Technology

Why you should develop your MVP with React Native

We show you the main advantages of building your first mobile application using this increasingly popular technology.

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React Native is a mobile app development framework that allows startups to build a single, native-like product that works excellent in both iOS and Android. 

Focused on enabling a better user experience, great performance, and rapid development, React native helps teams save time, money, and resources, which is why many startups and different innovative companies are choosing this technology to develop their MVPs.

React Native has gained immense popularity in the past years. Many of the most popular apps in the market, like Instagram, Facebook, and Netflix, use this framework for their mobile products.

In this article, we will explain why most startups decide to develop a Minimum Viable Product at the early stages of their business and the main benefits of using a technology like React Native for mobile projects.


Why build an MVP in the first place? 


Every entrepreneur striving to create a successful product usually faces the following challenges: optimally using available resources, validating users' pains, rapidly discovering if a proposed business model is viable, and achieving a fast release to the market.

That's why building an MVP is a great starting point. It helps quickly solve users' needs, providing a clear value proposition, and building trust and confidence around the product. On top of that, it allows the team to collect valuable learnings about the customers with little effort.

However, developing a viable first version of a mobile product is not easy. A company needs to define which technology they will use to carry out the project, which is vital for its future.

At this point, most startups go for a technology that enables a fast, iterative, and cost-efficient development process.


What is React Native, and why is it so popular?

why you should build your MVP with React Native


React Native is a JavaScript framework that combines the technologies from native development with React, a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. 

Created by Facebook, React Native allows companies to develop a single mobile application that works in both iOS and Android. Unlike other hybrid technologies, Instead of targeting the browser, React Native targets mobile platforms. That means web developers can create a mobile product that looks and feels like a native app.

Because most of the codebase is shared between both operating systems, React Native makes it easy to develop the same app for Android and iOS, using the same business logic, libraries, and services.

React Native is great for developing apps faster and with a lower budget, which helps startups quickly launch a digital product to the market and validate it with real users. 

Its support for third-party plugins also enables teams to integrate new features without the need to code them from scratch.

Here is a quick list of some of the main benefits of using React Native:

  • Single code case – iOS and Android
  • Excellent performance
  • Hot reloading support
  • Modular architecture
  • Simplified User Interface
  • Third-party plugins support
  • Large community support
  • Access to Native API


Advantages of building your MVP with React Native

It allows startups to save money and time


Probably, the most important challenge a new startup has to face is optimally using its available resources to build a product that meets users' needs and expectations. 

In this sense, React Native stands out over other technologies because it allows rapid and cost-efficient development. 

That's mainly because:

It uses JavaScript 


React Native allows teams to write mobile applications using Javascript, which is the world's most popular programming language. 

The main difference with other hybrid technologies like Ionic is that instead of using a browser with HTML+CSS, React Native takes the code and effectively turns it into a native app behind the scenes. 

This means that the entire UI, which ultimately drives the user experience, runs the same technology as the best apps in the market, with no compromises.

Since JavaScript is a scripting language, you don't have to wait for the code to be compiled. Thanks to advanced JavaScript engines such as V8, the operational speed is almost as good as in compiled languages.

Besides, JavaScript is a simple language to learn and implement, and documentation and resources for the most common use cases are usually great. So, it's easier to find experienced developers to work on your product compared to native apps.

Hot & live reloading 


React Native provides the ability to correct and modify the code on the fly. That means a programmer can write the code and track changes in real-time while keeping the mobile app running.

This is a huge advantage because it allows you to check how the changed code affects the app's actions. It also allows testing the application in a web browser without uploading the changes into a phone, which helps create and adjust the app's views much quicker.


Allows to build a single app for Android and iOS


Due to budget reasons, many new startups have to make the tough decision of choosing only one platform to build their mobile product. 

React Native it's a great alternative to deal with this problem because it allows teams to simultaneously build the same product for both Android and iOS while maintaining significantly reduced development costs.


It's a trending technology


The truth is that developers who specialize in Android and iOS development are scarce in the software industry. Therefore, building a native mobile application usually requires hiring a dedicated resource for each platform. 

In contrast with this, a single React Native programmer can develop a fully functional mobile MVP for both platforms. 

Moreover, as React Native grows in popularity, more programmers adopt it and gain experience with this technology, so finding the right candidate for your project is feasible.


It support a vast number of libraries and third-party plugins


Another great advantage of React Native is that it includes third-party library support, which provides developers with complete freedom of choice.

Libraries are one of the most common utilities in software development. They are blocks of code that have ready-to-use functionalities. Libraries allow dev teams to quickly implement new features and services without investing a significant amount of time or money.

Typical examples of libraries are Google Maps, Firebase SDK (Software Development Kit), or Facebook SDK. These libraries give products the possibility of using external services or databases with just a few lines of code, instead of having to build them all from scratch.

In case your app requires cutting-edge technology, then you should go with native technology. Alternatively, a senior React Native developer would most likely generate a custom library out of a native version.


It has great processing and animation performance 


Like any other computer, mobile devices can carry a limited amount of operations per second. The number of operations determines the volume of data a device can handle, and the time will take for the phone to respond.

React Native creates a communication bridge between JavaScript and the native code (JS Bridge) that allows the app to run native technologies commanded by JavaScript. 

Thanks to its optimization in performance, mobile products built with React Native can work at a very similar speed than a native application.

However, it is worth mentioning that a product built using React Native that includes several CPU intensive tasks or many animations might experience performance drops. 

But if the application has an efficient code and average use of animations, it should run in optimal conditions. 


Allows scalability and new functionalities


Once the MVP is ready to go to production and distribution, entrepreneurs usually ask themselves two questions: 

The first one is if the chosen technology will support the functionalities as expected. In other words, if the app will be able to provide a good user experience without significant performance and usability issues.

The second question is about the potential scalability of the product. Meaning, if the app will be able to grow and support an increasing number of users without compromising quality while, at the same time, allowing the team to implement new functionalities. 

Fortunately, React Native is a scalable and reliable framework for distribution to the end-consumer.

In fact, you can find several success stories in the market, such as mobile versions of Facebook and Instagram. Nonetheless, It's important to say that the development team's best practices are needed to accomplish the expected scalability.


Conclusion


Launching an MVP is an excellent option for startups to validate their product idea by hitting the market as soon as possible and gathering valuable user insights to grow their business.

In this sense, React Native stands out as a convenient development option because it allows teams to implement the same functionalities as a native app, but in less time, with fewer resources, and achieving an efficient performance.

At Bixlabs, we help innovative startups to build their digital products from scratch. We've developed an iterative product development process, including several validation stages that ensures your product aligns perfectly with your users’ needs and expectations.


If you're looking for an experienced team to build your MVP with React Native, give us a call.

10 min read