Blog Summary:

This blog is a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs, startups, and B2B enterprises to help them build a successful cross-platform mobile app with React Native. It aims to provide them with a thorough understanding of its components, approaches, benefits, challenges, and best practices to meet their business goals.

React Native stays true to its “Learn once, write anywhere” concept. Once written, a single codebase can be used to build apps for any platform. Acting as a powerful weapon for businesses and developers, React Native Mobile App Development has conquered the cross-platform development realm with minimal effort.

The global cross-platform development market’s growth potential can increase to USD 546.7 billion by 2033. React Native is spearheading the demand for this segment, contributing the highest CAGR of 16.7%.

Originally developed only for iOS, React Native stood the test of time when a Facebook developer discovered how UI could be transformed with JavaScript. In this blog, we’ll uncover how choosing React Native to develop mobile apps is the most affordable and effective way to elevate user experience.

What is Cross-platform Development

Cross-platform mobile app development enables developers to write and share code for building apps across multiple hardware platforms and is compatible with Windows, Linux, and MacOS. For example, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome use Adobe Flash.

Since apps are designed to run identically on multiple platforms, they speed up development by reducing repetitive tasks. Additionally, they enable project managers and developers to work with the same resources, aiding in cost cuts and faster app releases in the market.

So, In what ways is cross-platform app development preferable to native app development? In native app development, developers have to write codes twice for each OS. Apps built on one platform will not work on any other platform because native apps work with a single programming language.

For example, Objective-C or Swift is generally used for native iOS apps. In such cases, React Native is a better choice over Swift as the former allows developers to build code only once for multiple versions, reducing additional costs, time, and effort.

Cross-platform development is dynamic, allowing developers to use different tools and frameworks for language flexibility and speed. For the above reasons, React Native app development emerged as the most preferred programming language for cross-platform applications. In the following sections, we will understand how it benefits developers.

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Benefits of Cross-platform Development with React Native

Cross-platform allows developers to use any language they are proficient in, like C# or JavaScript, to develop a platform that they hadn’t built before. Even though React Native is written with a mixture of JavaScript and JXL, it builds a bridge for two-way communication between JavaScript threads and native app threads. Let’s understand its benefits:

Code Reusability

React Native app development enables developers to write code once and reuse it across multiple platforms. Startup product owners and CEOs can cut down their development costs by choosing cross-platform over native app development, reusing almost 90% of the code for Android and iOS.

Additionally, if a website and an app are written in React Native, the code is reusable.

Faster Development Time

React Native offers the Fast Reload feature, which enables developers to modify the user interface components without rebuilding them. When developers update the app to new versions, they can see the changes in real-time by easily injecting the code without restarting it.

Cost Efficiency

React Native app development services enable businesses to save the hiring cost of two separate development teams. Hiring a small team is enough to develop apps for different platforms, such as Android and iOS.

Additionally, developers can build reusable modules with advanced features to create similar functionality across all platforms.

Native Performance

Working with React Native breaks the misconception that cross-platform frameworks do not provide the same performance as native app development frameworks. APIs are one of its native components, aiding developers in delivering an interactive user experience.

Robust 3rd Party Plugins

React Native offers a wide range of readymade 3rd party tools to increase an app’s efficiency. Developers can use JavaScript-based frameworks and modules that work with a device’s features. It eliminates the need to build certain components of web browsers into the app.

Flutter vs. React Native

Flutter and React Native are the two prominent cross-platform frameworks that have evolved over the last few years for developers and businesses alike. Flutter SDK’s most recent feature, Hot Reload, gives tough competition to React Native’s similar feature. Moreover, Flutter 2.10 has introduced support for Windows.

However, React Native is JavaScript-based, making everything smoother even for beginners. Even the component updates in the latest iOS versions (iOS 16 and 17) would have a bigger impact on React Native than on Flutter.

Hence, Flutter is great if you want components to stay and perform exactly as you instruct. However, React Native is ideal if you want your app’s components to keep up with the latest trends in native component designs.

Here’s a short comparison of Flutter and React Native app development to help you decide which one to choose:

Feature Flutter React Native
User Interface Widget-based
Custom rendering
Separate widgets for Android and iOS – Material and Cupertino, respectively
Native UI widgets
More freedom for styling
Extensive collection of UI kits
Code Compilation Ahead of Time (AOT) Just in Time (JIT)
Base language Dart JavaScript
Difficulty It is intuitive and easy, but since it’s Dart, it can only be used for Flutter. It can be used in many cases since it is JavaScript-based
Supported platforms Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Web, embedded devices, tvOS Android, iOS, Windows (PCs, Xbox), Mac, web, and TV platforms
Development times Uniform designs, but might lag if designs vary Can use any IDE or text editor, speedy development even if designs vary
Ecosystem and tooling Growing library, Flutter SDKs React Native CLI and Expo management, extensive libraries
Integration of Modules Needs platform-specific channels Easy integration through bridging

Approaches of React Native Mobile App Development

How a business approaches app development with React Native is essential as it impacts the development velocity at various stages. Whether you’re developing a web app from scratch or transforming an existing web application, React Native CLI and Expo are both valuable, depending on your project needs.

React Native Command Line Interface (CLI)

This is the official approach for React Native app development, where developers build and deploy apps directly with native environments and tools, offering maximum freedom and control.

The initial time needed for state management and navigation can be minimized. Hence, it’s best suited for Proof of Concept (PoC) projects as they have minimal code.

Expo Managed Workflow

Expo makes initial setup easier, including but not limited to building environments and Over the Air (OTA) updates in Android. With high-quality native libraries, the packaged ExpoKit is extremely beneficial for building simple applications. It is best suited for MVP development or when developers need more experience in mobile app development.


Boilerplates are great for building your tech stack, allowing you to save time when setting up an app project. They provide a set of libraries like ignite, React Native boilerplate, and react-native-starter-kit.

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When to Use React Native?

React Native is a JavaScript-based programming language. So, developers find it easy to develop mobile applications as they don’t have to learn complex languages, e.g., Objective-C. Let’s understand the instances where React Native can turn out to be the best cross-platform app framework:

Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

An MVP is the working prototype of an application that needs to be launched in the market quickly. Choosing a React Native app development company would be the best solution in such cases due to:

  • It has hot reloading that allows developers to see swift changes without a full app reload.
  • It allows easy scalability by integrating native modules and switching to native app development.

Famous Apps: Facebook was the first-ever app developed with React Native, which helped them launch the app faster due to quick iterations. They even brought it to mobile as their needs changed, which made the app run twice as fast.

Developing an App From a Website

Many existing website owners are looking for the opportunity to convert their existing website into an app to reach wider audiences. React Native should be their preferred choice due to its code reusability. The code that was used to write a website can be reused again to develop an app.

For this, React Native offers three types of architecture models to structure the code – Model-View-Controller, Model-View-Presenter, and Model-view-ViewModel. Depending on the requirements, it also offers third-party libraries like Redux and MobX to manage app data layers and states.

When You Can’t Use React Native

React Native is a robust cross-platform development framework. However, in some cases, its core functionality is best utilized to its fullest extent by building native applications.

App computations are often complex, and hence, you need an experienced React Native app development team to improve overall functionality. Here’s where it’s not ideal to choose React Native:

Apps With Multiple Screens

If your app requires multiple transitions, animations, and gestures, it needs multiple screens to swipe through. In such cases, React Native might not be the ideal framework, even though it tries to solve the problem of complex gestures with its gesture responder.

However, integrating your custom React Native library (creating a fork) can become challenging.

For example, in 2016, AirBnB found that React Native did not match its requirements. It built a custom React Native library to update UI components. However, maintaining the development process and debugging code proved difficult, so it had to migrate its app to native technologies.

Apps for Single Operating System (OS)

If you aim to target only one OS for your mobile application, React Native won’t produce the desired results. It’s better suited for more than one platform as it delivers better performance for cross-platform apps. If it’s built for only one OS, it might deliver an inferior user experience as compared to other native apps.

Simple to medium-complexity apps like social media platforms, e-commerce stores, and news portals are more suited for React Native. For apps that require high performance to perform features that are unique to each platform, it’s better to combine React Native with native code.

Why Use React Native for Mobile Apps?

Today, businesses want to establish their online presence across multiple platforms. Hence, almost every big or small business has a website or an app to market their business. Most of them are turning their websites into apps to reach a wider audience and deliver better customer experience.

For those who already have websites, React Native provides modules that help them build a stable application. Here’s why our expert engineers and developers recommend them React Native:

  • It replicates the web functionality on iOS and Android by making it easier to port all the business logic.
  • It focuses solely on UI when the web app has been built with React by keeping Redux libraries and hooks the same.

If a business doesn’t already have a web app, website, or native app, building a React Native app first can also turn out to be beneficial. Here’s why:

  • They can export web versions in addition to the app OS versions, leaving them with a single codebase for all three app versions.
  • Using the React native web library allows the sharing of components between the web and apps. For example, Twitter uses this library for its web app, which helps it reuse almost 100% of its codebase.

Challenges in React Native Mobile App Development

Using React Native varies for different platforms, especially Android and iOS. Since these two are the most popular app platforms, the UI components, OS, native elements, and specific styles create differences in cross-platform development. These differences can pose some challenges, let’s understand them:

Upgrading to New Versions is Challenging

Using a bundle of configurations for the native side needs to be changed when upgrading to newer versions. This can become a huge challenge, especially in cross-platform development, where other dependencies might break.

How to Mitigate: Keep up with the updates for 3 months after each version launch.

Difficulty in Customizing UI Components

While the UI components are limited, the community support provides various plugins. However, building custom UI elements can be more time-consuming and require more expertise.

Some custom modules can also disappear or need improvements. This means you might need to run a separate codebase for iOS, Android, and React Native.

How to mitigate: Using modular architecture and native modules can help maintain scalability across images and animations.

Working with Bridge Requires Expert Developers

React Native bridges the JavaScript code with the native code. If a developer doesn’t know native mobile app code, it would be difficult to incorporate it into React Native code.

How to mitigate: Using libraries like Reanimated v2 with React Native JSI (JavaScript Interface) can address this issue.

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Examples of Apps Built with React Native

React Native has been the foundation of many big names as it brings the power of its web library, React, to native mobile applications. Its UI components of the framework update the app’s look and feel even when the app’s internal state changes.

With access to native app features like gestures, camera, location, and notifications, it has transformed various applications:


Facebook was initially developed only for iOS. As the company’s needs changed, its target audience increased to Android. It also brought the features of the Facebook web version to the mobile app, which included quicker iterations and a single development team.

Why Facebook Chose React Native: React Native’s libraries provide mobile UIs for both Android and iOS. It also made it compatible with Windows and tvOS.


  1. Major performance upgrades
  2. The events dashboard is twice as fast on the startup


Instagram implemented React Native to deploy push notifications. This helped it deliver push notifications for its users’ various in-app activities, including comments, likes, follower requests, and messages.

Why Instagram Chose React Native: They were able to reuse almost 85% of their code across iOS and Android. Initially built as WebView, the integration didn’t require building any navigation infrastructure, and the UI turned out to be quite simple.


  1. Reduced team size for app development and maintenance
  2. Increased developer productivity by delivering new features faster


Walmart introduced Node.js into its tech stack before it implemented React Native to rewrite the code for its mobile app. The aim behind this decision was to become a global online e-commerce leader and expand its app to Android and iOS.

Why Walmart Chose React Native: Walmart wanted to improve the overall customer experience by taking bold risks to gain a competitive advantage.


  1. Improved overall performance across Android and iOS
  2. Evolved as one of the best React Native apps
  3. Reduced expenses and time by sharing 95% of code between platforms.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats was originally developed as a web application. However, to enable customers to order from restaurants, their business model needed an additional dashboard for the restaurants.

Why Uber Eats Chose React Native: Uber Eats wanted to develop dashboards for three key parties involved: customers, delivery partners, and restaurants. The original web version restricted access to native devices only.


  1. The revamped dashboard became a benchmark for others to follow.
  2. Access to dashboard functions on tablets.

Best Practices For React Native Mobile App Development

When choosing React Native for your next app project, it’s always essential to base the stack libraries and tools on your unique project’s needs. Organizations that don’t follow best practices may fall into the trap of prematurely optimizing resources.

Let’s understand these in detail:

Use Expo for Simple Apps

Using Expo to develop simple apps provides support for many packages, as native modules aren’t the ideal option in such cases. Additionally, navigation can be made more intuitive using the folder directory layout.

Data Structuring and APIs

Apollo Server is a good choice for developing a GQL schema to structure the available data. You can also utilize code generation tools like GraphQL with server, and CLI presets to build GQL APIs. On the contrary, MongoDB and Firebase are ideal for cases where the app doesn’t have complex data storage needs.

Organizing Components and State Management

React Hooks are a preferred option for keeping code simple and building small but focused components. Redux saga and ContextAPI can ensure that the components are stateless for easier debugging and testing.

Deploy Type Checking

TypeScript and PropTypes are great for enforcing type checking and identifying bugs earlier in the application development process. Use StyleSheet to define styles and styled-components for complex apps.


If your business’s target audience doesn’t require OS-specific features, React Native is your best bet for quickly building a multi-platform app. Its simultaneous launch, cost-effective development, and reusable code make cross-platform development with React Native a programming language worth choosing.

Whether you have a big budget or are low on funds, React Native can help you provide a user experience that requires fewer sacrifices on the app’s UI, market delivery, and maintenance. However, scalability plans and designing an interface are complex processes.

Consult a software development company to ensure that your business and users meet all the requirements. Our experts at Moon Technolabs can help you estimate all risks and potential opportunities.



Is React Native good for mobile app development?

Yes, React Native is an excellent choice for mobile app development owing to its JavaScript base, which makes developing cross-platform apps much easier and quicker. It delivers higher performance than any other hybrid technology because developers can spot changes immediately and simultaneously for both Android and iOS.


How do I make a mobile app using React Native?

You can choose to partner with a software development team to build a mobile app using React Native. They can help you develop the app with the right development environment, build the JavaScript bundle, and make the required changes. Further, they can also help you choose the right debugging tools and utilize its Hot Reloading feature to reload the latest code automatically.


Can I develop iOS apps using React Native?

Yes, it’s recommended that you develop an iOS app with React Native in addition to an Android app. It has a virtual DOM to build native UI components that provide a familiar user experience. You can use the CLI setup to build MacOS apps with more control and Expo to build apps across all desktop platforms.


Is React Native for both iOS and Android?

Yes, React Native is the ideal programming language for both iOS and Android apps. It helps developers build truly native apps with platform-independent UI native components. When building a new app with file-based routing, any SDK, library, or native code, it's best to start with the Expo tool.
About Author

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.