Why React Native is the Best Option for Developing a Location-based App?

Almost every mobile app today offer a pop-up to ask to access our location. Apps do provide a better experience after accessing your location. Apps like Uber and Google Maps can’t work without accessing your location as that is their primary job.

Location-based apps make use of your location to enable certain features along with better control. Location-based apps help us in our everyday task simply by knowing our exact location. Location can either act as a primary or an auxiliary function for an app. When Tinder asks for your location, it is its primary function, but when Instagram suggests you tag your location, it is an auxiliary function for the app.

But everyone will agree that location eventually improves the overall user experience. In this article, we will take you through some components of location-based apps. We will also mention React Native development and compare it with native app development.

Why React Native is the Best Tool?

React Native is undoubtedly one of the best and most favored tools for building a location-based app. React Native app developers can craft cross-platform applications with the help of native behavior. This is behavior is seen in the sense of how an app works on a certain platform. Both Android and iOS are completely different platforms with different designs. Developing an app for both these platforms separately can be too laborious. But if you make use of React Native, you can easily write just one set of code which can work on both platforms.

By doing this, businesses get a bigger market share as well. This is why a lot of companies these days prefer developing their apps using React Native. The cross-platform market is also expected to grow more in the coming years, so choosing React Native seems like a suitable option.

Benefits of Using React Native

Pros & Cons of React Native

1. Open Source – It is a constantly growing community with several open-source components. So community members can share their experiences, find solutions to any existing bugs, and improve the overall framework. This also speeds up the development process.

2. Cross-Platform – It allows you to write a common code for both iOS and Android. So the app can operate on both platforms and also have the same UI and UX.

3. Performance –The native iOS and Android components interact with the code and render the code to native APIs. This native API improves the performance of the app.

4. Cost – The above-mentioned points conclude that React Native is also cost-effective.

There are also cases where you might not feel like using React Native

1. Platform-specific – If you know that the app is only required on a particular platform, then you can go for native development. The app will be designed in a way that it matches the specifics of that OS, along with using platform-specific features.

2. More APIs – The number of APIs supported by React Native is limited. So if you require more APIs you can build the app using native code.

Gathering and Displaying User Location

  • Gather location data – This can be done by using React Native API. Or using a package that helps you in determining the device location from 0 to 1000 meters. You can also add native code to Javascript API for gathering the location data.

    package com.nimblechapps.author;
    import android.app.Notification;
    import android.app.NotificationChannel;
    import android.app.NotificationManager;
    import android.content.Context;
    import android.content.Intent;
    import android.content.pm.PackageManager;
    import android.location.Criteria;
    import android.location.Location;
    import android.location.LocationManager;
    import android.os.Build;
    import android.support.v4.content.ContextCompat;
    import com.facebook.react.bridge.Arguments;
    import com.facebook.react.bridge.Promise;
    import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactApplicationContext;
    import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactContextBaseJavaModule;
    import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactMethod;
    import com.facebook.react.bridge.WritableMap;
    import com.facebook.react.bridge.WritableNativeMap;
    /**
    */
    public class GeoLocationModule extends ReactContextBaseJavaModule {
    public static final String CHANNEL_ID = “ExampleService_Channel”;
    public GeoLocationModule(ReactApplicationContext reactContext) {
    super(reactContext);
    if(Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.O) {
    NotificationChannel channel = new NotificationChannel(CHANNEL_ID,”testName”, NotificationManager.IMPORTANCE_DEFAULT);
    NotificationManager manager = reactContext.getSystemService(NotificationManager.class);
    manager.createNotificationChannel(channel);
    }
    }
    @Override
    public String getName() {
    return “GeoLocation”;
    }
    @ReactMethod
    public void startService(String token, String user_id, String id, String url_string, Promise promise) {
    WritableMap result = Arguments.createMap();
    result.putString(“ststus”, “success”);
    try {
    Intent serviceIntent = new Intent(getReactApplicationContext(), GeoLocationService.class);
    serviceIntent.putExtra(“token”, token);
    serviceIntent.putExtra(“user_id”, user_id);
    serviceIntent.putExtra(“id”, id);
    serviceIntent.putExtra(“url_string”, url_string);
    getReactApplicationContext().startService(serviceIntent);
    promise.resolve(result);
    } catch (Exception e) {
    e.printStackTrace();
    promise.reject(“rrrrr”,e);
    return;
    }
    }
    @ReactMethod
    public void stopService(Promise promise) {
    String result = “Success”;
    try {
    Intent serviceIntent = new Intent(getReactApplicationContext(), GeoLocationService.class);
    getReactApplicationContext().stopService(serviceIntent);
    } catch (Exception e) {
    promise.reject(e);
    return;
    }
    promise.resolve(result);
    }
    @ReactMethod
    public void getLocation( Promise promise) {
    WritableMap res = Arguments.createMap();
    try {
    LocationManager locationManager = null;
    locationManager = (LocationManager) this.getReactApplicationContext().getSystemService(Context.LOCATION_SERVICE);
    int permissionCheck = ContextCompat.checkSelfPermission(this.getReactApplicationContext(),
    android.Manifest.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION);
    if (permissionCheck == PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
    Criteria criteria = new Criteria();
    String bestProvider = locationManager.getBestProvider(criteria, false);
    Location location = locationManager.getLastKnownLocation(bestProvider);
    if(location != null) {
    res.putDouble(“latitude”, location.getLatitude());
    res.putDouble(“longitude”, location.getLongitude());
    promise.resolve(res);
    }
    }
    } catch (Exception e) {
    promise.reject(e);
    return;
    }
    }
    }
  • Displaying Location – The device location is collected from sources like GPS, cellular, and Wi-Fi. If there is no internet connection, the GPS will be enabled. Many times, while going from 4G to GPS, the device gets lost. Here, you can use Fused Location Client by Google. You can set the time and date for the location data.

About the Design

React Native displays maps in a simple manner. Material Design can be used to create a Google Maps wrapper. These will then be adjusted by React Native according to the features of the platform. React Native also creates an endless list of search results. There is also a Flat List but it is very time-consuming.

Wrap Up

This article basically concludes that choosing a React Native framework to build your location-based app is definitely one of the best options. If you feel the advantages mentioned here are true for you and the platform is more in your favor, then you must do some more research about the technology and the capabilities it has. You can also get in touch with our app developers to know more about React Native.

Keval Padia
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile game development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.