React Native was born as a solution for streamlining and simplifying cross-platform app development, so no one wants to hit the wall while using the tool that was supposed to eliminate this very wall. Yet as every living and growing project, React Native has its bottlenecks and weak spots that still beg to be fixed. This is one of the reasons that devs are approaching this promising framework with caution. With this article, we at JatApp aim to bust some myths and unblock the dead-ends in React Native usage. We hope that with a bit of our help this capacious tool will become an integral part of the diverse and elaborate toolkits of app developers.

Why React Native, to begin with? Well, because it is really workable and useful (no hidden product placement intended); because it is open source and so no proprietary issues and fees disputes will arise, and because it has already been crash-tested by such giants as Bloomberg, Walmart, and Facebook. If Facebook, the brain father of the framework, is bound to use the product it developed, then other companies will use only the tools that proved their value and efficiency. So, if Instagram, Walmart, Bloomberg, and SoundCloud benefited from it, then definitely many other companies will follow in tow, and so the demand for React Native devs will only grow in time.

On your app developing journey, always remember that React Native is a framework that connects React JavaScript library to Native environments of Android and iOS via C/C++ Bridge, so you will be operating on the premise of these two familiar languages, with no HTML involved. The rest will naturally come to you with experience. Now, how exactly to approach React Native without running into a block and wasting the precious time (that is supposed to be saved)?

 Issue Of Selecting Navigation Library 

As a relatively new tool, React Native features a selection of Navigation libraries that are more or less effective in their role in native apps. This is why, when problems arise, it is not necessarily flawing of code or bugs. It may be that the Navigation library is not suitable for a given app and its smooth functioning, and so opting for another library is required. The example of Airbnb is one of such cases. They ended up developing their own library that is now the second popular library after the one designed for React Native. However, you may not need to develop the navigation library from scratch. First, try to swap React Navigation for some other version and see how it works.

Parade Of Debugging Tools 

Debugging sometimes takes more time than code-writing, so it is no wonder that React Native developers need to use the best options available. Operability in different environments means that code problems will also be varied and not solvable through a one-size-fits-all approach. However, open-source code and cooperation of two powerful dev communities mean that today React Native can be debugged through a number of ways, including the use of native debugging platforms and solutions designed specifically for React Native.

Some experienced developers advise that debugging of background JavaScript can be done through troubleshooting Android and iOS platforms only. They are Android Studio and Xcode respectively. However, you can try other options designed to React Native and see if they work in your particular case.

The Developer Menu is the first thing that comes to mind. It features several options including the one called Debug JS Remotely, which was previously tagged Debug in Chrome. The menu offers several solutions ranging from simple reloading to entering the inspector interface and examining any component of UI.

Red and Yellow Boxes are useful prompts and warning that you should take seriously. They also contain hints on how to fix the trouble, and so you can debug on the go, especially if trouble is minor.

Chrome’s DevTools are also suitable for debugging to React Native since it operates on JavaScript. You will have to take a journey of connecting to the toolkit, but after it, you will access a powerful platform for fixing web apps.

React Developer Tools are provided in the form of a desktop utility. It may take some time to install the software, but it is definitely worth it since it is probably the best way to debug. Namely, this solution is suitable for React components troubleshooting and for style debugging (this option is particularly great).

React Native Debugger and React Native CLI are partially suitable for debugging as well since they were designed with different purposes in mind. Yet in some cases, they are truly valuable.

Keep an eye on these tools and do not settle for a method that is not satisfactory for you only because ‘everybody else’ uses it.

Beware Of Upgrades (Just As You Beware Of Them On Your Smartphone)

Upgrades of React Native can be useful or not very useful for developers, but they are terrible if upgraded elements lose connection to code components. Then the app may simply crash and will require rolling back the upgrade for restart. This trouble relates to packages like Google Maps, Navigation, and so on. To avoid the chaos, first, unlink the elements to be upgraded, then upgrade them, and link back to the code. Hence, you will benefit from new features and will not destroy your work for several weeks or months.

Work With Images On Your End, Not On Customer’s End 

Images are everything for a good app, so it is crucial to make them easily accessible and not hindering the app’s work. Whether they are processed through some static platform and local directory or pulled through a back-end server, the work and optimization have to be performed on the server level. Customers’ devices may lack resources to cope with images and so the performance of the app will lag. Since no one will buy a new gadget to use a single app, it is reasonable to process everything on the developer’s end and deliver to a customer already optimized and easily downloadable and viewable images.

Avoid the Application Overloading

As mentioned, gadgets are different and it is not reasonable to expect everyone to own the latest model with the highest capacity. So, when the app is designed in React Native, it is plausible to assume the average performance device with somewhat limited capacity. Hence, the size and complexity of the app need to be calculated with this average in mind. Overuse of components and libraries form third parties are bound to slow down the app and to make it obsolete even before it hits the market. So, while developing keep close to average capacity benchmark and use tools to reduce and simplify the structure and elements of the app. Android apps can benefit from Proguard, iOS apps will need more workarounds to deal with this problem. Yet it has to be tackled and solved for better functionality and usability of the app.

And one more, bonus tip for those who are not developers but need to get a good cross-platform app and do it fast: turn to JatApp for the speedy and professional development of cross-platform apps based on React Native. You will save money, time and tap into the community of experienced developers who will account for all side effects, apply tested methods and produce the app with excellent functionality and appealing UI. Do it today for your tomorrow’s market success!

 

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Content Marketing Manager