Keeping Up in a World of Native Apps, ft. React Native

Realizing when HTML5 didn’t make the cut

As the general public shifts from the use of web-based platforms to an era of user-friendly mobile applications, the expectation is that service-based applications will follow suit to remain accessible. Lane is no exception.

While the current app is formulated in HTML5 and woven together by Apache’s very own Cordova framework, it was evident that Lane would have to upgrade to a platform suitable to native applications. A native platform would allow our users to have a more mobile-specific interface and experience while keeping Lane up to date with industry changes. By capitalizing on the most relevant and up-to-date resources and initiatively contributing to the growing tech community, Lane will be able to remain attractive to users. With Facebook’s launch of React Native and the industry’s embrace of all things native, it was evident where to take the product going forward!

Lane’s Transitions (in React Native)


React Native was created specifically to ease the creation of mobile native apps. It breaks down each visible page into ‘renders’ which combines a set of components that remain discrete. As such, the ease of testing and iterating product increases, giving Lane the chance to trial the app internally in order to make upgrades faster and more comprehensive in less time!

Instead of piling copious amounts of HTML and Javascript in a mobile-like presentation, React Native allows developers to merely ‘render’ Javascript components to create the visible output, while integrating styling in the same block. With Javascript running its own background thread throughout the use of the app, React Native should prove faster in loading time as well (which is essential for our user base of urban professionals). It is also worth noting that flexbox is used in styling, making it easier and more efficient to format the layout.

Lane’s Graphics and Side Menu (in React Native)

By combining Javascript and styling while introducing a new way to ‘render’ pages with virtual DOMs, React Native lets Lane write and share content faster. Catering to both iOS and Android systems, Lane will be compatible with the majority of users.

While there still exist challenges to overcome (i.e. lack of easy two-way binding, overload of integrated styling), React Native is a defining move that will be taking Lane forward in the field of native applications and our goal to create smart workplaces.

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