Tech Talk

Why React Native is here to stay

by Vaibhav Pant

Why React Native is here to stay

When you think of React Native, most likely the associations linked with it is a Cross Platform development tool for iOS and Android, and this is the domain the vast majority of React Native developers practice the language.

Often when people are evaluating the technologies that their system will be using, when React Native is discussed, it’s often in conjunction with the likes of Flutter, Cordova, Ionic, Xarmin, and other Cross Platform Development tools; with each one bringing their advantages and disadvantages. Comparisons include performance, native vs hybrid built apps, existing skill set of the team and how internal resources can best be diversified and used for the project. However, one thing I’ve found that isn’t discussed in favour of React Native that often; the sheer scalability of frameworks built off React Native can be used to deploy to different devices and environments.

React Native & Metaverse

With the tech world evolving with the metaverse concept, it would be ill mentioned that React Native is already positioned to take advantage of those features. With ViroReact, one can build and deploy projects for Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Cardboard for iOS and Android, all while being built with React Native. It imports delightful development tools similar to Hot Reloading, and you don’t necessarily need to create an entire application off scratch from it, you can hook it into an existing React Native code base, but probably best of all, it runs natively on your hardware, while doing a lot of the heavy lifting, which enables you to integrate physically-based rendering (PBR), high-dynamic range (HDR), and realtime lighting and shadows. You can even use real-world mechanics to your objects with Viro’s own physics engine with it’s own particle system. To learn more about ViroReact and how to get started, head over here

Applications of ReNative Framework

Another framework rarely known and discussed about is ReNative, quoted to be “React Native on Steroids”. The deployment of this framework involves a wide array of potential deployment targets. You can use React Native to deploy your project to the browser, to TV, to the native environments of Mac OS and Windows as a desktop app, with wearables, and more. It can support not only React Native but can also hook in with React, NextJS, and Electron (Javascript reigns supreme), and supports standard React Native community driven plugins. The configurations are scalable, and if you need to customise your own build hook ReNative provides a process for that to easily occur. To learn more about ReNative and get started, head over here

Interoperability

Now you may be telling yourself that these features aren’t supported by React Native in itself and relies on frameworks (not that that’s a bad thing), and to that, I raise you the React Native Many Platform Vision, which can be found here. Emily Janzer at the React Native EU 2019 laid out the entire roadmap for React Native, but one particular thing to note is Fabric, and it will change the future of React Native. It supports essentially the points made earlier; it aims to make the react native community and it’s tools more interoperable with other platforms than regular iOS and Android. Asynchronous rendering is in the pipeline as I write, and a rewritten Native bridging, solving many performance issues that have plagued the framework when looked at in comparison with competing frameworks. With the migration of Facebook’s mobile app to now being powered by the new Fabric renderer, we can see the RN being shifted from community driven development to Meta getting behind and investing within the React Native framework.

Final Thoughts

So the next time you’re discussing which tech stack to proceed down, ask yourself whether your project will at all be considering expanding or scaling into these environments and whether the future of where React Native is heading (and Meta’s vision for it), aligns with yours; overlooking RN’s capabilities and scalability could mean you’re missing out in streamlining operational costs, and reducing your profit margins.