What is React Native?

React Native is a remarkably versatile JavaScript-based framework that enables developers to create apps with both iOS and Android in mind. Since it uses the React library, it makes it incredibly easy to reuse code between websites and mobile platforms, reducing the development time considerably.

React Native mobile apps are just what you’re looking for if you need to reach a client base across multiple platforms. In fact, you are very likely to be using a React Native-based app right now without even realizing it.

It’s fair to say that the framework, released by Facebook in 2015, was quite revolutionary. Before that, due to the differences in structure between iOS and Android, cross-platform apps were rather problematic for developers.

If they wanted to successfully build an app, they couldn’t just ignore one user base and favor the other, so they had to decide how to approach the situation. It would come down to choosing between creating user-friendly apps and ones that can be developed faster and run on multiple devices.

Thanks to React Native, now no one has to make that choice anymore. The process of building cross-platform apps is more efficient than ever and the apps’ quality remains unaffected. The sheer volume of products created with React Native should be enough evidence on the utility of this solution at the moment.

React Native app examples

Given its popularity, it would probably be easier to compile a list of big-name apps that don’t use React Native as their framework. Being such an extensive tool, there’s so much that React Native offers that can be put to good use that it would be difficult for these companies to pass it up. So here are a few of our top picks for React Native app examples:

1. Facebook

As we’ve already established, Facebook (now known as Meta) is the company responsible for introducing React Native to the world and making it the beloved framework that it is today.

The objective behind the creation of React Native was a streamlined, more efficient app development. Since Facebook was already big on desktop, they needed to make sure that their mobile users got the best experience they could.

At first, it was only available for iOS, but React Native soon proved to be compatible with Android, which made Facebook one of the most popular apps among all mobile users.

This is an important aspect to note—Facebook’s UI was able to accommodate the differences between the systems and provide both types of users the same experience.

2. Facebook Ads

Surprisingly enough, Facebook Ads was the first app to use React Native before even Facebook itself. Obviously, it functions under the Facebook umbrella, so the creator company was still the first one to utilize it, but it wasn’t for bringing people together over the phone; it was all about marketing.

Facebook Ads lets users handle every aspect of their paid advertising, all from their smartphones. It may not be as widely used as regular Facebook, since it’s likely that more people are just chatting to each other than actively promoting their products, but it still proved to be a hit and helped marketers reach their targets with even more ease.

There’s one more reason why this app in particular is worth mentioning: it’s incredibly sophisticated and complex. With the many currencies, payment types, time zones, and many other aspects critical to ad promotion, React Native turned out to be a natural fit.

The final proof of React Native’s suitability for cross-platform app development—for which it is now essentially known—came from the outstanding UX Facebook Ads provides.

3. Instagram

We’re still not out from under the Facebook umbrella. In 2012, Instagram became the property of Facebook. In a way, the app is similar to Facebook, being a social media site where people can connect, but its main modes of communication are images and video.

Even though Instagram is one of the most well-known apps that uses React Native today, it wasn’t always that way. Up until 2016, Instagram was still running exclusively using its own technology, but with React Native developing as fast as it did, it was soon implemented for Instagram, making it easier than ever to maintain the iOS and Android app versions.

4. Discord

Another well-known app that joined the ranks of React Native’s early adopters was Discord. It was initially designed as a place for gamers to meet up and chat, either via text or voice, but it has now evolved into one of the main gathering places for millennials with various interests.

It is available in two major formats: a desktop app and a mobile app that runs on iOS. It’s interesting to note that, unlike Instagram, Discord was actually created using only React Native from the very start. In fact, they began using it even before the framework’s official release in 2016.

While React Native did incredibly well for Discord, allowing the developers to reuse a lot of code to make their work faster than ever before, the Android version of the app is currently supported by Kotlin instead. Even though a different framework was preferred for that particular release of the app, the developers were still able to rework the code using React Native in just two days.

5. Uber Eats

Uber started out as a simple alternative to taxi services, allowing their clients to easily get from place to place. They eventually made the decision to include food delivery to their list of services, launching Uber Eats that works similarly to apps like Doordash.

At first, Uber Eats only operated as a website. Considering how spontaneous decisions regarding food may be, it only made sense for them to soon create a full-fledged smartphone app.

React Native proved to be the ideal option, allowing them to create the perfect user experience for both iOS and Android. It was a great, scalable solution for this service due to the features necessary in this field such as push notifications.

6. Wix

Much like Discord, Wix was one of React Native’s earliest adopters, using the framework even before Facebook ever made it public. As a cloud-based platform used as an easy tool for building websites, there was one main idea behind choosing React Native as the main framework: scalability.

With React Native, Wix’s development process was significantly sped up. Having had experience in React before, the developers managed to overcome all the challenges that came their way and created an app that would work effectively on any device.

7. Gyroscope

Gyroscope falls into the category of wellness apps. It’s a one-stop solution for managing your life, from helping with weight loss all the way up to productivity training. It’s quite a complex tool that allows you to track multiple aspects of your day-to-day life to better help you maintain good health.

It’s also a perfect example of how an app may leverage React Native to significantly improve user experience. Gyroscope can be customized to suit the user’s needs, mostly through its two main views: simple and cards. So not only can you be sure you’ll be getting the best experience on any device, but you can further tailor your UX to your personal needs, as well. All thanks to React Native.

8. Airbnb

Airbnb is another one of those apps that have revolutionized our lives. It’s now considered one of the most essential traveling tools, allowing you to find affordable accommodation wherever you go.

Although the React Native framework wasn’t what they started with, it would be difficult to ignore its scaling potential. The process of transitioning started out quite simple, though there were problems along the way, including complications with status management.

Nevertheless, such hiccups were temporary, and the team’s remaining reusable code helped make up for any monetary losses that may have resulted from the challenges they faced.

9. Salesforce

Salesforce is one of the leading CRM platforms currently available on the market. It’s the perfect tool for any company that needs to keep tabs on their marketing, ecommerce, services, and others.

While the platform itself doesn’t run on React Native, it uses the framework for Einstein, a platform within Salesforce that can be used to program AIs for customer service.

10. Townske

Townske is yet another travel app. It’s a tourist trap-disarming tool, where you get tips from locals on what places are actually worth visiting to give you the most authentic feeling while avoiding scams.

When it comes to the mobile UI, Townske uses React Native. No matter what device you use to view it on, Townske’s interface is incredibly fast and smooth thanks to its unique focus among the other frameworks.

11. SoundCloud Pulse

SoundCloud Pulse comes last on our list. You may be familiar with SoundCloud, a platform that allows musicians to upload their music and share it with the world without the need for an external publisher. With over 80 million artists and 200 million tracks, it is one of the biggest music communities on the web.

However, we’re here to discuss SoundCloud Pulse, a mobile app specifically designed with musicians using SoundCloud to publish their music in mind. It has all the necessary features a social media management tool might possibly require, including engagement tracking.

The incredibly small team that worked on the app had access to everything they required thanks to React Native. SoundCloud Pulse’s development was extremely fast and resource-efficient because of the code-sharing features. The developers also reported that React Native’s short feedback loop made working with it very enjoyable.

Final thoughts on best React Native apps

It goes without saying: if you’re looking for an app that will be optimized for multiple devices, chances are that it will be a React Native mobile app. From Facebook to Uber Eats, a staggering number of high-profile apps make good use of this versatile framework.

If you want to learn more about developing your app using React Native, why not take a look at these resources, since you may find them helpful:

We especially encourage you to check out our article on auditing the quality of your React Native code with a special bonus: a free step-by-step guide to download in PDF format. Don’t hesitate and get an actionable point of reference for your existing or future code evaluation!

And should you want to build your next mobile app fast without having to sacrifice on the quality—look no further. At STX Next, we specialize in developing native, full-featured, cross-platform apps with excellent UX using everything React Native has to offer. We’ll be happy to help you turn all your ideas into reality!

Just take a look at NOTA NOTA, a project of ours that is a perfect showcase of how easy it was to rapidly prototype and implement new ideas using React Native.

Lastly, if you have any questions, we’ll gladly discuss them with you. All you have to do is reach out to us and tell us about your project!