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React Native App Development Cost

05.01.2022 Daria Mickiewicz
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React Native App Development Cost

Developing a native application for every platform is a costly and time-consuming approach. Therefore, cross-platform development has become a superior alternative.

According to Statista’s 2021 research, 38 percent of software developers use React Native. This framework reduces costs by up to 40 percent during the development stage.

React Native Stats

And so, even if your budget is currently limited, you should not put the development idea aside. You can develop the MVP first and add more functionality later.

In this article, you’ll find out the cost of React Native app development and the factors that affect it. Next, we will take a look at the benefits of using React Native for cross-platform mobile development and tell you when it’s not the best choice for your mobile project.

How Much Does React Native App Development Cost?

Using the React Native framework will help you save up to 40% on time and money during the development phase. But how much does React Native app development cost?

The cost of building a React Native application depends on many factors, including the complexity of the project, the functionality required in the application, the design of the application, and the application distribution. The average cost of developing a React Native app can vary from $30,000 to $100,000. For large projects, it can take up to $200,000.

This information should have satisfied your basic curiosity. If you want to receive a more accurate estimation for React Native application, please do not hesitate to contact us. Now, let’s take a closer look at factors affecting React Native development cost.

Factors Affecting React Native App Development Cost

Following, we’ll consider the primary factors that influence the app development cost:

  • The complexity of the app. Creating a mobile app with complex functionality requires a larger team and much more time and expense to develop.
  • UI/UX design. The cost of developing a React Native app may depend on design specifications. For example, a custom design with a unique architecture for each UI element will require more time and be more expensive.
  • Specific back-end. Your app development costs may significantly depend on the number of variables used in the back-end.
  • Third-party app integrations. Adding extra third-party features like GPS integration, social login, or payment integration may significantly increase your app development total cost.
  • App testing. To minimize issues and ensure the quality of the application, you should test the application for bugs and vulnerabilities at every stage of development. That is why you need QA engineers. And the size of your QA team directly affects your app development cost.
  • Team size. The cost of a React Native application also depends on the size of the development team.
  • Location of the software development company. If you are looking to outsource, geographic location is important for React Native mobile app development. Development costs vary from country to country, state to state, and depend on many factors. Read more in the article “How to Outsource App Development Effectively“.

React Native for App Development: Is It Really a Good Idea?

So, when should one choose React Native? The comparison table below explains some scenarios in which React Native might be a good choice (or not).

When to choose React Native? When to avoid picking React Native?
You already have native apps. You can change to React Native, as it doesn’t require rewriting the entire code and makes migration a lot easier. Applications for one platform. If you intend to develop an application for only one platform, you do not have to use RN. But there are cases where this has been done successfully. For example, the Vogue iOS app is based on RN.
To create an MVP. To test your idea in real market conditions, you should create an MVP as soon as possible. React Native lets you develop two applications simultaneously with fewer people. This feature significantly reduces time to market and allows developers to make meaningful changes faster than with native technologies. Utilities. Some applications use a lot of low-level functionality that depends on specific hardware. In any case, this requires the adoption of native technologies. Building such applications with React Native is possible but not very efficient.
Rewrite an app. React Native works great for rewriting an application from scratch, as it adds to the developers’ productivity, allows sharing large chunks of code between platforms, and has a large community.
For example, Shopify rewrote their Arrive app with React Native. As a result, the app became much more stable, and they achieved 95% code sharing between platforms.
Lots of integrations. If your application requires connection to many other systems like LMS, CRM and HRM or relies on third-party libraries, it is better to choose the native version. ​There is a chance that React Native will be incompatible with some integrations as you scale and upgrade your application.
You already have a web application. If you already have a web app, you can get significant benefits from using React Native for your mobile app. This allows you to share code between web, iOS, and Android, and save a lot of development time and money.
For a limited budget. RN allows you to create a functional application quickly, rather than an application with too many features that will drain your budget before it even goes to market.
You have short, specified deadlines. React Native helps you constantly change your app as quickly as possible. So, you won’t fall behind the competition.

Benefits of Using React Native

To help you choose the technology for your project, we have prepared a list of advantages of React Native from both a business and technical perspective.

Benefits from a Business Perspective

  • One development team. If you choose React Native to complete your entire project, you only need one development team, which, in most cases, will be easier to manage.

    So, you will eliminate inconsistency between the separate Android and iOS development teams and inconsistency between the different versions of the app. It has a positive effect not only on costs but also on communication.

  • Consistency across platforms. React Native ensures that the user experience and user interface will be the same on both iOS and Android platforms. With React Native, application interfaces are rendered into fully native components, making applications run identically to native operating systems.

  • Shorter development time. As React Native includes many ready-to-use components to create applications for two platforms, you can save your time and money by up to 30%.

  • Shortened time to market (TTM). React Native accelerates mobile development up to 50% compared to native app development, so you can create working MVPs even twice as fast.
  • Developers’ availability. React Native developer marketplace is robust. You can either hire developers or software development companies using websites like Upwork or Clutch. If you want to learn more about hiring remote developers, see the article “How to Find and Hire a Dedicated Software Development Team.”

  • Stability and scalability. React Native is still evolving and backed up by a vast community. Most common issues are already solved. Therefore, the risk of using it is minimal.

Benefits from a Technical Perspective

  • Compatibility with back-end technologies. React Native is compatible with many back-end frameworks like Django, Node.js, or Ruby on Rails.
  • Dynamic development. As React Native evolves both as a technology and a community, it is future-proof, and the chances for employment for React Native developers are very high.
  • Up to 50% less testing. You will write about 50% fewer automated tests because you can create the same tests to run on both platforms. However, you will still need to do manual testing at the same level as you would with native programming.
  • Third-party extensions support. In addition to React Native, you can also utilize many third-party plugins and frameworks, such as NativeBase, which helps you create native applications, or Galio, a library of UI components.
  • Large community. If you encounter a problem, you can always go to GitHub or Reddit to ask for help, and it is very likely that someone will help solve it. Also, you can find a lot of tutorials and libraries to boost your knowledge.
  • Hot Reload and Fast Refresh. The Hot Reload feature allows you to see the changes made on the application screen without completely rebuilding the application. This feature works by injecting updated source code files into a running Virtual Machine. After the VM updates classes with new fields and functions, the Flutter framework automatically rebuilds the widget tree, allowing you to continually check the results. This feature improves performance and saves compilation time.

    Fast Refresh allows you to keep the state of functional elements and hooks during a reboot. In general, it should help avoid the issues encountered with Hot Reload.

  • Reusable components. You should not have to create a standalone mobile app for each platform, but rather adapt it for the new platform based on a single structure. The ability to implement full cross-platform development depends on the number of native modules you use in your application. Some features will be available in npm packages, but you will have to write others from scratch. Although some functions may have to be written, 90% of the code can be reused. As a result, you usually save a lot of time and reduce application development costs.

Disadvantages of React Native

When considering the downsides from a business point of view, we can list a few possible risks. Not all of them will occur at once, and sometimes we can completely rule them out, e.g., by choosing a trusted team of experts who will implement our project.

  • Complex update process. Continually updating a cross-platform application is a complicated process, which is much easier in the case of native applications.
  • Performance issues. The React Native app’s performance will be lower than the native one since the framework is not capable of utilizing the full potential of a particular platform. But, in most cases, you won’t notice any difference except when you develop an application with animations or extensive features.
  • Native developer required. The React Native code often includes native components that must still be created by iOS or Android developers. In this case, you will need native developer experience.
  • Issues with more complicated design. React Native may not be the best choice if you expect to employ advanced interactions or complex custom graphics in development.
  • Dependency on third-party libraries. At some point, you may need a specific native feature in your application, such as adding a face ID or card. Thus, you’ll need a third-party package for JS or React Native. However, such a package may not exist, or it simply is not compatible with the latest version. In this case, you must implement the required function using native code.

Famous Apps Built with React Native Solution

Thousands of apps use React Native, from established Fortune 500 companies to hot new startups. If you are curious about what React Native can accomplish, see the apps in the table below.

App Results of adopting React Native
Facebook The result of adopting RN was a significant performance improvement. Events Dashboard startup is now twice as fast.
Walmart Walmart improved app performance on the iOS and Android platforms by using fewer resources and less time. 96% of the codebase was shared across platforms, and developer skills and experience were leveraged across the organization.
Discord Discord for iOS and Android has 98% common code due to React Native. Its efficiency significantly improved the development cycle for Discord for iOS. The results showed that the difference in performance between it and native iOS apps is minor.
Instagram Between 85% and 99% of the code was split between Android and iOS apps, depending on the products. In this way, the team created the app much faster than if they had used a native solution.
Uber Eats React Native provided Uber Eats the development tools needed to build a UI and a smooth UX. Sound and push notifications are also beneficial additions to the app’s dashboard.
Bloomberg It took the team of developers in New York just five months to develop the app for both iOS and Android platforms—roughly half the time it would have taken had they not used React Native. Before React Native, Bloomberg teams would have developed the iOS and Android versions in parallel without sharing most of the code they wrote, leading to delays and repetition.Another advantage of React Native is that it automates code refreshes, accelerating the release of new product features. Instead of recompiling, your app reloads instantly.

Alternatives to React Native Framework

React Native is not the only technology that allows you to create cross-platform applications. Below you will find alternative technologies.

Flutter

The Flutter framework is currently the most popular alternative to React Native. It also allows you to use the same codebase to create native applications on different platforms.

It is built on Dart, which is less popular than JavaScript. That means it has fewer available libraries and a smaller community than React Native. Nevertheless, it is dynamically evolving. It has a different approach to rendering that speeds up this process.

An additional advantage of Flutter is that it supports out-of-the-box design for Android and iOS.

Pros Cons
  • Faster development
  • Quality cross-platform experience
  • Easy debugging
  • Low cost
  • Weighty apps
  • Immature technology
  • Poor support for iOS features

Xamarin

Another common alternative to React Native is Xamarin, which is associated with Microsoft technology based on C# and .NET. Xamarin has built-in components that allow you to create a design compatible with a particular platform. It supports platforms such as Android, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and, of course, Windows.

As stated on its website, Xamarin allows up to 75% of the source code to be shared.

The disadvantage of this technology is a smaller community and fewer libraries available.

Pros Cons
  • Fast development
  • Flexible
  • Great performance
  • Easy to scale
  • Extensive technical support
  • Not ideal for graphics-heavy apps
  • Limited community
  • Expensive license
  • Inherent limitations

Ionic

Ionic is an open-source SDK originally built on Apache Cordova and AngularJS. But later, it added support for other JS frameworks like React, Vue.js, and Angular.

Ionic provides tools and services for developing hybrid mobile, desktop, and progressive web apps based on modern web development technologies and practices, using web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and Sass.

Pros Cons
  • Native functionality
  • Cross-platform experience
  • Shorter development time
  • Not suitable for gaming apps
  • Compatibility issues
  • Security concerns

Native Platform

Native technology is the most expensive way to develop an application, with teams duplicating their code. Like React Native, this framework uses JavaScript to create cross-platform mobile apps for iOS and Android. It also supports TypeScript, Angular, and related frameworks.

The advantage of this approach is the performance of the application. Other advantages are ease-to-use native components, such as GPS or Bluetooth, and the “native” feeling.

Pros Cons
  • Native functionality
  • Less development time
  • Native expertise
  • Uncertain quality of plugins
  • Larger app size

Is React Native the Pick for Your Next App?

The main reasons for applying React Native technology are the significant cost reduction and quicker app development. React Native works well for creating one mobile app for two platforms where a complex interface is not required.

Since React Native enables rapid application development, it is also a suitable tool for prototyping and getting an idea to market quickly for business validation. Additionally, this framework enables the immediate delivery of new functionality to supported platforms.

If you have more questions about React Native app development costs or want to hire professional React Native developers to help you create a successful app for your business, feel free to contact us.

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