A guide to getting started in React Native21 February 2018 ‐ 6 min read
For those new to React Native, in a nutshell, it’s a framework that enables developers to write code for one platform and deploy to both Android and iOS, while delivering a native user experience.
If you’re a developer looking to get started, here’s three points to consider before you get going.
1. The first attempt can take longer than you think
2. There are a few tips and tricks that’ll save you some time
If you’ve hit a few snags getting to grips with React or React Native - you’re not alone. Like many others, we’ve paid a few school fees along the way, and based on our learnings, here’s what you need to know.
Respect it, or it could ruin you. You need to get to know how it works before attempting a project. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can take much longer than estimated.
List the plugins that you foresee you’ll need. Choose a React Native version by checking the compatibility of each plugin and stick to it. With each extra plugin, study its compatibility with your current React Native version.
Don’t stop at simply planning your app routes and their containers. Define each view you’ll need and break down their individual requirements.
Start your projects afresh by using 'react-native init <projectName>', don’t use expo with your first project. It may seem viable in the beginning, but the moment you need to start configuring custom elements (which is inevitable), you’ll need to detach the project from expo - not a fun experience.
3. How to know when to choose React Native for a project
React Native is great for POCs, because there’s less risk if more time is required than originally anticipated.
React Native can be somewhat volatile, so use only your best, well-researched developers.
For time-sensitive projects, React Native is an option only if you have developers that are experienced in React Native. Due to the lack of reliable documentation available, for any developer, building up experience in using React Native to its full potential takes time.
A Final Word from the 4i team
We are big fans of React Native. It is an incredibly powerful tool, but you really need to know what you’re doing. We have worked on a few projects now and have gained a fair amount of experience, and we’re still learning! We believe that the future is bright and the possibilities endless.
As a leading software development house in South Africa we are very keen to continue using it, however it would make the world of difference if Google and Apple would just come on board and alleviate the version incompatibility issues. In the interim, we look forward to further developments and moving closer toward it being a reliable option for delivering digital products efficiently and effectively.
Are you looking for an experienced software development team to solve your business needs? Get in touch email@example.com