Cross Platform App Dev With Facebook's React Native Makes It "Harder, Better, Faster, Stron


After some skepticism from the global app dev community, it's clear that Facebook's React Native (born from React.js) is gaining momentum and has renewed the native versus HTML5 discussion. Born from the Facebook Ads Org, and no doubt stemming from Zuckerberg's misstep on declaring HTML5 as the solution to everything, it's clear that Facebook engineers have pulled a rabbit out of the hat that has renewed the allure of cross platform native application development.

In the words of Daft Punk, Facebook engineers, given an ever increasingly complex code base and the need for simplicity, modularity, and speed to market have worked it harder, made it better, did it faster, made it stronger. (Daft Punk).

Pure Native Apps have long had big advantages over HTML5 on the user interface side. With smooth animations, full access to the menagerie of native device features and IOS/Android hooks, native map support, etc; it's always been near impossible to replicate the truly tactile experience of native with HTML5.

However, most developers continue to embrace a hybrid model that is heavy on HTML5/JavaScript given it's flexibility, low cost, and cross platform capability while often sacrificing user experience. Overall, it used to be a choice between developing native via Swift/Objective C and then developing again for Android or sticking to a more hybrid model where at least the HTML5 portion rendered on both.

React Native takes the best of the speed and flexibility of developing in Javascript (not to mention the huge global pool of available Javascript dev talent), the native app speed (the JavaScript application code and the native platform are performed asynchronously), direct access to local device features, and the cross platform portability of code and delivers the best of both worlds.

In addition, the ability to manage code in a more modular fashion and embed markup within the JavaScript allows for an easier to read/manage code base that streamlines the dev process. After all, as the complexity of your code grows, so does the need for intuitive modularity.

Let me know what experience you've had with React Native! What's your next app dev project?


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