Native mobile application development can be complex. With the complicated environments, verbose frameworks, and long compilation times developers face, developing a quality native mobile application is no easy task. It’s no wonder the market has seen its share of solutions come onto the scene that attempts to solve the problems that go along with native mobile application development and try to make it easier.
At the core of this complexity is the obstacle of cross-platform development. The various platforms are fundamentally different and don’t share much of their development environments, APIs, or code. Because of this, we must have separate teams working on each platform, which is both expensive and inefficient. But this is an exciting time in mobile application development. We’re witnessing a new paradigm in the mobile development landscape, and React Native is at the forefront of this shift in how we build and engineer mobile applications. It’s now possible to build native performing cross-platform apps as well as web applications with a single language and a single team. With the rise of mobile devices and the subsequent increase in demand for talent driving developer salaries higher and higher, React Native brings to the table the ability to deliver quality applications across all platforms at a fraction of the time and cost, while still delivering high-quality user experience and delightful developer experiences.
Introducing react native
There are many benefits to choosing React Native as a mobile application framework. Because the application renders native components and APIs directly, speed and performance are much better than with hybrid frameworks such as Cordova and Ionic.
Things you should know before delving into react native learning curve in 2020
Traditional DOM manipulation is slow and expensive in terms of performance and should be minimized. React bypasses the traditional DOM with something called the virtual DOM: basically, a copy of the actual DOM in memory that only changes when comparing new versions of the virtual DOM to old versions of the virtual DOM. This minimizes the number of DOM operations required to achieve the new state.
Unidirectional data flow
React and React Native emphasize unidirectional, or one-way, data flow. Because of how React Native applications are built, this one-way data flow is easy to achieve.
React takes the idea of diffing and applies it to native components. It takes your UI and sends the smallest amount of data to the main thread to render it with native components.
The UI is declaratively rendered based on the state, and React uses diffing to send the necessary changes over the bridge.
Thinking in components
When building a UI in React Native, it’s useful to think of your application as being composed of a collection of components. Thinking about how a page is set up, you already do this conceptually, but using concepts, names, or class names like header, footer, body, sidebar, and so on. With React Native, you can give these components names that make sense to you and other developers who may be using your code, making it easy to bring new people into a project or hand a project off to someone else.
Suppose a designer has handed you the example mockup shown in the figure below. Let’s think of how to conceptualize this into components. The first thing to do is to mentally break the UI elements into what they represent.
Example app design
With this brief overview, you can start a course on react native