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React Native, a Facebook-backed JavaScript framework for mobile development, is gaining traction among new startups and mature companies alike, but is it a right tool for your job? If you are asking yourself that question, you have probably already considered going “fully native” and developing two separate applications for iOS and Android—a path that requires expertise in an array of programming languages and platform‑specific technologies.

The main selling point of React Native is fast, iterative development, and a promise that the same code will run on both leading mobile platforms. Often, the pitch goes as far as to say that your existing team of frontend developers, already well-versed in JavaScript, can build a companion mobile app with minimal training.

While all of that is not exactly true and knowing the ins and outs of a young framework, as well as of underlying operating systems, is still required to be productive, let’s first rule out cases where React Native is certainly not an option, and you are better off with original SDKs:

  • You plan to build a B2C app that delivers a “mobile-first” experience (think Snapchat or WhatsApp).
  • You want to stay on the cutting edge and embrace the possibilities of AR, VR or mobile sensors.
  • You are focusing on a single mobile platform (iOS or Android).
  • Your application needs to work with “unusual” third-party hardware: printers, routers, drones, smart home appliances, and the like.
  • Your application focuses on graphics and performance is crucial. It might be a game or a photo editing application.

If you have checked neither of those boxes, React Native might be a good fit for you, but you need to know how to handle it right.

In this article, we will argue that hiring a remote team to take care of your mobile needs and sticking to React Native as a primary technology can be beneficial for a fast-growing company, especially in a business-to-business segment.

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