10 React Native Best Practices

React Native is a great tool for building native mobile apps, but there are certain best practices that should be followed to ensure a smooth development process. This article covers 10 of them.

React Native is a JavaScript framework for building native mobile apps. It’s a popular framework that is used by many companies, including Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb.

React Native is a great platform for building mobile apps, but there are certain best practices that should be followed in order to create high-quality apps. In this article, we will discuss 10 React Native best practices that will help you create better apps.

1. Use TypeScript

TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. It adds an extra layer of safety and quality control to your codebase, which is especially important in large projects with many developers.

React Native uses JavaScript, so you might be wondering why you would need to use TypeScript on top of that. The answer is that React Native is a dynamic environment, and things can change at runtime. This can lead to bugs that are hard to track down.

With TypeScript, you can catch errors early on and prevent them from happening in the first place. This will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

If you’re not convinced, consider this: Facebook, the company behind React Native, uses TypeScript for their internal codebase. That should tell you something about its benefits.

2. Avoid using index as a key prop

When you use the index of an array as a key, React will re-order the elements every time there’s a change in the order of the array. This can lead to some very unexpected behavior, and can be quite difficult to debug.

Instead, you should use a unique id for each element in the array, which will ensure that React doesn’t re-order the elements and cause any unexpected behavior.

3. Always use the React Native Debugger

The React Native Debugger is a standalone app that includes all the necessary tools for debugging React Native apps. It includes a JavaScript debugger, a React Inspector, and a Redux DevTools monitor.

Using the React Native Debugger will help you catch errors and warnings early on, and will save you a lot of time in the long run. It’s also worth noting that the React Native Debugger is open source, so if you find any bugs or have any suggestions, you can submit them to the project’s GitHub page.

4. Don’t block the main thread

React Native is a JavaScript-based framework. This means that all the UI rendering and other logic that makes your app “tick” is handled by JavaScript code running on a single thread: the main thread.

If you block the main thread with long-running or intensive operations, your app will become unresponsive and may even crash. So it’s important to make sure that any time-consuming operations are run off the main thread.

There are a few ways to do this in React Native. One is to use the built-in InteractionManager API. This API allows you to schedule tasks to be run after an interaction has finished, such as a user tap.

another way to run operations off the main thread is to use a library like React Native Background Task. This library provides a simple interface for scheduling tasks to be run in the background.

either way, it’s important to make sure that any time-consuming operations are run off the main thread, so as not to block the UI and cause a poor user experience.

5. Use PureComponent or memo instead of Component when possible

When you use the PureComponent or memo higher-order component, React will do a shallow comparison of the props before re-rendering the component. This means that if the props haven’t changed, the component won’t be re-rendered.

This is important because it can help improve performance, especially in larger applications. If a component doesn’t need to be re-rendered, there’s no point in doing so. By using PureComponent or memo, you can make sure that your application is only re-rendering when necessary.

Of course, there are some trade-offs to using PureComponent or memo. The biggest one is that these higher-order components can make your code more difficult to read and debug. However, if performance is a concern, they are definitely worth considering.

6. Use Platform module to detect OS

The Platform module is a part of React Native, and it was created specifically for detecting the operating system. It’s a simple and straightforward API that does one thing and does it well.

There are other ways to detect the operating system, but they are either more complicated or less reliable. For example, you could use the user-agent string, but that can be spoofed. You could also check for specific features that are only available on certain operating systems, but that requires maintaining a list of features that can change over time.

The Platform module is the best way to detect the operating system because it’s simple, reliable, and easy to use.

7. Use FlatList for long lists

FlatList is a component that’s designed for long lists of data. It’s more efficient than using a ListView, because it only renders the items that are currently visible on the screen. This makes for a smoother user experience, and can help improve your app’s performance.

Additionally, FlatList supports lazy loading, which means that it only loads the data that’s necessary to render the current view. This is especially useful for large lists, where loading all the data at once could be slow and cause the app to lag.

So if you have a long list of data to display in your React Native app, make sure to use FlatList!

8. Use Flexbox with caution

Flexbox is a great layout tool for building responsive UIs in React Native. However, it’s easy to misuse Flexbox and end up with code that’s hard to maintain.

One of the biggest problems with Flexbox is that it can create an overly nested view hierarchy. This can make your code difficult to read and understand. It can also make it difficult to debug and optimize your UI.

To avoid these problems, it’s important to use Flexbox sparingly. Only use it when you absolutely need it. When possible, use other layout tools like the built-in React Native View component.

9. Use StyleSheet

StyleSheet is a built-in style sheet that provides a consistent interface for setting styles in React Native. It’s a great way to keep your styles organized and makes it easy to apply them to your components.

There are two ways to use StyleSheet: with the style attribute, or with the className attribute. The style attribute takes an object of styles, whereas the className attribute takes a string of class names.

If you’re using the style attribute, you’ll want to make sure that you specify all of the styles inline. This can be tedious, and it’s easy to forget to include a style if you’re not careful.

The className attribute is much easier to use, and it’s more convenient because you can define your styles in a separate file and import them into your component.

To use the className attribute, you first need to create a StyleSheet. You can do this by calling the StyleSheet.create method. This method accepts an object of styles, and it returns a StyleSheet object.

Once you have a StyleSheet object, you can use its methods to get the class name of a style. For example, to get the class name of the “container” style, you would call StyleSheet.container.

You can then use this class name in your component’s render method.

It’s important to note that when you use the className attribute, you’re not actually adding a class to your element. Instead, you’re telling React what class to use when rendering the element.

This means that if you want to add multiple classes to an element, you need to use the className attribute.

For example, let’s say you want to add the “container” and “header” styles to an element. You would use the following code:

className={`${styles.container} ${styles.header}`}

Notice that we’re using template literals here. This is because the className attribute expects a string, and we’re concatenating two strings together.

If you’re not familiar with template literals, they’re a new feature in JavaScript that allows

10. Use ESLint and Prettier

ESLint is a tool that helps you find and fix code style issues in your React Native project. Prettier is a tool that automatically formats your code so that it conforms to a consistent style.

Using both of these tools together will help you avoid common coding errors, and will make your code more readable and consistent.


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