React Native is a JavaScript framework designed to build apps for both the platforms iOS and Android. And a lot of famous applications are built with it.

Basically, it's based on a JavaScript library created by Facebook called React. It corresponds well with today's mobile app development market needs, which leads enterprises to face a decision:

  • Build an app that gives a better user experience
  • Build an app that is faster to develop and runs on more devices




Overall, the concept of creating apps that work well on both devices using only one paradigm sounds a bit unbelievable. However, React Native, despite its immaturity, allows accelerating the process of building apps across different platforms. And that's all thanks to the likelihood of reusing most of the code between them.

React Native rendering
React Native rendering (Credits: AltexSoft)

What is React Native?

React Native is the native version of a very popular web library sharing the same name: React. Its main purpose is bringing the power of React to the native mobile apps development.




React Native components are pure, side-effect-free functions designed to return what the view will look like at any given time. And because of this, you don't have to care about updating the view when a state should change because it does it for you.

The user interface renders using actual native views, so the final user experience is not as bad as the other solutions that render a web component inside a WebView.

Famous applications built with React Native

The most famous applications that are built purely using React Native are:

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Ads
  • Walmart
  • Bloomberg
  • Instagram
  • SoundCloud
  • Townske
  • Gyroscope
  • Wix
  • Delivery.com




Facebook and Facebook Ads

React Native commenced as Facebook's hackathon project developed responding to the company's needs.

Originally, Facebook wanted to integrate all the web features (quick iterations, a single team develop the whole product etc) into the mobile world. And that's React Native was the perfect solution.

The benefits of it were that the dashboard startup was accelerated to load twice as fast! Also, most of the advances made were done at the framework level. This determines that your React Native app will automatically benefit from transferring to the latest version of React Native.

The Facebook app using React Native
The Facebook app

As for the Facebook Ads, they decided to go with React Native for this app because it was suitable for the complex business logic. This included accurately handle differences in ad formats, time zones, currencies and so on.

From the design point of view, the interface looked a lot cleaner with intuitive UX and simple navigation. Also, the animation and transitions are close to perfection and do not feel buggy at any point. The overall feeling of the app and the experience is amazing.

If you use the Facebook Ads app you'll realize that it's lightning-fast, regardless of the operations you're performing on it.

The Facebook Ads app using React Native
The Facebook Ads app




Walmart

Walmart already proved to be innovative when they introduced Node.js into their stack. A couple of years later they also revised their mobile app to React Native.

This way, Walmart managed to improve the performance of the app on both the iOS and Android users by using fewer resources. 96% of the codebase was shared between platforms while the skills of the developers were leveraged across the organization.

They chose React Native because, as well known, Walmart always strives to seek ways to improve customer experience. They do this by implementing new technologies into their products. And since React Native allows great performance and smooth animations, it fits perfectly with the company.

The Walmart app using React Native
The Walmart app




Bloomberg

Bloomberg's new consumer mobile app gives its clients a streamlined and interactive experience. It has simple-to-access personalized content, videos, and live feeds. And to develop this amazing app, Bloomberg decided to go with React Native.

The engineering team at Bloomberg's headquarters produced the app using React Native, the primary tool that actually delivers the cross-platform development.

They benefited a lot from the automatic code refreshes, accelerating the release of new product features. They knew that instead of recompiling it again your app reloads instantly!

The Bloomberg app using React Native
The Bloomberg app




Instagram

Instagram finally accepted the challenge of integrating React Native into their existing app.

They did so, starting from the most simple view you can imagine: the Push Notifications view. On the original app, the implementation was done using a WebView. It didn't require building navigation infrastructure, because the UI was pretty simple.

The developer team did face a couple of problems on the way, but in the end, they improved developer velocity a lot. 85% to 99% was shared between the iOS and Android apps, and thus the team was able to deliver the app faster.

The Instagram app using React Native
The Instagram app

SoundCloud Pulse

Basically, the SoundCloud Pulse app serves the creators and helps them manage their accounts to keep their community humming. When the company started designing the second app they had a bit of trouble. Any iOS developers were unable to be found, and they didn't want to have a lot of differences between the two platforms.

Therefore, an independent team started running a user-testing session using purely React Native app prototypes.

Their experience with the framework was rather positive. The devs found it easier to work on a React Native-based app than on the native one. Additionally, they were capable of building the app by themselves without frequent input from specialized mobile devs.

The SoundCloud Pulse app using React Native
The SoundCloud Pulse app




Townske

Townske aims to be the travel inspiration city guide you'll use on your next trip. The app connects you with the locals and lets you get a list of the favorite places.

It's not mandatory for you to register to use this app, which is amazing. It allows you to quickly find the next location you want to visit. This comes very well in handy when you find yourself with a low battery or bad Wi-Fi connection. It's a great feature to have.

The result of building the app with React Native is that it was highly responsive and felt fluid thanks to the asynchronous JS interaction with the environment. This meant that the app will have faster and smoother loading times than the original hybrid app.

The Townske app using React Native
The Townske app




Gyroscope

The Gyroscope app lets you see the complete story of your life. Kind of like the health app but on steroids.

Not only can you track the steps and workout, but you can also track activities too. The activities like the productivity on the computer, or the sleep tracker and the automatic AI to make sure you're sleeping enough.

All the data is exhibited in two very attractive, well-designed views: Simple and Cards mode. You can find all the tracked data on a daily, weekly and monthly statement. Additionally, you can easily deep-dive into it and pick on which things you want to focus on.

The GyroScope app using React Native
The GyroScope app




WIX

The WIX company started in 2006 and provides web hosting and website design services. Users use it to build their sites in HTML5/CSS and mobile websites by using the drag-and-drop utility. The top advantage of WIX that the website the user makes goes online easily, and you don't need to know code to use it.

WIX went with React Native because native app development is usually linked with inefficiency and slower time rate to deployment. React Native, on the other hand, is all about delivering the speed and agility of the web app development into the hybrid space.

The WIX app
The WIX app




Delivery.com

Delivery.com enables the neighborhood economy by allowing customers to order online from their selected local restaurants, grocery stores, wine and spirits shops, and laundry and dry-cleaning providers. Every day more than one million delivery.com customers search their neighborhoods and order from more than 10,000 regional businesses while at home, at work, or on the go.

With headquarters in New York and an expanding presence throughout the U.S., delivery.com offers e-commerce an essential part of local everyday life, helping clients shop, businesses grow, and neighborhoods thrive.

They chose React Native because it allows you to link the plugin with a native module, so you can easily connect the map up with the device's functions like:

  • Rotate
  • Zoom
  • Use the compass
  • Utilize less memory




The Delivery.com app
The Delivery.com app

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