It seems like “React Native vs iOS development” is the main dilemma for businesses that are launching or revamping their mobile apps in 2017.
When choosing to build a React Native vs native iOS app, you’re essentially dealing with two wholly different software development strategies. These strategies involve different programming languages, hiring processes and dev tools. What’s even more important, the choice between the two options will have a major impact on your company’s bottom line.
So which one do you choose? Will it be a React mobile app — or a true native iOS application? We’ve covered the technical pros and cons of React Native in an earlier post, so let’s briefly look at the strategic aspects of the dilemma from a bird’s-eye view.
Below, you will find several simple yes-or-no questions. With each answer, you will assign 1 point to either React Native or iOS development. Let’s see how much each option is going to score.
Question 1. Will your app rely on 3D graphics or heavy computations?
If the answer is “yes”, assign one point to true native iOS development. If “no” — that’ll be one point for React Native.
Sure, you can build a React Native app for most use cases — even if we’re talking about complex stuff. In fact, React Native can handle simple mobile games and, in part, virtual reality applications. Using it for heavy-lifting tasks, though, doesn’t seem like a wise decision in most cases.
Generally speaking, it’s better to opt for Objective-C or Swift in the case of anything CPU-intensive. So if you’re working on a graphics-heavy game or some feature-rich video editor for mobile — building a React Native app isn’t your best choice.
Question 2. Is your app iOS-only?
In the very unlikely case it is, give one point to true native. If there’s the slightest chance that you’ll be coming to the Android realm in the foreseeable future, that’ll be +1 for the React mobile app.
So why would anyone want to build an iOS-only app anyway? Well, maybe it’s a fancy wallpaper app that’s optimized for iOS parallax — or your app’s functionality revolves around iPhone’s pressure sensitive touchscreen. Who knows, maybe your app will be bringing some of the Android’s features (like notification channels) to iOS…
But if you’re not planning to build an Android version just yet, React Native might still be a better option.
A React mobile app can have about 80%of code shared between two platforms — provided that it’s built with the Android version in mind. That’s huge in terms of cost saving. And that sure is more viable in the long run — because with a 99,99%probability, you’ll eventually want an Android version as well.
Question 3. Are you ready to invest into two separate dev teams?
If yes, put +1 into the iOS still bank. If no, give a +1 to React Native.
Note that this question is somehow related to the previous one. In our experience, the sheer cost of having two separate dev teams is the main reason why startup teams postpone development for Android. After all, Android users spend 2,5x less on in-app purchases than iOS users. So why hire Android developers before you even know if the final product is going to convert on iOS?
Here’s the good news, with React Native, you don’t really need a separate Android team — more like one Android developer.
So if you’re about to build a new dev team, looking for React Native developers for hire seems like a wiser approach.
Question 4. Are you planning to outsource React Native or iOS development?
An affirmative answer means a +1 for React Native. A “no” is a +1 for native iOS.
As mentioned in the previous section, choosing React Native enables you to hire fewer developers while maintaining the same level of efficiency. Up to 80%of the code shared by the iOS and Android platforms means less man-hours spent on development. Furthermore, this leads to faster bug fixes and higher production speed on the overall. Isn’t that what we all want?
So, basically, if you’re going to outsource React Native or iOS development, the former is a more cost-efficient option. Another advantage is the thriving developer community. Even though React Native is a new technology, it already has a following of thousands of highly-qualified programmers with great projects in their portfolios.
Question 5. Are you working on an app with a more or less standard functionality?
If yes, React Native wins this round. If not, iOS gets a +1.
So what do we mean by “more or less standard functionality”? Say you’re a content publisher and you want to provide your readers with a more streamlined UX. One way to pull this off is to create a content application for iOS and Android. And building a React Native app is probably the best way to do this.
In fact, React Native shines when it comes to apps that do simple yet useful things. Social apps, commerce applications, booking services, content streaming, data visualization — seems like React Native can handle pretty much anything.
So unless you’re dealing with some sort of unique functionality that hasn’t been implemented anywhere, a React mobile app will do just fine. Based our own experience, both the speed and the overall UI/UX will be just as great as in case with a native iOS app.
Question 6. Do you already have a team of native iOS developers?
If you’re already working with a team of Swift/Objective-C developers, chances are you’ll want to stick to native iOS development.
Still, a ‘yes’ answer to this question is a +1 for iOS. If you’re building your dev team from the ground up though, give a +1 to building a React mobile app.
Question 7. Do you have a web app built with React JS and Redux?
Here’s another factor to consider. Chances are you’ve already built a web app with React JS, and you have a team of React JS specialists onboard. If that’s the case, it might prove realistic to encourage some of your React JS engineers to tap into the world of mobile development.
Again, don’t expect that this will be easy — or that you won’t need to hire dedicated React Native developers. Still, React Native might provide your current React JS team with an excellent opportunity for professional growth — and that’s always great, right?
For this question, give +1 to React Native if the answer is a “yes”. If not, give one additional point to iOS development.
Question 8. Are you going to update often?
Okay, I have to admit this question is almost rhetorical. In the brave new world of Agile development, MVPs and continuous updates are the only right way to build software. But what does this have to do with our “React Native vs iOS”.
The answer is simple — App Store updates.
If you’ve ever worked with the App Store, you know that getting your updates reviewed an approved by Apple’s brainiacs is… well, a lengthy process. You have to freeze you production and wait even if we’re talking about a minor update.
But with React Native, things are different…
A positive answer to this question means an additional point for React Native. A negative one is a +1 for true native.
Question 9. Have you ever used a React mobile app? Did you like it?
Here’s a simple way to see if React Native is suitable for your project. Go to the React Native showcase, download a couple of apps and try them out. If possible, make sure you’ve picked the apps that are at least somewhat similar to your future app. If you’ll like the overall look and feel, you’ll probably like React Native.
So, give a +1 to React Native if the answer is “yes” — and +1 to Swift/Objective-C if the answer is “no”.
Bottom line: where to find React Native or iOS developers for hire
Okay, so which of the options scored higher? Which one is your winner, React Native or “true native” iOS development?
Whichever the case, AppDevShop is an awesome place to find mobile developers, be it native iOS, Android, or cross-platform. As of now, we’re working with some of the best React Native programmers in Ukraine, and our team is constantly growing. We’ve also built quite a few true native apd for both iOS and Android, and we’re always happy to gain new experience in this department.
So whichever technology you’re planning to use, contact us to hire some of the top-tier mobile developers.