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React Native 0.60 Update: Reasons why React native is Future for App Developers

By Nicolas Thomas | December 04, 2019

React Native 0.60 Update: Reasons why React native is Future for App Developers

Meet The Doctor, A New React Native Command

The React community has recently launched a new command – React Native Doctor. The React Doctor is invented not to help you with starting off but, also to aid troubleshooting issues and automatically fixing errors.

The React Native doctor command is inspired by EXPO and HOMEBREW’s own doctor command with a pinch of UI. The command supports lots of software and libraries that React Native relies upon.

The React doctor will immediately tell the issues that you are facing within your development environment and give you the option to automatically fix it. If not fixed, the message is displayed with a relevant solution link to manually fix the issue.

What was the first focus while the update was made – Accessibility!

Improvement in the APIs accessibility for both Android and iOS has been improved. In order to integrate with the native assistance technology – iOS & Android – new features use API underlying platforms –

  • The additional number of accessibility roles + States and a new accessibility states API will support the web in the future.
  • Earlier, accessibilityInfo. was for the iOS platform. Now it supports the Android platform as well.
  • A new extended accessibility action support was released. This is meant to deal around user-defined actions.
  • An iOS accessibility flag support for the “reduce motion” has been released in React Native 0.61 update.
  • CA layers were released to draw text as well as accessibility improvement for the Android devices keywords.

A Fresh New Start With A Whole New Screen

When using a React Native app, the designers have come up with new designs for the app screen. The app screen design in 0.60 fits adequately with the upcoming website redesign. The possible ideas are –

  • Rich content including some icons, a grid layout with multiple buttons.
  • Links to documentation, start guide and some FAQs.
  • Fetching title of the latest blog post and linking as a News.

Support to Android X

React native + AndroidX

With the old artifacts library being deplored, Android X has come up as a major support to the Android ecosystem. Thus, native code and dependencies have been migrated over AndroidX. There have been tools provided by community experts for seamless migration.

Cocoa Pods are now part of React Native’s project

Cocoa Pods are now part of React Native’s project

CocoaPods is a dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects. It consists of more than 68 thousand libraries and is used in over 3 million apps. It is now a part of React Native’s project too.

The “podspec” for the internal packages has changed which will make troubleshooting and debugging easier and compatible with Xcode projects. Still, tracking issues are in progress and working for future patchwork.

React Native 0.60 debug menu

Second Focus – Lean Core To Recieve Better Maintenance

The primary motive of the independently released project was to split modules out of the React Native into separate repositories. Many repositories pulled 800 requests in the combination of all. However, polyfills were major support in the past for language features like Map and Set, which has now been removed from the React Native 0.62 version.

WebView and NetInfo have been successfully migrated to this version. The work is still in progress and you will be able to see further improvements in React Native 0.61 update.

React Native 0.60 webview

User Feedback

Before releasing the upgrade, the React community gathered the feedback of the user in regard to the disappointment or the React lackings. And today their team has worked on the feedback and made improvements.

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  1. Autolinking, a better upgrading command via “rn-diff-purge” and helper website.
  2. More pull requests and support for uncertainty about Facebook’s investment in React Native.
  3. Better and much faster performance.
  4. Overhauling and rewriting all of the React Native’s Documentation.
  5. Removed existing warning.
  6. New hot reloading system integrated.
  7. Native modules are now Autolinked.

What’s More To Look At?

After Facebook merges with Pull requests, the internal changes get lined to Facebook’s repository and syncs with GitHub. Earlier, not all open-source tests were run inside facebook (its infrastructure is different from common continuous integration services), thus the sync frequently broke test and took a lot of time to fix.

To improve and for continuous integration, a Team Member – Hector Ramos – put in great two months efforts. This resulted in the integration of both Facebook and on GitHub continuously.

Upgrade Helper

The community team has built a great tool named – Upgrade Helper. This simple upgrader helps Indian app developers with brownfield apps or complex customization differences in their versions. Easy upgrading your expo project to the new version of React Native by updating the package version. There are two ways of upgrading – React Native CLI or manually Upgrade Helper.

React Native CLI – A one-step operation to upgrade the source files with minimum conflicts. It internally uses an “rn-diff-purge” project to find which files needed to be created, removed or modified.

  • Run the React Native “upgrade” command
  • Resolve the conflicts after understanding the conflict’s destination.

Manual Upgrade Helper – A web tool to help you upgrade your app by providing the full set of changes happening between any two versions. Moreover, it also shows comments on specific files.

  • Select the version in which you need to upgrade.
  • Upgrade the dependencies first.
  • Make updates or upgrade the project files.

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What About The React Native’s Library Maintainers?

For changes needed in AndroidX, updation in the library is also needed, thus its important to include the support. Check your library against the jetifier and confirm whether during the build time are users able to patch your library.

In order to update and upgrade your configs and readme, you must review the auto-linking. Analyze and make some necessary additional changes to the previously integrated library. If you are unable to define your dependency interface, you can visit the GitHub dependencies guide.

A fast and refreshed React Native 0.61 update had also been released. The reason behind calling it Fast refresh is the unified “live reloading” and “hot reloading” features into a single new feature “Fast Refresh”.

In the Nutshell –

These were some of the upgrades made by the community team of React Native. The latest version of React – React Native 0.62 update was released to resolve the common pain points that users faced.

Focus on accessibility to AndroidX support React Native Open Source update released a fresh new screen. Cocoa Pods which was a dependency manager is now a part of React native’s iOS project. The community is constantly working on making React Native a smooth platform and easy sync of Facebook and GitHub.

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