React Native for your apps in Android & iOS

React Native lets you create cross-platform apps for Android and iOS. The framework was first introduced to the public in 2015 and has been gaining popularity ever since. Get to know the features and benefits and easily implement your first test project with visualization on your smartphone within a few minutes.

What is React Native?

With the open-source framework React Native, web developers build native apps using only JavaScript. The framework, driven by Facebook and a large community, is based on React technology and enables companies to unify the development of apps for Android and iOS. This is to ensure scalability, especially for large apps. The open-source license allows free use, modification, and commercial use.

The advantages:

  • The framework reduces the effort for platform-specific apps.
  • Web developers use a repository and a development process for Android and iOS.
  • The source code is created much faster and is easier to maintain.
  • Development, testing, acceptance, and communication are accelerated.
  • Instead of recompiling after code changes, you can update the app immediately. Thanks to “hot reloading” you can even run a new code and keep the app up to date.

The easiest way to build a new app with React Native is through Expo. If you are using the Node.js environment, install the Expo CLI command line utility.

How does App-Testing work with React Native?

With React Native you edit the JavaScript files, the application reads the content and the JavaScript elements become native components. The resulting apps are regular native Android and iOS apps. Therefore the combination with well-known test automation frameworks like Appium, Robotium, Calabash, Espresso, UI Automation, and many more works.

Differences between pure React Native and Expo

There are several ways to create a React Native App. Expo is a great help for getting started with React Native development. Expo Apps are faster and easier to set up, neither xCode nor Android Studio is necessary. If your apps are getting bigger and exceed the capabilities of Expo, “pure” with react-native init is the alternative. This makes all device APIs available, but Expo has limitations. See the “Building Projects with Native Code” section in the official manual for more information.

Conclusion

React Native makes it easy to get started in mobile app development. You can start developing applications for Android and iOS right away, and Expo makes getting started easy. Install NPM, Expo, and Git and try out the development environment. In minutes, your first app will be displayed on your connected smartphone and its content will be automatically updated after saving changes in the editor.

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