React Native simplifies the process of developing apps for different platforms – Android and iOS in particular – with its unified programming language. The framework lets you work on UI and construct a full app that can be compiled into native iOS and Android apps with minimum changes. The React Native API even grants access to native features of the two platforms.
While using a unified framework like React Native simplifies development of mobile apps, it is not without its challenges. The biggest challenge lies in creating a development flow that remains consistent and an app that works seamlessly on both platforms.
Develop on Both Platforms
You don’t have to code two separate app instances when developing mobile apps using React Native, but that doesn’t mean you should go with one-platform development approach. In fact, this is a big mistake that you will regret further down the line.
Many developers work on the iOS side of the app, expecting the Android version of the same app will work seamlessly. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Not all functions available to iOS apps are available to Android apps; the reverse is true as well.
When developing the app, develop for both platforms. Test on both iOS and Android simulators and make sure checks are performed at every step of the development process. You save yourself a lot of headache by approaching a React Native project this way.
Follow a Standard
Another thing you want to do from the very beginning is keep your codes tidy. Follow a code standard and stick with it throughout the development project. If you keep having problems with semicolons, for instance, using Standard.js is a great way to eliminate that problem once and for all. You can read more about the different standards you can adopt from top sites like Javabeat.net.
Aside from following a code standard consistently, you should also use annotations and notes to your advantage. Don’t be that lazy programmer who copies and pastes codes recklessly. Tracing errors and figuring out mistakes are much more difficult when you don’t have proper notes and change logs to refer to.
Use React Native to Your Advantage
React Native comes with plenty of tools and resources that actually make developing an app more straightforward. Unfortunately, completely neglecting these tools is also a common mistake many developers still make when working on their projects.
Asset management is a good example of how using the right approach saves you a lot of trouble. You must always manage directories using the built-in package.json. This increases the compatibility of your React Native project and allows it to work with other Java-based frameworks with minimum changes.
Don’t try to be cool either. Keep your codes as simple and readable as possible. Sure, it’s cool to use ternary operators to construct complex calls and functions but using the usual if and else works just as well for simpler functions.
React Native is designed to utilize native functions of both iOS and Android. With careful planning, smart execution, and some care, developing an app that works really well on both platforms is nowhere near as difficult as you think.