A Glimpse into React Native’s Promising Future

React Native has come a long way since its inception in 2015. Originally created by Facebook as a way to build mobile apps using the React web development framework, React Native has now evolved into a thriving open source platform with great momentum behind it. As React Native continues to mature and expand its capabilities, its future looks incredibly bright. Let’s take a look at what makes React Native so appealing, where things currently stand, and what we can expect from React Native moving forward. Whether you are a business in need of skilled React Native developers or looking to collaborate with a reputable React Native development company, this article explores the framework’s evolution and what lies ahead.

React Native’s Origin Story

In the early 2010s, Facebook was struggling with the challenge of building and maintaining three separate native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and the mobile web. Each platform required specialized mobile developers working in different programming languages and frameworks like Objective-C, Java, and HTML5. This meant slow, disjointed development across teams and a heavy strain on resources.

To solve these problems, Facebook began experimenting with building mobile apps using React, their popular open source JavaScript library for building web application user interfaces. React provided a way to use one language, JavaScript, to build robust UIs that could be shared easily across platforms. In 2015, Facebook launched React Native, the official framework for building native mobile apps with React.

The key innovation behind React Native was allowing developers to build truly native mobile UI components like buttons, sliders, and scrolling views using JavaScript and React. Under the hood, React Native would translate that JavaScript code into native UI widgets on both iOS and Android. This gave developers the performance, look, and feel of a native app, while using familiar web development tools and allowing code reuse across iOS and Android.

Key Benefits of React Native

React Native quickly caught on due to the immense benefits it offered:

  • Code Reuse – Developers can write mobile app UI code once in JavaScript/React and reuse it across both iOS and Android apps. This means faster development times and fewer engineering resources required.
  • Cross-Platform – With one codebase, React Native allows developers to target both iOS and Android instead of having siloed teams and codebases for each platform. React Native handles the translation to native UI elements under the hood.
  • Performance – React Native provides nearly identical performance to fully native mobile development using tools like Swift and Java. The secret lies in how React Native leverages threads and native APIs to ensure smooth, high-performance apps indistinguishable from native ones.
  • Access to Native APIs – React Native grants access to dozens of platform native APIs out of the box, like those for Geolocation and local storage. Developers can build mobile apps with full mobile hardware and OS capability without needing to write any Java or Swift code.
  • JavaScript & React – For web developers already familiar with JavaScript and React, React Native allows them to leverage their existing expertise to build mobile apps, rather than needing to learn entirely new languages like Java or Swift.

Thanks to these benefits, React Native adoption has grown rapidly. Today React Native powers mobile apps for companies like Facebook, Instagram, Discord, Airbnb, Walmart, and many more. Even large news, finance, and e-commerce companies are turning to React Native to quickly build mobile apps alongside their websites.

Current State of React Native

Today React Native stands as one of the most popular and capable cross-platform mobile app frameworks available. Let’s look at where things currently stand for React Native across a few key areas:

Community Support

Since its creation by Facebook in 2015, React Native has transitioned to a fully open source community-driven project. Development is guided by an array of top global companies like Shopify, Microsoft, Pinterest, and more via the React Native Community GitHub repo.

Hundreds of contributors help develop new React Native platform capabilities, documentation, and learning materials so that the framework can support mobile developers around the world. React Native also enjoys phenomenal community support via online forums like StackOverflow where developers troubleshoot issues and discuss best practices.

Market Share and Adoption

A recent survey of mobile app development trends found that nearly half of mobile teams are now using cross-platform approaches over fully native development. Among cross-platform solutions, React Native leads the pack in terms of popularity. One study found that 48% of developers building cross-platform apps prefer React Native.

This increasing market share comes thanks to React Native’s strong reputation for performance and capability rivaling native development. Giants like Facebook, Uber, and Bloomberg use React Native internally. React Native’s expandability and cross-platform abilities make it extremely attractive for enterprises in particular looking to scale mobile app development.

Features and Capabilities

In just a few short years, React Native has rapidly evolved from supporting basic mobile UI elements to a robust, full-featured mobile app development framework. When seeking to find React Native developers, familiarity with the framework’s features is crucial. Look for developers well-versed in React Native’s core UI building blocks, navigation, and access to native APIs to ensure a seamless development process.

React Native ships out of the box with:

  • Core UI building blocks – buttons, multi-touch handling, scrolling views, switches, text inputs, and more that render using true native code
  • Navigation – integrated routing and navigation with support for stacks, tabs, and drawers
  • App layout – design flexible UIs using Box, Flexbox, grids, and absolute positioning
  • Responsive design – automatically adapt UI layouts for different screen sizes and orientations
  • Animation – create sophisticated transitions and gameplay sequences
  • State management– integrate easily with external state management libraries like Redux and MobX
  • Native functionality – tap into mobile hardware features like the camera, contacts list, barcode scanner, geolocation, and more
  • JavaScript improvements – use modern JavaScript syntax unsupported in older browsers like async/await

React Native also provides easy network integration with tools like Fetch and WebSocket plus embedded support for HTTP libraries like XMLHttpRequest. Developers can hook into native gesture systems for swipes, pans, zooms and more and modular components make it easy to integrate functionality like payments and analytics.

Thanks to ongoing updates tied to each underlying native OS release, React Native gives developers out-of-the-box access to the latest mobile features with minimal effort.

As if these robust existing capabilities weren’t enough, the React Native roadmap highlights even more ambitious integrations coming down the pike.

The Road Ahead

Given the meteoric progress so far, what might the future look like for React Native? The core React Native team recently shared an updated 2022 roadmap highlighting priority areas for improvements. Many address previous pain points around things like bugs, setup complexity, and app size bloat. Beyond fixes, new capabilities aim to simplify and streamline React Native app development further.

As React Native continues to evolve, businesses can anticipate performance improvements, greater accessibility, and expanded platform support. For enterprises seeking a mobile app company to partner with, staying informed about React Native’s roadmap ensures you align your development needs with the framework’s future enhancements.

Performance Improvements

Performance has always set React Native apart from competitors. However, apps can sometimes suffer slow runtimes and bloat over time as new JavaScript capabilities get introduced. Upcoming React Native updates will introduce long-term performance fixes related to memory management, image loading, and bundle packaging. These aim to prevent performance degradation over time regardless of app growth and complexity.

Greater Accessibility

Ensuring web accessibility is incredibly complex with myriad considerations. React has done admirable work ensuring accessible UI components that can dynamically adapt their markup to reach users needing different assistive tools. As React Native adopts more of these React accessibility advancements, React Native developers will find it easier to make their app experiences accessible without extra overhead.

Expanded Platform and Device Support

React Native already supports both iOS and Android. With Microsoft joining the open source React Native organization and ongoing community contributions, upcoming support for Windows mobile development looks highly likely. Support may also expand beyond phones given interest in using React Native for emerging devices like AR/VR headsets.

Additionally, improvements will provide smoother React Native integration across different chipsets. Today iOS runs well on both Intel and ARM chips however Android only runs efficiently on ARM. Expanding this flexibility across chip architectures will further simplify sharing React Native code.

Simplified State Management

Managing data and state is crucial for complex apps. Out of the box, React provides simple local component state handling via Hooks. However, apps often still rely on external state management libraries which can add lots of complexity around app architecture and data flows.

Exciting proposals would integrate a native React state management solution supporting async logic, undo/redo, persistence, and time travel debugging directly into React Native. This could eliminate the need for Redux or MobX in many cases, simplifying development significantly.

Improved Developer Experience

React Native is loved for letting web developers build mobile UIs with familiar web languages like JavaScript. However, new or occasional React Native developers still often run into frustrating setup problems related to differences between web and mobile build environments.

Upcoming dev experience improvements aim to fix several common early pain points:

  • Simplified environment setup with faster install times
  • New project template structure changes to avoid confusing nested folders
  • Clearer errors and warnings around native dependencies and outdated packages
  • General bug fixes around confusing CLI output, linking errors, etc.

Together these updates will help engineers new to React Native quickly become productive. Even for experienced React Native developers these fixes will remove enduring annoyances.


Within seven short years, React Native has gone from an internal Facebook experiment to an open source community powerhouse changing how teams approach mobile app development. It conquered the challenge of effectively reusing business logic across mobile operating systems while retaining the quality of purely native apps.

Given the ambitious 2022 roadmap and incredible momentum, React Native has clearly cemented itself as a mobile app development framework that will continue evolving to meet the needs of global enterprises and startups alike.

For any web developers or companies looking to make the leap into mobile, React Native provides perhaps the most future-proof path available given its capabilities today and community momentum propelling enhancements year after year. While inherently a bit complex as with all cross-compilation tech, React Native looks to continually simplify common pain points to lower barriers to entry.

With so many outstanding problems left to solve on the web, React Native also serves as a conduit allowing more of that JavaScript/web talent pool to funnel efforts towards mobile. Rather than competing, expect to see React on the web and React Native on mobile combine forces to handle more diverse and sophisticated use cases over time.

Exciting times lie ahead as we wait to see all that emerges from React Native’s vibrant future!


Does React Native Work for Complex Apps?

Yes! React Native powers extremely complex apps at global companies like Facebook, Shopify, Bloomberg, and more. For apps requiring highly dynamic and real-time UIs plus complex state and data handling, React Native includes robust capabilities ready for enterprise mobile workloads.

Can I Reuse My Web App Code in React Native?

Somewhat. For purely visual React UI layer code, much of that can often be reused and shared across web and mobile React Native with minor tweaking. However backend and data layer code won’t easily carry over given major platform differences handling networking, databases, etc.

Will There Be Desktop Support for Windows and Mac?

Not yet, but expanded platform support is on the roadmap! Thanks to interest from Microsoft and the community, future support for building Windows desktop and mobile apps with React Native looks promising. macOS and Linux support may also emerge in time.

Does React Native Work with TypeScript?

Absolutely! React Native has excellent built-in support for both JavaScript and TypeScript. Static typing helps catch errors during development so using TypeScript is considered a best practice by many React Native developers.

How Does React Native Performance Compare to Swift/Java?

Indistinguishable in most cases! React Native prioritizes optimal rendering performance on par with fully native mobile development. Under the hood React Native offloads UI rendering to native OS threads instead of JavaScript. Apps stay smooth thanks to additional capability React Native provides for handling long-running JavaScript operations without blocking the native UI.

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