React Navigation vs React Native Navigation: Which is right for you?

With regards to mobile application development using React Native, one of the most significant steps is choosing the ideal navigation library for your project. Navigation serves as the foundation of an application and largely impacts on user experience.

There isn’t any single solution that fits all requirements. There are various navigation libraries out there for us to choose from. React Navigation is one of the most generally used and effectively developed libraries out there on the scene. It is also one of the solutions suggested by the React Native team. It’s the community solution being most pushed by Facebook.

Here we will compare React Navigation and its notable option React Native Navigation (RNN) with the essential aspects.

React Navigation vs React Native Navigation-

1. Performance-

Performance is the first parameter while choosing a navigation library for your application. The quantity of frames displayed every second decides the smoothness of the interface. Most performant applications maintain 60fps constantly, particularly during interactions and transitions.

This benchmark leaves us with a tiny slap of about 16.67ms to do the entirety of the work expected to generate the next frame. If we miss this window, we will drop a frame, which can make our UI to seem unresponsive and janky.

In our React Native applications, the vast majority of the business logic resides on the JS thread. React Navigation works altogether on a similar JS thread as the rest of your application.

When you push a new route, the JavaScript thread needs to render components on the screen so as to send the correct commands over to the native side to create the backing views. This may result in a performance bottleneck for applications with countless screens and complex interfaces.

One of the solutions for this issue is to attach the root component of your whole screen (or a couple of parts of your screen) to the native view hierarchy. This solution is currently possible easily by using react-native-screens along with React Navigation. 

In recent versions, using native drivers in built-in navigators all animations are carried out. Nearby this, the React Navigation team is working on using react-native-reanimated to make gesture release more performant. For handling gestures, react-native-gesture-handler can be used in recent versions.

When compared with React Navigation, RNN by default treats all your screens as individual React applications, which, accordingly, makes your application more performant. This accompanies some complexity, however — especially when integrating with libraries like Redux and react intl that require you to wrap your application.

2. Using multiple routers-

In applications that require login, developers generally prefer various navigators to deal with non-login and login journeys independently. With React Navigation, courtesy of its being a JS-based navigator and the great API it provides. RNN allows you to set the root of navigation from any point in your application, mimicking the native API where you can begin another activity or fragment and clear existing stack.

3. Integration with other third-party libraries-

Being a JS-based, navigator permits React Navigation to incorporate easily with any of the third-party libraries. While RNN may suffer from libraries that are firmly coupled with native platforms or should be wrapped over the entire application.

For eg, RNN comes with separate guidelines for integrating packages like React Native Facebook SDK and an out-of-the-box API to integrate Redux in your application.

4. Integration with existing apps-

One of the significant advantages of React Native is its ability to incorporate with any of your current native applications. In such a case, any navigator based on JS works really well when compared with existing native solutions.

This gives React Navigation the edge over RNN, particularly on the off chance that you are hoping to control a few modules of your current application with React Native, much the same as Facebook and numerous other brownfield applications do.

5. Boot-up efforts-

If you and other developers in your team don’t have considerable experience with native application development, you may need a solution that doesn’t have a steep integration guide. React Navigation has a slight edge here when compared with React Native Navigation with regards to the integration process.

6. Deep linking-

In this era of social media, most applications have a simple way to allow users to share information and activities on their social channels. This demands that we empower deep connecting in our applications.

Suppose your application shows blogs, and you need users to directly arrive on a post screen when they enter your application. Neither React Navigation nor RNN as of now gives a simple method to do this. Both work best where your routes can be characterized statically. In spite of the fact that there are workarounds you can execute to accomplish this feature, again, it comes at the cost of adding complexity to your codebase.

7. Development team and backing-

While choosing any library, one of the central point on your application is the quantity of developers and contributors who maintain that library.

The team behind React Navigation includes individuals who are active contributors in the React Native core and expo. Other than this, they are developing various React Native applications that give them a more extensive perspective on issues that may emerge with yours later on.

A large number of applications built with React Native, including CNN, Bloomberg, and Urban Dictionary, are using react-navigation today. 

Conclusion-

Choosing the navigation library is an important step in your application’s development. Any choice made without due thought and care may hurt your application’s scalability. It can make different issues when it becomes bigger.

React Navigation is best navigation solution accessible at this moment. With certain known confinements, it is a go-to solution. Remember that it’s currently getting a performance boost because of libraries like react native screens and react native gesture handler.

You can choose the best one for your development. If still confused, you can consult with our experts teams and get to know the efficient one according to your project requirement. Experts at solace are proficient in new trends and technologies to give you the best development solution.