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[_] React Native vs Native

Tom Spencer fiznool at
Thu May 9 22:18:14 BST 2019

As a React Native developer I agree with everything that Dan has said. It’s
important to remember that React Native is an abstraction - just like any,
you’ll eventually hit the limits of the abstraction, meaning that a RN app
will likely never be as slick a fully native app. If polish is important
from day 1, you should probably take the hit up front and build out fully

If, however, you’d prefer to get something out quickly (e.g. an MVP) in
order to validate your thinking, then RN will likely get you there faster,
particularly if you already have JavaScript and/or React expertise in the
team. You will still need to deal with the individual platforms at some
stage - especially when it comes to beta testing and app submission - but
this can be kept to a minimum, at least to start with. Then, once you have
validated your assumptions and you feel like you are hitting the limits of
RN, you could consider a rewrite.

If you have time, I would suggest building a simple app in both RN and
native iOS/Android, and seeing which you prefer. As Dan mentions, you’ll
likely need to at least understand native iOS/Android code when building a
RN app anyway, so even if you decide to go with RN the knowledge gained in
native will be very useful. You’ll also get valuable experience with Xcode
and Android Studio, and get a feel for how the respective projects are

Finally, as a shameless plug, I provide training for newcomers to the RN
ecosystem, should you need anything of that sort. In addition, I can highly
recommend Dan if you decide to go native! ��

On Thu, 9 May 2019 at 14:00, Daniel Leivers <dan at> wrote:

> 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 <
>>) 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
> AirBnb dropping RN
> Microsoft adopting RN
> FreeAgent going native
> Udemy dropping RN
> Words With Friends adopting RN
> 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
> > On 9 May 2019, at 13:01, Rob Jonson <rob at> 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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