Why is React Native the Future of Mobile at Shopify?

Learn Once, Write anywhere- What does this phrase remind us? React Native, an app development framework. Facebook’s mobile framework, React Native, has gained lots of votes in its favor. Surely, it indicates the present trend of switching to this framework for developing a mobile app. But, why React Native? Why is it the best framework for native app development? React Native development professionals know the answer, and they are ready to share their knowledge with you.

Moreover, now, we are going to inform you that the prominent eCommerce development platform, Shopify, has decided to choose the React Native framework for creating mobile portals.

React Native development- The ins and outs of the framework

We know that you are interested in knowing why Shopify had made a shift to React Native. However, before that, you need to learn the basics of this technology.

The JavaScript-based app development framework helps in building Android and iOS mobile app. A React Native developer uses a single codebase to create apps for a range of platforms.

Facebook released this open-source framework in 2015. Within a few years, React Native turned out to be a potential tool for developing prominent apps, including Skype and Instagram. Besides, the JavaScript library has already gained popularity during the release of React Native. Also, React Native enabled frontend developers to create production-ready mobile apps.

React versus React Native development-

If you are looking for a newer and better version of React (ReactJS), you can prefer React Native. Powered by ReactJS, React Native lets programmers use UI elements for faster implementation of Android and iOS apps. Both these frameworks include a markup language (JSX) and JavaScript. However, the major difference lies in the syntax for rendering JSX components.

In addition, while React relies on CSS and HTML, React Native helps us in using native mobile UI elements.

Now, how does the framework, React Native work? The answer is a bit technical. Still, we have simplified it for your convenience. This framework has the potential to interact with native app threads and JS threads. React Native uses Bridge to make this bidirectional interaction easier.

Why do developers prefer the React Native technology?

  • Code reusability- 

    It goes without saying that the open-source framework has reusable codes. Thus, developers can apply a significant part of the native framework to reuse the code for iOS and Android OS.

  • Large community-

    Programmers can share their knowledge and learn something from others leveraging the big community.

  • Cost-effective- 

    There is no need to hire two teams to develop Android and iOS apps. A small team of a React Native development company can accomplish the task with minimal efforts.

  • Simple UI- 

    The component-based helps in developing both simple and intricate app interface.

What prompted Shopify to choose React Native for mobile apps?

The Shopify team has not made an instant decision to use React Native right after the introduction of this framework. Engineers of Shopify have taken some years to make a constant observation of this technology and the increasing use of mobile apps.

You know that merchants remain busy during the peak time of the year, like Cyber Monday and Black Friday. On those special occasions, they find the highest number of buyers. In fact, Shopify merchants have noticed that most of their buyers use mobiles to make a deal. Moreover, they have recently found an increase in mobile traffic by 3%.

Thus, Shopify has become more inclined to React Native for transforming the mobile eCommerce platform. At the beginning of its journey, Shopify was reliant on Ruby on Rails to design its eCommerce store builder. Although Ruby on Rails was not a highly popular technology, it has enabled the Shopify team to develop the platform faster.

After acquiring the ownership of Tictail, Shopify had started using React Native. Tictail had its focus fully on React Native, and therefore, Shopify also had chosen the technology for refining its platform.

However, before acquiring the Swedish eCommerce company (Tictail), Shopify had already been using React for its web products. As the company is familiar with the React model, it is easy for the team to deal with React Native for the mobile platform.

3 Apps development-

A year ago, three teams of developers worked together to create these three apps-

  • Arrive– A tool for tracking orders of customers.
  • Compass and Point of Sale– Both of them target online sellers

Now, while testing Point of Sale on low-power Android configurations, engineers have found the need for a lower CPU usage.

There is another interesting fact detected from the test. Developers were capable of sharing 80% of codes to develop Android and iOS apps- 99% for Compass and 95% for Arrive.

Although Shopify thought of building new mobile apps with React Native, it had not confirmed its approach of rewriting old apps.

The 3 apps and the dedicated efforts of engineers to redesign them with React Native

  • Arrive

    In 2018, Shopify took a step of rewriting Arrive with the use of React Native. This consumer app had no problem, and lots of iOS users downloaded this high-end app. However, this app had no Android version, and thus, developers strived their best to make it available for Android mobile users. Arrive is accessible in Android and iOS mobile devices with no difference in 95% of its codes for two platforms.

    How does the rewritten code help users and developers?

    • Minimized the risk of crashes
    • Launched the Android version

    The team for rewriting the app comprises both non-mobile and mobile developers. They have worked collaboratively to turn out a flawless product.

  • Point of Sale

    The certified team of developers took 6 weeks to research and study on the POS app. The most notable thing is that retail merchants anticipated a higher response with this app. However, to offer a better product, programmers and engineers made a native development of POS. They also applied React Native as the best framework for the Android version of POS.

    The team for rebuilding POS includes iOS programmers and the original app developers. Moreover, Shopify wanted to add velocity to the React Native engineering process and refine the app performance.

  • Compass

    While dealing with Compass, Shopify team worked on three mobile app development technologies- React Native, Native, and Flutter. However, the final decision of developers goes to React Native. They have released the first version of the app within 3 months, sharing 99% of codes between Android and iOS platforms.

    Shopify engineers are working hard to delve deep into the app development technology, React Native. Their iOS app, Shopify Ping, has already provided values to merchants by increasing the customer conversation. Presently, the team is working on the app to release the Android version.

Thus, Shopify has included React Native in its technology stack to build mobile apps. Now, you may also hire professionals to create a React Native mobile app for your business.

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