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Is React Native Dead? What Is The Best Alternative?

Is React Native dead What is the best alternative

React Native is an open-source JavaScript-based framework for developing mobile apps. Ever since React Native was released to the public in 2015, it has gained immense popularity among mobile app developers. This is because it allows developers familiar with the framework to build cost-effective, cross-platform Android and iOS apps. Additionally, it enables developers to build reusable components to speed up app development. React native is not dead, but weirdly, despite being popular it is in fact at the time of writing, a beta version [1].

While there are several advantages of React Native, it is fair to say there are also limitations which some might find a barrier to adoption. For this reason it’s definitely worth considering other cross-platform development frameworks and the advantages they might have.

What Is React Native?

React Native is a JavaScript framework (based on React) for mobile app development. Facebook (now Meta) developed it in 2013 for internal use but released it to the public in 2015. The open-source framework became a hot topic among mobile app developers, particularly because it supports cross-platform mobile app development. This means developers can build apps for both Android and iOS with the same code. Its hot reload feature also gained a lot of popularity. Hot reload allows developers to make and see changes to the app while it’s running without recompiling it. Another thing that people like about React Native is that anyone with knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS can get started with it relatively quickly. It uses a native bridge process which runs on the device and provides the wrapping of React components to native components such as buttons and labels.

Is React Native Dead What Is The Best Alternative The Ract Native homepage banner
The React Native homepage

Is React Native dead?

It won’t be fair to say that React Native is dead but we know from our research that a significant number of people are searching for just that phrase. The internet is a very harsh place when people are searching for news of your product’s demise when you’ve not even made it to version 1 status yet!

While many companies and developers adopt React Native on the understanding that they feel it will allow them to build apps faster and more efficiently, the question is, does it really boost productivity?

What are the downsides of React Native?

React Native has inefficient Debugging

Developers usually find it difficult to debug the apps built with react native. These apps use different programming languages, such as C++, Java, and JavaScript, which makes the debugging process slow. Hence, developers need to have a solid understanding of the platform’s native language. Additionally, react native apps sometimes crash during debugging, and the React Native logs aren’t really helpful. That’s why many developers use a tool like Flipper that makes debugging more manageable and enables access to native logs.

It can be difficult to learn the framework beyond the basics

React Native apparently has a short learning curve – if you know JavaScript and HTML, you can learn React Native quickly. However, many developers find that React Native requires continuous learning. This is because the framework is still rapidly evolving and experiences frequent updates, at least monthly, and almost every update has major changes. Some developers say this cadence can cause them problems keeping up, particularly if one of the monthly changes is a breaking change.

Additionally, to create fully functional apps beyond the front-end, developers must have a sound knowledge of additional different languages involved in Android and iOS app development such as Java and Objective-C or Swift.

Is React Native Dead What Is The Best Alternative Multiple devices on a desktop

React Native can be a problem for more complex apps

If you’re working on a basic app like a checklist app, React Native is definitely a great choice. It’ll let you develop the app quickly for Android and iOS without needing to write the code for each OS separately. However, things start to get more tricky when you build an app that involves animations, screen transitions, and interactions. It’s because APIs of Android and iOS apps are fairly different from each other.

For more complex and sophisticated apps built with React Native, developers usually have to make adjustments for each platform, which can be time-consuming. The bigger companies who have used React Native for their apps such as Meta or Microsoft have multi-discipline development teams with front end developers who are able to work entirely with the JavaScript and HTML areas and back-end developers who focus on the custom iOS and Android code necessary to pull everything together. This approach might be a luxury that smaller companies and development teams cannot emulate either because they do not have the personnel or the budget.

It can be difficult to track the source of a problem

If an issue occurs in React Native app, sometimes it’s quite challenging and time-consuming to track down the source. You need to figure out whether the issue is with:

  • The native Android or iOS platform
  • The React Native platform itself
  • A third-party component

This can, of course, be true for other programming solutions too but the success of React Native in encapsulating the mobile app’s user interface into an abstract mechanism like React UI code also helps to obscure the source of an app’s incorrect behavior or an error message. A quick internet search for React Native error handling shows how frustrated we developers can get when something simply refuses to work the way it should!

What Is the best alternative to React Native? 

Is React Native dead RAD Studio is the best alternative

If you’re looking for a React Native alternative to build high-performance, cross-platform apps, we think RAD Studio is the best choice. It supports both the Delphi and C++ languages to help you build modern apps.

Here are the key features of RAD Studio that make it the best tool for mobile app development:

RAD Studio’s IDE helps enhance your productivity

RAD Studio is a comprehensive IDE for developing cross-platform native mobile and Windows apps. It allows you to build apps five times faster than some alternatives with a single code base for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Your programs and apps use a single set of source code files, all written in the same programming language: either the really easy to learn Delphi or the venerable, powerful C++. When you use the FireMonkey FMX cross platform framework for your apps all the targets – Windows, macOS, iOS, Android – can use the same single set of source code with no complicated additional code from languages like Java, Objective-C or Swift required. The user interface is designed with a point and click integrated UI designer view within the RAD Studio IDE. Once you’ve created your app for the first time, swapping from outputting a iOS app to an Android app is a double click and then selecting “build” and “deploy”.

Additionally, RAD Studio comes with powerful compilers and debuggers and rich UI and database libraries. These tools and features allow you to create everything from basic to complex apps that are fully functional. It has official support for the latest versions of Windows, iOS, macOS, and Android.

Does your IDE have smart code editing features?

RAD Studio offers a number of smart code editing features that help build high-performance apps faster. Additionally, the apps built with RAD Studio don’t consume too much memory of the device they are running on.

RAD Studio has several features to speed up development:

  • Auto code completion
  • Smart code navigation
  • Array suggestions while assigning arrays
  • LSP awareness of Include files and more
  • C++ Code formatter for automating the layout of C++ code using clang-format
  • Hints and tips from inline documentation while coding

Is your chosen cross platform development framework a low-code development solution?

Low-code development platforms allow even non-developers to build functional apps. These platforms come with a drag-and-drop interface for quick app development. RAD has FireMonkey Low-Code Wizard that enables users to build high-performance Delphi mobile applications with multiple screens.   FireMonkey is a cross-platform development framework that helps create responsive UIs. This means the mobile apps built with RAD Studio are highly optimized for every platform. You can also modify these apps as needed.

The low-code wizard lets you choose from several application screens:

  • User accounts (sign in, sign up, etc.,)
  • Terms of use
  • Settings screen
  • Privacy policy
  • About
  • Contacts
  • Data and more

RAD Studio has impressive debugging capabilities

RAD Studio and Delphi have powerful debuggers that allow developers to detect and fix bugs in their code instantly.

RAD Studio’s debugger allows you to:

  • Trace the execution route of the code
  • Add breakpoints – you can pause the program conditionally or at a specific location
  • Inspect the current value of variables and more 

In a separate article, we present a and how plethora of facts and information about the best low code platforms and how your organization can reduce costs by automating tasks using them.

Are you ready to use the best tool for creating high-performance mobile apps? Head over to RAD Studio and try its impressive features today!

[1] The version of React Native at the time of writing is 0.98. The “0” is used to indicate that the project believes the framework has not yet reached an initial release status. Source: https://reactnative.dev/versions

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