React Native. Prehistory
React Native, an open-source mobile application framework, was created as a result of a hackathon project launched by the Facebook Company in 2013. Facebook users were shifting to their mobile devices from desktops, and the company was aiming to optimize its famous product to make the social network mobile version work faster.
React Native was an internal project of Facebook for almost 2 years. The first version of the React Native framework was released in 2015.
Complex Made Simple
Popularity Is Earned
Why is React Native so popular? The principle “Write once, run anywhere” is, without a doubt, true for React Native apps. However, the framework has an original slogan, and it is a bit different – “Learn once, write anywhere.” The reason for the second slogan is that with React Native you can write for both iOS and Android.
- React Native creates a fast and natural experience for users.
- Since React Native is an open-source framework, when using it, you can rely on community support and reach out for guidance from other developers. React Native comes with a range of pre-made solutions and libraries, which simplify web building.
- React Native is extremely beneficial to small companies or startups. There is no need to have different development teams for several platforms.
What are the most popular React Native apps in 2021? In this article, we provide a simple rundown of React Native apps based on the industries they are used in.
A list of the top React Native apps includes the Facebook app, Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Facebook app tops the list of popular React Native apps. It is a mobile version of the Facebook social network with news feed, likes, and the possibility to address friends directly and respond to their notifications. Developers of Facebook were among the very first ones who could try and use React Native in the products they were building.
When speaking of React Native implementations within Facebook, we must say this framework is mostly used for performance improvements. Facebook started with converting Events Dashboard features in the app’s iOS version into React Native to test performance, start time in particular. The framework made a significant improvement. Since framework creation, Facebook started using React Native wider and wider in its products.
Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager is a unique powerful advertising solution within the Facebook social network, aimed at promoting products around the globe. Facebook is one of the largest social networks in the world. So, if a company tries to find a way to address its target audience, Facebook is usually an ideal place for this. Facebook Ads Manager helps you create and manage ads as well as measure the results of your ad campaign.
Facebook Ads Manager is considered to be the very first 100% React Native app developed within Facebook. The necessity of complex business logic optimization was the reason why React Native was used here. The developers of Ads Manager wanted to create a standalone solution for Apple devices but were constrained by the lack of experience in building iOS apps.
The goal was no smaller than to ship the first fully React Native-powered app where the user experience was identical to an app built in Objective-C
They scored a success and moved to create Android Ads Manager, which was released just a few months after its iOS-based version.
Instagram is a social networking service for sharing visual content. The service allows users to upload, edit, and share images or videos with their audience. This network belongs to Facebook; so, it is no wonder that changes in the general functionality of this platform started to take place after Facebook developers commenced rewriting its code.
If we try to specify the exact changes Instagram underwent with React Native applied, it may take us some time to recollect them all.
- Before its integration with the framework, Instagram used WebView for developing its Post Promote (an interface for promoting posts). Unfortunately, the WebView engine looked too alien due to its UX and was too slow. Thanks to React Native, the general presentation of Post Promote got quicker and more predictable.
- For those busy right now and willing to come back later, thereby saving some content till better days, the saving posts support was created on Instagram. And you guessed it right — it was built with React Native.
- Instagram push notifications are activated should someone like or comment on your post. And the interface of the Push
- Notification service with its settings and Edit Profile was created with React Native as well, not to mention other stuff.
- The developers admit an almost 100% increase in the development speed thanks to React Native, placing Instagram among the best React Native apps.
Pinterest completes our small list of the best React Native apps 2021. It is an image-sharing service and social media, where people search for inspiration and ideas to fuel their own interests and hobbies.
Discussions on whether it is possible to integrate React Native into Pinterest started in 2017. The implementation began from prototyping a small-scope surface of the Topic Picker feature on both platforms. But even those attempts showed a huge increase in the operation speed of the prototypes created. A set of React UI components called Gestalt conforms to the Pinterest design language, and therefore, it is used by the Pinterest web app.
Mobile applications for cars enable their owners to control vehicles’ locks, climate, and fuel level, get maintenance alerts, and use security services, such as stolen vehicle trackers. Some apps can monitor and analyze a driver’s behavior too. Tesla has chosen React Native for developing its mobile application.
Being the leading producer of electric cars, Tesla is a company seriously concerned with the use of sustainable energy. With the first electric car presented in 2009, the company made a statement that inspires the world’s transition to alternative fuel. Despite being famous for battery-driven vehicles, the company develops a variety of solar and clean energy products. Solar panels and the Powerwall, a rechargeable battery for storing energy, are other groundbreaking solutions by Tesla.
To manage four models of Tesla cars and the Powerwall battery, a mobile application was developed, written in React Native.
The app allows monitoring the battery percentage and controls the charging process of Tesla devices. It also adjusts the car’s roof and controls the lights, climate, and locks. You can check the location of the car with the app remotely. Moreover, it offers an option of keyless driving and restricts access to your vehicle by other drivers.
The app works identically on both iOS and Android and has a stylish black theme interface, which comes as no surprise with such a trendy innovative brand!
Online marketplaces offer products and services provided by multiple parties with the transaction assistance of the marketplace operator. With the rise of e-commerce, the need to accelerate access to these platforms led to the development of corresponding mobile applications. Gradually, the apps have become even more important for some operators than the initial website.
We are going to look at three marketplaces relying on Reactive Native in their mobile applications. The first, Artsy, offers very ephemera products – pieces of art. The second one is Airbnb, presenting vacation property for rent. And the third one, Flipkart, is famous for beating Amazon in India.
Artsy is a marketplace that helps to sell and buy original art as its slogan goes. It hosts galleries and works as an online brokerage. You can buy a piece of Banksy there, but Artsy also introduces unknown artists to potential buyers. Because of its social importance, the project gets financial support from different donors.
Artsy was launched as a website, but now, it has adopted the mobile-first strategy. The Artsy app relies on Reactive Native to offer various fantastic features. The company even introduced special training to familiarize its developers with Reactive Native when the mobile version was prioritized.
The app allows searching art pieces by artist, price, medium, style, nationality, and many other categories. You can choose to explore critically acclaimed British artists only or get acquainted with emerging Brazilian creative minds. The app also allows browsing galleries and museums in a particular location and having a tour around a gallery with the Viewing Rooms project.
It combines native iOS and the Reactive Native framework.
Airbnb is a marketplace offering lodging, homestays, and vacation rentals. The company doesn’t own any premises but works as an online agent for those who want to rent a room or the entire property short-term.
Airbnb started as a website in 2009. Its users were happy to book vacation rentals via a laptop from their home, but not everybody carries a laptop around when traveling. When people arrived at the destination of their choice, they often needed to get in touch with the host, make some changes to the reservation, or book a new stay on the go. Mobile access was even more important for hosts who needed to react to all guests’ inquiries as soon as possible and modify the calendar and bookings immediately upon a problem arising with the property.
In 2012, a mobile application for Android devices was launched to address these challenges. Yet, the Airbnb business was growing fast, and there was a need to perfect various aspects of the application. Airbnb started using Reactive Native in 2016 to accelerate its platform. The company faced some technical problems due to specific product requirements, such as a need for precise geolocation and maps. But the decision to employ Reactive Native for the app enabled Airbnb to keep up with the growing demand and present new features to users of various devices simultaneously.
Airbnb has also added new services at a particular location. The experience section includes cooking classes, crafted mini-tours, and more.
Flipkart is a shopping app. Launched in 2007 to sell books, Flipkart later moved to other categories, like cloth, electronics, and lifestyle products to become the largest e-commerce operator in India.
Flipkart launched its app for Android using Reactive Native in 2016. The same code was used for the iOS app. Later, the company optimized the code to share about 90% between different platforms for better performance. Flipkart developers praise Reactive Native for an option of quicker updates.
The history of food delivery started with chains presenting their restaurant-control delivery services in the 2000s. Pizza chains created their own mobile applications and moved part of their businesses online. Delivery services became core businesses for multi-restaurant delivery startups, which boosted in the 2010s.
There is a demand for the delivery of various types of products. Some retailers launched delivery services and introduced their own apps. At the same time, independent grocery and staples deliveries successfully compete with them, offering more freedom and flexibility to their clients.
Two famous apps were created with the help of the React Native framework. With UberEats, you can have a meal from almost any restaurant in town delivered to your doorsteps. The Delivery app can also fetch anything you need from a supermarket or liquor store.
Those who use the Uber taxi service find it very simple to order food from various restaurants with the same app. UberEats allows you to choose from the menu, state a delivery address, pay to the restaurant, and keep track of the delivery process. If you have a party at home, you might go for pizza. Otherwise, your guests prefer sushi, and there is somebody who eats vegetarian food only. You can order feasts from various places and track Uber delivering it all together within the app.
The app contains some additional features. For example, you might want to give a surprise treat to somebody and order the food to be delivered to another person’s address. Otherwise, you might need to make some special requests about the food’s ingredients. After you place your order on Uber, the app waits for the acceptance of the order from the restaurant and only then sends the driver to collect it.
Contrary to the taxi service, the delivery is a three-way process, and Uber developers were faced with the need to add a restaurant dashboard to the existing app. So far, they were experienced in transferring information between a passenger and a driver only. They were also forced to add sound notifications to the app, which were not available before. In the busy restaurant environment, they were essential.
Adding a restaurant dashboard to the Uber app was a challenging task, and React Native was used for implementing it. Restaurants vary from city to city, and the app covers more than 500 cities. Information requires regular updates. The more restaurants the app offers, the more enthusiastic users are about it.
After a successful implementation, there was a surge of positive reviews and downloads of the app. UberEats has some additional features. It is possible to choose a certain meal or type of food to make your search quicker and order an immediate or scheduled delivery.
You can pay with your credit card or credit your Uber account. The app offers free delivery for bigger orders and allows you to tip the driver. UberEats has also introduced Food Pass a monthly subscription for free delivery.
This app allows users to order food from a restaurant, collect a bottle of wine from a wine and liquor store, or request a laundry or dry cleaner service pickup and delivery. Users can earn points with every purchase and use them for credit. Delivery.com, which operates only in the USA, gives an option to place an order on its website, but the app for both iOS and Android is available too.
React Native helped to create cross-platform code simultaneously and boast great performance.
Buying online becomes an extremely common practice. The incentives are numerous. You can do it from the comfort of your home or the sunny terrace of a busy cafe. You do not lose your time getting to a shop and jostling with other customers. And you have a better choice. There are various ways the e-commerce business operates. Some retailers moved online, and they successfully compete with online platforms.
Walmart is one of the historical retails that went online and succeeded. Walmart’s app is almost entirely written in React Native. Myntra specializes in online fashion sales. More than 60% of its app’s code is written in React Native.
Walmart is the largest company by revenue with more than 10 thousand retail shops worldwide. They sell groceries, household staples, pharmaceutical goods, and garden products. Despite being that successful offline, starting from 2016, Walmart got actively involved in e-commerce. It acquired smaller e-commerce companies arming to expand quickly.
At a certain point, Walmart was running two different apps. One was a grocery app, while another one was used for all other types of products. At the time, the Walmart grocery app used to be #1 on the App Store.
Nevertheless, in 2018, Walmart decided to revise the grocery app in React Native. At the end of the process, it was almost completely React Native. The internal project of transition was called Matterhorn after a famous Swiss mountain since it looked ambitious but also risky and complicated. The company achieved the goal with better performance in page transition and smooth animation sharing the majority of the code between different platforms and a bigger market share in the end.
Since Walmart also decided to unite both its apps, now, you can buy your bread, cheese, and tomatoes together with a new kitchen unit and a toy constructor as a present for your child. Walmart refreshed its app with React Native, boosting extremely smooth animation. The current app has lots of useful features. You can track your order, create lists of favorites, reorder some items from previous orders, and enjoy special offers. Walmart app has an option of in-store pickup and address delivery.
Myntra is one of the biggest online retailers in India. You can buy clothes, including traditional wear, shoes, home décor, and beauty products from the Myntra’s website. A mobile app is available for all devices.
Myntra developers relied on React Native to create their mobile application. It allows them to make weekly updates of the app, catch bugs early, and reuse the code between iOS and Android versions.
A health tracker, or an activity tracker, could be a device or phone app to monitor fitness-related metrics. First health trackers were upgraded versions of pedometers, which measure the distance you walk or run. But now, health trackers measure heartbeat, sleep cycle, and other body metrics.
Three apps rely on React Native to help their users improve their health. Bitesnap turns your calorie consumption tracking from a tedious task into fun. Health Tracking by Gyroscope monitors your physical and mental condition and presents the progress as a computer game. Dashing Dish, in line with your food preferences and diet goals, advises what to cook and helps to derive grocery lists based on meal plans.
The app helps to track the calories of what you eat. All you need to do is to take a picture of your plate or bowl. With the help of artificial intelligence, the app will recognize the ingredients and calculate the number of calories on your plate. You may alter the weight of a standard portion, and the figure will be adjusted. If you are having a bite of a prepackaged branded food, like a couple of cookies from the pack or a pot of yogurt, all you need to do is to scan the barcode on the package. The app will recognize the product and tell you the calorie intake. It also allows you to keep a record of your calorie consumption and analyze it.
Bitesnap is a free app and it is very straightforward. It has been created by a small team. For the team, having a single code database was a big win. They were able to create the app for both iOS and Android quickly. Very occasionally, the team has to write a bit of native code, and React Native Bridging support makes it easy to do.
Health Tracking by Gyroscope
The app promises to improve everything about your health: sleep, mood, stress level. There are four subscription plans, from a free basic one to the most advanced, which implies online chat and video calls with a live personal trainer. It also includes an X-ray feature. The app analyzes and corrects your diet. All you need to do is to take pictures of your meals and wait for instructions.
When Gyroscope released its app in 2016, they were aiming to help people with practical health-related goals, like losing weight or becoming more productive. Gradually, they aimed for more ambitious intentions. Now, it is not only about reducing fat and adding muscles but also about living longer and feeling better!
Developers realized that they need to create a number of dashboards that will help users and their trainers make better health decisions. At the same time, developers of this app did not want the interface to look sober and boring like a business analytics chart but stay informative at the same time. A talented graphic designer was in charge of making the picture that looked like a video game. To achieve highly ambitious visual and analytical goals, the app’s creators experimented with React Native and considered the final result to be pure magic.
The app allows creating weekly, monthly, and annual health reports to compare, see the trend, and correct your efforts to progress quicker. For example, this month, you have slept less than the previous one. This information can explain why your productivity level dropped during this period.
The app is based on your general health score, and it helps to correct habits. It visualizes a map of your walks. React Native made it possible for the apps developers to quickly implement new ideas and do micro-adjustments in no time – Anand Sharma, the founder of Gyroscope, says. React Native offers an attractive way to display all the statistics and personal health data.
This app helps to choose healthy recipes for your everyday life and a workout plan to keep you fit. More than 1,300 simple healthy recipes are available within the app. Dashing Dish is not free, but it offers a 7-day free trial. It has two subscription options. The most advanced one allows composing grocery lists based on your meal plan and monitors your daily nutrition totals. You can use more than 30 various diets according to your goals and needs. You can try a keto diet or look for vegetarian recipes only, for example. You can find more than 200 workouts with video demonstrations within the app. Dishing Dish aims to equip you for a healthy lifestyle within one app without too much hustle.
There is a website with Dashing Dish recipes too. Thanks to using React Native, all the videos and pictures perform perfectly on all mobile devices.
Productivity software is used for working with information in the form of documents, databases, worksheets, audio, and video files. The software increases the productivity of individuals and teams. With the growing use of mobile devices, the need for cross-platform software development was urgent. Microsoft, the leader on the market, has updated its famous family of productivity apps with React Native.
The list of Microsoft apps is longer than one usually thinks. Everybody relies on the most popular Microsoft products. We are used to its text processor when fulfilling our job-related or personal tasks. Often, we use Microsoft productivity apps from the desktop. Nevertheless, you want to open a Word document in an attachment of an e-mail on the go to have a general idea of what it is about or quickly fetch some data from it.
The most famous Microsoft software, such as Word, Excel, OneDrive, Outlook, Teams, Mixer, Xbox, uses React Native empowering developers to use the same code for both Android and iOS devices.
Business and Analytics
When it comes to growing sales, developing marketing strategies, and improving financial efficiency, you cannot go without mobile technology. Although it seems to be more comfortable to work with big amounts of data from a desktop-size screen, some decisions need to be made quickly, and business analytics software comes with a mobile version. Such Business apps as Salesforce, Shopify, and Wix use React Native to assure cross-platform compatibility.
Salesforce offers a ready-made customer relation management system for businesses. All your data is stored in the cloud. The Salesforce platform also includes business analytics and marketing tools. Those who have chosen to use the platform often need to access it from their mobile devices.
Salesforce developed an app allowing you to work with your cloud CRM from a mobile phone with React Native. The app guarantees a seamless transition from desktop to mobile. The full power of the Salesforce platform is available from a mobile device.
You can access all your CRM data, collaborate with colleagues, and make smart decisions. With the Salesforce mobile app, you can run your business from your phone.
Shopify is an online platform that hosts more than a million different businesses. As a retailer, you can enjoy platform payment and marketing services. With the Shopify app, a shop owner can manage orders and products, connect with staff, and track sales on the go.
Due to the increase in mobile sales, Shopify decided to switch from native mobile development to React Native. If you are a store owner, Shopify makes it easy for you to build your own app with React Native. Shopify has also developed an app for learning digital marketing skills. It is called Shopify Compass. It was initially available only for Apple users, but with React Native, the app became available also for Android device owners.
Wix provides cloud-based web development services. You can create your website with the use of online drag and drop tools without writing a line of code. There are more than 500 design templates available at Wix. You can personalize and enrich them with a background video, scroll effects, and animation. Wix helps you make your logo and implement search engine optimization for your website. More than 200 million people have used the Wix service to create a website.
You will probably start working on your website from your desktop. But later, you can use the Wix app to modify the website and run your business on the go. You can chat with your website visitors, manage the information, track the website analytics, add new products, make special offers, and manage your community and calendar. And you can invite your clients to communicate with your brand or service through the app Wix has developed for them.
Communication over the Internet with text messages started almost as soon as the web was created. Later, an option of voice calls and video calls was introduced. The software to carry out online communication started emerging. And it still does. Different chats compete with each other for popularity, become trendy, and fall out of fashion. Additionally, due to the increased use of mobile devices, mobile versions of famous chat services were developed.
Discord was a chat primary dedicated to gamers. Skype is a historical chat for video calls. Guild is built for professionals and business. All these chat services use React Native in their codes.
Discord is more than just a chat. You can have instant messages and video calls with Discord. Besides, it allows you to participate in different groups according to your interests through chat rooms. Discord aims to unite communities and facilitates communication within them. Although Discord was initially focused on the community of gamers, recently, various groups started finding the service useful. There are more than 100 million users of the chat.
With Discord, you can see who from your community is available and reach out without disturbing anybody with a call. Discord supports video, voice, and text communication and provides users with a unique place to meet and talk with colleagues, friends, family, and even strangers with common interests.
With Skype, you can give your friends a video call for free wherever they are. Skype offers an HD video call quality for all device users. You can download Skype to your PC or mobile. After almost 20 years on the market, Skype is one of the oldest video conference solutions around. It keeps improving, allowing video calls for up to 100 participants today. You can call free of charge anyone online and also get a good tariff for a call to a landline or mobile phone number.
Skype relied on React Native to develop its mobile application.
Guild is a messaging platform for professional communities. It offers additional possibilities for networking. Users like the fact that it is possible to have an app separate from personal messaging apps. The app is compliant with General Data Protection Regulation, making it a safe space to connect and collaborate.
Thanks to using React Native, it was possible for Guild developers to share 99% of the code between two mobile versions of the app. The web app is also available. Users can use it to type longer messages and manage groups. The web app shares 80% of its code with the mobile ones.