7 Best React Native UI Toolkits to Use in 2018

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React Native UI Toolkits

Demand for a mobile application across the globe is increasing. With the traditional way to creating mobile applications by using React Native UI Toolkits available for each major platform whether it is iOS or Android, in past few years, we have seen the rise of Hybrid Mobile Applications because the development process of creating a mobile application for each platform is expensive and time-consuming.

To tackle this issue frameworks like React Native, Ionic, Flutter, etc exist in the development world. All these frameworks share one common perspective and that is to help reduce development time by writing an application that runs on the major mobile platforms.

React Native is a framework for building mobile applications with JavaScript and leveraging Reactjs. Recently open sourced under MIT License by Facebook, it uses native UI components for both platforms. It has an instance of JavaScriptCore to execute JavaScript code when an application starts. React Native uses RCTBridgeModule to make a connection between native code and JavaScript code. It is not a hybrid way to develop an application since it does not use Web View which can be slow depending on the use case.

The List of React Native UI Toolkits

The question arises here is that if you as a developer decide to make your next mobile application using React Native, how about platform-specific designing. Even though there are existing applications that have a ubiquitous UI over all the major platforms. React Native’s core UI components provide a lot of cross-platform designs if you are willing to do the styling yourself from scratch.

However, if your decision is to provide platform specific design for the consumer to feel comfortable using your application on their mobile devices, I would suggest that you take a look at the toolkits that are available in React Native developed and actively maintained by the community itself. These toolkits, not only will help you save tons of development time, they will also help you provide a consistent design over different screen sizes for various devices.

Consider a scenario in which you are writing the source code for your application and you need to design a button. If you are using React Native’s core UI components, you will be writing at least 10 to 15 lines of code to just define the UI of a button. However, with using a UI toolkit, you will be merely writing 3 to 5 lines. Convincing enough! Let’s take a look at the options we have

Native Base

NativeBase

With amazing documentation, NativeBase has a lot of components to offer. They are written using pure React Native with some JavaScript which makes the rich for customization. Using this toolkit, as a developer, you won’t have to worry much about balancing the platform-specific styles. It will take care of that for you. Not only that, the NativeBase provides plenty of examples too look into and get inspired.

React Native Material Kit
If you are looking to develop a mobile application only for Android, this toolkit is a match made in heaven for Android devices. It provides a complete Material Design solution for the UI and is better maintained than the other available UI kits for React Native. It works great even on an iOS device by giving accurate Android UI feel. It does provide an API to develop your own customized components.

Shoutem UI
Composable components in which each component has a predefined style, this open source UI toolkit helps you design professional looking solutions. These predefined components are elegant but seem a bit more biased towards iOS style guidelines. Along with components, it comes with basic Animation that is suitable for using its own UI toolkit and themes to build gorgeous React Native applications.

React Native Elements

React Native Elements
Another cross-platform React Native UI toolkit is used by a large number of developers and is the most popular one. The number of components available in React Native Elements might be the only handful but it is much more colorful. With the option to customize these components, this toolkit is one of the few which provide its own specific styles rather than iOS or Android specific. A perfect use case if you are looking to design an application that looks universal across both platforms. The documentation clearly explains how to customize the available components with simplicity, and comes with a set of beautiful icons.

React Native UI Kitten
This framework provides commonly used components to develop the UI of the application. Younger in existence than most of the UI kits mentioned here, it is ready to use UI kit that provides resources to integrate directly with your backend. Its MVP is to bring your MVP into existence as soon as possible.

Nachos UI
Another new kid on the block, Nachos UI provide over 30 UI components that are available to use as plug-n-play in your application. The predefining styling of these components is more suitable towards iOS-like design. It does provide some nice looking components that can be customized. This is still a work in progress and only recommended to use for prototyping.

prototyping

React Native Gifted Chat
If you are looking to develop a chat application, you have to take a look at React Native Gifted Chat UI kit. It is completely different from other UI kits mentioned in this article since it only provides components that are suitable for a chat application. The major advantage of using this UI toolkit is that, as a developer, you do not have to write custom components since it covers that for you.

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