesses and give their customers experience they look for, we often choose React Native. Naturally, we also follow the news about the solution we use and recommend to our clients.
In this article you’ll see the latest React Native development trends as well as some newly built products. Also, you will have a chance to see what is planned for the upcoming year and what the future will bring.
The good news is that hybrid app platforms are evolving to balance the development cycle and user experience. Among them there are big failures, and there are winners. React Native has become the best-known name for building complex hybrid apps that provide a natural user experience due to its advanced features and the ability to dive into native ones on each platform.
The statistic below is clear enough to understand that React Native is not only alive but thriving.
Cross-platform mobile frameworks used by software developers worldwide in 2019 and 2020 (source: Statista)
Also, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020, RN takes the 6th spot in the ranking with 11.5% of all respondents' votes. Talking about only professional ones, here React Native places 5th with 11.8%.
And of course RN is still one of the most loved product among frameworks, libraries, and tools.
As for the popularity, React Native has been showing relevant growth during the last 5 years.
First and foremost it is a long-awaited React Native 0.62.
The dev team recently announced the release of a new major version of react-native (0.62). Delightfully it contains the performance improvements and critical bug fixes we've all been waiting for - hooray!
So, what are the new features and support tools that have been added to the new version of React Native. Let's see!
These are the main features in the new version of React Native. However, there are other features as well as some breaking changes. Check them here.
As for the next update - 0.63, here are the main changes:
The all-new design of RedBox, YellowBox, and logging capabilities in React Native has three main goals:
These goals are achieved in the following way:
The second major improvement in ReactNative 0.63 is the introduction of a new core feature called Pressable.
The new Pressable API can be used to detect different types of touchscreen interactions. Prior to the introduction of Pressable, components such as Button, TouchableHighlight, TouchableWithoutFeedback, TouchableOpacity, TouchableBounce, and TouchNativeFeedback make your app engaging and interactive by visually informing users of their interactions.
React Native now provides a ready-made solution for using system colors. PlatformColor () is a new API that can be used like any other color in React Native.
More than four years after release, they are discontinuing support for iOS 9. This change will allow us to move faster as we can reduce the number of compatibility checks that need to be put into native code to determine if a feature was supported on a particular version of iOS. With a market share of 1%, it shouldn't have a big negative impact on your customers.
With this change, React Native will have asynchronous rendering capabilities. Hence, it will be easier to handle asynchronous data and also allow multiple rendering priorities.
One of the experts who is currently working on the Fabric project showed that they are applying the lessons they have learned over the past five years. If implemented correctly, the framework will be more efficient and modern. However, existing React Native apps will work without or with minor changes, which is really good news.
Building an application using native languages such as Java, Objective-C and C# will take a lot of time. And if you hire an expert in these languages, it will cost you a fortune.
So what can you do in this situation?
You may prefer React Native to build the next mobile app for your business.
But why are more and more people showing interest in this structure in the past few years?
This is simply because it is a powerful cross-platform mobile app development tool that allows you to create them very quickly.
Let's find out why React Native is worth choosing for mobile app development in 2021.
It may not be as fast as true native applications built in native languages such as Java, Objective-C, and C#. But you'll get almost native performance as it provides you with native components like Image, View and Text.
React Native mobile app is not HTML5, hybrid or mobile web app. Rather, it is a real mobile application.
You can take the performance of your React Native app to the next level by optimizing your app with your own code. Yes, React Native also allows you to use native code. For maximum performance, you can create some functionality in your application using native code and some using React Native.
React Native allows you to create unique, engaging user interfaces with pre-built declarative components like Picker, Button, Slider, Switch, etc. You can also create your own components with TouchableNativeFeedback and TouchableOpacity. There are many iOS and Android components that make it work efficiently on Android and iOS mobile devices.
React Native provides components for text, images, keyboard input, scrollable lists, progress bar, animation, clipboard, links, and more. These components greatly speed up the app development process, and Hot Reloading also saves a lot of time as it allows you to reload the application without having to recompile all the code.
As native frameworks grow, so does the API of each framework. We clearly remember the time before React Native, when we had to update the Android apps to use the latest tools and wasted time deploying iOS.
If your application is built on a native platform, this can be quite time consuming. However, React Native's agile approach makes maintaining app development simple, straightforward, yet cost effective.
Without React Native you'd have to make one app for each platform using different languages (Java or Kotlin for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS). Another option would be to build a hybrid application using e.g. Ionic React (since Ionic decided to support React with their framework), but such an application will never give your users the experience of a native application.
Now you only need to know React and you can come up with an application using device-specific solutions.
Alright, if React Native is as good as we write here, are there any interesting companies using it at all? Of course there are.
If this short list doesn't satisfy you, have a glimpse at our article about best React Native companies and start-up mobile apps. But first, let us tell you, who stands behind the success of React Native.
Although React Native was created by Facebook, it is now surrounded by a vast community of enthusiasts and experts working on its development.
A number of React Native components are also created by the developers not working for Facebook. Their sympathy for this framework ended up in many collections of components, widely available around the internet. A great example is NativeBase — one of the most popular components set for React Native Development.
NativeBase is fully open source and was used in creating a number of interesting free-to-use projects, such as the basic clone of Twitter. If you are planning to win over the world with a new mobile social media app, it provides a great insight into how React Native can be used for implementing login box or profile management into your program. NativeBase is also supporting a number of paid premium starter kits, that cover very specific topics, such as an Uber-like taxi app. Custom mobile app development is now faster than ever thanks to this love of users for React Native.
Microsoft not only owns Skype, one of the companies making use of React Native, but also contributes heavily to the development of the RN ecosystem. It develops a repository that makes it possible to create applications for devices that use Windows 10.
Microsoft also supports React Native in its App Center.
There are also plenty of experts who share their knowledge of React Native Development on blogs and social media. Their number and engagement is another proof of the popularity of the library. We strongly encourage you to explore the best React Native experts & blogs to follow. We prepared a list of 20 most valuable React Native experts on our site.
All in all, 2021 looks bright for React Native.
Popularity of this framework will probably grow. It's still supported by Facebook and this one factor will be responsible for steady growth. Also, users' problems and community suggestions are quickly addressed. Solutions come regularly as parts of next releases.
The team behind the framework is constantly modernizing its architecture. The aim is to make React Native more lightweight by reducing API surface area (and thus migration of formerly built-in WebView, NetInfo and Geolocation into separate, independent projects), and — thanks to this — improve the speed of apps created with the library.
The current Fabric project can change the look of the framework. In addition, a large number of developers and support for multiple platforms are also going to attract more users in the upcoming years.
Vitalii is a veteran frontend developer and mobile developer (with the special <3 for React Native) who likes to explore new technologies, test new tools and discover new approaches.View all author posts
Choosing React Native For Your Mobile Tech Stack
The all-in-one guide for CEOs and Product Owners
Dawid Karczewski 12 min read
Dawid Karczewski 6 min read
Robert Krajewski 11 min read
Patrycja Mach 19 min read
Michał Rejman 9 min read
Work with software development experts from Ideamotive's talent network.