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he world of modern web technologies is indeed a battlefield. If 10-15 years ago developers were excited about any new front-end tool, now the leaders change every year. For this reason, questions like «Is React Native dead?», «Is AngularJS dead now?» or «Which Angular alternative to choose?» keep coming up for developers.
These are relevant topics in the current state of affairs. After all, how productive and successful a company's product is depends directly on the right technology. According to statistics, every second mobile application is deleted within 30 days. Therefore, business projects have to be flawless. Otherwise, no one will use them.
Reasons for the buzz about the topic «Is React Native dead?»
The React Native (RN) mobile framework has a strong competitor called Flutter. It has recently been stepping on the heels of Facebook's technology. Briefly, the first release of Flutter by Google took place back in 2017. However, the mobile framework did not catch the attention of developers from the first days. Only in 2019, Flutter gains some momentum and becomes one of RN's peers. Moreover, the popularity of the tool was growing quite slowly.
So, why did programmers start asking, «Is React Native dead»? What has changed?
The cross-platform framework industry has been shaken up by the news that Flutter has overtaken RN in the statistical race. German company Statista, which specializes in consumer and market data, has published a new report. According to the study, Flutter is in the highest demand among programmers worldwide. This mobile framework received 42% of expert votes. While React Native has 38% of the votes, in 2019 and 2020, this tool received 42% each.
Statista's numbers were one of the first push points for the topic of whether is React Native dead or not. Further, fueling the debate was trending data from StackOverflow. The chart clearly shows an increasing trend for Flutter. Moreover, the growth of the instrument is going rapidly, and the graph resembles a mountain with a high peak. At the same time, the trend of RN spreading and popularity is calmer, with a smooth and stable growth.
Opinion of our React Native development team: «There is no problem with the fact that some statistical reports show a decrease in demand for RN. Technology is evolving, getting new updates and features. The Flutter team held an excellent Engage broadcast in March, where devs demonstrated the framework's updated features. Over 1,700 companies use RN, so we cannot say that React Native is dead or will become irrelevant soon».
Numbers and facts that may not always be considered
Statistics is an excellent measure of the situation on the mobile and web development market. However, even in this case, it is necessary to keep in mind the statistical error. Report results often depend on the number of respondents, countries, age, and other factors. The statistics data varies from report to report. Even agencies with exceptional reputations and algorithms for calculating information cannot guarantee 100% precision.
For example, the data in the 2021 Developer Survey differs from the Statista report. The StackOverflow team surveyed over 80,000 developers, with nearly 42,000 professional programmers placing React Native at number 5 in the survey for the most popular technology. This mobile framework received 16,48% of the votes. At the same time, Flutter was only on the seventh line and got 13,35% from the pros. Is React Native dead? Of course not!
Even if we compare the numbers among specialists and all respondents, the situation remains the same. In a survey of almost 60,000 coders, RN found itself in the sixth position with 14,51% of the votes. At the same time, Google's tool did not change position and remained only seven. The only difference is that now the number of votes is 13,55%.
With such different metrics, it's hard to say whose mobile technology is better. You and I can only rely on personal preferences and specific project goals.
Today we won't repeat ourselves, telling you about the history of each of these technologies, their pros, and cons. We previously compared mobile frameworks together with two of our front-end developers in the blog. In it, you'll find more helpful information about Flutter vs React. It has an indirect relevance to the issue of whether is React Native dead or not.
Reasons why the question «Is React Native dead?» seems irrelevant
One of the main reasons that RN will work successfully for a long time is the support of Facebook. The American company regularly releases updates for the framework and helps its further development in every possible way. On GitHub, you can often see information with updates, which significantly helps devs stay in the trend.
Besides, this mobile tool has some other advantages compared to its competitors:
- developers can reuse some parts of the code, which speeds up the development process;
- due to its architecture, the mobile framework is flexible and allows for quick scaling of the project;
- RN can be used to create SPAs and MVPs as well as niche or promo applications;
- many tools are implemented for this cross-platform mobile framework, which simplifies the testing process.
Another reason why this technology will remain relevant is the incredible demand for mobile apps. According to analysts' forecasts, the number of mobile device users will exceed 7,5 billion in 2026. It will indirectly influence the fact that companies will massively create their software for smartphones.
Since RN is one of the most popular mobile platforms, it is the tool that many will choose to develop their products. We cannot say that such a scenario is possible in any case. However, in the current situation, the question «Is React Native dead?» will not be relevant for a long time.