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[_] React Native vs Native

Daniel Leivers dan at sofaracing.com
Thu May 9 13:59:29 BST 2019

Hi Rob,

I’m totally biased (as a native iOS and Android developer) and this topic comes up a lot at a Meetup I help run (SWmobile <https://meetup.com/swmobile>) from people on both sides.

The breakdown often comes out something like:

Native:
- "Feels like it should”
- Separate code for iOS and for Android, so takes potentially longer to build
- Updating between major OS version changes is generally trivial
- Popular open source libraries are generally of a high standard

React Native:
- Build most/some of the app once (depending what you’re doing) so is potentially quicker to build
- There’s still often a need to dive in to native code on both platforms depending what you’re doing (so you can’t completely eliminate knowledge of both platforms and their native languages)
- Open source libraries are a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality
- Can be non-trivial to update between versions of RN

You’ll find lots of arguments on the web for and against either approach:
Not chasing RN or native https://arielelkin.github.io/articles/why-im-not-a-react-native-developer
AirBnb dropping RN https://medium.com/airbnb-engineering/sunsetting-react-native-1868ba28e30a
Microsoft adopting RN https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/06/microsoft-launches-react-native-for-windows/
FreeAgent going native https://link.medium.com/tF1BO5dXaW
Udemy dropping RN https://engineering.udacity.com/react-native-a-retrospective-from-the-mobile-engineering-team-at-udacity-89975d6a8102
Words With Friends adopting RN https://medium.com/zynga-engineering/why-how-words-with-friends-is-adopting-react-native-b24a405f421c

Unfortunately it’s not particularly clear cut, and I’m trying my best not to just tell you to just do native (but I am a native dev and think you should just choose native ��).

Dan

https://otaku.dev

> On 9 May 2019, at 13:01, Rob Jonson <rob at hobbyistsoftware.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi Folks,
> 
> some old friends of mine are looking to build a utility app for a financial
> service.
> Apple & Android. It has to be slick. Think Revolut in terms of utility /
> production values.
> 
> Their likely options are either
> 
> - Agile iOS native build with Android dev following rapidly behind as
> sections get completed/locked down
> - React Native
> 
> Can anyone share any experience on the React Native side? How well does it
> deliver on the promise of 'build once for both platforms'? How much
> additional build pain is there?
> 
> thanks,
> 
> Rob
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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