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Back in 2015 Facebook released a new framework they had built for creating mobile applications. If we flash forward to today this framework, React Native, is being called the first true solution to cross-platform mobile app development. The framework allows developers to create iOS and Android versions of a mobile app while sharing the same codebase.

React Native is a Javascript framework built on top of a library called React, allowing React developers to create mobile apps that render using the native APIs and UI for a chosen mobile platform.

The concept itself sounds a little unbelievable, what could be better than building true native versions of your app for both iOS and Android? However, there are plenty of awesome mobile apps built with React Native that handle high amounts of users every month. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, it looks like the most impressive apps being released today use the technology. Check out these five apps built with React Native:

Instagram

Before Instagram was acquired by Facebook it had been built as two separate native mobile apps, one for iOS and one for Android.

Once React Native was released Instagram started exploring the possibility of shipping features faster and took the plunge to integrate the technology into their existing native apps and gain some of the benefits. They began with a very simple Push Notification view and effectively transitioned the majority of Instagram features into a React Native app within a number of months. 85% to 99% of code is shared between Android and iOS apps, depending on products, and new features are now faster to roll out thanks to the increased developer velocity afforded by React Native.

The app consistently ranks in the top download charts every month as the photo-based social network continues to grow with an app that is now much faster than before, thanks to React Native.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s new consumer mobile app allows users to access personalized content, videos, and live feeds from Bloomberg’s media channels. The app was developed with a particular mobile development framework. Can you guess which one? That’s right, it was React Native.

Before using React Native the Bloomberg tech team in New York City would spend significant time having to develop and update separate versions of the iOS and Android app. They decided to create a prototype app testing the React Native technology and were impressed by how quickly they could build a cross-platform app compared to their existing development process. To migrate their entire app to React Native took five months, roughly half the time it would have taken if they had built two separate apps.

Because React Native allows for pushing updates over-the-air it means that post-migration Bloomberg can now release product features more rapidly than before and also quickly fix any bugs that might be discovered.

Walmart

Walmart is currently the largest retailer in the world, and providing a superior customer experience has always been a high priority for them. Their mobile app had a number of web views which they deemed fell below the standard that they and their customers expect from their app. They knew they would need to seek out a solution to improve performance while not comprising on the ease of development options that would work for both the two major mobile app platforms.

When they saw the opportunity that React Native provided they were quick to try it out in their own mobile app. The speed at which their developers were able to roll out new features nearly doubled as they would write code once for both platforms. Now 95% of the app codebase is shared between platforms and the performance of the app is also much faster than before. The Walmart app allows millions of Americans to purchase their consumer goods and groceries from the palm of their hand with superior mobile performance.

Shop

After years of native mobile development, Shopify decided to fully commit to building their new mobile apps with React Native. One such app is their Shop app, one of their most popular consumer apps, in fact, it’s a top 10 shopping app. The Shop app users to track their orders, find all their shopping details in one place, and discover new stores they might like.

While the Shop app (at the time called Arrive) was highly rated and had millions of downloads on iOS it didn’t have a respective Android version. This made it a perfect candidate for rebuilding in React Native. It’s now on both iOS and Android and shares 95% of the same code. The rewrite also resulted in fewer crashes on iOS than the previous native version. The app has now been used by 16 million consumers already and the company has gone as far as to call React Native “the Future of Mobile at Shopify”.

Afterpay

Afterpay is an Australian fintech company offering a “buy now pay later” service that allows users to purchase consumer goods over four installments. They became a worldwide multi-billion dollar business in less than four years and now have over 7 million active customers.

Initially, a web-online product, in 2017 Afterpay engaged Dovetail to design and build a mobile app for them. The app that they launched went straight to the top of the app store charts in Australia and eventually did the same in the US and the UK once Afterpay launched there. Sure enough, the app was completely built with React Native from the beginning. In addition to acquiring a ton of new customers, as the app has been downloaded over 15 million times, it also unlocked new revenue channels for Afterpay. In-store purchases, a feature where you can create a barcode to pay at a store, didn’t exist until the mobile app and now it’s a quarter of their total revenue in Oceania. Afterpay’s iOS and Android mobile apps both have a 4.9 out of 5 rating and a combined six million monthly active users.

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