Expo vs React Native: Which Is Better?

Over the past few years, React Native has emerged as the preferred mobile development solution for hybrid applications, along with the “write once, run anywhere” technology. It became more popular among developers who were familiar with ReactJS, especially
those who used it in the past. Moreover, if you have worked with React Native earlier, there is a strong possibility that you might have thought: Expo Cli Vs React Native Cli Which Is Better, for next project? The article below will help you decide.

This question should be discussed together but before we can begin answering it, we will explore each option and see what limitations they have. Thus, let us begin examining the advantages and disadvantages of using Expo and React Native -CLI.

Why Choose Us?

We at Techila Global Services, build hybrid apps with the latest frameworks and technologies that give a native-like experience. Our multi-domain expertise whether it’s expo or react native cli, allows seamless operation across the most popular
platforms, including Android and iOS. We make sure your business’s goals are met, be it B2C or B2B, we strive to provide the best experience to your customers and increase revenue.

React Native CLI Vs Expo Cli Which one to Choose?

As of now, there are 2 ways to develop React-Native apps, using the react-native CLI or expo, a tool that can also be used with cli. We will explore expo vs react native and see which option will be the best option for the next project. Let’s start
by discussing each separately!

Expo CLI

Expo is an open-source toolchain based on React Native that allows you to develop cross-platform mobile applications using both JavaScript and Typescript, as well as React. Using Expo SDK, you can access some native mobile features like MapView, BarcodeScanner,
ImagePicker, and many more, so Expo can be considered as a framework rather than an ecosystem.

Expo CLI features:

  1. Support for native modules:

When you remove an Expo project, a new React Native project is created, so if you want your project built again after adding a Native module, you may require MAC for iOS. Hence, you’ll get a React Native Command Line Interface project if you eject the
Expo application.

  1. Building Projects:

Expo requires registration before you can build with it. Thus, you can create an android apk and an aab, as well as packages similar to iOS. It’s all cloud-based. Their platform gathers your source code from your specified folder and uploads it there.
This is where the builds occur, and the final bundle is available for download. The build process will not be a problem since Expo will handle it for you.

  1. Requirements for knowledge and skills

The developers should have extensive knowledge and experience in CSS3, JavaScript, HTML5, ReactJS, Angular JS, PhoneGap, Xamarin, and other frameworks that support hybrid apps. In the end, the project will involve Java code, so they should have little
experience with it.

  1. Application Testing/Sharing: 

If you use Expo for your application, you can send a QR code to a friend and let them scan it or email them to let them download it and test it. It’s also great because it can be done for iOS, Android, or even on the web. Expo provides everything.

Pros:

Expo has many benefits, a few of them are as follows:

  • As it handles everything from configuration changes to version conflicts to certificates, it makes application development simpler and faster.
  • It also provides deployment and debugging functionality without any hassle. Additionally, you can download the Expo app from Google Play or the Apple App Store, allowing you to preview the app in real-time while it is still in development.
  • Without having to own specialized equipment, you can easily create cross-platform apps.
  • The Expo application development platform lets you create your application, then submit it to Expo’s servers, which compile it into .ipa and .apk files for you, by the way, you don’t need to install anything in order to get started, you can simply
    utilize expo snack to get started.
  • There are many features in Expo that can accelerate your development duration and reduce costs, which is why this tool has gained so much popularity among react-native developers in the last couple of years.

 

Cons:

Despite the many features it provides, Expo does have a few disadvantages that should be taken into consideration when creating an application.

  • Developers have limitations when dealing with native code. As opposed to React Native, you can’t look at the native code when developing your app using Expo.
  • Native code is not easily integrated with Expo apps. You won’t be able to utilize certain React Native libraries that require users to use the Command Line Interface to connect them.
  • It’s worth noting that Expo will not really accept native mobile capabilities, like Bluetooth interaction.

 

React Native CLI

init command lets you create a basic React Native project for users, including distinct native projects to android and Ios platforms. You may make whatever changes you want to the native project by writing code for every platform. For example, if you
wish to connect an Analytical SDK to the app, then you can use the native Android and iOS projects and connect your SDK whenever needed by native code.

React Native Features:

  1. Support for native modules

React Native Components could be anything written in Swift for iOS and Java for Android. The Js bridge eventually converts React Native into Java code. React  Native packages are always quicker than Javascript code, which is true with React Native now
at the time of this writing.  If you really want to develop your new native modules and connect them with a React Native app, then you can do so quickly using Native Command Line Interface, but it may be more difficult if you use expo. You may, of course,
delete the exhibition project. This method relies totally on the ejection being handled by the expo, so it can sometimes cause problems. When the Expo SDK was upgraded from version 38 to 39, developers found that their applications could not even be run.

  1. Building Projects:

The entire building process is performed on your computer with React Native Command Line Interface. To build an android application, a windows system is recommended and for iOS applications, you can use macOS.  Due to these reasons, you will confront
build errors like manifest errors, Gradle failure, and others. You will get a chance to learn a lot but you will also need to be familiar with XML and Java/Kotlin and a native Android development environment such as Android Studio.

  1. Knowledge/Skill Requirement:

As far as technical skills are concerned, it is necessary for developers to possess good knowledge of ReactJS, React Native, and JavaScript. People will not be able to accomplish much if they lack this level of knowledge.

  1. Application Sharing/Testing:

Imagine that you wish to distribute your android app to fans and friends so that they too will install it and provide useful feedback. With React Native Command Line Interface, you’d have to create the apk (again, dealing with build failures and all that),
start sharing the apk with your friends, and get reviews from them. Expo, but on the other side, may readily assist you with all this.

Pros

  • If you really want to implement certain native code (compiled in Swift/Objective-C or Java/Kotlin) and even end up writing your own code, React- Native Command Line Interface is a perfect solution.
  • React Native’s infrastructure has greatly improved, so you can start making your app appear native as possible.
  • With React Native, developers can now connect with a variety of native mobile capabilities including the file system, camera, Bluetooth, and so much more, thanks to the efforts and assistance of the React community.
  • If developers want to provide their users with a native-like experience, React  Command Line Interface is a wonderful alternative.
  • The React Native library provides a suitable alternative for developers looking for an iOS or Android app that they can write once and run on all platforms.

 

Cons

Furthermore, React Native has some important drawbacks that you should be aware of, one of which is:

  • The process for compiling an app into either a .apk or a .ipa file differs from Expo in that you need the right tools.
  • It is recommended that you have a MAC, Xcode, as well as Android Studio if your React Native app is to be deployed on both iOS and Android.
  • Upon shipping your application, you will need to manage the signatures, certificates, configuration, and many other aspects.

 

Final Thought

It is possible to create a hybrid app that works on both Android and iOS with React-Native. It is important to choose the CLI based on the feature and requirements set you are working with.  Both options have advantages and disadvantages, as you can see.
However, in react native CLI vs expo cli which is the best option? Depends on your needs.   In Techila Global Services, we have got the experience to choose the right solution for each client. We are happy
to work with you, making the app customizable, adding extra features, and enabling it to continue operating.

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