Effects on Performance and Usability for Cross-platform Application Development Using React Native

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A big problem with mobile application development is that the mobile market is divided amongst several platforms. Because of this, development time gets longer, more development skills are needed and the application gets harder to maintain. A solution to this is cross-platform development, which allows you to develop an application for several platforms at the same time.

Since September 2015 the cross-platform framework React Native, created by Facebook, has been available for public use. This thesis evaluates React Native, for both Android and iOS, in regards to performance, platform code sharing as well as look and feel. An application was developed for both platforms, one version using the native language and one version using React Native.

The different versions were compared through automated test scenarios to evaluate performance, manual code review for platform code sharing and with a user study to evaluate the look and feel. The results show promise as the user study shows that the React Native versions of the application have similar user experiences as their native counterparts without significantly affecting performance. The results also show that for the specified application about 75% of the React Native code could be used for both platforms, while it was easy to add platform-specific code.
Source: Linköping University
Authors: Hansson, Niclas | Vidhall, Tomas

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