Mobile Development

React-Native Facebook’s mobile development library

A non technical overview.

We would like to thank Josh FrankFollow Product Manager @revelrylabs. This article is taken from his medium post.

In this article, I’ll share some common frustrations about building cross-platform mobile applications; a bit about React Native and what it does; why we’re excited about it and who is using it; and, finally, an example of our first internal test to define, design, and launch a micro-product in just one week.

What is React Native?

Let’s start with what it is not: React Native is NOT a “hybrid” or “HTML5/mobile web app.” From the source:
“With React Native … You build a real mobile app that’s indistinguishable from an app built using Objective-C or Java. React Native uses the same fundamental UI building blocks as regular iOS and Android apps. You just put those building blocks together using JavaScript and React.”

Unlike hybrid apps of the past that are written in pure HTML/CSS/JavaScript and then embedded in an internet browser wrapped inside an “app” facade, React Native does two primary things: first, it uses JavaScript to call and use native components, modules, and functionality; and second, it allows the creation of custom components directly via JavaScript. The React app runs native code and custom JavaScript on separate threads. This means the application receives all of the first-class benefits of being a native app, including fast touch events and scrolling, use of native interface libraries and hardware APIs, and more.

In short, a React Native app acts, looks, and feels like an app exclusively written in native code!
There are other solutions that try to do this as well, including Corona and Unity on the high-end gaming side and Appcelerator on the JavaScript side and we’ve tried them, too. However, since our browser-based applications are now being developed with React, decreased development time and a shared code base is key.

Startup Advantages

We think this is important for companies at all stages because the days of building for just one platform are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Choosing a technology stack that allows for the potential of both a smaller development team and one that leverages a greater pool of talent (by allowing JavaScript developers to contribute); one that allows for such a significant amount of shared code between native platforms; and one that allows for incremental testing, updates, and releases without app store approval processes all seem like a great fit for companies that need to iterate and move fast with small teams.

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