How to Boost Performance of Your React Native Applications

Having a high-performing app is necessary today, Let’s how you can boost the performance of your React Native applications. Here are all details you need to know.

4 min read
Mar 12, 2022

One of the important things developers need to keep in mind when developing applications is optimizing for performance. This enables users to react and respond to your app as quickly as possible.

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React Native is one of the most popular app development frameworks that developers and product owners alike use for its speed and agility. However, same as the other frameworks, React Native does have certain aspects that may degrade its performance.

While the new React Native architecture promises to boost the performance of the apps, it’s still unclear when it’ll roll out. Even the whole React Native industry is not going to shift to this new architecture overnight.

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Thus, apps that have already been built using the framework need certain ways to optimize performance for their applications. Here, I am going to discuss a few tips that will help you boost the performance of your React Native apps.

How to Boost Performance of Your React Native Applications

Optimizing your React Native apps is a crucial step in achieving true performance potential. Here are some tips that will help you do that:

1. Boost Start-up Time

The start-up time of an app refers to the time it takes for an app from launch to draw content. To boost your start-up time & performance of your app, what you should do is decrease bundle size and memory usage. Here’s how you can do so:

By using Hermes. Hermes is an open-source JS-based engine optimized for React Native apps. Using and enabling Hermes will decrease the memory usage and make your app size smaller to enhance the start-up time. The only thing to keep in mind is to always use the latest version of React Native when using Hermes.

2. Avoid Using ScrollView to Render Long Lists

Displaying scrollable lists in RN is often achieved in many different ways. The first one is ScrollView and the other is FlatList. Implementing the wrong options for scrolling a long list of components can negatively affect the performance of your React Native apps.

ScrollView may seem to be perfect to show a long list of finite items in a more organized and sophisticated manner. However, it can slow down your RN app and hit performance very badly.

FlatList, on the other hand, handles the list of the large items pretty quickly as it uses Lazy Loading. Doing so will help improve the performance of your RN apps. The FlatList component displays only the desired set of components and eliminates them when they are not needed to be visible.

3. useMemo

useMemo helps to avoid re-rendering of child components by returning the memorized value of functions. What it does is use the previously cached props and render JSX view when any component receives the same props more than once.

This helps to improve the performance of React Native apps when performing extensive calculations.

4. Resize and Cache Images

Images also majorly impact the performance of RN apps. They can bring down the performance of your apps significantly. If your RN apps are loaded with a lot of images, high-quality graphics, and content, it’s more likely that your app may lag in performance and suffer from memory overuse.

To boost performance, ensure that all your images and graphics are optimized to match the best resolution and size requirements for every device. Use and render images in WebP format to reduce binary size.

Another way to resolve the image issue is with ‘image caching’. With caching of images, we can further optimize the performance of your React Native applications. Also, it will help you save a couple of minutes in loading times.

5. Remove Non-Vital Libraries and Add-ons

Removing libraries and add-ons is generally a performance optimization tip that concerns the backend of the RN apps. However, many of you may not have time to go find ways to do so, here’s a tip to help you optimize your app’s performance.

Since I am going to talk about the libraries and their role in the performance improvement of RN apps, it’s important to understand that the entire functionality of the RN app depends on the libraries used for its development. Thus, you’d be pickier and selective of what libraries you want to have as per the features you desire to integrate.

Start removing unnecessary, irrelevant, and non-essential libraries, dependencies, and other add-ons at once. Also, try to decrease the unwanted navigation, animation, sections, or other functions that affect the app’s performance negatively.

6. Run Nativedriver for Animations

It may be a point of debate to understand the most efficient way to import animation in RN apps. What most programmers do is run animation in a JS thread which toils down the performance of the app. This is because the JS thread gets blocked when the app tries to render any animations.

Thus, it’s not advisable to follow such a practice and instead use the Nativedriver. It sends the animations over the bridge prior to when the app begins the animation on the screen. This enables the animation to be executed independently without the JS thread getting blocked.

This results in a faster, smoother, and richer experience without drops in the frame and boosts the overall performance of the React Native application.

Wrapping UP

So, these were some of the few tips you can implement right away to boost the performance of your React Native applications. Apart from this, there may be several factors affecting the performance of your RN apps, which I will discuss later on. But on the bright side, you can currently start with optimizing the performance of your RN apps.

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