Android or React Native?

  • I am a proficient iOS/Swift developer and I am keen to develop an app on the Android platform.
  • I am also a realist and I know that the time available to me is limited.
  • Q : Will my time be better spent learning React-Native – or – Android Java/Kotlin?

I’m a proficient iOS / Swift developer and I want to have a go at developing on the Android platform. How should I do that?

As someone who has tried to learn Android development from scratch with both approaches (native Android and React Native), I preferred React Native by far!

To me, React Native just has a much nicer ecosystem to develop around. The folks at Expo make some of the best development tools I’ve seen, and as an added bonus you get the awesome open source component library of React and React Native.

If you’ve done stuff with JavaScript before and are familiar with some of the build tool ceremony required around it then I’d say you’ll be quicker in getting results trying react-native.

If you’re completely new to both I’d say probably better try kotlin. It’ll probably be less of an uphill battle especially when you’ve used swift before.

My situation is the other way around. I’m an Android dev familiar with both Java and Kotlin and some general js experience as well as some react-native under my belt.

Personally, if I would be tasked with writing an Android app I’d go with native cause I know how to do it and will be more productive. But if you ask me to write an iOS app I’d rather use react-native than learn the whole native stack + a new language.

This is of course only from the angle of productivity. If it’s more about what’s interesting and maybe a more valuable skill in the future, I’d personally rather…

Android or React Native?