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How to convert your Android & iOS app to React Native?

Mark Zuckerberg had realized this almost eight years ago when he commented that relying solely on HTML5 instead of native language was a blunder they committed. This led to a thousand times better UI & UX that Facebook delivers today. Within six years of this statement, React Native came into existence. An open-source platform, React Native doesn’t need HTML or CSS and developers can code in Objective-C or Java.

Facebook’s shift to the React Native was quite a revolutionary step and it motivated most startups and established firms to consider React Native as a choicest platform for building apps. As a result, the need for React Native app development increased exponentially. The ease and scalability offered by React Native is matchless and the apps developed in this amazing framework offer great user experience.

The best part of React Native is that its community continues to work towards making this framework better than before. Some software and app development agencies consider native apps the best way for mobile/web app development. In a lot of scenarios, entrepreneurs are convinced about the technology stack approved by these companies, owing to their experience.

By opting for iOS or Android app development services, they may end up missing out a lot if their iOS or Android app doesn’t meet the development standards.

So, what should you opt for? You can go for iOS or Android app development in two ways including:

  1. One: Build your own native app with React Native
  2. Two: Convert your existing app to React app

If you want Native app development, you don’t need to spend a big budget. Rather, you can hire React Native app developersfor upgrading your existing native app to React Native. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the crucial aspects you must consider before developing or converting your iOS and Android app with React.

limitations of React Native development

When using React Native for native app development, it is but obvious to have security vulnerabilities and a lot of errors and bugs. Despite React Native’s growing popularity, some performance issues may still arise. But, if you have an IT development companywith expert and highly proficient React Native developers who are well-versed in these problems, you can expect seamless Native app development.

Below are some of the limitations or concerns that may arise when you build or replace native apps to React Native.

The limitations at a glance:

  • Native developers are required even for processing cross-platform functionality.
  • Native app developers are a big dependency for processes where JavaScript (JS) is used.
  • The developers must understand the native library’s processing for integrating SDKs e.g. Google Analytics.
  • During React Native app development, an abstract layer is added on native-platform for enhanced functionality. Due to being abstract, it is not possible to identify the bugs here. In other words, your app will have a bug (if it exists in the abstract layer itself). Pinpointing and diagnosing these bugs is difficult. Other than this, the abstraction level means you must depend on 3rd-party services to ensure the relevancy of your framework.
  • When creating React Native apps, the other challenge is the inconvenient debugging style.
  • While custom iOS app development may appear easy, the real challenge is in app deployment and testing.

Things to consider when converting your Android and/or iOS app into React app!

Cutting down the code is the most efficient and finest way to convert your Android/iOS app into React Native app. If lots of changes are required in your existing Android/iOS app, it is advisable to go for build a new React Native app.Discussed below are the things you need to consider when you decide to convert your existing Android/iOS app to React Native app.

  • Update the technology stack, tools, libraries, database, and framework.
  • Execute custom-native-modules
  • Add assets to the app (React Native app). The assets include: icons for push notification, main app launcher, custom fonts, etc. that help ensure great user-experience.
  • Make sure your app is user-friendly. Focus on UI components

You may hire iOS developers or Android developers with experience in React for converting your Android/iOS app to React Native app.

Tips to help you add React to the existing Android/iOS apps

Start React Native app development from the scratch! But, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use React Native for integrating a user-flow to your existing native (Android/iOS) apps. Your mobile application development company can integrate React to your current Android and/or iOS app with the right steps and components. However, before starting app integration, remember these:

  • Prepare your React Native dependencies and work on the structure of directory.
  • Use JavaScript for building your React Native components.
  • Install ReactRootView and RCTRootView to view Android and iOS apps, respectively, as these work as React Native containers.
  • Start with the server of React Native and execute the app.
  • Validate and check if all your React components are working as required.

What are the requirements for React Native integration?

To integrate React Native to your current Android/iOS app, you need to:

  • Create a directory structure.
  • Set up JS dependencies.

The steps to React Native integration are:

  1. Configure maven: To do this, you will have to begin with adding JS and React Native dependencies to your build.gradle library file. When ensuring you are using the right React version, you may replace the + sign with its actual version.
  2. Enable autolinking of native modules: For this, you must enter settings.gradle after which you can add your app/build.gradle entry.
  3. Permissions need to be configured: Make sure you have internet permission. Check AndroidManifest.xml.
  4. ClearText traffic: If this is disabled, connecting your app to Metro builder would be difficult. Apply the userCleartextTraffic code to the existing AndroidManifest.xml.
  5. Integrate code: The process of code integration requires app developers (you may hire dedicated developersfor this) to follow some key steps such as building a file i.e. index.js, adding React code, seeking permission for error overlay development, and Render JavaScript component.
  6. Testing: Just as you do with any other app or software, testing is crucial to ensuring the app runs and performs as expected.

You will need the help of a iOS and/or Android app development company with expertise in React Native as well for converting your native app to React. Some of the greatest advantages of React Native integration include:

  • Optimal performance
  • Reusable components
  • Cost-effective solution
  • Live reloading
  • A large community of developers to support you

Other than this, you can work on the integration or development witha sizable mobile app development company.


Compared to custom iPhone application development, React Native is very popular among businessesfor its cost-efficient and time-saving instances. The community of React Native experts continues to expand, which means the React Native has the potential of delivering outstanding results in the future. While you mayhire Android app developersfor building your Android app or iOS developers for iOS apps, to integrate React to your existing Android/iOS you will need developers with proven expertise in React Native as well as Android/iOS.

Author BIO

Tarun Nagar is the Founder & CEO of Dev Technosys, a global ranking Website Development Company. With 10+ years of experience of enabling then Startups which are now global leaders with creative solutions, he is differentiated by out-of-the-box IT solutions throughout the domain. He is known for his visionary qualities and adaptability for technology and trends, passionate as he is in every aspect dedicated to making IT simple, accessible and approachable for business enterprise

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