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The state of React Native

React Native status 2018: Looking bright with a rearchitecture on the horizon

Sarah Schlothauer
react native
© Shutterstock / Daniel_Kay

React Native will soon undergo a new internal rearchitecture. What will be added and changed? The present, past, and future of React Native is shining bright.

Since its release, developers have been asking themselves if React Native is here to stay or if it’s too new to predict its future. It makes creating apps easy and is preferred by many mobile app developers for its wealth of features – including a great UI and ease of converting apps.

The past five years have been a winding road, so let’s take a look at the status of React Native and see what ground it has covered, and what uncharted territory is yet to be explored.

Achievements to date

Some of the features that were built in React Native are:

  • Facebook Marketplace: Since 2015, Marketplace has been the internet’s flea market for local, second-hand goods. It is used by over 800 million per month.
  • Companion mobile app for the Oculus Go VR: The app connects to the Oculus Go and provides various VR experiences. Fully built in React Native, it has been installed over 100,000 times on Android devices.
  • Blood Donations, Crisis Response, Privacy Shortcuts, Wellness Checks: All of these recently added Facebook features were written in React Native. Features such as the Crisis Response help keep track of family and friends in an affected crisis area, using the power of social media for good.

Besides these features, React Native is used by apps such as Instagram, Tesla, Discord, Pinterest, and Skype. Chances are high that the average smartphone owner uses several apps written in React Native on a regular basis.

SEE ALSO: React Native: Yay or nay?

Looking to the future

What are React Native’s plans for the rest of the year and the future? Engineering manager Sophie Alpert says on the State of React Native 2018 blog, “We’re working on a large-scale rearchitecture of React Native to make the framework more flexible and integrate better with native infrastructure in hybrid JavaScript/native apps.”

The rearchitecture plans to be lightweight and allow easier integration with already existing apps.

Alpert discusses three changes React Native hopes to make to some of the internals:

First, we are changing the threading model. Instead of each UI update needing to perform work on three different threads, it will be possible to call synchronously into JavaScript on any thread for high-priority updates while still keeping low-priority work off the main thread to maintain responsiveness. Second, we are incorporating async rendering capabilities into React Native to allow multiple rendering priorities and to simplify asynchronous data handling. Finally, we are simplifying our bridge to make it faster and more lightweight; direct calls between native and JavaScript are more efficient and will make it easier to build debugging tools like cross-language stack traces.

These changes will make React Native even more straight-forward and easy to use, so the time to learn this chart-topping technology has never been more fruitful.

SEE ALSO: React Native: Will a cross-platform app development dream come true?

A strong community

The React Native community is bustling and full of help for developers. On StackOverflow there are over 30,000 questions posted; elsewhere the discussion forum hosts topics such as job listings for React savvy positions and show-and-tell for showing off what React Native can build. If neither of those communities fit your style, there is also an active Discord server. GitHub also has a vibrant community of developers helping each other with issues and bugs.

In the past year, React Native has had over 2,500 commits and over 500 contributors. Those are numbers that show that React Native is strong and will continue to grow.

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for React Native and the state of mobile app development!

Author
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com. She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey and is currently enrolled at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany where she is working on her Masters. She lives in Frankfurt with her husband and cat.

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