React Native, when is it right for your business?

A blog about whether React Native and whether it's a good fit for your business needs.

As far as I’m aware, every business is looking to be as lean as possible without causing impact to their product or service.

If you're a digital business with web and mobile platforms serving the same content, then one potential efficiency is moving to development in React Native. Without doubt there's emotions and a little bit of controversy attached to shifting away from individual iOS & Android dev teams and rationalising to a single team releasing to those platforms using React Native.

One thing I need to be clear about, is that I would never walk into a potential client and purposely irritate them by choosing React Native because it suits our needs over theirs. We only ever match the solution to the problem presented. Our starting point is "what is the most efficient solution for your business in the short and/or long term?" I personally don't understand why any consultancy wouldn't use it this as a starting point. From here, you then allow the client to ruminate and decide if they really want to disrupt the organisational status quo to gain the obvious ROI and benefits.

There isn't a perfect formula to the selection of React Native, but if you have a fairly high commonality between your web and mobile platforms, you can place a pretty safe bet that it makes sense. You might get some people throwing up reasons why React Native won't work in your business which were valid anywhere up to six months ago, but good technology improves damn quickly when switched on companies see the benefits. There's nothing like a quick prototype to see if they're right. So I’d suggest if you’re considering the technology for your business, hive off a small prototype to prove it for yourselves.

With React Native you have the opportunity to rationalise to a single dev team and your releases are never in trouble of being out of synch (as you push down to all platforms with one release). There are of course some areas to tread carefully as you may not always have consistent libraries across iOS and Android, but experienced developers should know where the pitfalls are.

Facebook created React Native and you would expect they’re able to describe it’s applicability perfectly, and well…….they do…. “With React Native, you don't build a "mobile web app", an "HTML5 app", or a "hybrid app". You build a real mobile app that's indistinguishable from an app built using Objective-C or Java. React Native uses the same fundamental UI building blocks as regular iOS and Android apps. You just put those building blocks together using JavaScript and React.”

Plenty of other well known companies are using React Native, and if you’re a business looking to reduce spend, then I'd urge you to consider it carefully because, in certain scenarios, it seems like a no brainer to me.

GuideSmiths have the project miles under our belt, therefore feel free to get in touch if you wanted to know more about where we’ve successfully implemented this for household brands.

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